An Interview with Brittany Severn

An Interview with Brittany Severn, author of The Camellia Manifest

Brittany Severn is a writer from Fort Riley, Kansas. She currently lives in Alabama with two rescue dogs, every season of The Golden Girls, and a tortoise named Phil.

What is your favourite dragon in literature?

I know a lot of people are going to pinch me for not saying Smaug because I was so obsessed with Tolkien growing up (LOTR Trivial Pursuit grand champ, here), but I’m going with Saphira from Eragon. She was so damn cool.

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external hard drive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?

Oh, it was abandoned for sure. I tinkered with it for years, but it just didn’t work out. And that’s okay. Not everything you write needs to be published. I learned from it, if anything.

Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?

Practice, but also, reading. 100%. You get to know dialogue and characters, world building, what works for fan bases and what doesn’t. Reading definitely makes for a better writer.

Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?

I’d love to be the kind that can pump out novels faster. I published four last year and got burnt out. One to two is my goal, but it’s slow going because I really want to get these stories and characters right.

I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?

If I’m out and about, I always use my Notes app for ideas, one liners, etc. But when I’m home, I write on my laptop on the couch. It’s the most comfortable spot.

Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?

My parents always read my stuff first. Except for the erotica – I put that out and didn’t say anything to them because I can’t imagine them reading it and then being able to look me in the eye. But my parents and some friends do a read through and give their input. Once I have a more polished draft I have a couple of beta readers it’ll go through. I fix what they find grammar-wise, and then I usually do another run through on my own. I haven’t had anything of mine edited by anyone but me (not the best thing, I know), but I look forward to someone else doing that for me one day.

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

I always use the local library. I’m not a huge fan of eBooks and I don’t own an e-reader. It’s just not the same. I like to hold a physical copy. I rarely buy books, which surprises a lot of people, but when I do it’s usually from a used bookstore. Like you mentioned, that smell just draws you in. We have some here in Alabama that are nice, but I went to one in Charleston a few years ago and it was the best, complete with books from the floor to the ceiling, an archway of books, and wandering cats.

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and have your tastes changed over time?

I think I’ll always be a YA reader. It’s my favorite genre. But I have gotten into more mystery/thriller lately, true crime, and other non-fiction books. I just finished Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks and it was fascinating.

Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. What do you do?

I am so bad at social media. Even my personal account goes months without a post. I post stories on Instagram a lot because they’re easy, short, and fun, but I don’t post as much as I should. It’s something I’m working on, but it’s definitely not my favorite thing. I can’t even remember the last time I updated my Facebook page. Anything marketing-wise is not very fun for me.

Answering interview questions can often take a long time! Tell me, are you ever tempted to recycle your answers from one to the next? 

I try not to, but I’m sure I do. It depends on the questions, really. I like out of the box questions. The weirder, the better. I feel like my tone should be more proper in interviews, deeper and with longer answers and probably less cursing and the word, ‘dude’, but it is what it is.

About The Camellia Manifest

Sisters Echo and Ava know about loss, but now they are about to lose everything…

Grieving the loss of their grandmother, Echo and Ava only have each other now. On the day of her funeral, catastrophe strikes as natural disasters begin to rip the Earth apart. The world is coming to an end, but there may be hope. Teaming up with some unlikely allies, including an apocalypse obsessed radio host, the sisters seek safety. With the world in chaos, it won’t be an easy journey and they are in for a hell of a ride. As they reach their destination, a single flight headed to safety, the sisters discover that not everyone is on their side and they will have to fight for their survival. Can they make it to the plane? Or will they be left to die on the ground?

An Interview with JV Hilliard

An Interview with JV Hilliard, author of The Last Keeper

The Last Keeper is the first book in The Warminster Series. With gripping, epic action and heart-pounding adventure, you’ll love this new adventure series.

What is your favourite dragon in literature?

As unoriginal as it may be, I fell in love with Smaug as a child when I read The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. Smaug was the classic dragon, and he set the scales (no pun intended) for the rest to be measured against in the epic fantasy genre.

However, in book three of my Warminster series, I introduce a new dragon which I may be partial too (no spoilers here).

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?

I finally published the Last Keeper last December and that was the “first novel” that I started back in my college days. When COVID reared its ugly head, I was out of work for over a year, so I was able to steal a silver lining from it and dust off my old drafts and finally launch it.

Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?

For my day job, I write speeches, legislation, policy papers and the like. When I started to write the Warminster series, I needed to flip the switch from non-fiction to fiction, so story related items like dialogue and pacing were an issue for me in the beginning. I am still getting better at it with each new novel, and I depend on my editors and beta readers to help where I may fall down.

Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?

Now that I am writing every day, I don’t have a problem with story creation. I believe that since I’ve had some stories bottled up for so long, it’s more a firehose than a spigot for me. My first book took me a year to write, but my second (which is in editing now) I finished in six months. The third (which is about half completed) should be done in four months and released around the holidays. It feels good to release the creative energy that was penned up for so long.

I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?

I do my planning with graph paper and a white board in my den, but all of my true writing is digital. I do find I can write anywhere, but I am more comfortable in my den, later at night or at a local bookstore/café nearby. Something about surrounding myself in my private library or sitting in a bookstore is motivating. Staring at the spines of books from some of the greats is motivation enough.

Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?

I have secured my beta readers through lifelong friendships or from those I’ve played Dungeons & Dragons with over the years. They all understand and appreciate the genre and most write themselves in some capacity for their careers. But I did focus on finding a few editors that specialize in the Epic Fantasy genre to be helpful Sherpas. I believed this was necessary for a first-time author.

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

I L-O-V-E bookstores. I worked in one while still in high school and then worked at my university library when I was at college. I go to my local Barnes & Noble store to write during the week and then for pleasure on Saturday mornings (when I don’t do work—and just pick a book I will read that weekend).

While I appreciate the e-book, there’s nothing that can replace that hardback or paperback in your hands. I will admit however I do use audiobooks often when I travel and have downtime on planes or cars.

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and have your tastes changed over time?

Fantasy is my favorite and that has never changed, but I do really enjoy Science Fiction and Horror, especially the gothic. I am hoping one day to write my own vampire novel.

Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. What do you do?

I forced myself to learn the process as it is necessary in this day and age. Readers use them as resources for discussions, referrals, reviews and groups to share books. And if you put in the work, it is “mostly” free (save for your own time) and global. In my first month of sales for The Last Keeper, I had readers buy my book and ask for signed copies from places like India, Serbia, Romania, Tasmania and the like. Without social media, I would have never reached them.

I manage my profiles myself, but I do have several people that help. In part, I have a day job that dominates my time an often I need someone to manage requests or respond to inquiries when I am away.

I spend about two hours a day on social media, including promotions, sales, newsletters, adding followers and researching what is working for other authors (and what is not). Using author groups have been helpful to learn best and worst practices.

Answering interview questions can often take a long time! Tell me, are you ever tempted to recycle your answers from one to the next?

It’s tempting, as sometimes you are asked the same questions, but I’ve learned that it’s best to just be original in each response. Canned responses read as if they were pre-programmed and that’s no way to connect with readers.

About J. V. Hilliard

Born of steel, fire and black wind, J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain on the confluence of the three mighty rivers that forged his realm’s wealth and power for generations.

His father, a peasant twerg, toiled away in industries of honest labor and instilled in him a work ethic that would shape his destiny. His mother, a local healer, cared for his elders and his warrior uncle, who helped to raise him during his formative years. His genius brother, whose wizardly prowess allowed him to master the art of the abacus and his own quill, trained with him for battles on fields of green and sheets of ice.

Hilliard’s earliest education took place in his warrior uncle’s tower, where he learned his first words. His uncle helped him to learn the basics of life—and, most importantly, creative writing.

Hilliard’s training and education readied him to lift a quill that would scribe the tale of the realm of Warminster, filled with brave knights, harrowing adventure and legendary struggles. He lives in the city of silver cups, hypocycloids and golden triangles with his wife, a ranger of the diamond. They built their castle not far into the countryside, guarded by his own two horsehounds, Thor and MacLeod, and resides there to this day.

About The Last Keeper

A young boy’s prophetic visions.

Blind at birth, Daemus Alaric is blessed with the gift of prophetic Sight. Now, as a Keeper of the Forbidden, he must use his powers of the Sight to foil the plans of a fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad.

An elven Princess with a horrifying secret.

Princess Addilyn Elspeth travels from Eldwal, the magically hidden home of the Vermilion elves, to begin her life as a diplomat to the human capital of Castleshire. During her journey, she stumbles upon a mystical creature foretelling ill tidings.

A terrifying force of evil.

Daemus’ recurring nightmare vision threatens to catapult him into a terrifying struggle that will leave the fate of the Keepers—and the realm—hanging in the balance. Daemus and Princess Addilyn must set out to face the menace that threatens their very existence.

Will the entire realm fall to its knees?

The Last Keeper is the first book in The Warminster Series. With gripping, epic action and heart-pounding adventure, you’ll love this new adventure series.

Interview with Kim Hays

An Interview with Kim Hays, author of Pesticide

Kim Hays lives in Bern, Switzerland. Her police procedural Pesticide, the first mystery in the Polizei Bern series, will be published on April 19 by Seventh Street Books. Award-winning author Deborah Crombie has called it “a stand-out debut for 2022.

What is your favourite dragon in literature?

My favorite dragon was created by a great science fiction and fantasy writer, Ursula K. LeGuin. He appears in the third volume of her Earthsea Trilogy, The Farthest Shore, as the companion of Ged, the Wizard of Earthsea, and his name is Orm Embar.

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?

I haven’t abandoned a novel—yet—but I have abandoned a non-fiction book I wanted to write about child-raising with my mother; it was going to be full of anecdotes about both own experiences as mothers. I wrote five chapters, we made a little progress, and then it became clear that my mother was developing dementia. That was eighteen years ago, and I can’t imagine going back to the project today.

Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?

I’d say that I’m not as likely to fall in love with my own words. Now that I’ve done extensive revisions on my manuscripts and seen how much editing improves a book, I’m better at criticizing my work and accepting criticism from others. Part of why I’m less defensive is because I’m more confident in my ability to edit, which means that I can write faster and more assuredly on a first draft, knowing that I’ll be able to identify and work on problems once I’ve gotten the whole story on paper.

Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?

Many well-known and very successful mystery writers—including authors whose books I enjoy very much—are able to produce a book a year (or more!). I am awed by this talent. I can’t imagine producing anything worth publishing in less than two years. It’s not so much a question of letting ideas percolate as taking the time to revise drafts.

I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?

In this respect I’m extremely prosaic. I always write at my desk on a keyboard in front of a computer screen; just about the only thing I ever write by hand is a letter of condolence! I can still remember how hard it was during my senior year of college to switch from writing an essay longhand to composing on a typewriter and how proud I was when wrote my senior essay on my little Olivetti.

Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?

My sister is a lovingly dedicated reader of my manuscripts and is happy to read several drafts of the same book, which is way above and beyond the call of duty.  The only problem is that she almost never objects to anything.  So she’s terrific for my self-esteem but not necessarily the best person to ask for critical feedback. Luckily, I also have a wonderful writer friend, Clare O’Dea, who is an excellent beta-reader, because she has more distance.

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

I have a husband who hates clutter, and an apartment with too many books easily becomes very messy. So I buy 90% of my books from Amazon for my Kindle, and they take up no space at all.  Now it’s easy to bring a selection of books with me in my purse, onto an airplane, or on vacation, and my bookshelves are still full but not spilling over.  Library books are another great solution. My mother was a librarian, so perhaps that’s why I love libraries.

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and have your tastes changed over time?

I think it would be a good thing to be able to say that my tastes have changed as I’ve grown older and wiser, but it wouldn’t be true. I gobbled up mysteries, romances, fantasy, science fiction, and just-plain-novels as a teenager, and that’s what I read today. I even read some contemporary young-adult fiction, since it can be as well-written and gripping as any adult novel. The only difference is that since I have much less reading time as an adult, I’ve become pickier: if I’m not absorbed after fifty pages, I move on to something else. So many books, so little time! [Rose’s note: Yes! So many fabulous books out there, and never enough time to read them all.]

Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. What do you do?

Because I’ve never used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or any other social media platform in my private life, I’m having trouble integrating even one of them into my professional life as a mystery writer. I’m happy to have a website with a blog to post on regularly, but writing on these other platforms doesn’t seem meaningful to me. Who exactly am I speaking to and what is my purpose? But I’m hoping to change my mind over the next year or two and get more comfortable with the idea of tweeting. At least I’ve stopped calling it “twittering.”

About the Novel

Murder. Forbidden love. Social upheaval. Kim Hays debut novel Pesticide has it all. . .

Bern, Switzerland—known for its narrow cobblestone streets, decorative fountains, and striking towers. Yet dark currents run through this charming medieval city and beyond, to the idyllic farmlands that surround it.

When a rave on a hot summer night erupts into violent riots, a young man is found the next morning bludgeoned to death with a policeman’s club. Seasoned detective Giuliana Linder is assigned to the case. That same day, an elderly organic farmer turns up dead and drenched with pesticide. Enter Giuliana’s younger—and distractingly attractive—colleague Renzo Donatelli to investigate the second murder. Giuliana’s disappointment that they’re on two different cases is tinged with relief—her home life is complicated enough without the risk of a fling.

But when an unexpected discovery ties the two victims into a single case, Giuliana and Renzo are thrown closer together than ever before. Dangerously close. Will Giuliana be able to handle the threats to her marriage and to her assumptions about the police? If she wants to prevent another murder, she’ll have to put her life on the line—and her principles. Combining suspense and romance, this debut mystery in the Polizei Bern series offers a distinctive picture of the Swiss. An inventive tale, packed with surprises, it will keep readers guessing until the end.

Interview with Alex Robins

An Interview with Alex Robins, author of The Broken Heart of Arelium

Alex Robins hails from the sunny Loire Valley in western France, surrounded by imposing castles and sprawling vineyards. The Broken Heart of Arelium is his first novel. He’s generously offered to answer some review questions

What is your favourite dragon in literature?

Hi there, Rose, and thank you for putting these questions together!

This is going to sound terribly cliché so I apologise in advance, but probably Smaug. The Hobbit was the first fantasy novel I ever read, drawn to John Howe’s brilliant depiction of the dragon on the cover.

For a more unconventional answer, my second favourite is Silvara, a silver dragon in Weis & Hickman’s Dragons of Autumn Twilight. Silvara’s tragic romance with Gilthanas is truly heart-breaking and it was probably the first time I realised that fantasy novels could tell character-focussed stories that are just as deep and meaningful as any other genre.

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external hard drive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?

I do have a couple of false starts sitting on a hard drive, yes! Neither has been abandoned nor are they anywhere close to being presentable.

Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?

It’s only been two years since I started writing regularly, but already in that time, I feel I’ve improved in leaps and bounds. In fact, I was rereading part of my first novel with my editor recently and we both remarked that it almost seemed like it had been written by a different person compared to the subsequent books in the series!

I think the most important thing that’s changed is that I’ve managed to find a style that accommodates the type of story I want to tell. I love fast-paced novels, yet when I started writing the first book in the series I was under the (false!) impression that epic fantasy had to be at least 800 pages and full of long, descriptive paragraphs. It doesn’t. Epic refers to the story being told not the length of the book! My later novels flow a lot faster and, in my opinion, make for better reading.

Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?

A bit of both. The idea for this series of novels has been percolating for a while, which means that now I’m finally ready, writing it down comes fairly easily.

I think it also depends on the type of prose. My prose is, by choice, the opposite of lyrical. I want it to be fast and snappy. This style of writing is generally easier than a more poetic, deeply descriptive style.

I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?

Definitely digital. What’s great about having a laptop is that you can write almost anywhere. My favourite place by far is in a comfy armchair by the fire, my feet propped up on a stool and my laptop on my knees.

Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?

I am exceedingly lucky! I have loving family members who not only read my books but also seem to really enjoy them (or they are amazing actors). That was especially important for my first novel when I hadn’t yet established a fanbase of any sort.

I now have 4 or 5 readers who have been following me from the first novel and who are the first to read my latest efforts.

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

I never, ever read digital. Unfortunately, living in France means I don’t really go into bookshops any more (unless travelling to the UK), but I order physical copies of everything I read. It’s also why I’m adamant that all of my books should be available in paperback as well as digital, despite the additional cost and hassle that involves. Some readers may not know this, but an indie author like myself will probably make more money from the digital version of their novel than the paperback, and this is more likely to be true the longer the novel (more pages mean higher printing costs). But not having a physical version at all just doesn’t feel right to me.

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and have your tastes changed over time?

Absolutely. Fantasy was my first love and will probably always be my favourite. But it would be crazy to close yourself off from all other genres, wouldn’t it? There’s so much great stuff out there! Over the years, I’ve been reading more and more sci-fi, historical fiction, and horror.

Historical fiction in particular fascinates me. The time authors must spend on research to make sure everything is correct (or what most historians believe to be correct) is mind-boggling. And some real-life historical events are far more epic than a great deal of fantasy!

Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. What do you do?

I think that makes two of us! I’m very bad at social media in general (probably because I’m over forty), something not helped by the fact that living in France means I’m in a different time zone from a large part of my reader base. I use social media very sparingly and mostly to promote current and upcoming projects, not to post pictures of my Christmas tree or my garden …

Strangely enough, the most fun I have is writing and sending out my monthly newsletter (which you can subscribe to from my website at http://warofthetwelve.com). I feel it’s easier to engage with people who like your work enough to sign up to receive information about it. The newsletter allows me to talk a bit about my personal life on top of the obligatory promotions.

Answering interview questions can often take a long time! Tell me, are you ever tempted to recycle your answers from one to the next? 

Hah! Great question! Not necessarily recycle word for word, but some answers will of course be similar. The book that drew me into reading will never change, neither will my difficulty at mastering social media 😊

Interview with Cheryl Campbell

An Interview with Cheryl Campbell, author of the Echoes Trilogy

Cheryl Campbell is the award-winning author of the Burnt Mountain fantasy series, consisting of five novels published between 2013 to 2016, and the Echoes Trilogy, which concludes in November 2021 with Echoes of Fate. Her varied background includes art, herpetology (the zoological study of amphibians and reptiles), emergency department and critical care nursing, and computer systems. She is a New England resident that lives a wandering lifestyle with her laptop and dog.

What inspired you to write the Echoes Trilogy?

Cheryl Campbell: When I was wrapping up my Burnt Mountain fantasy series, I had a wee hours of the morning dream about a young woman that had died and was told she could go back to Earth and live again to fix her mistakes—with a catch. She couldn’t take her memories with her and she’d already been through this process several times without success. Her other choice was to move on to the afterlife. I woke before I learned her decision, but I was so captivated by the idea that I wrote down the basics of the dream and it turned into a trilogy.

Echoes of Fate invites discussion of what makes someone “human”. How do the elements of science fiction serve that larger narrative?

People, myself included, tend to put labels on things and keep them organized within those categorizations, but there are a lot of gray areas that are hard, if not impossible, to reconcile. Dani is an alien Echo but she shows more kindness and humanity than some of the humans around her. Leveraging a science fiction story with aliens against the definition (whatever it is) of human made it easy to push and blur those gray areas even more. It was a way to challenge myself and my ways of thinking about things. It also changed how I view the world now.

What do you hope readers will take away from the final book in your Echoes trilogy?

One of the topics that all three books touch on is mental health including suicide. Dani has moments of darkness that make her consider taking her life. We need to talk more with each other about these things. Speaking about mental health should not be a hush-hush topic. I’ve lost friends to suicide. I don’t want to lose any more.

Echoes of Fate takes place in the New England region. Why did you choose this setting for a sci-fi story?

I grew up in the Deep South, but I found home in northern New England. Residents here are hardy folk that I’ve seen come together in beautiful ways to help out neighbors and even strangers. I wanted to capture that in my stories.

How did you develop your characters? And which of them do you have the strongest connection to?

I usually start with a general idea for main characters and supporting characters then they grow from there. At times it feels like they become their own individuals and change in ways I did not predict or even intend. Sometimes the supporting characters become much more and bubble up to become main characters. I love Dani and who she is, but I think I identify most with Mary. Mary was supposed to just be a supporting character, but she had a chemistry with Dani and this fun personality that I couldn’t ignore. My nature is to support and protect others, and that’s exactly what Mary does for Dani. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that Mary turned out that way too.

Find Cheryl on Instagram and Facebook and her website  www.CherylsCreativeSoup.com

Interview with Lillian Brummet

An Interview with Lillian and Dave Brummet, authors of One Small Garden

Lillian and her husband Dave are the team behind Brummet Media Group, high-fiving cheerfully as they pass each other on the way from checking off one item or other from their long to-do list. After moving to their dream location (in the Kootenay Region of BC, Canada), they have been methodically converting the abused lot over to the little park it has become – and in doing so have gained certification with bee, pollinator and wildlife organizations. Their home, too, has become energy efficient via the many upgrades they have done. Their business includes Dave’s music studio and percussion accessory products and graphic design work as well as numerous award-winning non-fiction books and popular blogs. Today we help them celebrate their latest book release – From One Small Garden, with over 300 delicious, nutritious recipes!

How many books or short stories have you written?

L: I’ve only written a couple non-fiction short stories, numerous non-fiction articles, bn oth product and book reviews, and a total of 7 published books, if you count an e-book (Jump Start For Writers) that no longer exists. Currently we have a 2-book series on green living (Trash Talk), 2 books of poetry (Towards Understanding; Rhythm & Rhyme) and there’s marketing advice for writers (Purple Snowflake Marketing). Our most recent release is a cookbook: From One Small Garden that, as you might derive from the name, focuses on recipes that help people take advantage of garden harvests and reduce food waste.

Where did you find all the sources for your research?

D: I do most of my learning online, for instance when it comes to understanding a new program for vector graphics I will comb YouTube for tutorial videos. Somewhere online there is a video explaining everything you need – and more usually. I would never have attempted repairs to household appliances or automobiles if I didn’t have access to tutorial videos. Learning how to do things yourself can save you a bunch of money as an entrepreneur too. However it also means that you have to be able to learn, have the patience and then actually apply that new skill. Not as easy as it sounds, believe me.

What do you do when you are not writing?

D: I play drums in a rock band when ever possible. I also teach both drum kit and hand drum lessons. I have an active repair shop in which I build, fix and tune djembe drums (among others) and manufacture a few percussion accessories as well. I enjoy doing the graphic design work for all our marketing and that is a never-ending learning journey in itself, but certainly an enjoyable one.

Who, or what, inspired you to pursue a career in writing?

L: The first writer I ever knew was my mother, who dabbled at the craft for a short time. Later, teachers would comment about my writing, truly moved by what I wrote. These were the earliest influences, slowly pointing me in this direction. Some of my poetry was published, then I won some writing awards… later I took some career evaluation tests and writing kept coming up as a career option. Dave’s emotional support and strategic skills have been of great value; having that strength, someone to mull over challenges with, split the work with, and just share the experience in general.

What have you learned about while working with your spouse?

We do some of our best creative work when we are just discussing stuff together over a cup of coffee during a break. And, we always have a note pad to jot down the ideas that come bursting out because, sure enough, the best ideas are the ones that slip your memory if you don’t.

Describe a typical writing day.

L: There is no real typical day for us; 2-3 days per month are dedicated to managing the blogs, about 16 hours are spent networking, advertising, sending out queries to media and following up on marketing opportunities every week, a few hours per week are spent managing social media. Any one day can also involve cleaning the office, workshop, studio… assisting Dave where I can. However, I’ll share an example of a ‘behind the scenes’ look at one day: upon waking, we have breakfast and coffee and deal with the fur kids, get some house duties done, check emails/messenger/text messages for any important communications, and after a brief discussion about what each other’s goals are for that day, split off in our different directions. I’m in the office responding to interview questions while Dave is in his office working on images and ad creations for our cookbook (From One Small Garden). After this interview, I plan to complete a few touchups to some articles we wrote last week. We always take a break to make lunch and clean up after. Depending on what Dave might need from me, I may take on the task of going through the emails etc. one more time, responding and dealing with what I can… or I might start some seeds for the garden and do some laundry. Perhaps I’ll be dealing with garden harvests or taking an online course during the afternoon hours.

How do you manage social media, what social media have you used, which do you like to use the most and why?

D: I personally use Facebook for networking with specific groups and for general announcements, YouTube for posting video content and blogging for building a presence and sharing information with followers. Lillian is the one that handles the blogs and a majority of the social media and I am happy for that as she is very good at it and knows the ins and outs. She has a lot of relevant connections already from over 20 years experience of promoting our business and books.

How do you go about choosing a book title?

D: For me the title almost always comes near or at the end of the writing process. If ever I have had an idea of the title first it was usually changed by the time the book was done. A title for me has to explain the book’s purpose or intent in some way. I like it to be catchy and not too wordy. Like a good melody that you can easily whistle, a good title should be memorable, appropriate and roll off the tongue easily.

What is your contribution to society?

D: As a drum teacher I hope to help the next generation of drummers by passing on the knowledge of drums and percussion I have accumulated in my career. I run a program called Drum it Forward that I was inspired to create years ago. I go to the schools and offer my services as a drum doctor armed with all the spare parts I have amassed along the way and fix their gear. The schools don’t have the budget to pay for this and the poor teachers don’t necessarily have the time or knowledge, so I do it as a donation. All I ask is that if they have any spare parts or pieces laying around that they consider donating it to the cause to perpetuate the program.

Tell us the process of creating the cover for your book.

D: From One Small Garden’s cover was a process that evolved over the years. By the time the final title was decided on the concept of what we wanted to portray was clear – How to cook with fresh produce. If you look at the front cover closely, in the background is an image of our actual garden ghosted out with dishes of prepared food in the foreground – from the garden to plate in a sense. The back cover concept is similar but with images of our freshly harvested produce in place of the food dishes. All from one small garden – is what we have lived for the past 30+ years as a life style and a health choice and we know it saves a bunch of money while having you eat like royalty.

Are you looking about more information about these authors? Here’s some social links for you to check out!

Interview with Brett Salter

An Interview with Brett Salter – author of “The Search For Synergy”

Before we just jump into the interview, let’s hear a little about Brett himself…

My background in writing stems mostly from the inspiration I found as a kid when I read Fantasy and Sci-Fi books. These include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Xanth Novels, The Time Quintet, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and everything from Shakespeare to Dr. Seuss. In my formative years, I joined several punk rock bands and wrote songs, poetry, and short stories aplenty. As an adult (?) I took on a dare and wrote the first book in my Talisman Series. I loved the feeling it gave me and the idea of inspiring others so much that I kept writing until I had an entire series.  I am currently working to finish The Talisman Series. I have self-published 4 of the books which can be found on Amazon. At this very moment, I am on book 11 of the 12 I have planned. I also have plans for a series which will take influence from the portal fiction genre about a girl and 6 others that travel to another dimension to fulfill a destiny by saving a planet from cruel overseers. Keep a wary eye out for portals. Stay cool!

What is your favourite dragon in literature?

Great question!  So many to choose from.  I would have to go with either The Gap Dragon (Stanley Steamer) from the Xanth Series or Falkor from “The Never-ending Story”

I’m not going to be reviewing your newest novel, but from your other published novels, is there one that is your own personal favourite?

I would say that my favcorite of the published books is the newest one, unfortunately.  By this time in the series, we’ve met pretty much the entire character roster and learned all their abilities.  Also, most of the Talismans are known and the plans for the big bad are very well documented.  However, the fifth installment (coming out this winter) will be my personal favourite because of all the cliffhangers and character growth of our favorite Master Dragons and Synergist Knights.

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?

Actually, I do have one.  It’s a short story about Death in a physical form coming to visit those before they die and WHO plays the part of the harbinger itself.  I wrote it about a year before I started “The Search For Synergy”.  I had planned to return and extend it to novel length because I really like the idea, but I think now it’s a little dark for me.  I prefer inspiring and giving kids adventure rather than scaring them and giving them nightmares.

Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?

I feel like my character development has gotten better.  That’s a pretty lame answer (I know), but I really think it’s true.  Most feedback I get from my readers is that they LOVE the main two protagonists, but that the secondary characters are even better.  That goes to show that as I’ve added characters to the series, I’ve gotten better at making them more believable, relatable, or even just plain bonkers enough to stand out as a fan favourite!  I find this to be quite a compliment to the way my writing has changed.  It’s fun to go back and see it progress too!

Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?

Well, I wrote the first 3 books in my series in the first year (2017-2018).  Then, I waited to write 4-6 which took about another year.  Then, I took a break.  Once 2020 hit, I had a little more free time so I started books 7-11 which I finished by the beginning of this year.  I’ve spent the majority of this year promoting and editing book 5 which I want to release in Winter of 2021/2022.  All that to say that I can average 1-2 books per year when you finally do all the math, but I technically write spurts directly reflected by the amount of free time I have available.  LOL.

I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?

Oh!  It’s ALWAYS digital.  My penmanship is equal to that of blindfolded chicken scratch.  It always has been.  I felt bad for my teachers growing up.  As far as WHERE I write, it is mostly at my house surrounded by my barking dog, and ringing phones, and neighborhood kids running through the house like herds of gazelles, and televisions blaring cacophonies of cartoons, and abrasive, punk-rock music, and all the things that make my house the zoo we’ve grown to love.  That’s probably why editing is, for me,  a total nightmare!

Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?

Ah!  Interesting seque.   So, my Beta-reader is my son.  Almost everything goes by him to see if it is cool or not for the middle-grade crowd.  He’s read through book 10, but don’t ask him for spoilers.  He is tight lipped about it.  And, I use family to edit as well.  My aunt does it for every book I self-publish, and I am very appreciative of her expertise.  Everything I do is DIY.  My cousin even designs my covers!

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

I flat out refuse to read unless I can physically hold the book and turn the pages.  I am in agreement with you that there is something about the smell or touch of a book that makes it more intimate.   There is something to be said for the old adage “The book was better”.  I feel like if I watch something, I am basically TOLD what and how the work plays out.  The setting, the characters, the sounds.  Everything is dictated to me by the director’s vision.  When I read,  it can be MY vision which is way more personal….And self-absorbed.

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and have your tastes changed over time?

I would say my favorite genre to read is probably Fantasy.  I grew up on it. (Xanth, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, etc) As I attended high school, the curriculum dictated different genres and classics which I certainly appreciated. And in college, where my major was English, I really got my eyes on some different stuff including poetry (my soft spot) and all that comes with a liberal education.  So although I own and have a fondness for the classics and almost every sub-genres of fiction, my mainstay is definitely Fantasy.

Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust (agreed)! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. What do you do?

Lightning round.  Here we go!

I manage my own social media.  I’d love to hire someone, but it just comes down to my non-negotiable hiring rate of $0 per hour.

I do not enjoy being my own social media social mediator.  That is probably why I have such a tiny social media footprint.  All jokes aside, I hope to grow if I can though.  For now, check out @talismanbrett on “The Gram” and The Talisman Series on FB.

In lieu of a large social media presence, I prefer to bother people like Rose at The Cosy Dragon to do all my promoting for me!  Smiley face.  Seriously though, I am very appreciative of the work and assistance that The Cosy Dragon provides.  It really helps a ton for people like me that are not the most active on social media.

Answering interview questions can often take a long time! Tell me, are you ever tempted to recycle your answers from one to the next? 

Great question!  So many to choose from.  I would have to go with either The Gap Dragon (Stanley Steamer) from the Xanth Series or Falkor from “The Never-ending Story”

Haha.  I’m kidding, of course.  The temptation is there, but I treat each interview like meeting a new, potential fan for the first time.  It’s got to be original if you want to make a lasting impression on them.  I think it’s all about making your audience feel like they are part of something bigger.  Part of my stories!

And to wrap up, a bit of a left-field question: which superpower is the most over-powered/broken and why? My personal answer to this one might be the ability to transform – if you can become anything, you can theoretically become another super hero and get their powers!

I would say in the realm of fiction, I would say that invulnerability is the most broken power.  Especially if you have an evil despot in a position of authority that is invulnerable, that makes defeating them nigh impossible.  I would say in MY series, The Talisman Series, one of the most broken powers is Mr. Jones’s spell Transportation incantation that basically allows him to teleport groups of people anywhere he wants.  I even had to set some limitations on it because I was like, “That’s not really fair! What’s to stop him from using this for nefarious purposes.”  I guess we should be happy Mr. Jones is on OUR side!

Thanks Brett for your time today and your energetic answers! If you’d like to hear more from Brett, please do visit his FB pages or the Wiki about his books! You can also find his books on a range of platforms:

Interview with Larry Goldsmith

An interview with Larry Goldsmith, author of Marc Marci

Larry G. Goldsmith is a financial forensic sleuth. He is a career licensed Illinois attorney, certified public accountant and financial forensic accountant. Being a financial detective led him to pursue writing fiction in his off-hour. Historical fiction is his passion as he revisits times forgotten while telling a romantic tale.

What is your favourite dragon in literature?

Norberta is my favorite from Harry Potter otherwise it is Puff the Magic Dragon from Peter, Paul and Mary.

Do you have a favourite part of the novels you have written?

I have another novel being published in August: ‘Bashert’. There is something special writing your first novel. One must overcome the inadequacies of actually writing that many words and pages. There is a unique sense of accomplishment once that first draft has been completed.

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good? Has your writing improved significantly?

I have five novels that need to be rewritten and hopefully that they will be worthy of being published.

Over the years my writing has improved because I’ve learned from my editors. I’ve made my own corrections of their handwritten changes. Every time I edit a manuscript it gets better and I learn from the experience.

Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?

In my writing, details matters, I spend a month or so researching a topic. For instance I knew very little of transgender before I spent countless hours and time performing research. To authenticate the time and place of the novel requires an additional research. I need to rewrite and edit my works between 6-to ten times until it is worthy. So the answer to your question is, it took me at least two years to produce a novel.

I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?

I sit in front of my computer to write my text but it is those sleepless nights is where my ideas come to life. Then I have a mad dash at 3 a.m. to write down the notes of my inspiration.

Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?

I have two standby editors. A retired professor and my wife. Both are thankfully very critical. I edit my own book several times and then I ask my wife to edit again. The publish then finds things that we all missed. For instance I had the character drink a Diet Coke, however a Diet Coke wasn’t a product for three years after the fact.

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

I’m old school like you. I can read some things online (News, short articles, and correspondences) but to enjoy the flavor of what I read I enjoy the feel of paper between my fingers.

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and have your tastes changed over time?

My favorite genres are history and spiritual awareness. Learning from the past enlightens me as to the future. Mystery was previously my favorite.

Is it acceptable for a straight person to write about a character that is transgender?

Great question: Writers have since the beginning of time written about time periods before they were born and have written about characters from different lands or genders.

A woman author can write a novel with male characters the same way an American can write about a European character. However, it takes research. Many hours of research is required if you incorporate different cultures and lifestyles.

What did you want to say to the reader when writing Marc Marci?

The takeaways that I’d like the reader to come away with are:

  1. We all have hardships in life and we can overcome them
  2. People are people. Sexual orientation has no bearing of what’s in one’s heart.
  3. We were placed on this earth to perform good deeds to make the world a better place.

About the novel

Devastated by the sudden death of his parents, eighteen-year-old Marc is suddenly alone in the world. To cope with his grief, he travels to Europe where he hopes to find himself. His road to self-discovery, however, is not how he envisaged it. Twists and turns throughout the next decade add dimension and character to a passage he never imagined.

Initially, new friends, the nightlife of London and sudden trauma lead him to his biggest discovery; that he is happier as a she. As Marc becomes Marci, she adjusts to living as a woman while embracing all the highs and lows that life flings at her.

Marc Marci is an inspirational story of a young person’s journey, achieving happiness against the odds.

Interview with Diego Ornelas-Tapia

An interview with Diego Ornelas-Tapia, author of Tame a Dame

Diego Ornelas Tapia was born in 1994 in Los Angeles. He wrote Tame a Dame, his first book, and he’s currently working on Void. A lover of adventurous and unique stories, he loves to read and write stories that blend multiple genres.

Take it away, Diego!

Where did you get the idea to write To Tame a Dame?

To Tame a Dame stemmed from a subplot part of my other book, Void. In particular, the relationship between two characters. I wanted to explore the beginning of that relationship, so I went from there. The writing process for Tame a Dame was definitely letting it all unfold. I had no plan, unlike Void.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I didn’t want to deal with the hassle and drama of pitching my story idea to a select few in a traditional publishing house. I prefer and love how much freedom self-publishing gives the author. Is there more to learn? Yes. More responsibility? You bet. But is it worth it? Without a doubt.

Who are your favorite writers?

George R. R Martin. I love how A Song of Ice and Fire is one big ensemble. Each chapter belongs to a character: Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Eddard Stark. And each character’s chapter has their own story in which nothing is black and white. There are no traditional heroes and villains and the world is brutal and merciless; love does not prevail in Westeros.

What is your writing process like?

I come up with a rough outline of the main plot and have an idea of where the story will go. However, this isn’t set in stone and I prefer letting the story unfold and giving the characters the reigns. At the end of the day, it’s their story, not mine.

An example of this would be a fight scene in my story, Void. For no spoilers and simplicity’s sake, let’s name the characters, the good guy and the bad guy. The bad guy is a natural born killer who’s never lost a fight in his life. The good guy is a bodyguard.

The bad guy was supposed to easily kill the good guy and move on with the story, but as the fight progressed, something surprised me. The good guy was able to hold his own. And the bad guy was getting the challenging fight he’s been waiting for his entire life. So, it’s like the bad guy told me, “this is it, Diego, this is my end. Don’t take that away from me.”

So, I didn’t.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I have a routine set up. I write weekdays and dedicate five to six hours on these days. I split it into two rounds. One in the morning, followed by a break, and one later in the evening. I strive to hit a goal, not a deadline, of five thousand words in a week.

Usually, this routine keeps me focused and there aren’t any issues.
But that only lasts so long.

So, when I do hit writer’s block and I don’t have the discipline or mindset to move forward, because the attempt is literally draining my health, I take a deep breath, close my laptop, and give myself the day off.

I’ve discovered that I hit writer’s block within four to five months of working on a project. Aware of this, I make sure to give myself a week off and go on a road trip. I have fun and don’t think about my book at all. And when I come back to the fray, I feel refreshed and kick butt.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

The freedom it grants me. And solidarity.

Unlike a scriptwriter, the life of an author means there are no limitations to your creativity. No sacrifices. You don’t have to worry about time limits or budget cuts, you don’t have to ask for permission to shoot at a certain location, you don’t have to worry about anything. You just let your mind roam free and see where it leads you.

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

It’s a cliche answer but keep writing. If you have an idea for a story that you feel great about, follow through with it, and finish the project. Don’t worry about how the final product will look.

Your first draft will not be great. I wish I saved my first draft of Void so I could show the world how horrible it was, but I deleted it out of shame. It had issues with tense: I would switch between present and past; it had issues with POV: I would switch between third person limited and omniscient; and it had issues with dialog: I would rely too much on it to carry the plot forward and delve into a character’s psyche.
The point being, it had issues.

But, with each revision, it got better and better and better. So, never surrender, my dear lads. Be it in writing, editing, or publishing. You’ll get there.

Wait, you want to hear more from this author? You’re keen to learn more about the book? Diego has set up a fabulous one-stop-shop for all the details you could possible want. You can find it here.

Interview with David White

An interview with David White, author of YA series ‘The River Exiles’.

David has kindly offered to interview with me to promote the first book in this series – Columbia. You can find its 5 star reviews (and purchase it) on Amazon.com.au Take it away David!

What books did you enjoy reading as a teenager?

I used to love the Willard Price series of books about brothers Hal and Roger, who travel the world trying to capture animals for the world’s zoos. It sounds slightly exploitative when it’s written down like that, but actually the books have a very strong environmental conservation message, especially for a series published mostly in the 60s and 70s. They were ahead of their time, in many ways; but of course a teenager wouldn’t necessarily have cared about that, only whether the brothers would be successful in their latest adventure.

What made you write this particular book?

First and foremost, I wanted to write an adventure book for young adults that could also be enjoyed by adult readers. I think that’s something that is true of the best YA books – the Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Divergent (linked to Rose’s reviews) and so on – but obviously it’s quite a difficult feat to pull off. I made sure that at the heart of my story was a basic tale about a sister and brother who are forced to leave their parents and taken to a new land, because I hope that’s something that readers will want to find out more about. But in imagining the dystopian world in which they live, there are big questions in the book about reproduction, about class, and also about the environment – which I appreciate can be a somewhat dry (no pun intended) subject, but which I think can come to life when an author imagines the reality of how we might live in the future. Hopefully readers of varying ages will take and enjoy different elements from the book.

How do you plan writing a series of books such as this?

I already know what is going to happen in Books Two and Three. I think you have to know this, in order to have a proper narrative structure that works throughout the whole series. I realise that some authors say they just start writing and everything falls into place as they go along, but I couldn’t work like that. And frankly I’m a little sceptical that many authors actually do. For a series to work, there have to be proper hints and clues in the early books; and proper solutions and resolutions in the later ones.

Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external hard drive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?

I’ve abandoned it for good. The back of the drawer is the best place for it. That doesn’t mean it was a waste of time, far from it; it taught me what not to do, apart from anything else. But I don’t think it can be revived, nor should it be!

I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?

I resisted ebooks for quite a long time. I felt that reading a proper book was a more immersive experience, and also I think some of the early e-readers weren’t that user-friendly. But I came round in the end (in much the same way that I did when I eventually gave up on LPs in favour of CDs, a while after friends had made the switch). I still buy physical books, but I’m probably about 50-50 now between physical and ebooks. My bookshelves are full, for one thing. But also ebooks are just a bit more usable in certain situations – notably on holiday, and in bed with a partner who is trying to get to sleep!

I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and have your tastes changed over time?

My tastes are quite broad, and I think they have broadened over time. I used to stick mainly to classics and to what people call, for want of a better term, ‘literary fiction’. I think that covers a huge range of books, really, but people generally understand what it means. Everything from Isabel Allende to Ian McEwan and from Milan Kundera to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, with most things in between. I always end up going back to Hardy and Austen, too. But in recent years I’ve certainly found myself reading a lot more thrillers; Linwood Barclay, Lee Child, Sophie Hannah. There’s as much craft that goes into those books as into any more ‘literary’ works. The only genres I really steer clear of are romance and historical fiction. I tried Wolf Hall and found it pretty much unreadable.

Do you worry about the future of books and reading, given how much screen time the average teenager has every day?

I think it takes more effort to get into reading than it does into other forms of entertainment like music and films, and I do think there’s an issue with young people not making that effort in the way they did previously. Of course, they don’t have to, because so much else is at their fingertips and easily accessible. But I do think that, ultimately, reading is still the most satisfying form of entertainment. So it’s up to authors to write lively, engaging, intelligent books for teenagers to make sure they’re not missing out.

Thanks David for this interview. Folks, I think you’ll enjoy his novel, so go pick up a copy!