Interview With Top Female Author Melanie S. Pronia

Melanie S. Pronia has many things to be proud of in her life. Besides being an award-winning author, her oldest son is in the United States Marines and her youngest is interested in a career in Forensic Science.

An adventurer at heart, Melanie loves her life and doesn’t want to waste a minute. She enjoys traveling, trying new foods, visiting cemeteries, and brewing her own wine and beer. Salute! 

Melanie lives in Florida with her husband and fellow novelist, John Maycumber.

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

Hello, Melanie, and welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

Photo courtesy of: Melanie S. Pronia

A BIG Congratulations on winning The Author’s Show 2018 Top Female Authors.

Thank you.

Can you tell us about your writing journey and how you came to win the award for The Author’s Show?

I started writing a lot of poetry when I was 14, then wrote my first novel when I was 17.

Photo courtesy of: Melanie S. Pronia

What inspired you to be a writer? 

My third grade teacher, Mrs. Harrison, was an aspiring writing and shared her stories with our class. I loved her and them.

Is writing your full-time profession?

Oh, how I wish, but no, not yet.

How long have you been writing?

Since I could hold a pencil.

Photo courtesy of: Melanie S. Pronia

How many books have you written?

I have six published books.

Which genres do you write?       

Paranormal, Psychological Drama, Horror, Non-fiction and True Crime.

What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?

I like for my writing to be honest and accurate.

Photo courtesy of: Melanie S. Pronia

What are you working on now?

I am writing the sequel to, Descent, which is the novel that won the Top Female Authors Contest. I am also working on a non-fiction called, At Death’s Door and a fiction series titled, Witch Way.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

Many places, a creepy looking man on a street corner, my friends with some layers added and removed and people I am not entirely fond of as antagonists. I also get a lot of inspiration from my dreams.

Photo courtesy of: Melanie S. Pronia

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

Winning the Grand Prize in the Top Female Authors contest!

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Write, write and write some more. Cut down on TV time and try to write something at least four times a week.

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

I do extensive research for my books, both fiction and non-fiction.

Photo courtesy of: Melanie S. Pronia

What message are you sharing in your books?

That there is no normal.

What are your favorite books?

The Earth Children Series by Jean M. Auel, and Cat Magic by Whitley Strieber.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

For movies, I prefer intelligent thrillers and coming of age stories. For TV shows, The Handmaid’s Tale, Six Feet Under, and Dexter.

Photo courtesy of: Melanie S. Pronia

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

I love to be outside exploring Nature or historic sights. I enjoy antiquing, thrift shops, and socializing with friends.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Yes, my website is: www.melaniespronia.com    My Facebook author page is:  https://www.facebook.com/Melanie-S-Pronia-205981556118039/

And I am currently offering the first book in my Witch Way series for free at:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/259865331243786/

Where can we find your books?

All of them are available at Amazon.com.

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

Interview With Author Derek Keeling

Derek Keeling is a man of many words. So many in fact, that he started writing as a teenager and hasn’t stopped. He turned this love of words into an award-winning journalistic career. His writing has also been featured in numerous books, magazines, blogs, websites and more.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Derek let’s get to know him a littler better.

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

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

It actually began years ago, when I was a young teen. I had to take summer school for a class to receive my Certificate of Initial Mastery. For some reason, I had failed the English test and had the option of either taking summer school or being held back. During that class I learned how to craft a story and created a short story called, Matchbox Zombies.

 The teacher thought it was such great writing that she had me stand up in front of the entire class and read it, of which I was the only one to do so. The class was enthralled by my story. That single seed of writing is what has bloomed my passion for it to this day. For note, I did end up passing and receiving my Certificate of Initial Mastery.

Is writing your full-time profession?

I am thankful to have been able to have writing as my full-time profession for quite some time. I am currently the content writer and social media coordinator for a prominent senior living company.

Before that I was the editor for a newspaper in South Dakota. Even further back I wrote for a magazine and an online music review website. It’s been quite the blessing to have been able to take my love of writing and make it into a career.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing in a serious capacity for 18 years, since I was 14 years old. There have been stints where I focused on music and other things, but I would always write. Even if it was just in a journal or song lyrics.

Can you tell us about your experiences as a journalist?

Being a journalist was a really great experience. I began as the featured writer and photographer, but soon after was promoted to editor-in-chief.

I worked for a weekly newspaper, so it was a little more laid back than your typical daily newspaper. I am thankful for a really great run as editor. I won an award for best featured article in South Dakota in 2015. All in all, it was a great experience.

How has being a journalist influenced your work?

Being a journalist has a weird way of pointing out your shortcomings as a writer. It really helped me hone my craft and brought out my innate ability to research. That has really helped in my writing a lot.

How many books have you written?

Technically, I have written a total of three books. The first one I ever wrote was a very short collection of poems and photographs. It is however, unavailable anymore.

The second book, or what I refer to as my first book, or novel rather, is a book I wrote and published in 2010-2011 called The Umbras. You can find it on Amazon.

My current novel, and that of which I am most proud, will be officially available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and select book stores on March 2, 2019.

It’s called, Nomad’s Island. This book was written between 2016 and 2018 and is my most accomplished work to date. I have never been more proud of an inanimate object.

Which genre do you write?

This may sound a bit pretentious, but I don’t like to constrict my writing down to a single genre. However, I have come up with a term that seems to be sufficient with readers and does tend to lend itself quite well to my style. I am a “twist-writer”.

Meaning, my books attempt to have a very intense twist within them that catches the reader off-guard. The Umbras had a twist that people still comment about to this day. Nomad’s Island has a couple of really big twists that may just blow reader’s minds.

 I like to have the freedom to dabble with mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, action, adventure, romance, or whatever else hits my inspiration. I honestly am not sure I could ever tie myself down into a single category. I like to write the story that I would want to read and that inspires me.

What do you find most challenging writing for these genre?

 Because I do not limit myself to a single genre, I find nothing challenging about it. I mean, there are lots of challenges in their own right, but I have never been wanting to write a story but couldn’t because I am only a romance author. I think that kind of categorization could really limit an author’s ability to tell a great story.

What are you working on now?

At the current moment I am in the process of getting ready to write a two, maybe three part book series. There’s always a lot of planning involved, so it’ll be a while before the pen hits the paper, so to speak.

I have been working heavily on marketing and promoting my upcoming novel, Nomad’s Island. That is a lot of work itself. Thankfully, with my background, marketing is easier than it would be without it.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

That’s a great question. I would have to say my family, friends, and the ether. Sometimes I just create a character and they tend to develop a personality of their own, sometimes they are reflected from people close to me.

In the case of Nomad’s Island, the main character is named Damon. He is actually mimicked after a younger version of myself. I wanted to do what Damon wanted to do years ago, which is travel to an island and live off the land.

Unfortunately, my experience failed within a week. His, while also failed, lasted for a considerably longer time. However, Damon’s experience on Nomad’s Island was not really all that pleasant.

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

Hearing or reading about people talking about my book. Seeing the shear excitement people get. I was surprised by how many people can’t wait to read Nomad’s Island. That is such a cool feeling. As with any author, I hope it lives up to the hype.

What advice would you give to authors or journalists just starting out?

They’ll hear it all the time, but it’s honestly the best advice: keep writing. The more you write and practice your skills, the better you’ll get.

Write for fun, write for free, write professionally, and learn everything you can about writing. I’m still learning and I’ve been doing this for many years.

When writing a novel, stick with it. As long as you’re moving forward, you’ll get to the end eventually. Edits, drafts, and other things will all happen soon enough. Just get your story on paper.

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

First off, thank you! When you read my story it helps to fulfill a dream of mine and I am deeply thankful. I love writing and I am always trying to improve my abilities and broaden the worlds which I create.

I welcome feedback from anyone that reads my stories. As of recent, I have been inspired by a new person, my daughter, Daphne. She is almost two years old and is full of life and spunk.

It’s amazing what a tiny little human will do to you. Between my wife and my daughter, I am rich in love and life. They are my inspirations to keep moving forward with my writing.

What message are you sharing in your books?  

With Nomad’s Island I am trying to convey the message of adventure and the power of the human mind and its will to survive. There are tons of stories of human survival that baffle me.

With Nomad’s Island, I tried to add in another angle, however. Another human stalking the lone survivor from the jungle’s edge. I find it best summed up with this saying: what was lost, has been found.

What are your favorite books/authors?

I’ve always been a fan of adventure books. Nomad’s Island has some roots in old pirate books and their ilk. Specifically, The Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall has been a favorite of mine for many years.

A kid’s classic, A Ghost in the Noonday Sun by Sid Fleischman is a short, amazing book that has such a cool storyline. I’ve also enjoyed more recent novels, like Into the Wild and The Final Frontiersman.

Both amazing stories of survival and adventure. Being a journalist, I also found a weird home with Gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. His writing is so fluid, natural, and raw.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

There are also a lot of shows that I enjoy. A decent amount of research was done for Nomad’s Island by watching Survivorman.

I’m really into older TV shows, like Cheers, Frasier, Newsradio, and Married With Children. However, I do enjoy a lot off cooking shows, like the Great British Baking Show, Chopped, Good Eats, etc.

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

Probably sleeping. Ha! No, but considering I write from 8-5 p.m. and then write on my free time, too, chances are I’d be sleeping. But, I also like to enjoy relaxing at the beach, eating at a restaurant, or enjoying a latte at a local coffeehouse.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

I do have a website, however it’s not quite done yet, and as you can see I haven’t even purchased the domain yet: https://keelingderek.wixsite.com/derekkeeling

My Facebook page is the best place to see what’s going on with me and stay updated. http://www.facebook.com/keelingderek

I’m also pretty active on my Instagram page: http://www.instagram.com/derekkeelingauthor

Where can we find your books?

You can find both Nomad’s Island and The Umbras at my Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/derekkeeling

You’ll also be able to find Nomad’s Island at Barnes & Noble and other select bookstores.

Thank you for your support. I truly appreciate it.

You’re welcome, Derek, thank you for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lost of luck!

Interview With Author/Teacher Jenny S. Burke

Jenny S. Burke enjoys the wild side of life but only if she can experience it through nature. As a former marine biologist, she has an ocean of experience to fish from for her adventure stories.

A multi-award winner, Jenny’s novel, Dragon Lightning, was featured on TV twice. She has also published five marine research papers, been nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award and done a host of radio and blog interviews.

Jenny has earned degrees in Math, Science, Marine Science and Education. 

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

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

Ellwyn, thank you so much for the opportunity to be part of your blog!

Why did you become a marine biologist?

I grew up land-locked. When I was eight, I saw a short movie on the sea and decided to become a marine biologist.

I took math and science courses, improved my writing, became a certified diver, and more, always working toward my goal.

I love the sea! This love became a unique undersea world in my Dragon Dreamer books.

Where did you work?

I’ve worked in several Florida cities, including the Florida Keys.

What did you do there?

I worked off of boats, studying life on the coral reefs and also in the dark abyss.

Photo courtesy of:Taken;courtesy of:Pixabay

Do you have a favorite animal? If so, which one is it and why?

Of sea life, the octopus is my favorite. Octopuses are at least as smart and clever as humans.

They’re fast-thinking and have amazing abilities; some types can shape-shift in the blink of an eye to perfectly camouflage or to mimic another type of sea life.

An octopus who was grabbed by a shark put her arms in his gills so he couldn’t breathe. He let her go.

How has your experience as a marine biologist influenced your writing?

My experiences at sea and fascination with the natural world are part of my Dragon Dreamer Series.

My characters experience the sea storm that nearly killed me, and the three terrifying waterspouts that surrounded my boat. They enjoy the glowing sea life and watch the sun melt into the sea.

From The Dragon Dreamer: “Black clouds rolled silently overhead, devouring stars in the darkening night sky. A sudden barrage of lightning crackled above. Startled by the noise, Arak spun in the air. Again the lightning flashed! In the blinding light he clearly saw the monstrous black claw of the storm. His body shook as powerful waves of thunder rolled through him. His heart beat with the new rhythm.

The young dragon veered left, toward the weaker side of a storm. But this storm was huge. There was no escape.”

What inspired you to become a writer?

My marvelous third grade teacher started a poetry club, and I joined. She published anthologies with our poems.

I continued to write poems for years, for fun; I love playing with words. But I never planned to write a novel until one grew in my mind.

Which genres do you write?

I write science fantasy adventure and I’m working on a children’s book. I also have an educational Crystal Series that uses the angles of natural crystals, and a coloring book with the fantasy snowflakes my dragons grow in the winter clouds.

What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?

I take longer than I’d like to write a proper novel that satisfies me.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing stand-alone books 3 and 4 of the Dragon Dreamer Series. I’m drawing more fantasy flakes as illustrations and for a second coloring book.

How many books have you written?

There are two crystal books (Crystal Geometry and Crystal Colors) with cartoons and science/math/art educational activities.

The first novels of my science fantasy series are The Dragon Dreamer and Dragon Lightning.

There are hand-drawn mandalas in Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book. This coloring book includes information on natural snowflake growth and math-science-art connections.

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

I love meeting readers and writers in person and online. A good review is satisfying. A few times, readers have added my books to lists on Goodreads. Knowing someone enjoys your work helps justify all the effort.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Just start writing! As you write, study what you like in your favorite books and apply this. Learn the basics of a novel. Get feedback from readers and writers. Start a website and join Goodreads.

What message are you sharing in your books?

The Dragon Dreamer books are first a science fantasy adventure story written to entertain.

Beyond this, there are messages about the priceless gift of friendship, the benefits of combining different abilities, using your wits to solve problems, persevering despite mounting problems, and environmental connections. 

When you not writing where can we find you?

I love wild spaces on land or sea.

What are your favorite books/authors?

Too many to list them all! I love the evolving poems in The Lord of the Rings, the beautiful message in The Velveteen Rabbit (I still cry when he becomes Real), Dune, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, and many more. I also love many books by Indie authors.

What are your favorite TV shows/movies?

I love the many Star Trek Series, Dr. Who (especially Doctor #10), Psych, The Big Bang Theory, and JAG.

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

I love to paint, draw, and make jewelry. I painted the covers for my books.

Do you have a website/Facebook page?

Yes!

WEBSITE: www.jennysburke.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Jenny-S-Burke-721518861218158/  

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-s-burke-49b143b6-fbae-4b3a-a5c0-7571b588de62  

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/TheDragonDreamr

Where can we find your books!

“THE DRAGON DREAMER” by J.S. Burke

Amazon: http://authl.it/B00K9DHTU2?d

e-books:  https://www.books2read.com/u/bOw          

“DRAGON LIGHTNING” by J.S. Burke

Amazon: http://authl.it/B01MA1ZOJ6?d

e-books: https://www.books2read.com/u/mdKD0O

“FANTASY SNOWFLAKES COLORING BOOK” by J.S. Burke

Amazon: https://www.relinks.me/0996042555

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

Ellwyn, thank you so much for having me here!

Interview With Author/Sports Journalist John Coon

John Coon lives for adventure whether it be through writing or hiking through his favorite mountainside. John is a sports journalist who has turned his pen to fiction novels. His first novel, Pandora Reborn, debuted in 2018.

A native of Utah, John finds peace in nature and believes “life without creativity and imagination is hollow.”

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

Hello, John, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I’ve loved creating stories ever since I was a kid. I always had an active imagination. When I was in elementary school, for example, I daydreamed about being an actor starring in my own movies.

I had movie titles figured out and knew what each movie was about.  Some characters and fictional worlds I’ve created as an adult author can trace their roots back to this early time in my life.

Is writing your full-time profession?

Only if you include journalism into the mix. Reporting on pro sports and college sports remains my day job at the moment.

Fiction writing is a part-time pursuit for now. I hope to change that in the not-too-distant future.

How long have you been writing?

My first novel was published in June 2018, but I’ve been writing for three decades. I started writing my earliest stories when I was 12 years old. My parents owned an old manual typewriter and had set it up on a table in the back of the kitchen.

An older sister of mine wrote some short stories, and I decided one day I could write stories too. I grabbed some orange typing paper and started typing up stories on the typewriter.

Those early stories were about a litter of mischievous kittens based on some pet cats our family owned at the time. I eventually wrote nine connected stories about the kittens by the time I got into high school. Since that time, I have continued to write fiction and poetry.

Can you tell us about your experiences as a sports reporter?

When someone finds out I work as a sports reporter, their reaction is something like: “That must be so exciting getting paid to watch sports! You have a dream job.”

It surprises them when I reply it’s like any other job. Some days you enjoy it. Other days you can’t stand it. I’ve had tons of fun experiences in my 15 years of writing about sports.

I’ve ridden in a race car at 160 miles per hour. I’ve been able to witness athletes set world records. I’ve covered March Madness (the NCAA men’s basketball tournament) on several occasions.

I’ve also endured more stressful deadlines and sleepless nights than I care to remember. It can take a toll. Covering sports such as football or basketball creates a demanding day-to-day schedule, especially with social media basically demanding fresh content around the clock.

How has being a sports reporter influenced your work?

Being a reporter has helped me strengthen my observation skills. I see how people act, talk, and react in a wide variety of situations. I see how different personalities mesh with one another.

It has proven useful in crafting characters and dialogue that feel drawn from the real world. One of my primary goals in creating stories is to build a world populated with characters and settings that feel authentic. What I’ve observed and learned as a reporter helps me to better achieve such a goal.

How many books have you written?

I’ve published one novel so far and I’m currently working on my second one. Pandora Reborn, my debut novel, was released in June 2018.

Which genres do you write?

I write in multiple genres because I have ideas for stories and characters I want to develop that fit into different genres. Sometimes, I blend multiple genres within the same story. 

Pandora Reborn is primarily a young adult horror story that also blends elements from fantasy, mystery, and thriller genres. My upcoming novel will primarily be a science fiction thriller, but could also include a few horror elements because of the characters and the setting.

Honestly, it’s fun to not limit yourself to a single genre as a writer. It allows more flexibility and creativity in telling the story you want told.

What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?

For me, the one challenge in every story is making sure it feels authentic. I want to make these fictional worlds feel real, even when fantastic elements are involved.

Every fictional world is the real world to the characters who live in it. For that reason, I want their actions, reactions, and interactions to feel true to life.

Nothing bothers me more in genre fiction than plot armor. Forcing characters to say and do things simply because the plot tells them that’s what they’re supposed to do. It makes for uninteresting stories.

Drama and suspense build organically when characters feel like real people. You become emotionally invested in their journey and their fate ultimately matters to you.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently writing my second novel, the aforementioned science fiction thriller. I plan to publish it later this spring.

The story will follow four college students who are confronted with the results of alien genetic experimentation after being trapped in an isolated Texas town during a spring break road trip. It’s a re-imagining of a short story I wrote in college.

I expanded the narrative and added some characters and subplots to help flesh it out to novel length. Beyond that story, I have other science fiction novels in the works and a pair of sequels to Pandora Reborn in development.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

My characters are a melting pot of various personalities I’ve encountered and interacted with throughout my life. Like I mentioned earlier, I always pay attention to how other people act, interact, and react in situations, so my characters feel like real people.

Still, I don’t intentionally base any character on a single individual for obvious reasons. Many people would not react favorably to encountering a fictionalized version of themselves within a story.

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

Honestly, it has been a thrill to see so many people enjoy Pandora Reborn. I’ve received more favorable reviews and positive feedback than I ever anticipated. I love seeing other people embrace characters and stories that kicked around in my head for years.  It has given me tons of confidence while working on my second novel.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Find your own voice. I often see advice to new authors that tells them to mimic what popular authors are doing or tells them to figure out which genre sells and dive in head first. That’s terrible advice, in my opinion.

The best thing you can do as an author is be true to yourself. Tell a story you want to tell. Then take plenty of time to craft it so that it is told in the best way possible. You will find an audience eventually and they will appreciate something that is authentic and well-written.

What readers don’t appreciate are slapdash by-the-numbers stories that are transparently designed to make a quick buck.

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

I’m the type of person who tries to make the world around me a better place. Life is so much better when we all choose to be good people.

We can bring happiness into our lives and other people’s lives by being kind, honest, and caring. I strive to live each day with this philosophy guiding me.

What message are you sharing in your books?

It really depends on the book. I don’t set out to impose a specific message on a novel. It just evolves organically as the story unfolds.

With Pandora Reborn, for example, a key message that emerges is the danger of being isolated. You look at all the major characters and they are all isolated to one degree or another when the story begins.

Ron Olson illustrates this perfectly. He is in a new town cut off from his old friends and his dad. Ron wants nothing to do with Deer Falls. As the story progresses, he learns in a real way that he can’t live isolated.

He is forced to find allies when a terrifying ancient witch begins wreaking havoc. It also forces Ron to repair his relationship with his mother to ensure her survival. The overall message, in a way, is that life’s battles are not meant to be fought alone and cannot be won alone.

What are your favorite books/authors?

Growing up, my favorite authors were Jack London, C.S. Lewis, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Allan Poe. I love the way they could build a world and make each character feel so real and alive — even in the most extreme or fantastic circumstances.

As an adult, I have also enjoyed fiction from authors like Michael Crichton, Stephen King, John Grisham, and Phillip K. Dick. My all-time favorite books are The Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve read every book in that series cover to cover multiple times.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

I have always loved Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s the perfect adventure movie with so many fun, iconic moments and memorable characters.

The original Star Wars trilogy ranks among my all-time favorites as well. My brother and I watched Star Wars so much as kids, we had memorized the dialogue from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi word-for-word at one point.

The Simpsons is my no. 1 favorite TV show. Anyone who is around me long enough will hear me start dropping random quotes from episodes of The Simpsons into conversations. Sometimes, on Twitter, I’ll tweet out a quote of the day when I’m catching a first-run episode or a rerun.

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

If I’m not in front of my laptop, I’m most likely on a mountain conquering a new hiking trail or off finding something fun or interesting to capture in a photograph.

I grew up in a rural part of Utah, so I love the outdoors. I feel at peace when I can get away from the noise and lights of the city.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

My main author website can be found at johncoon.net. I have a blog up there where I share my experiences, offer useful writing tips, and spotlight books I’ve enjoyed from other indie authors.

Readers can also connect with me in the following places:

Facebook (www.facebook.com/jcoon)

Instagram (www.instagram.com/jcoon312)

Twitter (www.twitter.com/johncoonsports)

Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/author/show/18159853.John_Coon)

Amazon (www.amazon.com/author/johncoon)

Where can we find your books?

Pandora Reborn is available to purchase as an ebook or a paperback at most major online booksellers around the world.

Amazon –

ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DVRVG31

paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732487111

Barnes and Noble –

ebook: https://bit.ly/2KbaaNn

paperback: https://bit.ly/2R9WxhJ

Kobo –

ebook: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/pandora-reborn

Google Books –

ebook: https://bit.ly/2TxIofB

Apple Books –

ebook:  https://apple.co/2SqhgSo

Wal-Mart –

ebook: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pandora-Reborn-eBook/973880190

paperback: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pandora-Reborn/528186889

BAM! (Books-a-Million) –

paperback: https://tinyurl.com/y9fp4au4

Indiebound –

paperback: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781732487116

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

Interview With Romance Author Kirsten Nairn

Kirsten Nairn has a secret. It’s so hush-hush that even her family and close friends don‘t know what it is. The only people she’s shared this secret with is her readers and me. Would you like to know what her big secret is?

Kirsten is a writer. Her first contemporary romance novel A Sorry Affair debuted on July 31, 2017.

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Kirsten lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. Her favorite city is Edinburgh. She thinks it’s the most romantic city in the world and used it as the setting for A Sorry Affair.

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

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

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I’m not sure anything inspired me as such, but more I just needed a shove to get me to put pen to paper! I work full time, have two children and naively thought I’d start writing when I was on maternity leave������. It took another 14 years to get me to a point where I had a spare, quiet moment to write.

Is writing your full-time profession?

No, I do it as a hobby at the moment. I’d love to do it full time, but it’s not viable at the moment. Maybe when I retire…

How long have you been writing?

Only about 3-4 years, although I had lots of stories in my head before that.

How many books have you written?

1 published and three more manuscripts almost ready for submission, another two ‘in-progress’.

Which genre do you write? 

Contemporary Romance

What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?

Nothing challenging about the genre just the actual writing process.

Photo courtesy of: Pixel2013; courtesy of: Pixabay

What are you working on now?

I am really trying to get my current manuscript ready for submission, but I am also working on another about a holiday romance which blossoms, turns into a long distance relationship and in turn focusses on the dilemma of the main character and the choices and decisions she has to make

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

Well, my inspiration for the story above came from something I saw written in the sand at St. Andrew’s beach- I won’t give it away here as it features in the story.

My inspiration for A Sorry Affair came from a conversation I overheard on a train.

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

The marketing and promotion process- it’s all completely new and daunting, however I have built an author platform from scratch, developed a website and connected with people all over the world.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

If you have an idea, just find time and space and start writing. Hopefully the words will flow. Don’t think about it too much to begin with and get it all down on paper.

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

I write in secret! No one, not even my family or friends know I write or have published a book.

What message are you sharing in your books?

My stories are mainly high on the angst and emotional turmoil of some relationships, but there’s usually a happily ever after of sorts. If there’s any message it’s that all relationships have ups and downs and everyone makes mistakes. Whether we can move on and accept them is the big question.

What are your favorite books?           

Oh way too many to mention. I love all the John Irving books- The World According toGarp, The Hotel New Hampshire. Lord of the Rings, The Harry Potter series, Twilight, the classics, such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, anything by Mhairi McFarlane and Nick Spalding.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

Any films from the books listed above, but I also love the film, About Time, directed by Richard Curtis and in fact, anything by Richard Curtis.

Photo courtesy of: Kirsten Nairn

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

Working, running around after my children and their animals, running on my own, at the gym.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?                

Yes. Here are my links

facebook https://www.facebook.com/Kirsten-Nairn-1886899944963399/

twitter  https://twitter.com/KirstenNairn

Google plus https://plus.google.com/116661743998012242113

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.co.uk/chrnairn25/

my website https://kirstennairn.wordpress.com/

A Sorry Affair ‘landing page’ https://asorryaffair.wordpress.com/

Where can we find your books?

Amazon

Kobo

Waterstones

Smashwords

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble

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

Interview With Author/Teacher Dean Russell-Rands

Dean Russell-Rands is a teacher, a writer, and an advocate for the under-represented. He discovered his passion for performing arts at a young age and has taken this creative zest with him wherever he goes, whether it be teaching in an elementary school classroom, writing a picture book, or reading children’s stories on his Youtube channel.

Dean lives in Essex with his husband and their cat named Shadow.

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

Hello, Dean, 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 been a creative person and a bit of a dreamer, really. I guess some people would say I had an overactive imagination (and hopefully I still do).

I started writing and performing at a young age–I had a poem published at age 9, a short story published at age 11, and then another poem at age 15.

Is writing your full-time profession?

It’s not my full-time occupation yet. I’m a teacher and I’m currently working as a supply teacher.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was young but I’ve taken it more seriously since completing my performing arts degree. I have a catalogue of stories saved and recently I put my hand to illustrating so I could self-publish.

How has teaching influenced your writing?

I had settled into a lovely school which I miss dearly but I realized that I was telling children to follow their dreams and I hadn’t fully chased my own.

Also, I told my last class I was getting married to a man, and they were so accepting but together we noticed that there aren’t many books that promote equality, diversity and inclusion.

I decided then I’d focus on my creative dreams and publish books that all children and families could relate to.

How many books have you written?

At the moment,  I’ve self-published one book ‘Love, Cuddled & Tickled Too!’. However, I have a catalogue of stories I continue to develop and tweak.

Can you tell us a little about your Youtube Channel Big Box Of Books?

I very quickly discovered that self-publishing requires a lot of effort and a lot of promotion. I turned to social media and my YouTube channel was born.

Big Box of Books is a tool I use to promote lesser known books including my own. There are so many great books out there that deserve to be read many times over.

What inspired you to start your Youtube Channel?

It was primarily my own struggle to promote my book but also seeing so many new children’s authors on Facebook pages and Instagram.

How can an author have their book read on your channel?

They can contact me via my Facebook page, Instagram or my website www.deanrussellrands.com

Which genre do you write? 

I write children’s picture books.

What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?

I think it’s about keeping an open mind to the age range of books–it’s important to remember the age of your audience but with important topics like ‘equality’ you want to remain as accessible as possible so that the right message can be spread to lots of readers.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a book that’s all about being different. It begins with everyone and everything looking the same but someone has an idea and it all starts to change…

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

With my first book, it was a lot about the families I worked with. I had a multi-racial girl in my class and I included a multi-racial family in the story so she could feel included.

With this book, it’s mostly people on the street and clowns. I think my inspiration is usually what I see around me and parts of myself that I want to explore too.

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

Recently, a girl at the school I’m currently working in told me she’d found my book. She said she really liked it and that it was a very important message for others to hear.

If I can make one child realize that love is love then I did my job.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Just do it, take the plunge–once you put the effort into getting your work out there, more opportunities will come.

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

I have two beliefs–everyone has the right to be happy and everyone has the right to be treated equally.

What message are you sharing in your books?

Hopefully, exactly what I’ve written for question 16. We’re all different but deserve to be treated the same.

What are your favorite books/authors?

I have soooo many. I love Rachel Bright and Tom Fletcher.

As for adult books, I love an emotional story–Cecelia Ahearn and Rowan Coleman are great for that.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

I’m a total Netflix fan–Grace and Frankie is fantastic. I’m also desperate to watch Homecoming because I LOVE Julia Roberts.

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

If I’m not writing, I’m usually watching tv or a show. I love Wicked the musical. I also like travelling and this year I’ve got trips booked to New York and Disney World.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

There are links to all of my social media on my website: http://www.deanrussellrands.com/

Where can we find your books?

 Search for me on Amazon.

I’m currently organizing book signings with a certain Highstreet store and I’ll post the details on my website as soon I have finalized the details.

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

Interview With Author Kristin Ward

Kristin Ward is a benevolent soul who cares deeply about our environment. This love of nature comes through in her thought provoking writing where she presents characters and themes pertinent to our modern day society’s damaging effects on the world.

Kristin has a wonderful sense of humor, enjoys long walks with her family and welcomes the chance to spout her favorite movie quotes.

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

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

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I would have to go back to middle school, 7th grade to be precise. When my English teacher, whom I still keep in close contact with, likened my writing to Saki, the author of The Interlopers, I was hooked.

That defining moment began my foray into mad scribblings of terrible poetry and story starters galore.

As an adult, I spent many years dabbling in writing and began a few book ideas I have yet to complete, though I may never finish those as my interest waned.

The inspiration for my first self-published novel came from research I conducted while writing a graduate course in environmental education. As I dug into the history of the earth and learned about various environmental shifts, a seedling of an idea took root.

I began to wonder what the world would look like if drought ravaged the planet and water became the global currency. While this first book took about five years to write, family and career being the primary reason for the delay, I finally reached that pinnacle of achievement and published in May 2018.

The sequel was published in November, following a very strict deadline I had set for myself after completing the first book.

Is writing your full-time profession?

I would love to be an author full-time. In fact, that is an aspiration. However, I have a career outside of my author life I enjoy.

Have you won any awards?

Yes! I am overjoyed to say I recently won the 2018 Best Indie Book Award in young adult fiction. This award was incredibly validating as it tells me that the premise of my story and writing style have merit.

I have entered other competitions and will enter the sequel as well. I feel that book awards are a great way to reach a broad reader base and increase exposure as an author.

How many books have you written?

I have published two books. My plan for 2019 is to publish another two novels and a collection of my poetry (My 7th grade English teacher has repeatedly asked that I do so as she loves the poems I post on social media). 

Which genres do you write? 

My first two books, and my current work in progress, are in the young adult category. However, I have numerous story ideas floating around in my head and plan on branching out into adult fiction as well.

What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?

I think the biggest hurdles, in any genre, are originality and large-scale appeal. While I feel that my first two works are original ideas, I struggle with reaching a broad reader base that includes teens.

Most of my readers are out of high school. I do a great deal of advertising and am active on social media in an effort to attract readers who enjoy dystopian fiction and hope that my novels find their way into the hands of high schoolers.

What are you working on now?

My current work in progress is a sci-fi-fantasy crossover with a bit a romance, all entwined in an environmental theme. I’m having a lot of fun developing the characters in this story and I’m looking forward to reaching the point when I can write the big action scenes. My goal is a spring release of this work.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

My inspiration comes from a variety of sources. I love reading a wide range of genres and am always inspired by the characters and story lines. I also get many of my ideas from my own interests and research I do along the way.

Like all authors, the characters I write always have pieces of my personality within them. The main character in my current work definitely has my sense of humor!

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

There are a few experiences that have been true milestones in this journey. The first of these was the moment I clicked submit on Amazon’s site.

It was elating and terrifying. My work would officially be in the hands of readers. This thing I had nurtured and kept close to my heart was suddenly out there for everyone to read, interpret and comment on.

It’s a bit like dropping one of my sons off at school for the first day of kindergarten! I was excited and a nervous wreck!

The most rewarding experiences come in the form of reader’s comments. Not everyone will like what an author writes, but when a reader takes the time to compose an honest review, it’s profound.

I have been blessed with a few truly glowing reviews that reflect the connection readers have with the characters and content of the books. A couple of comments on the sequel show a depth of understanding and appreciation for the message the story is conveying.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

“If you dream it, you can do it!” ~ Walt Disney

That quote sums up how I feel about someone who longs to be a writer. Publishing has transformed over the years and this shift has opened the door for new voices to make themselves known and share their work.

Self-publishing provides a platform accessible to everyone. Plus, the indie author community is incredibly supportive and I’m grateful to have joined their ranks.

For those writers just beginning their journey, here is some sound advice:

Hire an editor! Everyone needs one. I love my editor, David Taylor of thEditors.com. He’s helped me develop my first drafts into something wonderful through his expertise and understanding of the story I want to tell.

Establish a website and begin blogging. This was actually my first step. I started my blog and worked to establish a reader base for my blog and newsletter. It’s a great way to connect with readers and is a good platform to practice your writing chops!

Get on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter! Twitter is a huge platform for authors, agents, and publishers. On Facebook, you’ll find author groups that will enable you to connect and support each other.

Learn how to market your book. I never realized how important marketing is when publishing a book until I started this adventure. Author groups on Facebook are a great marketing asset!

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

I love connecting with readers and I’m very active on social media! Please reach out as I would love to hear from you

What message are you sharing in your books?

Big themes in my books revolve around the environment. In my first book, After the Green Withered, my main character inherited a world we are in the midst of creating.

Perhaps if people had made different choices, her world and the challenges she faces would be much different. I feel it’s important for us, as human beings, to step back and think about the world future generations will inherit. Every action is important, and no action is too small to make a difference.

What are your favorite books/authors?

In the dystopian genre, I really enjoyed The Giver, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Hunger Games. Each of these stories touches on themes that are thought-provoking.

I’m also a classic re-reader. The true test of whether I love a book or just like it is if I will re-read it. One of my favorite books to read every few years is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.

This epic saga is a roller coaster of action, emotion, intrigue, corruption, and storytelling that takes me back to a world I love to visit every time I read it.

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?

I’m a movie nut and I quote movies. A lot. My favorite movie quotes come from The Princess Bride. If you were to come to my house and utter the phrase, “No more rhyming now, I mean it!” There would be a chorus of, “Anybody want a peanut?” Yep, from The Breakfast Club to Guardians of the Galaxy, my movie favorites come out in numerous quotes and references.

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

I love taking walks with my sons and our dogs. When the weather is nice and trails aren’t muddy, you can find me in the woods. I also enjoy relaxing at home, curling up on the sofa with a good book or chilling out with a great flick.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/kristin_ward_author/

website:

https://www.writingandmythreesons.com

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Kristin-Ward/e/B07D5LC4CR/

Twitter:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/KristinWardAuthor/

Where can we find your books?

Amazon:

And other online retailers:

https://www.books2read.com/b/after-the-green-withered

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