Archive for the ‘Author Interciew’ Category

Angela Misri

Angela Misri

Twice already I’ve had the great fortune to talk to my friend Angela Misri about her detective character Portia Adams, and the books she’s written with her. I’ve also had the pleasure of reading and reviewing both books, and I have to say, Angela knows how to tell a compelling mystery story in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes.

Which is why I’m glad to welcome her back and talk to her about the third Portia Adams book, No Matter How Improbable, which I’m sure will be as excellent as the first two books.

RU: Welcome back, Angela. It’s good to see you here again. Now, in the first book, Jewel of the Thames, Portia comes to London, starts a new life, and realizes her heritage. In the second book, Thrice Burned, Portia makes a big decision about her life and her career, as well as facing new challenges in her life. What can we expect for her in the third book, No Matter How Improbable?

AM: Where the first and second books were very much about discovery and building confidence, book three has a central theme of loss. Loss of friends, loss of family, loss of the comfort of anonymity. This book will force Portia to develop as a person amongst all the other humans around her. She no longer doubts herself as a detective, but she finds herself doubting her relationships, which for a highly intelligent introvert can be debilitating.

RU: I bet. And speaking of Portia, characters often change between books. How has Portia changed between Books 2 and 3?

AM: I would say that she has grown to have more confidence in her abilities, she’s more grounded and she knows what she wants to do with her life. She is also starting to see the value of friendship and relationships, something she never had as a child.

RU: Moving onto the mystery bits of the book, can you give us a hint of what sort of cases Portia will be handling?

AM: Ha! I can indeed! One of the casebooks will involve an Italian Princess (hence the beautifully designed book cover by Emma Dolan), one will harken back to a story from the original Sherlock Holmes canon and the last casebook will cause Portia to lose not one, but two of her close friends. How’s that for a hint?

RU: It seems that Portia’s growing more popular every day. Can you tell us about some memorable fan experiences and the growing fan base around the character?

AM: I have been very lucky in my fans who show up again and again for each book event, and bring their friends, and take my books to their classes and do book reports, and so many other things. It’s hard to pick one interaction, but I recently got an email from a woman in Texas asking for a signed copy of Jewel of the Thames for her daughter’s birthday. She said her daughter read it cover-to-cover and it’s her favourite book. I wrote back suggesting I instead send her a birthday card containing a signed bookplate sticker that she could just put in her daughter’s book (to save them a bit of money). She wrote back to say she needed a new copy of Jewel because her daughter had ‘worn out’ her copy. That is such an incredible compliment to an author.

RU: Will there be a fourth book, and when can we expect it?

AM: There will indeed be a fourth book, but I’m currently negotiating the contract, so I am not sure when it will be out. I can tell you that the first casebook in the fourth book comes back to Portia’s roots – it’s set in 1932 Toronto, Canada.

"No Matter How Improbable" by Angela Misri

“No Matter How Improbable” by Angela Misri

RU: Ooh, I love those sorts of stories. They tend to dredge up so many memories! So with Portia’s growing popularity, can we expect a Portia Adams TV or movie adaptation? Anything like that coming out anytime soon?

AM: My agent continues to look for those opportunities, but nothing yet – keep your fingers crossed!

RU: What are you working on besides Portia Adams these days?

AM: I have a zombie book and a contemporary detective novel (not YA) too that I am working on. I also have a chapter in an upcoming Sherlockian anthology that I just sent in to the editors.

RU: Are there any subjects or characters you hesitate or refuse to write about in your stories?

AM: I’m not big on sex scenes in books (either that I am reading or writing) and I will never write a rape scene because I think it’s too disturbing. I also will probably never write about the death of a child because as a mother, I can’t imagine putting those words on a page.

RU: What do you do when you’re not writing?

AM: I’m a digital journalist, so I freelance articles, build websites and digital strategies for clients and I teach at various universities in Toronto.

RU: Is it difficult balancing time between being a full-time writer and a full-time human being these days?

AM: No more so than any other kind of balancing – no stage of my life has had just ONE thing in it. From student to mother to writer, I’ve always balanced my main focus with other things I needed to do. I will say that it took me nearly 6 months to establish a routine as a writer that worked for me.

RU: Finally, let’s assume you got the chance to collaborate with any writer of your choosing on a story or a series. Who would you pick? (And if you say me, I will squeal like a teenage girl at a One Direction concert.)

AM: You, of course Rami, if I had the ability to write horror like you do, I would pitch you an idea so fast your head would spin. Or if we could collaborate on a story where I write the basic mystery and you write the horror… I don’t know, I think it could be neat.

I’d probably pick the same person you’d pick – Stephen King. Or Mark Gatiss in my case, but I’d probably be way too intimidated to string a sentence together. Thanks for asking!

RU: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! *cough* Excuse me. Well, thank you for joining me Angela, and I hope to see you back here soon.

No Matter How Improbable will be available for purchase in Canada on March 22. For all those outside of Canada, please email the author herself for a copy. Also check out my interviews for Jewel of the Thames and Thrice Burned to get links for those books. If you’d like more from Angela, you can visit her website, A Portia Adams Adventure. Trust me, it’s well worth checking out.

And if you’re an author wanting to do an interview, check out my Interviews page and leave a comment. We can discuss it there.

Have a good one, my Followers of Fear!

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My friend and fellow novelist Adan Ramie recently interviewed me for a new feature on her blog, Spotlight Saturday. I’m supremely honored to be her first guest on the feature and I was very happy to discuss my writing with her. Definitely check out our conversation, it’s something you won’t want to miss.

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Some of you may remember my previous interview with author Becket, an indie novelist who likes vampires, was once a monk, and works for Anne Rice. Now he’s got a new book out, American Monk, a memoir about his years in a monastery growing closer to God and living in a brotherhood of similarly-minded men.

Welcome back to my blog, Becket. Happy to have you here. Now, your new book is American Monk, which chronicles your time as a monk in a Benedictine monastery. Why did you decide to write this memoir?

One day on my Facebook page I decided to make a post about my experience in the monastery. People responded well to it, so I made another one the following week. I kept up that have it for about half a year, at the end of which I decided to compile all my Facebook posts about the monastery into a memoir.

Why did you decide to become a monk in the first place? And why did you leave the monastery?

I wanted to be a monk because I want to deepen my relationship with God. The monastery was a wonderful place to do that because it was a house conducive to my personality type, an introvert and a scholar. I stayed in the monastery for five years, at the end of which time I was given the choice to make solemn vows, which is like the marriage commitment. It would’ve been for the rest of my life. The monastery was wonderful, but I also felt called elsewhere, although I did not know what that was at the time. So without any hard feelings, I left the monastery and began working for Anne Rice.

What’s a day in the life of a Benedictine monk like?

Monastic life is built around routine. We wake up early in the morning and begin our day with prayer. Our morning prayer lasts for about an hour and a half, and then we would go to breakfast. After that it was time for work. We worked most of the morning until the hour to celebrate the solemnity of the mass. After mass we had lunch. And after lunch we spent the afternoon committed to more work. Our day ended in the evening with prayer. After prayer we went to dinner, and after dinner we had a community time together, where the monks gathered together in one room and enjoyed one another’s company. Finally, we had night prayer and that it was bedtime.

American Monk

In memoirs like these, I’ve noticed that the vignettes within generally run the range from humorous to serious to tragic to inspirational and everything in between. Do you feel that this is true of yours? 

My memoir is meant to be inspirational. I hope that people read it and grow in their relationship with God, because the monastery was a place where a truly began to understand who I was in the divine plan. I am still learning the depth of my relationship with God. In many ways, the monk I was is still inside me, and perhaps he is a better monk than I used to be.

 Does Anne Rice make an appearance in American Monk at all?

She makes an appearance in the beginning and at the end, and in one chapter in between, but the memoir mostly deals with my experience with the brother monks.

What are you working on these days?

I just finished the first draft of my next music album as well as the first draft of a novel appropriately titled The Monk, about an African monk who suffers the stigmata and works as a miraculous channel of God’s love in the world.

When not writing or working with Anne Rice, what are you doing these days? And is there anything on your wish list you think you could be doing in the near future?

I spend time with God, my girlfriend, and my two cats. For the future, I have a few projects that I am working on and I am praying that God will give them success for His Glory.

Well thanks for joining us Becket. Glad to speak with you. And if you’e interested in reading American Monk and other works by Becket, you can check out his website, as well as find him on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you’d like to read more interviews with other authors and with some of my characters, you can head over to the Interviews page for those.

Hope you enjoyed reading this, my Followers of Fear. I certainly had fun putting it together.

You remember my recent interview with author Barbara G. Tarn? Well, she also interviewed me and it was just awesome. If you’d like to check out the full interview, check out her blog, it’s got some great stuff on it!

And as always, check out When The Lights Go Out, where you can find creepy stories from the both of us within. Now available on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes. It’s the perfect reading for getting into the Halloween season.

creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator)

unnamedAnd it’s a guest! From the Ink Slingers Halloween Anthology but he was also in last year’s anthology! When I read “Travelers”, I thought I wanted to know more about the guy, but look, almost a year went by and… he did it again! His “Tigress Lizzy” gave me the right chills at the right times… so go grab your copy right now! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rami Ungar!

Where do you live and write from?

I’m originally from Columbus, Ohio, though for the past two and a half months I’ve been living and working as an intern with the US Army in Wiesbaden, Germany. As to where I write, anyplace I can plug in my laptop and let my creative juices flow, whether that be at home, in a café, a library, or even in the office when there’s nothing going on (rare moments, I tell you).

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It’s time for another author interview! This one is with a Facebook friend whom I’ve known for a couple of years now. And while what we write and how we write are very different, I’m glad to know her and I think she’s just terrific. She’s got a new book out and she’s got more on the way, apparently. I think we could all learn a thing or two from her.

Oh, and you’ve seen her name on the blog before. Remember that radio show I was on not too long ago? She’s the host. Ladies and gentleman, Dellani Oakes (hey, that rhymed!).

Welcome to my blog, Dellani. Tell us a little about yourself and what you write.

I’m an author of mostly romantic fiction. I have one historical romance, one retro-romance, three futuristic romances and three romantic suspense already published. My latest book, One Night in Daytona Beach, is an erotic romance, due out October 28th.

Many of my books are set here on the east coast of Florida, as I have lived here since 1989 and consider it to be my hometown. I may not be a Florida native by birth, but I am at heart. I think it’s impossible to live anywhere and not have it become a part of you.

What are some books you’ve written that you’d recommend?

Would I be awful if I recommended them all? It depends upon what you like:

Historical Romance set in Florida in 1739. Full of spies and intrigue – Indian Summer

Retro Romance set in Nebraska in 1976. Action packed thrill ride. – Under the Western Sky

Futuristic Romance/ Sci-Fi set in space in 3032, some hot romance, intrigue, action…. – The Lone Wolf Series – Lone Wolf, Shakazhan and The Maker

Romantic Suspense, all set in Florida in the present. Ice meltingly hot, each also features a fast paced suspense – Undiscovered, The Ninja Tattoo and Conduct Unbecoming

Erotic Romance. The genre and title say it all. Ultra hot, this is also a romantic suspense, which takes place in 24 hours – One Night in Daytona Beach

Each book has something different to recommend it. If you want exciting stories that make you laugh, cry and fall in love, then any one of them would be a good fit.

Good thing there’s quite a selection, then. What are you working on now?

I tend to hop around a lot when I write. From time to time, I am inspired and the story flows quickly, finishing as fast as I can type. Other stories come more slowly. I just finished a romantic suspense a few days ago, that I wrote in four days. I am currently working on book 3 in a YA series I started 3 years ago (not yet published).

What made you become a writer?

I never wanted to be anything else. Necessity sent me in different directions, but I always was compelled to write. I have told stories and written poems, songs, short stories and plays for as long as I can remember. I started writing my first novel in 1988, but it’s still unfinished. My first complete novel is my historical romance, Indian Summer.

You also run some online radio programs, including one I was on. Tell us about those.

It all started with April Robins. She came up with the idea of Red River Writers in 2007, a page on Facebook. I happened to join. Shortly after, author JD Holiday suggested that we begin shows on Blog Talk Radio interviewing one another and other authors. I hopped in as an assistant and was terrible at it. A couple other hosts left and April asked me to take over their show slots. Thus, Dellani’s Tea Time and What’s Write for Me were born.

Dellani’s Tea Time, 4:00 PM EST every second Monday of the month, was my first show. I wasn’t quite as bad at that as I was at assisting, and found I quite liked it. Things ran more smoothly once I brought on author Christina Giguere (Rachel Rueben) as my co-host. She keeps things running smoothly for me and is an absolute treasure.

What’s Write for Me was kind of an afterthought. We decided to add more shows to the schedule and we were asked to pick a day. I asked for the fourth Wednesday of the month (also at 4:00 PM EST) because I didn’t want shows back to back. (Though some months they are)

The shows are available, for free, to any author – or soon to be author. Best way to reach me is through Facebook. I also interview authors on my blogs.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

If I’m not writing, I’m reading. (I also admit to a terrible Netflix addiction) I enjoy re-reading books I love, as well as finding new ones to treasure. I also read and edit my own work. Once a week, I volunteer at the local Council on Aging where I facilitate a small writing group. It’s called Fun in Writing and we have a wonderful time. It’s a great way for older people to socialize and keep their minds sharp. I joke that most of my best friends are old enough to be my mother, but it’s true.

What is some advice you would give to other writers, regardless of experience or background?

Write the way that feels right. So many “how to” books will tell you that you must outline, plan carefully and draw up character sketches before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do that. There is no shame in just sitting down to write, often called pantsing (writing by the seat of your pants) by those who are supposedly in the know. (We panters call them plotters). I’ve been told that my way of approaching a story is inefficient, that I can’t possibly accomplish my goals as a writer if I don’t know where my story is going. According to the naysayers, I’m supposed to put all my creative energy into an outline. I beg to differ.

I have written books in as little as four days. I’m not talking about some 20,000 word novella (though I’ve done those as well), I mean a 54,087 word novel. That’s after I completed another novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month) the day before, which was just over 50,000. (The Ninja Tattoo, available from Tirgearr Publishing). Tell me my way is inefficient, please!

Just to bring my point home, I’ve spoken to dozens of authors over the last few years and the majority of them write the way I do, rarely planning anything. There is absolutely nothing wrong with plotting and planning, but there’s nothing wrong with my way, either.

And finally, if you were stuck on a desert island and you could only bring three books with you, which three would you choose?

Oh, I hate this question, because I can’t think of only three books I’d want to have. Honestly, give me notebooks and pens so I can write my own. I will keep myself wonderfully entertained.

I’m seeing that response quite a lot these days. Well, thank you Dellani for joining us. Good luck with everything you do in the future.

If you would like to check out more about Dellani and her work, you can check out her blog, as well as Facebook and Amazon.

All for now. I’m going to try and get a few more interviews out, among other things, so look out for those. Until next time, my Followers of Fear!

BarbChicon2012

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done an author interview, but hey, I’m glad when I have the chance to do one. Today’s interview is with someone else who’s work is being featured in When The Lights Go Out, which if you haven’t checked out I highly recommend you do.

Barbara G. Tarn prefers the term “world-creator”, which I can understand, seeing as she not only writes but does graphic novels and a few other things too. She’s lives in Italy, which I think is pretty cool, and she’s constantly working on something (boy, does that sound familiar). And apparently I know her husband, as do many other writers. Lots of interesting connections here. Her story in WTLGO is related to her upcoming novel, which sounds very interesting if you read the summary. And speaking from personal experience, her short story is pretty awesome as well.

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

Welcome to the show, Barb. What is your short story about and what inspired it?

The Return of the Crusader is historical fantasy. It’s Halloween – when it was still called All Saints Eve – in 1150 AD Lincolnshire and the lady of the manor is hoping her husband will come back from the crusade… which he does, but as a vampire.

This story was inspired by the fact that Miss Naylor [Joleene Naylor, who helped put together WTLGO] wanted a Halloween story and I thought it was a perfect day for someone to be turned into a vampire! So I wrote this “origin” story for Kaylyn, who is Rajveer’s sister-in-darkness, and next year I will write her full story. For now you can see her in Rajveer the Vampire, out Nov.1st.

I’m a middle ages lovers and my historical novel  The Fern and The Cross is still in the drawer since I’m not happy with it. But all the research I’ve done for it will be useful to tell Kaylyn’s story, from 1150 AD to the new millennium – out Nov.1st, 2016.

Tell us what else have you written?

Star Minds is a science fantasy series. Then there’s Silvery Earth, adult unconventional fantasy. All books are actually standalone in both series, but if you follow the chronological order, you might see a pattern. Both series have lots of LGBT characters. Urban fantasy – Samantha’s body switches – and other contemporary titles are also out now. You can find everything at the Unicorn Productions website (that’s a logo I’ve had since the 1990s, when I did photocopied b&w fanzines to sell at the Italian comicons)

Are you a traditionally or self-published writer?

Indie because I’m scared of the draconian traditional contracts. But I’m submitting short stories to traditional markets – and rejections are piling up. Although I did get a Honorable Mention at Writers of the Future (and then indie-published that novella).

Nice! What got you into writing in the first place?

I’m writaholic. I’m married to Mr Writing. I’m an introvert and hate spoken words. I’d rather be writing than hang out. Should I say more? Okay, I was uprooted at 13, so that kinda shut me off from the real world… That’s when I started writing stories!

What is it about scary stories that you think draw people in?

I don’t read (or write) many scary stories, so I have no idea…

That’s a shame. Now, are you working on anything these days?

Redrafting Daya (another vampire that appears in Rajveer’s novel – probably a novella that might come out maybe at the end of this year or the beginning of 2016)) and Beautiful (a “retelling” of Sleeping Beauty with m/m protagonists).

What is some advice you would give to other writers, regardless of their level of experience or background?

Heinlein’s business rules: 1) you must write 2) you must finish what you write 3) you must not rewrite unless by editorial demand (and I mean editor in New York if you have a traditional contract, not a hired freelance) 4) you must put it on the market 5) you must leave it on the market until sold (either trad or indie). Don’t look for perfection or you’ll be stuck in rewriting hell forever. If you must take a course, go to professional writers such as Kevin J. Anderson, David Farland or Dean Wesley Smith. I’ve taken online and offline classes at WMG Publishing – and I started writing back in 1978. Thing is… you never stop learning.

Finally, if you were stuck on a desert island and could only take three books with you, what would you take?

Aren’t we past this with e-readers? 😉 Without wi-fi the battery would last long enough to read more than three books! I don’t know, I don’t have favorite books at this time… I’d probably spend the time telling stories to myself that I might eventually write…

Thanks for joining us, Barb. If you would like to check out more of her work, head to her blog, Facebook, Goodreads, or Amazon page for more. And make sure to check out When The Lights Go Out or Rajveer the Vampire, out November 1st.

All for now. I’ve got a few more interviews coming up, so keep an eye out for those. You have a great day, my Followers of Fear!

Last year Angela released her first book, Jewel of the Thames, about a young woman named Portia Adams who moves into 221B Baker Street and begins solving mysteries happening in London (see our first interview and my review of JotT). Now she’s back, and she’s here to discuss her new book, the sequel to JotT, Thrice Burned and the growing fanbase around her character Portia.

RU: Welcome back to the program, Angela. Now, in Jewel of the Thames, Portia moves into 221 Baker Street, establishes a reputation for herself, and learns some very interesting things about her family history. What can we expect in Thrice Burned?

AM: Portia spends most of Thrice Burned struggling with the idea of becoming a real detective. Up until now, her cases have been small potatoes, brought to her by Brian, or friends or in the case of the missing child on a train, just the luck of being in the right place at the right time. With the full knowledge of her heritage just weeks old in her mind, Portia is truly at a juncture in her young life. Should she follow the easy route and take her law degree, fading into relative obscurity as one of the many barristers walking the streets of London? Or should she step up and take the road-less-travelled and take up the shingle to Baker Street, becoming the latest consulting detective in London? At the same time, other choices are being thrown her way when she meets Gavin Whitaker, a man who stimulates her brain in a way no one else ever has. Annie Coleson inserts herself into Portia’s life and suddenly, she has a persistent new friend (whether she wants one or not). So, in addition to the usual mysteries to solve, Thrice Burned focuses on decisions that need to be made for your young heroine to become the detective we all know she will be.

RU: Has Portia’s character changed at all between the books?

AM: Wow. Yes, it has, dramatically so. Where in Toronto she was essentially an introverted shut-in who did her best to fade into the background, since arriving in London Portia has made friends and developed a rather dramatic habit of getting into trouble. She’s still a very focused girl with introverted tendencies, but she’s starting to recognize when those tendencies move her towards depression and is trying to get a handle on it. She’s started documenting her moods, trying to avoid the extremes that her grandfather Sherlock Holmes experienced and while she doesn’t exactly embrace the lifestyle Mrs. Jones is determined to introduce her to, she does start to see its value and the value of the new friends in her life.

“Thrice Burned” by Angela Misri. Available March 24th

 

RU:  How do you come up with the cases for your books?

AM: This hasn’t changed through three books of writing about Portia. For me, it always starts with the crime – I have an idea for a crime and work outwards from there. In the case of Thrice Burned, I had a cool idea about some unexplained fires in London that could be linked back to a firefighter. In the case of my latest casebook that I’m working on for book four, I had an idea about unexploded mines from the first world war being set off at London train stations. I have a video from my series that explains my methodology (such as it is).

[Editor’s note: Angela has a series of web videos on YouTube called One Fictitious Moment about writing fiction. You can watch the particular video she’s referring to here.]

RU: Portia’s been gaining quite a fan base. She’s gotten some fan art and even appeared in a Wikipedia entry. How does that make you feel?

AM: Incredibly blessed. I still find it surreal to meet fans who know all about my characters and talk about them like they’re real people (which in my head, they are of course!).

RU: How many more volumes of Portia’s adventures can we expect? And what’s next for you personally?

AM: Well, I have at least one more book with Fierce Ink Press (coming out March 2016) but I am well into writing book 4 in the series. I don’t know to be honest. I think as long as I enjoy writing them, I will continue to do that and hopefully find someone who will publish them! In my head I really want to make it to the Second World War in the books, because Brian is going to go off to fight, and Portia is going to have to get involved with the war as well (though I’m not positive as to how yet). What do you think? Keep going or wrap it up at three books?

RU:  I’d like to see some more of Portia. And speaking of which, you were in London recently. Was that mostly research or pleasure?

A little of both to be honest! I haven’t been in London since I started writing this series, so I really wanted to put my eyes on some of the locations I describe in Jewel and Thrice Burned. I visited Trafalgar Square, Old Scotland Yard, Regents Park, Kings Cross station and of course Baker Street. It was kind of a dream come true to take a picture of my first book at 221B Baker Street!

RU: Jealous! Finally, what are you reading right now that you’d recommend to others?

AM: I just started Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz and on the recommendation of a friend I’m also reading The Grammar Devotional by Mignon Fogarty.

Thrice-Burned comes out March 24th, and will be available from Amazon and Indigo.com. Angela will also be attending 221B Con in Atlanta this April as a special guest speaker. And make sure to check out her blog, A Portia Adams Adventure.

And if you’re an author interested in getting interviewed for an upcoming release, head over to my interview page and leave me a comment. We’ll arrange for something to happen soon.