Meet the Author: Moonbeams from the Soul by Fay Knowles

Today we’re traveling to Nassau, New Providence Island in The Bahamas to chat with Fay Knowles. She and I discuss how being a newspaper reporter, seeking sunnier climates, travel writing, short stories, a babbling brook, and an old oak tree come together as part of Fay’s past and present writing journey.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a Scottish-born writer who made The Bahamas my home many years ago. I live in Nassau, New Providence Island. I have been writing since the age of nine, penned a children’s adventure story book at eleven and won a school essay competition at age fifteen.

After leaving school at sixteen, I trained in Devon, England, as a secretary, then newspaper reporter. At the age of twenty I set off to “work my way around the world”, first emigrating by ship to Canada. I worked as a production/editorial assistant for the former Canadian Food Journal and Gift Buyer, Toronto. And then, to avoid a Canadian winter and to seek sunnier climes, I took a Greyhound coach down across the U.S. from Toronto to Miami, en route for The Bahamas.

I met my future husband Erskine in Nassau a month after that and we were married the following year. I never did “travel the world”!

As well as getting by-lines in British and Bahamian newspapers, my articles have appeared in Westward News (a former in house publication of British Telecom), the Kennel Gazette (official journal of the British Kennel Club), Christian Herald, and Sports Magazine Bahamas.

My writing assignments have included articles for Bahamas Information Services, travel writing for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and as a photo journalist for Town Centre Mall, Nassau, Bahamas. I once worked as a “temp” for the late Sir Etienne Dupuch, former Publisher/Editor of The Tribune, Nassau, transcribing his long, captivating editorials.

My short stories have been published in The Lady magazine, London, England, and The Broadkill Review, Delaware, U.S.A.; with poetry in the U.K. magazine Evergreen.

Most of my short stories in Sunbeams from the Heart – A Collection of Twelve Romantic Short Stories were first published in The Lady or The Broadkill Review.

And I also have a new book of short stories “Moonbeams from The Soul: A Collection of Fourteen Provocative Short Stories”.

I drew on my Scottish background and knowledge of The Bahamas when writing my Romantic Suspense novel Love at Sunset, which is now Book One in my Buchanan Mystery Romance Series.

And my mini-memoir The Scottish Connection tells of my journey back to Scotland with my mother and young sons to revisit our Scottish roots.

My writer’s guide How to Be the Best Writer Ever!  is “An informal guide and source of inspiration for new and not so new writers worldwide.”

In which genre do you write?

Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense, Literary Fiction, Poetry and Non Fiction

How many published books do you have?

Five so far + a short story. I am currently working on another novel “Oleanders End”, which is Book Two in my Buchanan Mystery Romance Series.

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

At age nine I read a lovely poem about a babbling brook, which sparked the passion in me for writing!

What does your ideal writing space look like?

A desk; an office chair that gives good back support; a computer and printer; pens and steno pads; a window with a window seat and view of ocean or countryside; and a comfortable chair for reading.

What are you currently reading?

I have just finished reading “The Guest Children” by Geoffrey Bilson (The Story of the British Child Evacuees Sent to Canada During World War II)

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

I’m “secretary” for any of my family members whenever they need me to help with their business ventures!

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

That I have actually managed to get books published!

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? 

I used to keep a daily diary while growing up, but life interferes now!

What do you miss about being a kid?

Just climbing up onto the branches of an old oak tree and scribbling away to my heart’s content!

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

I’ve been told by a former schoolmate that as a child I was more self-assured than most of the other students and capable of expressing negative views whereas the rest tended to be “yes-men”! I never knew that about myself. I think this trait has helped me get ahead in life.

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

Starbucks! That’s where I meet other writers and chat about writing.

It was wonderful to learn more about you and your writings Fay. Thank you for being a part of MTA! – Camilla

Book Blurbs and Where to Find Fay’s Books:

MOONBEAMS FROM THE SOUL: A COLLECTION OF FOURTEEN PROVOCATIVE SHORT STORIES

From wild temptations to dangerous decisions, an eclectic assortment of thought- provoking short stories.

Available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PIAgd7

LOVE AT SUNSET – A ROMANTIC SUSPENSE (BUCHANAN MYSTERY
ROMANCE SERIES BOOK ONE)

Facing imminent danger and fierce opposition to love a second time around, Violet and Gordon seek a new life in Gordon’s homeland of Scotland, thousands of miles away from where they had lived in Nassau, Bahamas, but trouble catches up with them in their little loch side cottage. In the meantime, back in Nassau an unscrupulous attorney appears on the scene, along with a crooked realtor. What they do and the extent they would go to leads to a shocking ending.

Available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback (regular and large print).
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EVYUSAC

SUNBEAMS FROM THE HEART – A COLLECTION OF TWELVE ROMANTIC SHORT STORIES

“A beautiful keepsake. Love themes in this delightful collection of romantic short stories tell of nostalgia, bright new beginnings, homecoming, second chances – and the unexpected! Heart-warming stories that propel you on a journey through Scotland, England, The Bahamas and rural America.”

Available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback (regular and large print).
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019BS227K

THE SCOTTISH CONNECTION: A JOURNEY BACK – MINI-MEMOIR.

“Driving long distances in a short space of time throughout the United Kingdom is the norm nowadays. However, in the seventies it was often an adventure to cover the length or breadth of Britain. In this illustrated mini-memoir Stirling-born Fay Knowles shares memories of her 1978 journey back to Scotland with her mother and young sons, to revisit their Scottish roots.”

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MXVR7R0HOW

TO BE THE BEST WRITER EVER!

An informal guide and source of inspiration for new and not so new writers worldwide- Always wanted to write a book? Or are you a writer whose career is going nowhere? This uplifting writer’s guide outlines the craft and how to become the best writer ever in fifteen straightforward and easy to understand chapters.

FUNNELS (A SHORT STORY)

Annie endures a tedious existence with her baby daughter and irresponsible casino dealer husband in what to most people is a tropical paradise. She sometimes gazes from their dilapidated porch at the distant funnels of luxury cruise ships docked in the harbour. If the wind is in the right direction, she hears the huge creatures wail, promising to take her away. She longs to escape from it all, but is tied down to eking a living with grueling double shifts in a local restaurant. When an unexpected opportunity comes along she has
to make a sudden decision. However, she is torn between her family and the prospect of elevating herself to a better life. What she decides determines their future.

Connect with Fay:

Blog – https://fayknowles.blogspot.com
Amazon author’s page – https://www.amazon.com/author/fayknowles
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/faykwrites
Twitter – @faykwrites
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/fayknowles/
Instagram – @faykwrites

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Meet the Author: A Walk in Wildflower Park by Bella Osborne

Today we welcome Bella Osborne to Meeting the Authors as we travel to The Midlands, UK and learn how finding the humor in the darker moments of life, board games, biscuits, Scooby-Doo, and conversations in the toilet weave into Bella’s writer’s life. Grab the large bag of popcorn and get comfy ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been jotting down stories as far back as I can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that I finished a full length novel. Since then I’ve written four best sellers and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

I live in The Midlands, UK with my family who thankfully, accept me as I am (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

In which genre do you write?

I write romantic comedy with a bit of a punch. My stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. I like to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weave these into my stories.

How many published books do you have?

A Walk in Wildflower Park was out on 27th June and it is my fifth novel.

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

Apart from feeling guilty that I’m not writing or marketing my books I can usually be found trying out new recipes to the dismay of my family, getting beaten at board games by my daughter or expanding my gin knowledge with friends and family.

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

I can get through an alarming amount of biscuits. I also learned that I loathe editing. I love writing the first draft when it’s all new and fresh and exciting but rereading my book for the tenth time makes me want to set fire to it.

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

I met Katie Fforde, bestselling romance author and president of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, in a toilet and during our conversation I proceeded to jump up and down with excitement as I told her that an editor had just asked to see my full manuscript. Thankfully it all ended well – the manuscript went on to be my debut novel and Katie didn’t take out a restraining order.

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

Scooby-Doo! I loved that programme. It had a great mix of fun and mystery and who didn’t want to be part of a cool gang that went around in a van?

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

It was ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ on Netflix and it was hilarious. I chose it because I’d heard good things about it and it was a different take on the classic romcom. As a writer of romantic comedies I see this as essential research not an opportunity to veg out on the sofa with a large bag of popcorn (although, obviously I did that too).

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

Why do you have to join me in the toilet?
Do you know that none of the other cats play fetch?
You know I don’t eat mice, right?

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

Planning. I am a huge planner and this comes in very handing for plotting my novels. I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters and working out the plot before I start to write. It also means I have a legitimate excuse for indulging my post-it note obsession.

Tell us about your most recent book.

It’s titled A Walk In Wildflower Park – a feel good summer read.

When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn’t be falling for?

Anna’s neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.

Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…

Thank you Bella for joining us on Meeting the Authors. It was great fun learning more about you and your writer’s life! – Camilla

Where to buy:

It’s available in paperback from Sainsburys and all good bookshops from 27th June 2019 and also online:

Amazon Kindle US – https://amzn.to/2J4d83F

Amazon Paperback US – https://amzn.to/2Nb1CJ8

Amazon Kindle UK – https://amzn.to/2ZFWPRd

Amazon Paperback UK – https://amzn.to/2J3mXis

KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-walk-in-wildflower-park-wildflower-park-series

Connect with Bella Osborne:

Website – www.bellaosborne.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/osborne_bella

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BellaOsborneAuthor/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bellaosborneauthor/

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: Saints and Curses by Alexis Lantgen

Today we welcome Alexis Lantgen and travel to the state of Texas in the United States. Here we’ll learn how Renaissance Faires, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Redwood National Forest and Captain Marvel come together to create the symphony of Alexis Lantgen. Grab your cape and let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a writer, teacher, and classical musician (I play violin and viola in a local symphony orchestra). I love Renaissance Faires and all things science fiction and fantasy.

My short stories have appeared in the Gallery of Curiosities, Phantaxis, Red Sun Magazine, and Swords and Sorcery Magazine, and I have one coming out in the May 2019 issue of Kzine as well. I’ve also written nonfiction articles for Renaissance Magazine.

I’m married and I have two children, a beautiful and spirited five-year-old daughter and a toddler son. I live in the United States, inTexas.

How many published books do you have?

I have two published books right now. My first book, Sapience, is a collection of science fiction short stories. It’s pretty dark in tone, something you might enjoy if you like Black Mirror or EdgarAllen Poe.

My second book, Saints and Curses, is a collection of fantasy short stories. While some of these stories are pretty dark, there are a few that are much more lighthearted and funny. Think elves and magic coffee

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

I would meet Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and I’d ask him to improvise at the piano. Or ask if he could finally finish his Requiem Mass!

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

Yes, although I don’t write in it everyday. I think it helps to jot down ideas as often as they come to me, even if I’m not sure I’ll ever develop it into anything. I also think it can help me vent–I write in my journals when I’m angry or sad sometimes, and I don’t want to take it out on anyone else. It’s very cathartic, because just writing down my feelings or my problems can help me see solutions or ideas I didn’t have before. It clears my mind.

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

The last movie I watched was Captain Marvel. I took my daughter to see it so we could spend some time together, just the two of us. I loved the movie! I thought it was a powerful story, and I enjoyed all the little twists and watching Carol Danvers discover who she really is. Also, the kitty!

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

Probably my stubborn determination. I’m not someone that stops once I’ve got something I want to achieve, at least not until I’ve beaten myself bloody trying to see it through. I’ll admit it can be a problematic trait sometimes–I think I have a touch of the martyr in me, so I probably hold on to things long after I should have let it go. But I think it also means I tend to succeed where lots of other people would have given up (though those people may very well be happier and more sane than me).

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

My family went on an incredible trip to the Redwoods National Park in California. Seeing the redwood forest–they’re the tallest trees on Earth, and it’s impossible to convey their majesty. It was the most magical place I’ve ever been, and I loved it. I want to go back again someday, and show the redwoods to my children.

Blurb for my newest book, Saints and Curses:

Explore worlds of light and dark, where magical whimsy and grim tidings alike are painted across the tapestry of human experience.Indulge in tales of the fantastical where enchantments are bought and sold at the local corner store,your morning latte gives you special abilities, and you might just adopt a murderous, vampiric cat. Your child might be stolen away in the night and replaced with an ancient, evil creature of the fae, waves of plague-ridden vermin consume everything, and only a saint could hope to turn the tide. These stories and more await you, if you dare to turn the page…

Thank you Alexis Lantgen for stopping by Meeting the Authors. It was great fun to learn about a portion of the symphony of your life.

Find out more about Alexis and her books:

US Kindle: https://amzn.to/2EzNIcF

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

Website: https://www.lunarianpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/alexislantgen

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

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!

Meet the Author: Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories by Lillian Darnell

Today we welcome Lillian Darnell as we travel to Reno, Nevada USA to learn how nature, lions and stairs are part of the magic of Lillian’s life. Grab your fairy wings and your spell book …

What types of stories are in “Where Would You Fly”?

The types of stories in “Where Would You Fly” are poetry, songs, riddles, fictional stories, and fantasy stories.

In which genre do you write?

I write Fantasy, Poetry and Fiction. Sometimes I will write about trips to cities as well.

How many published books do you have?

I have published 1 magical book with the help of my mother Camilla.

What inspires your writing?

Nature, reading, something I say, food, holidays, and more when I can’t think of something to write. Other times though, my writing flows through like a river.

What message would you like readers to take away from your collection of tales, legends, and poems?

I would like my readers to take away from my tales, legends, poems to enjoy nature, be yourself, enjoy life, and enjoy reading as much as you can too.

Is there a particular author or authors that inspire you?

Camilla Downs (my mother), Daisy Meadows, Helen Perelman, and L.M. Montgomery are the authors who inspire me a lot.

Are you still writing? If so, what types of stories do you write?

Yes, I still write. The types of stories I write now are mostly historical and fantasy stories on my blog which is https://www.lilliandarnell.com/.

What is your favorite story that is in “Where Would You Fly”?

My favorite is all my stories in the book but if I had to choose just one, I would choose the story Princess Beauty.

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

I would choose lion or a snake as a spirit animal because I act fierce and hyper sometimes but other times I’m quiet like a snake.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

My ideal writing space is a writing desk with a computer, pens, pencils, piles of books, and erasers.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished “The Eyes of The Unicorn” by Teresa Bateman and “Meg, Joe, Beth Amy The Story of Little Women And Why It Still Matters” by Anne Boyd Sioux. I’m currently reading “Sea Monster” by Jordan Quinn which is part of a series called The Kingdom of Wrenly.

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

I paint, read, draw, be silly, hang out with family when I’m not writing.

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 choose Louisa May Alcott or Robert Frost. I would ask, “What’s your favorite story? ” to Louisa May Alcott or I would ask, “What’s your favorite thing about living in New Hampshire? ” to Robert Frost.

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

The most surprising thing that I learned about myself through writing is that I’m humorous.

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

I used to journal write but I hope to journal write again. The journal writings haven’t helped with my book.

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

Accomplishing going up and down stairs in San Antonio, TX is the most inspiring and crazy thing that has happened to me so far.

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 turn into Princess Britney for a day because she had a magical life.

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

The last movie I watched was Mary Poppins Returns. I chose to watch it because it sounded intriguing and inspiring from the trailer.

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

The penguin that was wearing a sombrero said in a Mexican accent, “Yum, do I smell nachos with Mexican-Italian cheese sauce?”

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

Yes, I believe things happen for a reason. Yes, I do have an example. One time I had a vision-like dream of one of my friends and I sitting on a bench in a school-like place and then I woke up. I found out that she was going to the same conference almost 3 months later.

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

My humor, my love of nature, creativity, and my imagination have been very useful personality traits.

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

I like to go to a conference every summer in a different city. As of so far, Savannah and Salt Lake City are my favorite cities.

Lillian Darnell is 17 years old. She likes to read, draw, paint, write, track weather and enjoys being in nature. She has 18p- which is a chromosome difference that affects 1 in every 56, 000 people.

Thank you Lillian for joining us today! It was magical learning more about you. –Camilla

Here’s a bit about the book:

Welcome to the radiant imagination of Lillian Darnell, a wonderful and unique human being, the kind who comes around only once in every 56,000 births, as she is missing the short arm of her 18th chromosome.

Leave this reality behind and enter enchanted lands awash in mysteries, happy endings, adventures, and inspiration. Come within and discover heartwarming and beautiful tales, woven with love and magic, brought forth from the imagination of a young woman with a different perspective. Lose yourself in wondrous adventures as you follow courageous, enchanting characters, kind animals and plant life, and graceful Mother Nature.

The delightful tales, legends, and poems within these pages were written by Lillian Darnell between the ages of four and fifteen. The stories and poems are mostly edited for spelling and grammar, yet the bulk of the stories remain as she originally wrote and published them to include a few grammatical errors and made up words.

Will a girls dream of becoming a princess come true?
How can sad, mischievous, fearful animals help humans feel emotions?
How did the world come to have color?

(Go here to view the interactive Google Pin Map of Where the Book Has Flown So Far)

“You can’t help but feel happy and be inspired while reading this book. Lillian’s stories jump straight out of her heart and onto the pages in an authentic, innocent, and loving way. The world needs more positivity and happiness and her stories are bursting with both. Thank you Lillian!” -G. Brian Benson – Award-winning and best-selling author, actor and TEDx speaker.

“Let your imagination be taken away with Lillian Darnell’s writings and allow yourself to be transported to places where anything is possible with love, joy and a touch of inspiration. This collection is born from a young woman with a unique perspective on how our world could be – immerse yourself and come, see the world through Lillian’s eyes.” -Dr Veronica Wain – Award winning filmmaker, Academic, Author, Disability Advocate

“Although all of us who love fairies understand that children, with their vivid imaginations, are closer to magic than any of us, we all yearn to retain that childlike sense of wonder. Lillian Darnell’s writings are a welcome reminder of what is possible when you dream big, and accept no limitations.” – Grace Nuth, Senior Editor – Faerie Magazine

Book Trailer:

**Artist: Nazar Rybak
Title: Children Fun Times
https://www.hooksounds.com

Sample story from the book:

TRUTHFUL ART – A CHINESE LEGEND

Way back in the 1920s there was a lady in her mid-twenties who thought, “The art I have in my mind will eventually happen soon.” Her name was Artful. Three days later she created three paintings named Liletta, Tinletta, and Ciletta.

When Artful wasn’t around the three paintings talked about for whom they were thought to be made. One day Artful thought she had heard the three paintings talk, but she thinks that she heard nothing.

After that day, she hid behind a door and listened. Then she walked in and asked them about what they were talking. So they lied then. Artful had thought, “What can I do to make them truthful paintings?”

Just then a magical creature had appeared and it told Artful to take as many wishes as she could take. So three seconds later, they told the truth to Artful who explained the whole thing to them.

Artful was so pleased that she entered all three of the paintings in an art contest. Five days later, they won first prize and Artful was amazed.

To this day, they can be seen in art museums or an art book.

(Written February 2014 at 13-years-old)

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Loving Kindness Books (January 7, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980056839

Where to purchase the book and other links:

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VBnEJ2

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/30fKmoK

France Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JxTVcp

Canada Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Yniw7X

Author Signed Copy: https://wherewouldyoufly.com/

Lillian Darnell’s website: https://lilliandarnell.com/

Chromosome 18 Registry: https://www.chromosome18.org/