Ellwyn’s Blog

Interview With Author: L.E. Harrison

By way of introduction to L.E. Harrison, here is her biography. L.E. Harrison is the author of the contemporary fantasy trilogy the Children Of Corvus, as well as a collection of previously published poems and short stories. She decided she wanted to be an author in the fourth grade, when she began writing poetry, plays, and stories.

A lifelong avid reader and lover of genre fiction—from science fiction to paranormal romance, and everything in between—she’s inspired by books that blur the boundaries, and by the authors who manage to do it exceptionally well.

She lives in a hundred-sixty-year-old farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania, where she is busy working on the next chapter in the universe of Soluna’s children.

Now that you’ve been introduced to L.E. let’s get to know her a little better.

Hello, L.E., and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I’ve always loved to read. I credit my love of reading to my mom, who read books to us every night as kids. I started writing my own poems and stories in fourth grade, and just never stopped.

Is writing your full-time profession?

Yes.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was around eight or nine years old.

Photo courtesy of: L.E. Harrison

Have you won any awards?

All three of the books in my series, The Children of Corvus, are IHIBRP 5-Star Recommended reads. Book two, Merula, won the bronze in the 2018 Virtual Fantasy Con Awards for Best Dark Fantasy, and was voted one of Read Freely’s 50 Best Indie Books of 2017. The Blackbirds: The Children of Corvus Omnibus was chosen as one of the Best Books We’ve Read All Year by Read Freely.

Photo courtesy of: L.E. Harrison

How many books have you written?

I’ve written three full novels and one short story in The Children of Corvus Series. I’ve also published many poems and short stories, some of which are featured in a collection titled From the Uncollected Thoughts of L.E. Harrison.

Photo courtesy of: L.E. Harrison

Which genre do you write?

I like to describe my books as Contemporary Fantasy, which is a fantasy set in the present day. It’s a bit like Urban Fantasy, but without the crime-fighting or detective elements.

What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?

Since the stories straddle genres, and don’t fit neatly into any one category, marketing can be a challenge sometimes.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on the first book of a two-part series. I set the duet in the same universe as The Children of Corvus Series, and will focus on the descendants of Venefica the Witch Goddess.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

Everywhere!

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

Being able to share my stories with readers from all over the world.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Stay true to your vision of what you want your novel to be and push through whenever you feel like giving up. Remember the reason you started your book and try to bring that passion and excitement into your writing.

Write the book you want to read. You are your first audience, so if you’re not entertained and moved by emotion, your readers won’t be either.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

I’m a grandmother, and the mother of three grown children. I’ve been married to a wonderful, supportive man for thirty-two years, and live in a hundred sixty-year-old farmhouse in the heart of Amish/Mennonite country.

What message are you sharing in your books?

The themes I like to explore in my work involve family dynamics—fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, family secrets and the damage they can cause to relationships.

In Blackbird, there were themes like logic vs reality—how your perspective could determine that reality. Also, how blind adherence to laws—religious or otherwise—did not always result in people doing the right thing.

In Merula and Corvus, I tried to explore how it felt to discover that you were not the person you believed yourself to be—and neither were the people around you. Also, what it was like to be considered a god when you have no desire for that kind of power, and you’re sure you will never live up to everyone’s expectations.

Photo courtesy of; L.E. Harrison

What are your favorite books?

Carol Berg writes flawless prose and characters that leap off the page. I’ve read all of her books at least twice. Jennifer Roberson’s Sword Dancer series is amazing. Reading her books made me want to write in the fantasy genre.

I was obsessed with Stephen King novels for many years. The Stand and 11/22/63 are my favorites of his. I also love the character Lestat, from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series is a must read for fans of dark fantasy. For science fiction, you can’t find anyone better than Connie Willis. Judith Merlke Riley is simply brilliant.

I’m also a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Jeff Vandermeer’s South Reach Trilogy, and The Black Witch Chronicles by Laurie Forest. The list goes on, but that’s a sampling of the authors I enjoy reading.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

I’m a huge Star Wars geek, and a fan of superheroes in both movies and television. The TV series Smallville is my all-time favorite show. Supernatural runs a close second. Some other shows I enjoy are The Flash, Arrow, Game of Thrones, Shameless, and American Gods.

Photo courtesy of: L.E. Harrison

When you’re not writing where can we find you?

I like to travel as often as I can—visiting family on the west coast, hiking in National Parks, or hanging out in Las Vegas. I attend a yoga class at least once a week. Otherwise, I’m usually at home reading a book!

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7754768.L_E_Harrison

Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/dkbSxr

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LEHarrison1

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/l-e-harrison

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

Website: https://authorleharrison.wordpress.com/

Where can we find your books?

My books are available on all major retailers here: https://www.books2read.com/ap/nOgpon/LE-Harrison

Thank you, L.E., for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

Photo courtesy of: L.E. Harrison

 

 

Interview With Author: Connie Cockrell

By way of introducing Connie Cockrell, here is her short biography:

A 20-year Air Force career, time as a manager at a computer operations company, wife, mother, sister and volunteer, provides a rich background for Connie Cockrell’s story-telling.

Cockrell grew up in upstate NY, just outside of Gloversville, NY before she joined the military at age 18. Having lived in Europe, Great Britain, and several places around the United States, she now lives in Payson, AZ with her husband: hiking, gardening, and playing bunko.

She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She’s published seventeen books so far, has been included in five different anthologies and been published on EveryDayStories.com and FrontierTales.com. Connie’s always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one.

Now that you’ve been introduced to Connie let’s get to know her a little better.

Hello, Connie, welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?


My daughter challenged me. In October 2011, she came home all excited. A friend of hers had convinced her to take part in National Novel Writing Month.

She was explaining it all and my husband and I said, “How hard can it be to write 1,667 words a day?” Her response was, “Well, if you think it’s so easy, you do it!” I agreed.

She lent me a copy of Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks. I read it fast. And in two weeks I had a story outlined and began writing on November 1st! I won!

Is writing your full-time profession?


No, it’s really part time for me.

How long have you been writing?


It’s been seven years, now.

 

Have you won any awards?


I have won a Silver Award from Military Writers Society of America for the fourth book in my Brown Rain Series, Tested. It was the first time I’d entered a story for an award and I won!

How long did you serve as Master Sergeant with United States Air Force?


I was in the Air Force for 20 years.

Thank you for your dedicated service.

Does your former military service influence your writing? If yes, how so?


It influences my writing. I use military people as some of my characters in my books and have even written about some problems (like PTSD, and other things) in some of my short stories.

 

How many books have you written?


I have published 18 books and have been included in a handful of anthologies. I have 5 books written and in the editing phase to be released in 2019.

 

Which genres do you write for?


LOL! I write a lot of genres. SciFi, Fantasy, Western, Cozy Mystery, Horror, and Contemporary.

What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?


Each one has its own quirks but all of them require the characters to have their own voices. That is hard to do.

What are you working on now?


I’m working on a Western, a Horror, and a series of contemporary YA novelettes.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?


I love when someone tells me they loved one of my stories. It makes me happy that for a few hours at least, I’ve helped someone enjoy themselves.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?


Take it one day at a time. It’s possible to be a big seller right out of the gate but it rarely happens that way. It takes time to build a readership. Enjoy the process.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?


I love to go hiking and get out in the beautiful Arizona woods and mountains. When I get stuck on a tricky bit of writing, it almost always clears my mind to get outside and breathe the fresh air.

I have a big creative side and besides books; I make a calendar every year, and I have mugs with my book covers on them. Both are fun to do and can be found on my website at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/.

Photo courtesy of: Connie Cockrell

What message are you sharing in your books?


I think it’s that the individual can do something about a problem. Maybe just in a small way, but sometimes in a major way. It all begins with one.

What are your favorite books?


I love all the genre’s I write but also Thrillers, Spy novels, mysteries, well, just about anything!

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?


Lately the hubby and I have been watching a lot of SciFi, like Black Mirror, The Man in the High Tower, and such.

When you’re not writing where can we find you?

I live in central Arizona, in a small town, Payson, where I volunteer, play bunko, and lunch with friends.

Do you have a website/Facebook page?

I do!
I’m at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, and I’m on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts, on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/conniecockrell, on Pinterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/conniecockrell/ and on BookBub at: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/connie-cockrell

Where can we find your books?


You can find my books on my website: https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/, where there are links to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo

Thank you, Connie, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

Photo courtesy of: Connie Cockrell

 

A Reindeer Dance

Reindeer prance to Winter’s dance,

Making beautiful arcs in the sky.

Racing under the Christmas Star,

They leap, they soar, they fly!

 

In wake of the bright moonlight,

They guide a magical sleigh.

With a touch of lightening speed,

They ride far and away.

 

Alighting on each rooftop,

They help deliver bundles of joy.

Santa climbs down the chimney,

With a toy for each girl and boy.

 

As the morning dawn draws near,

They dash to their home in the cold.

Each star, each cloud, each babe,

Touched with Christmas gold.

 

Interview With Author: Kimberly K. Fox

Kimberly K. Fox has lived in many places and worked in many professions. After working as a cocktail waitress, a secretary, a territory sales manager and a model, she returned to her first love—writing.

Kimberly lives in Connecticut with her husband and son. She enjoys listening to music, meeting new people, and making new friends. She also has a special interest in helping those who suffer from autism.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Kimberly let’s get to know her a little better.

Hello, Kimberly, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid, ten or so. I just loved to read and starting to write was a natural extension of that.

Is writing your full-time profession?

Yes, I write full time. I’m currently writing my sixth novel.

How long have you been writing?

A loooong time!!

How many books have you written?

This is above. Five and working on number six.

Which genres do you write for?

I write all genres, most tend to have a touch of romance to them. I’ve written erotic, mainstream women’s lit, mystery/thriller and a historical/paranormal.

What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?

I like to challenge myself as a writer so I try to write different genres. I invent the characters and they help me write the story

What are you working on now?

Right now, I am writing a sequel to my mystery/thriller Shattered Star. A Los Angeles lieutenant is tracking a serial killer with a new partner assigned to him.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

Everywhere. Mostly though, in my imagination. I don’t base my characters on any real person, my characters are imaginary. I have a vivid imagination; I suppose most authors do!

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

I was at a book signing and a woman wasn’t sure if she wanted to read the novel. It was To Be A Star, which is mainstream women’s lit, but also romance.

She told me she didn’t “read” romances. In the end, she bought the book. She came to my signing the next day and asked if I could find her a “Taylor”, the hero in my book!

Someone else told me they stayed up all night reading Shattered Star. When you hear how much your writing is appreciated by others that is a wonderful feeling. Also, seeing my name on a book cover is such a thrill! I WROTE that!

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Network with other authors, both in person or on social media. Any really good author will be happy to give you tips. My most important tip: believe in yourself. That will come through in your writing.  A strong “voice” is also important.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

I am always available to be contacted, my links: www.kimberlykfox.com and

kkfox.net are two sites you can visit. My email is: kchinarose@aol.com.

What message are you sharing in your books?

No particular message since my books are all fiction. It’s relax and enjoy, escapism time!

What are your favorite books?

I love a good mystery novel. Dean Koontz is a good one. J.D. Robb Eve Dallas In Death Series are great reads. Love Stephanie Plum Novels by Janet Evanavach, to name just a few. Many, many more!

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

I don’t really watch TV. I DO love movies! Any kind- a comedy, a romance, a thriller, a mystery/thriller, science fiction. Anything but gore. Some favs: While You Were Sleeping, Moonstruck, The Hunger Games Series, all Star Trek movies.

When you’re not writing where can we find you?

At home, taking care of family. Or nose buried in a book!

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Yes, websites are listed above. I’m at wwwfacebook.comkimberlykfox@author.

Where can we find your books?

Anywhere books are sold! B&N, Amazon, Books A Million, Good Reads, any online retailer.

Photos and links can be found on my website! Thanks for having me so much!

Thank you, Kimberly, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

 

Interview With Author/Teacher: Robin Woods

Robin Woods loves vampires and English Literature. She enjoys the latter so much she studied the subject at college, taught it to her high school students, and has penned eleven books with more on the way.

A former high-school educator, her dedication to her students prompted her to write for teens and young adults. Born and raised in California, she still lives there with her husband and two children.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Robin let’s get to know her a little better.

Hello, Robin, and welcome . Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

Why did you become a teacher?

When I was fourteen years old, I decided I wanted to do two things—teach and write. I’ve been focused ever since. I taught right out of college and never looked back.

That is, until this year, where I’ve made a huge change in my life. I’ve quit my day job. Eek! After two-and-a-half decades of teaching English (literature and writing), I’ve retired from teaching and am writing as a career (with the support of my fabulous husband).

What grade did you teach?

I taught one year of junior high. Bless all of you who have that gifting because I do not. I spent the rest of my career teaching high school (junior and seniors) and college.

Mostly American and British literature. My editors tease me because I often get my British and American spellings mixed up when I write because of my twenty-three years of Brit. Lit.

How has your teaching experience influenced your writing?

My students are actually the ones who spurred me on. I had my incomplete manuscript for my first novel (The Unintended) on a table. One of my students picked it up and asked if she could read it. I nervously said yes.

She sat there and read for forty-five minutes without getting up once. When she had to leave, she asked if she could come back the next day and continue. Long story short, one student turned into a group of students, and they wanted new pages each day.

They pushed me until I finished. That group stuck with me through all six books in the series and pushed me to write faster and to be better. I am forever grateful.

Additionally, my creative writing workbooks are a culmination of my three loves: teaching, writing, and photography. I enjoyed writing bell activities and story starters for journal work. I channeled that love into my non-fiction.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I fell in love with Hobbits and dragons and vampires at a young age and wanted to create my own stories.

Which genres do you write?

I’m published in both young adult (urban fantasy) and non-fiction (creative writing workbooks).

What do you find most challenging writing for your genres?

Honestly, I think finishing is the hardest thing. I believe most writers struggle with this. It’s easy to get started, but it isn’t always fun to write the transitional scenes.

What are you working on now?

I have several other projects in the works. I’m toggling between two more Prompt Me Workbooks, co-writing a Rom-Com (with author Tamar Hela), a film script, and a Beauty & the Beast mash up (with Vikings). I don’t have enough hours in the day.

How many books have you written?

Currently, I have eleven books out. Prompt Me Romance will be out in early February just in time for Valentine’s Day.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

I love that my creative writing books have helped some teens grow closer to their parents. I’ve received multiple thank you messages from readers who write with their kids.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Write often. Read often. Don’t worry about editing until you finish. Hire a professional editor. If you don’t write for a while, don’t beat yourself up—just get back to writing.

What message are you sharing in your books?

I try not to have an agenda, I personally hate being preached at when I read fiction. But I do have strong themes. The theme that runs throughout The Watcher Series is redemption.

Some of my characters have to struggle to find not only goodness in the world, but in themselves. I also do my best not to glorify horrible behavior, but show them as destructive and have a positive alternative. Though obsessive behavior can seem romantic, it is ultimately damaging.

When you’re not writing where can we find you?

Traveling has always been a passion. My parents dragged my brother and I all over the country in a camper since we could crawl, so I think it’s hard wired. As a teacher, I would live like a pauper all year and save my money so I could travel all summer.

What are your favorite books?

I always feel that this is a cruel question. Ha. Here are a few I recommend to people: My Lady Jane (Princess Bride style snark and adventure), Shatter Me Series by Mafi (swoon worthy dystopian), Clockwork Angel by Clare (book boyfriend heaven set in Victorian England), Whine with Cheese by Wayne (smoking, hot rom-com), and The Scorpio Races by Stiefvater (one of the most unique books I’ve ever read).

What are your favorite TV shows/movies?

TV: Firefly, Friends, The Office, The Walking Dead, Suits, and Stranger Things.

Film: Austenland, Emma, Braveheart, Empire Strikes Back, and Zoolander.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

Sorry, here is my shameless plug. If you love writing or need a gift for someone who loves it, check out the Prompt Me Series. They are all under $10. Happy writing!

Where to find more about Robin Woods

www.RobinWoodsFiction.com

Facebook Fan Page

GoodReads Author Page

Twitter

Instagram

Amazon Author Page

Pinterest

BookBub Author Page

Thank you, Robin, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

Photo courtesy of: Robin Woods