New Releases

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More Interviews


Interview with author Robert Bevan


WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Robert Bevan. People call me Bob. I'm from New Orleans, but I've been living in South Korea for the past eleven years. I teach English at a university. Wife, two kids, dog, all that.

WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?

I've always liked to write. My job allowed me a lot of free time in my office between classes, so I thought I might put it to some good use.

WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I wrote one novel before I wrote Critical Failures. It sucked. You'll never see it. You're welcome.

WWM: Can you tell us something about your books?

A group of roleplayers gets sent into the world of their fantasy RPG. That's the premise for the whole 'Caverns and Creatures' series. They were miserable bastards before they crossed over, and that's about the only thing about them that doesn't change when they do. 

WWM: Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Drinking and playing D&D. Thoughts like "Can you imagine if we, I mean we ourselves, were in a situation like this? We'd shit ourselves."

WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?

As a matter of fact, I am. I'm maybe halfway through the first sequel to Critical Failures. 

WWM: Where can people go and read your work?








WWM: What is the last book you read?  What did you like or dislike about it?

I read "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I enjoyed it. It's a really great book to eat up a trans-Pacific plane ride.

WWM: Which writers inspire you and why?

Chuck Palahniuk, for the weird shit he thinks up. Disturbing and funny at the same time. Also, Jasper Fforde, for comedic delivery.

WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Write. Even when you don't feel like it. Even if you get stuck. I've lost track of how many times I thought I was stuck, but just kept writing garbage until I got back on track. Some of the best scenes in my books were spawned from that sort of garbage.

WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?

Sadly, the best option I've found is to use Twitter. I don't like Twitter, but it's been my most effective method or marketing my books.

WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?

Good reviews feel great. I struck a cord with someone, that's fantastic! 

Mixed reviews are useful for future work. Thanks for the good comments, and thanks for the criticism as well. Maybe there are some areas I could improve on in the future.

I've only had one flat-out no-bones-about-it bad review so far, and it might be my favorite. It was for Cave of the Kobolds. Here's a link, you should go take a look at it.


I struck a cord with this person as well, so it seems.

WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

Tyrannosaurus. I'd go around and eat all of the people who've ever wronged me. And nobody would do anything about it because "Hey, there's a fucking tyrannosaurus outside! Sweet!"


Excerpt from “Critical Failures”:

“I'm not saying we ought to use the same trick twice,” said Shorty. “But running out there without any sort of plan amounts to the same as suicide.”
Tim looked around. “Okay, I might have something.”
“See,” said Shorty. “That wasn't so hard.”
“I didn't say it was something good, and it depends on a lot of contingencies.”
“What's a contingency?” asked Greely.
“Shit that could go wrong.”
“Yer plan depends on a lot of shit going wrong?” asked Greely. “I like them odds.”
“I have something for you,” said Shorty, and ran off towards his room.
“But don't you want--” said Tim.
“It's for your leg,” the goblin shouted back excitedly.
Tim let him go. His leg felt better than before, but he really wouldn't mind having it sorted out completely if Shorty had something that could help.
Shorty came back with a stoppered vial of a dirty brownish yellow fluid. “Drink this.”
Tim looked at the vial doubtfully, took it and unstoppered it. His nose was immediately assaulted. “Blegh!” he said. “This smells like piss.”
“Some of it is,” said Shorty.
“I'm not drinking this.”
“It's a healing potion,” said Shorty. “It will heal your leg. There are more lives at stake than your own. Drink it.”
“Is urine really one of the components of a healing potion?”
“Not exactly. I have limited resources down here. Sometimes I just have to make due.”
“Come on now,” said Shorty. “One gulp. Don't even think about it.”
Tim held his nose and downed the potion. It burned its way down his throat like a shot of cheap whiskey. It exploded into his stomach like a fireball. His face held a wince that he dared not let go of. He was resisting the urge to vomit, not because he had any suspicion that this toxic waste was going to do his body any good, but rather because he knew his esophagus wasn't going to be able to handle a second pass. When the urge subsided, he allowed his face to relax enough to wheeze in a drawn out lungful of air. “Oh my god!” he said as soon as he was able to speak. “It's worse than piss.”
He grabbed his right thigh with both hands as the sensation of burning hard liquor flowed from his stomach straight through to his leg. A tingling feeling, like the pins and needles one feels after the blood rushes back into a limb which had fallen asleep, coursed down the length of his leg. When the tingle reached the bite in his calf, the wound seared like it had been dunked in a vat of lemon juice, and Tim collapsed to the floor. Clutching his leg did him no good, and so he chose instead to writhe around on the floor, clenching his teeth and waiting in terrified anticipation for the effect to reach his foot.
Greely took a step toward him, but Shorty put up a hand to stop him.
“Ye didn't... er--” started Greely.
“He'll be fine,” Shorty assured him.
“Ahahaha!” Tim screamed as the potion found his foot. He started pounding on the stone floor with his fists.
“Grab his arm,” demanded Shorty, as he went to grab the other one. Greely hesitated, so Shorty continued. “His healthy foot isn't going to do us any good if he smashes his hands up!”
That made sense enough to Greely, who grabbed Tim's arm as tight as he could. Neither Shorty nor Greely was strong enough to keep Tim from flailing his arms any which way he liked, but they were providing enough resistance to keep him from hurting himself.
Tim's foot felt like it was roasting in a fire for a few seconds longer, and then the sensation left him altogether. His body went limp. Shorty and Greely relaxed their hold on him, and watched his chest heave up and down as he lay panting on the floor.
When he had enough breath in him to do so, he propped himself up on his elbows, raised his head, and looked down at his foot. It was still filthy with drying blood, but it was whole. He wiggled his toes. They seemed to be waving at him. He smiled at them. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and looked up at Shorty.
“It worked,” said Tim, smiling.

***





Interview with author Harrison Wheeler


WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I am a writer, illustrator, speaker, and educator.  I write and draw YA books that have a humourous/fantastical style.  My speaking career is born from a love of traditional storytelling and my teaching years; I speak on topics ranging from creativity to technology, mental health to travel.

On a lighter note, I love the Smurfs, funk music, tech toys, graphic novels, Cohen Brothers movies, hiking, pizza, traveling, and, more recently, baths.  Between driving cab, teaching, playing music, hiking, lying in the forest, and drinking smoothies, writing stories is my favorite thing to do.

WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?

Is it cliché to say I’m inspired by everything?  The beans in my kitchen cupboard might spark a curious story idea.  What inspired me to get into writing specifically, though?  I approached writing out of necessity, really.  I’ve told stories in many different formats, from campfires to cartoons, comics to comedy, storytelling festivals to plays, but the stories I want to tell now have become more elaborate, more intricate ~ and longer.  The novel form best suited this story, and now I’m hooked!

WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Yes.  I can’t remember what I called it, but I remember it was about four intrepid adventurers in search of a mystical talisman.  A warrior, a wizard, caves and labyrinths…you know, that old chestnut.  I was about 10 years old.

WWM: Can you tell us something about your book, "Jesters Incognito"?

It’s set in a world where all media and entertainment is owned and controlled by one mega-corporation, and the citizens are addicted to its programming.  The king decrees the Law of the Green Light, which means you either perform on his terms online, or you don’t perform at all.  To risk breaking the law is to risk you life.

The main character, Vincent Meistersinger, is a talented taxi driver who won’t not be contained by this law.  He starts an underground group of renegade artists and entertainers to overthrow the king. In Jesters Incognito, I reboot ancient jesters for our techno-digital age, and prove the fool to be more relevant now than ever before.

It’s a story about using creativity to overcome mental illness, and how to consume media and technology intelligently.  It’s also a story about the power music and all the arts have on our identities.

WWM: Where did the idea for the book come from?

My affinity for jesters came from a stuffed jester doll my mother brought home from a craft fair when I was about 10.  She placed him on the piano in the living room where I spent A LOT of time practicing piano, trumpet, cello ~ that’s also where I liked to draw.  Being 10, with an active imagination, I started an imaginary friendship with the doll; I gave him a voice and a character for fun.

The rest of the book is an allegorical retelling of the events in my life.  I am an artist/entertainer, I love music, I drove cab, I started an indie comedy/storytelling group, I’m not a big fan of mainstream media, I struggle with my identity as an artist, I am Bipolar (in the book, ‘The Doldrums’), and I’ve got amazingly talented, inspiring friends.

WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?

Yes I am!  I’m working on the sequel to Jesters Incognito, called the Fathom Five, which should be out by Christmas 2014.  In addition to this, I am drawing a middle school/YA comic book (or a graphic novella as I like to think of it) called The Exclamation Box, which is a spin-off of Jesters, still set in the same off-kilter world.

WWM: Where can people go and read your work?

Jesters Incognito is available in paperback on Amazon.com (US, Canada, Europe, and Asia).  People can download it from every major ebook platform including:  Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, Sony, Barnes&Noble

WWM: What is the last book you read?  What did you like or dislike about it?

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey.  What a great idea!  I’m also reading Labrynths by Borges, and a series of comics by Roger Langridge.

Which writers inspire you and why?

I love writers with original ideas, wit, and craft.  Bradbury, Christopher Moore, Tom Robbins, to name a few.  Roald Dahl is a primo storyteller, as is Markus Zusak, and the McSweeny writers.  I’m all over the place ~ non-fiction magazine articles often inspire me the most.

WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?

Diligence, friendliness, and creativity.  Have a good story to tell, flush out your hook and be passionate about it.  I market equally as much online as I do in person, and find the connections I make human-to-human more real and fruitful.  There is good reason why everyone suggests the fundamentals ~ a website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Goodreads, G+ author program, and good old fashioned networking ~ it works!  Keep it mind that it takes time, and that creating a buzz about your work is a slow process.

WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?

All reviews are valid, and the ones that are ‘bad’ are probably the most helpful to a writer.  Ultimately, if the reviews are sincere they have merit to the creator and readers alike.

WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

I am an animal.  What, is this a trick question?  Oh okay, I’d be a baboon.  Smart, hilarious, and swinging from trees at a rapid pace has got to be a thrill!  Or, wait.  I like camels.  This could go on forever…


Links:

Author Platform:  www.harrisonwheeler.ca (with links to purchasing sites)
Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/harrisonwheeler/ (multimedia extras to the book)



Excerpt from “Jesters Incognito”:

Full time taxi driver, part time jester.  That was life at the beginning of it all.  The two professions complemented each other nicely. I got paid to drive, which paid my rent (most of the time), and as a sweet bonus, driving cab was the best job in the world to practice ‘jesting’ techniques. Because I never knew who, or what, the next ride would be, my finely tuned wit and artistic sensibilities stayed sharp.   As a jester you need to be quicker than two snaps of a swizzle stick.  And we all know how fast that is.  

I parked my taxi outside the train station on my fifteen-minute break, sipping a coffee while jotting ideas in my sketchbook.   With my seat reclined and my left leg dangling out of the window and the other propped on the steering wheel, I took stock of the jesting I had done that evening.  Quick sketches of the characters I picked up in my taxi filled the page, and I scribbled pieces of the conversations we had too, the juicy bits, next to my cartoon recreations. Sketchbooks, like the one you are reading now, have always been my creative warehouse.

Downing the rest of my coffee, I sunk deeper into the seat and waited to see if my guest was going to show for our appointment.  I turned up the music and continued watching the slow motion comings and goings of midnight through my windshield.  A tall trench-coated commuter man with sunken eyes and an unshaven face stood inside a bus shelter, hypnotized by the touch screen DigiPoster in front of him.  Commercials and useless factoids, no doubt.  Noticing his indifference to the entertainment, a large titanium entertainment HUB on the far side of the bus shelter waddled over to him. The man’s attention turned to the robot, his unamused expression illuminated off the soft glow of its monitor.  He scrolled through and double-clicked the various videos and pop-up menus within the HUB’s screen.  Eventually he found something adequate, swiped his credit card across the machine’s scanner, and sat down to enjoy it.  His expression unchanged.

What a farce, I thought.  Digitally enhanced or digitally entranced? The programming showing live through my windshield was infinitely more entertaining than any of the cyber-distractions across the city. 

My eyes moved to the side-view mirror, showcasing seven or eight Dynamitaxis dotted white behind me.  They made my black checkerboard cab look ancient, but I think it’s the old-school charm that people liked.  Behind the last of us in the line-up sat one black, dome-shaped car idling. A thin, swift silver bumper ran around the bottom of the entire vehicle, and two tiny blue lights glowed barely visible through its tinted windshield, pulsing like a dull lighthouse warning light in a thickened fog.  

It was the Noize.   Were they following me?

***






Interview with author Lichen Craig


WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Let's see... I've been writing for pay all my adult life, about 30 years now.  I have written anything from articles on nature/environment/wildlife, to sociological subjects and politics, to travel, to personality profiles. I got a (second) degree in 2006 so that I could have some credentials behind my name to write on veterinary/animal husbandry subjects.  The novel came as a surprised to me: I guess it was finally time. I think you need some living experience under your belt in order to write well about life. So I finally had something worthwhile to say, and the writing experience to know how to say it. My life has changed since: I am writing exclusively fiction now - and I edit freelance on the side - with the second novel due soon.

WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?

I have honestly been writing since I was a child. I remember that in seventh grade - I would have been about 12 - it caught the attention of my teachers, who began to speak to me about how to get the education I needed. Through the years I have dabbled in other careers while writing as well - because I understood that the more life experiences you accumulate, the better writer you are.

I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the University of Iowa - with its renowned Writers Workshop.  I double-majored in journalism - and that allowed me to get training as a journalistic writer along with the creative writing. It was just an excellent background and set me up to understand and appreciate good literature and recognize good writing - or recognize when my own was bad. Ha!

WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote?

It was actually a sort of novelette - a lot of word count for a 12-year-old. There was angst, kidnapping, premature death. I really flexed those muscles. Ha. 

WWM: Can you tell us something about your novel, "Gentlemen's Game"?

It defies genre. It's a literary novel, I suppose, containing a gay romance. But by definition it isn't a formula romance - it is too ambitious for that label, and too dark. It touches on the more complicated, gray areas of sexual identity and upon the complications of real adult love relationships. It carries some difficult themes, and has been the instigator of a lot of discussion - about bisexuality, fidelity, and relationship violence.

WWM: Where did the idea for the novel come from?

Looking back, I think that several things came together at the same time. First, I had been reading some formal studies on male bisexuality for another project I was doing; I found those intriguing and surprising. At the same time, I had been - for fun - writing some "fan fiction" on a lark for some friends, and ended up writing gay romance and really had a blast.  Finally, I was becoming dismayed at what I saw on the internet with "fan fiction" and on television and in modern novels - where rape was romanticized and used as titillation, particularly by and for young people. This scared me: I worked as a sexual assualt advocate/counselor for over a dozen years (one of the forays into another line of work on the side) and I knew that the real face of sexual violence was much different.  I was deeply disturbed by this trend, and it ate at me for many months. I began to live and breathe this story that started forming in my head - and when I finally committed it to paper, I had a first draft of over 95,000 words in three weeks. It just poured out of me - almost as if I channeled it.

I knew that it would be controversial - both within the gay community (where the idea of bisexuality or any sort of sexual ambiguity that doesn't serve an agenda is often met with hostility) and in the hetero community (for obvious reasons).  I was a bit terrified.  But it has received a surprisingly good reception. 

WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?

I am finishing the second novel. Again, I am treading on some fragile but fascinating ground, so it should be interesting. It does contain a gay romance, but again doesn't fit the definition of the genre - it's about a lot of things. I have the first few chapters up online as a short story at http://www.wildeoats.com/fiction_quandary1.html . There has been very positive response and a lot of enthusiasm about that sample, and I'm excited about that. It should be finished before the end of the year and released shortly after. 

WWM: Where can people go and read your work?

People can view the short story, "Quandary" at http://www.wildeoats.com/fiction_quandary1.html .  The novel "Gentlemen's Game" is available everywhere - most noteably through Amazon or Barnes and Noble, both for e-format and in paperback.  The first chapter is available free online at http://eaglevalleyhorserescue.org/MGG/Choice/Sample.html

People can follow my blog at http://lichencraig.blogspot.com - I talk about trends in literature, film, music  sociology, a little of everything as it relates to books.  I write book reviews for The GLBT Bookshelf online.  Beginning December 1, I will be hosting a section all my own on the site - devoted to interviews with movers and shakers within the GLBT literary community.  We will be talking as well to filmmakers, artists, photographers, musicians, publishers, and others besides writers.  I will be tweeting all about that as the date to go live comes closer!  People can find me on Twitter at @lichencraig . 

WWM: What is the last book you read?  What did you like or dislike about it?

I finished "The Cross in the Closet" by Timothy Kurek recently, and was really impressed.  It is a memoir, and is one of the most honest books I have ever read, by one of the purest hearts I have ever encountered. It is incredibly moving and enlightening. Right now, I am reading "Chase in Shadow" by Amy Lane, and I can't wait to finish it so that I can post a great review.  It is actually a romance (gay) by definition, but it is a deeper, more complex story than most in that genre, the language is often unusually sophisticated, and the characters have a lot of dimension. It is exciting to find a writer in that genre that writes really well. 

WWM: Which writers inspire you and why?

I look for beautiful use of language - no cliches, no shallow metaphors, but writing that uses language in a moving and innovative way. That is after all what I was trained to appreciate.  Within my area - gay-themed literature - I have a lot of admiration for Jeff Mann ("Purgatory") and for Erasmo Guerra ("Between Dances"). They have both moved me to tears simply through use of langauge. Luke Hartwell ("Atom Heart John Beloved") can do it too. It's tricky. A lot of people write a bang-up good story, but to take it to another level, to combine a good tale with unique, ground-breaking used of language, is another thing. It takes practice and a gift - an exceptional ear.  Conversely, some writers touch upon beautiful use of language but it is so obtuse that you have no idea what the story is. To write clearly, concisely, innovatively, and beautifully all at the same time is the goal - and a rare thing.

WWM: As an editor, what advice can you give a new writer?

Hmmm..... first, learn to write an opening. Learn how you must write an opening line, paragraph, page, so that you aren't losing the reader. Take time - put your ego aside and take time - to learn basic technique.  For example, I see a lot of writers stick physical description blatantly into text, interrupting the flow of narrative. That screams amateur: description should be a part of the story, not an aside from author to reader. Learn the finer points of grammar. Invest in a thesaurus, a collegiate-level dictionary, and a style manual. Keep in mind that the narrative should always flow for the reader - the reader shouldn't have to be interrupted to stop and wonder what the heck you are trying to say.  Awkward sentence structure, obtuse language, misapplied punctuation, bad grammar, all interrupt the flow and the reader's concentration. This is terribly important, because you want the reader to be drawn in  and captured and made comfortable. Interruptions in the flow frustrate the reader and harm the overall experience of reading your book.

But that is all technical stuff. The bigger picture is that if you are meant to be a writer, you will learn to do it well, because you will need to write the same way you need to breathe.  There is a difference between wanting to be known as a writer, and wanting to write.  You will succeed if your motivation is the second.  If you write because you love language, because you love telling a story, because you think deeply about the human condition and you want to express those thoughts, you will have the will to learn to write well and succeed.  

Finally, find a good editor.  An editor worth the money should make you a better writer - open your eyes and teach you.  Someone interested in putting their own stamp on your work or in changing your voice, is someone you don't need.  Look for someone who wants to guide you, not change you - except for making you better at your craft. 

WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?

We are living in both a frustrating and an exciting time right now. Traditional publishing is facing a hard challenge: change or die. In the past, writers - once the publishing house accepted the manuscript - lost control. They rarely controlled the title, the cover, even big changes in plot and content. The tradeoff was that the publisher could organize and fund a PR tour to get the  book out there. Now, publishers aren't financially able to launch a book in that way - authors are responsible to a great extent for their own marketing. And so the methods of marketing have changed with the realities of a changing economy. 

A writer will first need to decide between independently publishing their work (a.k.a. "indie" books) or approaching a traditional publishing house. There are pros and cons to doing both, but what a new writer must understand is that the "indie publishing" of 2012 is very different than the "self-publishing" of ten years ago. There is no longer a stigma, and independent publishing makes sense in many instances.  

Secondly, the writer needs to network with other writers and ask questions. I have found that the writing world is less competitive between writers than I would have expected. Everyone seems to have their own voice, and the vast majority of writers will answer your questions and even help you find resources. They will openly share what has worked or not worked for them in marketing their own books.

Lastly, understand that any resistance on your part to learning to use social media to market yourself, is suicidal. You can and must learn to use it if you want to market a book. 

WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?

Oh boy. Ha!  I wrote an entire rant on book reviews on my blog. It was interesting that published writers really liked it - readers not so much. Basically, I guess I take reviews with a grain a of salt, the more I learn. A smart writer will read each review carefully, consider the source of the review, take the good advice, throw out the bad.  I have found that most reviews carry personal bias on the part of the reviewer; you have to learn to recognize that for what it is and not get emotional about it (easier said than done of course).  At its best, a review can point out something that will help your writing skills.  At its worst, it misunderstands your message and scares away readers. 

Unfortunately the worst reviews are just going to happen - it's part of the game. What I do is collect encouraging comments - from other writers, from readers .  I get fan letters and I keep those. I keep positive comments other writers make about my work. When I get a review or comment that stings, I look at the positive ones, and it immediately restores perspective for me. The thing is you have to learn some trick to do that. Because in the moments you don't believe in your own skill, you can't write worth a damn. You have to be in the right place mentally in order to keep the confidence to write, and you have to find ways to keep believing. 

WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

I own dogs.  They are well-fed, warm, happy.  They live in the moment: they don't worry about tomorrow, next year, ten years from now.  There is something admirable about that ability.  Now, I suppose I could say I would like to be some wild canine - a coyote, a wolf. And certainly a life lived in the wild is an enormous gift. But that is a tough life - cold weather, difficult encounters with humankind, scarce food at times - bones grow old fast, and the old and slow are left behind. I would rather be safe, lying before a fireplace, knowing my dinner will come as it did yesterday. My dogs have been working dogs - a racing greyhound, a sheep-herding border collie. Dogs with special skill. I have seen the joy and confidence of a border collie moving a herd, the joy of a greyhound in flight. How wonderful would it be to live those moments - to move an entire herd simply because they respect your presence, or to run faster than another other mammal (save a cheetah) just for the joy of it?


Excerpt from “Gentlemen’s Game”:

Greyson looked back into Jack's eyes, feeling unable to look away again without offending.  He suddenly recalled Lisa's words the morning they broke up, ". . . And you never look into my eyes, not even when we make love. You don't love me, Greyson. You would look into my eyes if you did."  Had he ever loved her, or anyone? No. Except maybe . . . Maybe now.  He knew that he felt things now that he had never felt, thought things that no other person had ever inspired in him, wanted Jack in a way that shook him to his core.  He looked back into Jack's eyes and thought these things over.  Then after a few minutes of silence, of feeling gentle fingers stroking his back, and of swimming in gray-blue irises, something unexpected happened: Greyson began to feel safe. He found himself studying the angles of bone in Jack's strong face, and allowed himself to slip into the sea-gray of Jack's gaze. It felt like a good place, like somewhere he could almost remember being once and he almost remembered being happy there. Like . . . some notion of home that he had never really experienced. He smiled softly, no longer feeling the urge  to break eye contact. 

Jack sensed the change in Greyson's eyes and returned to smile widely, allowing Greyson to process, to choose, to come closer to Jack in his own time. That's it, easy does it. This is how we'll win you, you beautiful thing. 

***





Interview with author Tom Immins


WWM: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am an English author living in a small town called Market Harborough Leicestershire, with my wife and two cats. I have two daughters aged twenty-four and ten. I am a big sports fan and a lifelong Arsenal supporter. I like to keep fit by swimming and the occasional run. I love rock music and try and play guitar, four chords and counting. I am also a book collector.

WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?

I have dabbled for years, I have always written short stories. Then about five years ago, I challenged myself to write a novel. I have always been quite creative and this story started to develop in my mind. I wrote a few chapters and got it read by a few friends in the book dealing community. These people are the sort of people who do not suffer fools gladly, so I valued their honest opinions. I tried to get as many unbiased reviews as I could, including big reading friends. On balance the feedback was very good and this inspired me to continue. My youngest daughter is also very proud of me and takes great satisfaction in telling everyone her daddy is a writer. My wife is my greatest supporter and my proofreader and her encouragement is endless. My inspiration comes from not letting these people down.

WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote?

When I was a teenager, I wrote a story about a marriage break-up. Probably through my own experience of my parents divorce. I remember my English teacher making me read it out in class, to stunned silence from my classmates. I asked the teacher at the end why she had made me read it out especially as I considered it to be quite a personal thing. She said purely for the content. She said it was so good, that it needed to be shared. I never questioned her again.

WWM: Can you tell us something about your books, “No Write To Die” and “Czech Mate”?

“No Write To Die” was the novel I started five years ago, I wanted to create an everyday hero, that people could relate to in some way. Not a superhero or even a James Bond, but somebody fallible. So I came up with Sam Lucas, an ex-insurance investigator who in this first book has his world turned upside down when his wife is killed in an hit and run accident. Events come to light that show his wife was actually murdered. This sends Sam on a roller-coaster ride to discover the truth. Which leads him into the seedy world of gangsters, greed and drugs. In the second novel, “Czech Mate” We find Sam now living in the quiet village of 'Glidon' but after a double murder of two seemingly unrelated deaths. Sam is befriended by a Czech au-pair girl who asks for his help, before he can do any good. The girl disappears, this takes Sam on a journey to Prague and the south of France to find the girl and uncover the identity of the killer.

Obviously I would not like to give too much away, so I urge you all to buy them.

WWM: Where did the idea for the novels come from?

As a child I watched a lot of detective programmes and drama series, I must admit I did base Sam on a particular character from one of my favourite television series. (I won't say which one.) I have never been a lover of superheroes and wanted a character who could relate and be related too.

WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?

I have finished writing my third Sam Lucas thriller called “Deal Me Out” that is being edited and proofread at present and should be read by the end of October 2012, I have started writing my fourth book with a working title of “Yin, Yang” and hopefully will have that ready to publish in December 2012 in time for christmas.

WWM: Where can people go and read your work?

“No Write To Die” The 1st Sam Lucas thriller, is available from Amazon.


“Czech Mate” The 2nd Sam Lucas thriller is available from Amazon,


And also available from Smashwords and Goodreads.

WWM: What is the last book you read? What did you like or dislike about it?

My taste in books is quite varied, the last book I read was “Parky” by Michael Parkinson and I loved it, it was very well written and took me back to when I was a child. The parkinson interviews were a must see on Saturday nights. I loved the way he recounted the great, the good and the bad. Told stories from behind the scenes and took away the pretty packaging and exposed the hollywood greats as actually just real ordinary people. Gold dust.

WWM: Which writers inspire you and why?

A few years ago, I was heavily involved in book dealing and collecting. I use to run and attend many book fairs up and down the country. My speciality was the golden era of Detective Crime fiction. I was always attracted to the wonderful lurid artwork of the 1920's, 30's and 40's dustwrappers. Classic crime authors like Agatha Christie, Dashiel Hammett, E.C.R Lorac. The list is endless.

WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Write from the heart and write for yourself. If you try and write for someone else or for a market, you will fail. Treat your writing like you would your baby. Carry a notebook and pencil with you everywhere. Ideas can come at any time. I have a pad and pencil by my bed and have often woke up in the early hours of the morning with an idea.

WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?

The golden goose. I hate marketing with a passion. I can now understand why top marketers get paid so much money. It is a nightmare. If I had any advice it would be to think outside of the box. Every blog and website you click on ebook marketing seems to tell you the same thing. Twitter, Facebook page, Website or blog. I also discount the view that says,”This is the best time to be an indie book publisher” My personal feeling is that it is the worst. The market has never been so saturated. Thousands not hundreds of ebooks are being published on Amazon every month, the number of free ebooks has increased ten-fold. The competition is tremendous, and everybody is vying for those sacred Amazon top spots by basically using the same selling techniques. So my only advice is don't overstretch yourself by joining too many social media sites. Concentrate on two or three and try and think outside the box.

WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews-What are your thoughts on each of those?

Reviews go with the territory. Good reviews speak for themselves, as a writer and to be appreciated. I love them and try and thank as many of my readers as possible.

Mixed reviews are what you learn from, take the comments on board and try and improve.

Bad reviews hurt, no doubt about it and any writer who says they don't are liars. When I released 'No Write To Die' I had an honeymoon period of four and five star reviews, great I thought, maybe my book is that good. I then had a two star review and just shrugged it off as personal taste. My first one star review hurt, the comments were pretty scathing and I felt my whole career tumbling down around me. I read the review several times and dissected it. They weren't really criticizing the contents so much as the typo errors. My wife who is my proofreader had warned me not to publish the book until she had reread it again, telling me it wasn't ready, but I made the rookie mistake of publishing it and so I held my hands up and accepted I was wrong. Now that review cannot be retracted and I dare say it has affected sales but we only learn from our mistakes. My wife has re-edited 'No Write to Die” and it will be uploaded again. Maybe I have inadvertently given another tip there to aspiring writers.

WWM: If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

Definitely a cat. I have two cats and they sleep when they want, where they want. My wife gives them chicken and tuna and they get stroked and petted all the time.


Links:






Excerpt from “Czech Mate”:

The shadowy figure reacted with lightning pace running in his direction. Helena had jumped from the sofa and put on the garden light. Two security lamps lit up from the wall, flooding intense light across the lawn and borders. She wrapped her arms around herself and looked through the French doors. Woodcock lay on the lawn face down, blood seeping from a deep slash to his throat. She just caught sight of his attacker, as he leapt the fence into Copis wood.
            Angela Jennings waited quietly, smoking a cigarette which lit up her face, she had heard the shout a few yards away and tentatively headed towards the noise. The wood was dark and she wondered for a second why she was there. She heard the rustle of a bush behind her and for a moment she thought she had heard footsteps.
“Hello” she uttered, no answer.
The man came at her from the side, put one hand around her throat and twisted her head, snapping her neck, her lifeless body flopped onto the ground.
Helena stood by the French doors, frozen to the spot. She was in a state of shock and shivering. Her thoughts turned to Giles and Thomas and she ran up stairs to the boys room to check on them. They were both sleeping soundly. She returned downstairs and grabbed a bottle of brandy from the drinks cabinet, pouring some into a glass and swallowing it down in one, quickly following it with another. She looked out the door again, the security light was shining off the pool of red blood seeping out of Peter Woodcocks throat.
“Police,” she uttered, “Got to call the police.”
She reached for her mobile and speed dialled Sam, he answered within three rings.
“Sam please,” she cried, “Please come, murder.”
“What's the matter, are you okay?”
She was rambling speaking in English and Czech, he couldn't understand.
“I'm on my way.”
He raced around to the Fraser's getting there within five minutes and bursting through the front door. She was sitting in a corner, tears streaming down her face, a glass full of brandy in her hand.
“Helena, what's happened?”
She pointed towards the garden, Sam could see the body lying face-down on the lawn, a deep pool of vermilion blood inching away through the lush green grass.
“Have you rang the police?” he asked.
She didn't answer staring straight ahead into space.
“Helena, look at me.”
He bent down, took the glass out of her hand and grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her gently, she raised her head and looked at him.
“Have you....?”
“It was meant for me Sam, he came for me”
He cradled her in his arms, rocking her gently.
“I'm sorry babe,” he said, “but we must call the police.”
She nodded into his shoulder.
Sam made the call and sat down to wait. She washed her face and sat down next to him.
“Promise me Sam, that you won't reveal anything I told you?”
“Reveal what?”
“About Borodin, to the police.”
“But the police will want to know everything.”
“Please Sam, promise me, I will say it was a robbery or a stalker, anything, telling the police could be bad for me.”
He thought hard for a second, she could be right maybe it was a robbery? Maybe this had nothing to do with Borodin, though he knew deep down that it probably did.
Helena thought....... no knew it did as well.
Ten minutes later there was a heavy knock on the door, the room was filled with a flashing light from the police car parked outside.
Sam answered the door to a uniformed officer and a police woman, another car pulled into the drive and two plain clothes detectives got out. The uniformed officers walked straight in without a word, Sam stood aside and let them pass, he waited for the detectives.
“Are you the man that rang?” asked the first.
“Yes, I'm Sam Lucas,” he replied holding out his hand. The detective shook it and showed his warrant card.
“I'm DCI Long, this is DI Gray,” The second detective nodded.

***




Interview with author Phil Rowan


WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in Ireland and after spell on the Athens Daily Post I was recruited by my first UK tabloid newspaper. It was a surreal experience – but I then progressed to tabloids 2 & 3 before eventually turning to fiction where I felt much more comfortable!

WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?

I started writing short stories while I was a student at Trinity College in Dublin. It happened almost accidentally – although I was influenced by a few intoxicated Irish authors I met in the pubs around Grafton Street!

WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Oh yes ... I sat down one day with a pencil and paper and started scribbling about an attractive blonde nurse I fancied while on my first summer student job as an assistant in a UK mental hospital. It all just seemed to flow out in about an hour: my fantasies evolved on paper for a thousand words and it was quite a magical discovery.

WWM: Can you tell us something about your books and where the ideas came from?

From the start I felt that the world I lived in was a little crazy. I wanted to express my feelings and edged instinctively towards dark humour thrillers. In Weimar Vibes, which was my first, I wanted to write a story that mirrored elements of 1930s German chaos in the UK maybe sometime in the future. In Dark Clouds I projected al-Qaeda from 9/11 to nuclear mayhem in London, and in Under Cover – my most recent – I have right-wing tendencies escalating in Europe as Islamists progress to plots with nuclear dirty bombs in our cities. 

WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?

Yes – Harps and Tears is my next. It has an embittered – disappointed in love – Polish American scientist making a nuclear bomb for Islamist terrorists in rural Ireland's West Cork.

WWM: Where can people go and read your work?

Phil: Weimar Vibes, Dark Clouds and Under Cover are all available on Amazon and Smashwords. The Amazon UK and US links are on the first page of my www.writerrowan.com  website and my Smashwords author page is on http://bitly.com/Ns1vP6

WWM: What is the last book you read? What did you like or dislike about it?

An autobiography of J.P. Donleavy. He has always been a writing hero of mine, and as a student I was greatly influenced by The Ginger Man, which for years was banned in 'holy' Ireland. However, I found his writing style a little stilted in the autobiography – although I was impressed by the way he hung in there in spite of so many publishing rejections.

WWM: Which writers inspire you and why?

James Joyce, Henry Miller, J.P. Donleavy, Laurence Durrell and Primo Levi are amongst my favourites. The first four because they really opened my eyes about what could be achieved by writing fiction and Levi because he was a truly heroic anti-Nazi opponent.

WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Put rationality and analysis under the table – you don't need these intellectual concepts. Just sit down with a pen and paper + an idea that appeals to you. Don't think too much about it, just start writing and go on for about four pages; you'll amaze yourself, because without figuring out how it works you will have tapped into your subconscious – which is fascinating. This was how I and I guess many others started in the scribbling business – and I love it.

WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?

You need to start by putting yourself and your work out there. Twitter + a blog helps although this can take up a great deal of your time, but it can be well worthwhile – and if you don't have a traditional publisher it's probably the only option that's open for most of us.

WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews – what are your thoughts on these?

Good reviews help if there's a wow factor – but poor old John Locke got into an embarrassing situation recently when it was suggested that some of his had been paid for!

WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, which one would it be and why?

I like horses, dogs and cats – and I'd love to experience what a horse might feel jumping over a wall or a hedge at full speed ... I also quite like the idea of maybe being stroked affectionately while stretching out on a sofa as a cat.


Excerpt from “Dark Clouds”:

The streets are eerily quiet. Earl's security service people carrier has two police motorcycle outriders and there are camouflaged Army Land Rovers in front of us and at the rear. Sulima is sitting between Fiona Adler and me in the back seat. We're each holding one of her hands, and she grips mine as an Army Sergeant sitting beside Earl gives details of our position on his radio. The hovering helicopters have gone, but there are bewildered crowds of displaced residents on the approaches to the inner city green space. Many are wearing traditional Muslim dress, with the women in hijabs, burqas and jilbabs and the men in knee length tunics or jellabas with kufi hats.
'There are a lot of Muslim people living here,' Earl says, 'and particularly in the newly built Council flats around the incident site on the Downs.'
They've all been evacuated and they're waiting for transport to take them to temporary accommodation in other boroughs. Half-a-mile up the track, Pele and his hijacking buddy would have been in the heart of a large Orthodox Jewish community, most of whom have good relations with their Turkish, Balkan, Pakistani and other Muslim neighbours.
Two huge floodlights have been erected outside the now deserted Council tower blocks. There are armed soldiers everywhere and as we pass through a tight security cordon, I see the train with the clearly marked nuclear waste canisters on the open goods wagons. It's on a raised embankment that skirts the Downs and there are more Council flats immediately behind it. The goods train engine whose front wheels have been derailed is balancing precariously on the track. We're being waved through and a marine is directing Earl to a small school that had been built for the children in the now deserted social housing blocks.
Sulima is uneasy. The nuclear waste train driver, Arthur Hodge, his assistant Anwar Singh and the driver of the partially de-railed goods train have been spread-eagled and manacled across three of the nuclear waste canisters. Arthur Hodge seems to have collapsed. His chin is resting on his chest, and for a moment, I can see a shiny bald head in the train cab.
Carla Hirsch is waiting outside the junior school, which is now a security service and Army control centre. She shakes Sulima's hand respectfully and makes the same gesture to Julia, who hesitates before accepting the greeting.
'Come inside,' she suggests and we all follow her to the school assembly hall. There are pictures of Africa, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania around the walls, along with the national flags of these countries. There is also a large TV monitor at one end of the assembly hall that has the hijacked train in close up.
'We think the driver may be dead,' Carla says, 'and if you look closely at the flasks, you can see that each of them is fitted with shaped explosive charges. We are advised by the military that these are capable of blowing up each canister and scattering the contents over a large part of London.'
'Why don't you just shoot the bastards?' a familiar voice asks from the doorway.
The Home Office Minister, McCarthy, is surrounded by Labour Party acolytes. They desperately want a solution to the situation on the Hackney Downs, and quickly, for elections are due again within six months.
An Army General steps forward to salute the Minister. 'We can't do that, sir,' he says. 'The lead hijacker has a detonator switch strapped to his wrist, and he means business. They've also fixed sensors around the train, which will alert them if we approach from the rear or any part that they can't see from the driver's cab.'
The Minister and his advisers are clearly frustrated. The Government has more than enough in the way of problems at the moment. It is unpopular with the electorate, and nuclear contamination in East London is something they can definitely do without. Disaster must be averted. The General is having a quiet word with the Minister, and they're both looking over towards Sulima.
'We so appreciate you coming here,' McCarthy says when he's crossed the room with an outstretched hand. 'And we hope you may be able to persuade Mr Kalim to desist ... I know it may not help, but if you can talk him out of whatever it is he may have in mind, we will do everything we can to meet his requirements ... we would not harm him in any way, and he would of course be free to leave Britain and travel to a country of his choice.'
Sulima shakes the Minister's hand. She is not convinced by what he's saying. I don't think anyone is, and Carla's picking up on it.
'Mr McCarthy, sir ... our timing is crucial here. Might I suggest we now brief Miss Sharif and see what we can do to get a resolution?'
The Minister and the General withdraw to the other end of the school assembly hall while Carla motions Sulima, Julia, Earl and me to sit at some children's desks. She's drawing up a chair in front of us and I feel it's like teacher time with the kids – 'So pay attention, ye all!'
'You and Pele are very close,' she says to Sulima, who nods.
'We were ... '
'I'm sure you still are ... and frankly, I believe you're the only hope we have. Your friend refuses to negotiate with us. He has made certain demands ... some of which, it's just not possible for the British Government to deliver on. They will of course do whatever they can with regard to al-Qaeda and other Muslim prisoners they're holding. That's a practical matter and not a problem ... the real issue, however, is more straightforward.'
We're waiting for it, and the punch line is impressive. 'A large proportion of the people living around here are Muslims,' Carla says. 'Most of them have only just moved in to the Council flats behind us, and if Pele blows up the nuclear waste canisters, the train crew will die and all of these people will be homeless.'
The Home Office Minister, the Army General and everyone around them are putting on protective clothing. The white, one piece garments have just arrived and included with them are headpieces that incorporate goggles and a filtered breathing mask.
'I will talk with Pele,' Sulima says decisively. 'I don't know if he will listen to me ... it's possible he won't.'
Carla is discreetly waving away an Army Sergeant with the protective suits we're expected to change into. There's a final point she needs to make.
'He has said he doesn't want to have any discussions with us until we have something to offer him ... and our American Ambassador is presently talking to Washington about the al-Qaeda people we're holding.'
'He will talk to me,' Sulima says confidently.
'Of course,' Carla answers. 'And we will patch you through to him ... he has switched off his mobile, but we have a PA system outside so we can let him know you're here. He can then call you directly ... do you have a speaker on your phone?'
'Yes – '
'Excellent ... OK ... let's go!'

***



Interview with author David P. Perlmutter



WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I was born 48 years ago, I held my breath just then as that took a lot to write, in the heart of London and at the age of one, moved to Edgware, Middlesex and now live in Portugal. I come from a large loving family and have four beautiful children. I enjoy most sports, music, films and of course now, writing.
WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?
I have always enjoyed reading books and thought I would try and put a story down on paper that in fact happen to me twenty years ago. So really it started from there, three years ago.
WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Only really at school to be honest and little stories I used to write when the children were younger, but nothing like a book.
WWM: Can you tell us something about your book, "Wrong Place Wrong Time"?
This is the story that happen to me twenty years ago when I took a trip to Spain, after losing my job and apartment in London, all totally self inflicted by the way. The events that happen in Spain have lived with me ever since and writing the story was also a way of getting the event out of my system, but of course, everyday I relive what happen.
WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Wrong Place Wrong Time has really just been published for under two months, so I am marketing the book day and night, so my new book has taken a back seat for the moment.
WWM: Where can people go and read your work?
My book is published with Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Barnes & Noble, Kobobooks, Goodreads and also is available in paperback.
WWM: What is the last book you read?  What did you like or dislike about it?
My last book was The Slap, which started so well, then I drifted in and out in the middle and then got back into towards the end.
WWM: Which writers inspire you and why?
I like Tony Parsons, an honest view point, also Khalid Hussien, two cracking books he wrote, also David Nichols and James Patterson.
WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Well as Wrong Place Wrong Time is my first book, I still do not see myself qualified to give any tips, but for me it was a matter of just writing what you feel and then edit later. 
WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?
I am involved in sales and marketing at work, so I do have many years experience and this is the part I do enjoy about my book. As I have said my book has been available just under two months and I have had some success. I have a twitter account, Facebook, Blog and promote on other websites as well. I have just finished a five day campaign with Amazon kindle as a free book, where my book was number one in UK, also number one in true crime, non fiction, true accounts and with over 13,000 downloads. So very happy with the results.
WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?
I am pleased to say that my reviews have been wonderful, which I am still amazed at. To know that people are reading my book and taking time in reviewering it on Amazon, Smashwords and Goodreads is fantastic and I thank them. I have had many 5 star, one 3 star and last night received my first 2 star review. This is what I love about it, people have their own personal taste. Every review is a good review no matter what star, thats my personal view.
WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
A bird, freedom to go anywhere you wish without a passport!!!
Links:
Twitter: @davepperlmutter
Excerpt from “Wrong Place Wrong Time”:
The sound of the bells made me jump. Twice they rang. I'd fallen asleep on the bench facing the entrance to the church and when I woke up with the sun beating down on me, my shirt was clinging to my skin. I sat up, wiped the sleep from my eyes and tried to moisten my mouth, but my tongue felt too fat for it, my lips were cracked and I was seriously dehydrated. Remembering the fountain I'd passed on my way to the church, I decided to retrace my steps.
The small, cobblestoned square, which was closely hemmed in by Georgian style buildings, was bustling with people. I glanced across at the cafe in the corner where families and couples were sheltering under umbrellas and protecting themselves from the scorching afternoon sun. They were talking and laughing, sipping their coffee and beer, and I tried to ignore the sudden stab of envy in my chest.
The water in the fountain swirled around a carved stone basin, trickling over a handful of coins which had been tossed in by visitors. For a moment I contemplated scooping them out but they amounted to little more than a few pence at the most. I cupped the cold water in both hands, splashed my face a few times and drank until my thirst had been quenched. Standing up, I felt a little more human. I heard the church bells chime again in the distance and it struck me how strange it felt to have no time restraints or schedule. With no money or belongings and no place to call home, the town was just a vast, lonely space of possible opportunities. I could have gone anywhere, but the beach seemed like my best option.
The soft, white sand beneath my feet felt wonderful and I dug my toes in, stretching them out as I walked. Again, it was crowded and there were beautiful people in every direction I looked. I watched them for a while, noticing the smiles and care-free looks on their faces, wondering what their plans were for the afternoon and evening ahead. I turned my attention to the sea, sparkling in a magnificent blue beneath a matching cloudless sky, and having already undressed, I ran straight in. The water was cold but so refreshing, and I swam past the holiday makers who were playing and splashing until I was alone. Diving under the water felt surreal; it was so tranquil and peaceful, still and silent. My troubles seemed to leave me as I became absorbed with nothing more than my body gliding through the waves and the sea-bed below.
As I surfaced, the sound of the people on the beach magnified and I swam back towards the voices until I could stand. I waded towards the shore, walking against the strength of the tide. The waves crashed around my ankles and as each one receded it took with it some of the sand I had just been standing on. The sensation of the ground shifting beneath my feet was weird, and when I stared down at the water ebbing and flowing around me, I felt dizzy. Standing still for a moment, I attempted to get my bearings and stop my head from spinning. I knew it was the lack of food and the sudden exertion which had caused me to feel so terrible, so I slowly made my way to an empty spot on the sand, dropped my jeans and shirt in a heap and lay down. I could hear fellow sunbathers laughing and talking close by and the hissing of music coming from their headphones. A dog barked in the distance. The noises mingled together until they were nothing more than a comforting hum in my head, and before long I was asleep.
I was awoken by a wet, hot tongue licking my face. Sadly it wasn't one of the beautiful topless women who were sunbathing earlier in the day, but a puppy. I pushed it away, wiping the saliva from my face and sat up, shivering. I'd been asleep for a few hours and the sun was slowly disappearing into the horizon. The beach was near enough deserted, there were just a few stragglers packing up for the day and a handful of couples strolling hand in hand along the shore. The puppy — a black Labrador with a shiny black coat — was still beside me. It cocked its head curiously, stared at me with big, innocent eyes and promptly licked its arse. I couldn't help but laugh.
"Oh, thanks a lot!" I said."
"Hey man, sorry about that. Is the bitch being a pain in the butt?"
An eccentric looking guy — obviously American judging by his accent — towered over me. He was well over six feet tall, painfully thin with shoulder length blonde matted hair and a rather unkempt goatee. He had a joint hanging from his mouth.
"Na it's cool. I just got a tongue bashing on my face," I said jokingly, patting the pup on her head.
"Sorry dude. Come here Hound Dog!" He picked her up and stared out to sea, blowing smoke rings with the last remains of the joint.
I pushed myself up from the sand, put on my jeans, grabbed my shirt and started to make my way to the sea to wash the crap from my face.
"Hey dude, what you up to, man?" He flicked the finished joint through the air.
"Just gonna wash my face. Why"? I stopped and turned to look at him. Fuck he looked rough.
"Join me for a smoke if you want man, unless you have anything better to do?"
Anything better? I thought. Yeah, right. "Sure, thanks!" I said. "Just give me five minutes." I picked up the joint he'd discarded and put it in my pocket.
With a washed face, I joined my new American friend on an old tartan blanket, covered in dog hair. He passed me a ready rolled joint.
"Here dude. It's pretty strong weed."
"Thanks." I lit it and inhaled. "Shit, that is strong," I said, coughing a couple of times before carrying on. It didn't take long to feel the familiar sensation in my head. I'd smoked weed before, but this was something else! "This is good shit, really good," I told him, before passing it back. "So where're you from?"
"America, man. Hollywood. The place where it all happens!" He took another drag. "Here man, you finish it."
I took a couple more hits and felt relaxed for the first time in days. His pup was resting her head on my leg with her body on the blanket next to me. "How long have you been here?" I asked him, glancing up and down the beach. The place was deserted.
"Three months dude, sleeping right here on the sand. Just me and the bitch. Been travelling around Spain, hanging out, getting high and enjoying life, man!" He started to roll another joint. "What about you? What's your story?"
I told him about London and what had happened with the brothers. They seemed a distant memory now. I told him about getting kicked out of the hostel and meeting Rosa and Emma.
"You lucky bastard! You've been here only a couple of weeks and fucked a couple of chicks? Man, I'm jealous. Good going!" He lit the joint and then suddenly raised his head in excitement. "Hey Dude, stay here! Crash here tonight, on the beach. You know, on the blanket!"
Why not? I thought. I've got nowhere else to go. "Cool!" I said. "Sounds good to me!"
We had a few more joints. I was so wasted. We talked shit as I lay on the blanket, listening to the waves crashing in the distance and staring at the stars scattered across the dark, night sky. The moon was glowing in its full glory, lighting up the sea below. It looked amazing.
"So man, what's ya name?" He'd manoeuvred his body from an upright position and was lying on the blanket beside me with Hound Dog sandwiched between us.
"At the moment it could be anything," I replied, "but normally it's Dave. Yours?"
"No name," he said, quite seriously. He looked at me, his eyes bloodshot. "They call me the Son of Elvis." He smirked and stretched his arms out towards the sky.
"The son of Elvis?" I repeated as I nearly choked on the smoke I'd just inhaled.
"Yeah, man. My old man was Elvis. Elvis fucking Presley. Rock n Roll King of the fucking world. He was never around. Hardly saw him. But when I did, he called me the Son of Elvis."
***




Interview with author David Leadbeater




WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 


I am the author of 3 novels and a short story, a husband and the father of two beautiful girls aged 1 and 3. Twitter addict!

WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?
Reading at a young age really helped my imagination develop and when I was 15 I wrote my first book.
WWM: Where did you get the idea from for your latest novel, “The Blood King Conspiracy”? 
I have always loved the old pirate legends and wanted to weave a modern story around some of the old tales. Blood King was the result.
WWM: Can you tell us something about the book and its predecessor, "The Bones of Odin"?
Both books comprise the initial ‘Matt Drake’ series, which is in fact a 4 book arc. I am currently writing Book 3, with the final episode planned shortly after. At the end of the Bones of Odin we are introduced to a great mystery which slowly unravels through the next two books with all being revealed in Book 4.
WWM: What is the last book you read?
‘Taken’ by my favourite author, Robert Crais. I love his characters- Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

WWM:
Where can people go and read your work?
I can be reached on Twitter - @dleadbeater2011
My Amazon Author Central page - UK - http://tinyurl.com/d4jk6sg 
Coming soon to SMASHWORDS!
WWM: Which writers inspire you and why?

I enjoy reading many writers in different genres, but I guess the aforementioned Robert Crais, along with Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child, Graham Masterton and Stephen King. I also love Scott Mariani, Andy Mcdermott, Matthew Reilly and James Rollins on the action front.
WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Keep writing! If it’s in your blood you should never give up.
WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?
A review is always good if the reader bothers to point out the good AND bad points of your story and offers constructive feedback. A bad review which insults the author isn’t even worth reading. 
WWM: Do you think a mixed review would impact your sales? 
So far? No. I have had many good, bad, and mixed reviews since March. A good/bad review being posted does not seem to impact sales immediately. Over time…I’ll get back to you.

WWM: If you review other indie writers’ books, what is your approach to reviewing those?
It’s always a blank slate, no pressure. I actually don’t have time to read MUCH these days and try to fit my reading in between family, work and writing.
WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
Something with wings. It would be nice to fly!
Links:
Excerpt from “The Blood King Conspiracy”:
    Hayden brought every ounce of her will to bear and collected herself. It took every memory of every good thing her father had taught her. Every hard lesson and proud moment. She focused on the moment when she learned of his death, his cold murder, and remembered the life changing vows she had made right then and there.
    It was all she had to spur herself on, to forget the carnage and advance. One step at a time.
    She reached the bank. She dug her fingers into the earth and pulled. She climbed. Then her stomach clutched with dread as heard another enormous detonation of water behind her and out of her peripheral vision saw the nightmarish shape of the gator as it twisted and lunged for her.
    In that moment of utter hell she witnessed a massive blur shooting past. It was Mano Kinimaka, roaring like a man possessed and tackling the gator around the exposed belly with a crunch they probably heard in Disneyland. The gator, no doubt in shock at being tackled by anything, let alone this man-mountain, was tipped over and thrown back-first into the shallows. Kinimaka landed atop it, arms encircling its body, gripping tight as if his life and the life of his boss depended on it.

***






Interview with Charity Parkerson
WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 


Sure! I'm the author of 10 books and I can't seem to stay in only one genre. I'm also a huge Twitter addict. 

WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?

I love to read, and after devouring several books a week for many years, one day reading stories was no longer enough for me. 
  
WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote? 
Not really.  I used to scribble stories in a notebook when I was a teenager but that was a long time ago...we won't go into exactly how long, lol. 

WWM: Can you tell us something about your latest book? 
My latest book is "The Danger with Sinners" the 3rd book in my Sinners Series. Here's the Blurb: 
The Society of Sinners and the Safe Haven Corporation team up in Parkerson’s third installment of the Sinners Series, in order to locate and capture head of Research Inc., Tacha Vasiliev.
Tacha is accused of using her company as a cover for development of a weapon of mass destruction, the ultimate vampire.
Caleb Cook, aka Danger, is sent to infiltrate the home of Sr. V.P. Narmer Horus in hopes of uncovering clues to Tacha’s whereabouts. 
Disguised as head of security, Danger finds his biggest challenge isn’t Narmer himself, but his headstrong daughter, Kim.
However, just as Danger is not what he appears to be, neither is Kim. 
WWM: Where did the idea for the novel come from? 
All my books begin with a dream. I'm a vivid dreamer and I write the most powerful of my dreams down and work with them until they grow into a full story. 

WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment? 
I have 2 books releasing August 1st "The Danger with Sinners" and "Double the Sin" I'm also working on a whole new series, "The Sexy Witches Series" It may be awhile before it releases since it is not very far along. I hate to say too much about it since it could still surprise even me at this point.

WWM: Where can people go and read your work? 
A majority of my books are enrolled in the Select program with Amazon but a few of my books can be found on Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and most places where online books are sold. A list of my books can be found on my website http://www.charityparkerson.com

WWM: What is the last book you read?  
What did you like or dislike about it? The last book I read was "Take a Break & Have a Laugh" by Oleg Medvedkov. It was a very cute book that is perfect for reading in small intervals.
WWM: Which writers inspire you and why? 
I'm inspired by writers in general. It takes a lot of guts to pour your soul onto paper and then watch as the whole world judges it. 
WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Just write. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it,  because you can!

WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?

Make friends. Marketing is an ever-changing beast and authors are the nicest people. If you are willing to get on Twitter & Goodreads and get to know people then you will find tons of people willing to share ideas.

WWM: What do you like/dislike about indie publishing? 
I love the control that I have over my work since I'm a huge control freak, but I hate that I have to work 18 hour days. Every tiny detail falls on me & if I'm not promoting myself then neither is anyone else. 
WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those? 
I believe if you paid your hard-earned money on a book then you should be able to give your opinion on it. I love good reviews. I'm fine with mixed reviews and I hate bad reviews, LOL, but I'll survive it if the reviewer gave my book an honest shake. I do think that if you did not read the entire book then you should not write a review on it. That is unfair to everyone involved.
WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why? 
A bear. They are very loving with their children and they get to sleep all winter. 
Links:
Excerpt from "The Danger with Sinners":
He should have seen this trap coming. It seemed that he would now be subject to blackmail by Mr. Horus’ willful daughter, or risk blowing the entire mission.
“What it is it that you are wanting?”
“Close the door, Danger.” He did as she asked, but he did not attempt to move any closer. She smiled brightly. “I’m not going to bite.” She paused to chuckle before adding, “Probably.”
His competitive nature roared to life at her words. She thought to dare him? His long stride carried him across the room, and he did not stop until his knees hit the edge of her bed. Her eyes lit with triumph, and he wondered who was really winning this battle of wills.
“So what’s it going to take to keep you quiet, about my…,” he trailed off, unwilling to trap himself.
“The loss of your keys,” she supplied, cocking one eyebrow.
“Exactly.”
  “A kiss,” she answered quickly. 


***



Interview with Anne Allen
WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I live in Devon, by my beloved sea. I have three children and my daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. I was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result I spent many summers with my Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea.  My restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included living in Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after I fell in love with the island and the people. I contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns!
By profession I’m a psychotherapist but have long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of my mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now the nest is empty there’s more time to write and a second novel is gestating, but novels take a lot longer than children to be born!
WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?
Well, I’ve always been an avid reader and enjoyed English at school and writing essays for my degree but the ‘push’ came about 6 years ago when I entered a national writing competition in Prima magazine. It was for a 600 word true-life story and I won! I was toying with a book idea and this gave me the confidence to sit down and write ‘properly’.  It’s not yet a new career but I’d love to be a full-time writer.
WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
I don’t remember anything I wrote as a child – my memory is shocking for a writer! But the first novel I wrote is my current book. 
WWM: Can you tell us something about your book, "Dangerous Waters"?
It’s about love and loss with parallels drawn between the lives of two women; the young woman Jeanne Le Page and her late grandmother, whose story has echoes of the Occupation. Jeanne had fled Guernsey 15 years ago, traumatised by a family tragedy which she survived but suffering traumatic amnesia. She now has to return after the death of her grandmother who’s bequeathed Jeanne her old cottage. The cottage holds a secret which she slowly unearths and at the same time she begins to learn the truth of what had happened to her family. As her memory slowly returns Jeanne’s life is in danger from an unexpected source.
At the beginning of the novel Jeanne is unhappy after the end of a long-term relationship but the island works its magic, encouraging her to live and love again . . .
WWM: Where did the idea for the novel come from?
I’d just read ‘Coastliners’ by Joanne Harris featuring a small French island which reminded me of Guernsey – I was back in England at this time. I had the idea of a young woman with a traumatic past and family secrets based around a house and that was it!
WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Yes, slowly! It’s called Finding Mother and follows a woman’s search for her natural mother, at the same time finding out more about herself and what she really wants in life. The story will actually cover the back stories of her mother and grandmother as well. It’s based mainly in Guernsey but has excursions to England, Jersey and Spain.
WWM: Where can people go and read your work?
By checking out my website – www.dangerouswaters.co.uk – where there are links to amazon and ebook retailers. The book’s also available as a paperback.
WWM: What is the last book you read?
The Key by Simon Toyne, the second of an  enthralling conspiracy-theory trilogy. I highly recommend! 
WWM: Which writers inspire you?
Mary Higgins Clark, Robert Goddard, Maeve Binchy and Joanna Trollope
WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Just write! The more you procrastinate the harder it is to get started.  Just write anything even if it’s not likely to become a book. It’s a question of flexing those ‘writerly muscles’ before they atrophy.  I think I may have got there just in time! Oh, and read as much as you possibly can and explore different authors and genres.
WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?
I belatedly realised that the marketing has to start before the book is published if you’re self-published. A website is essential and a blog provides a great platform for flexing those writing muscles! It’s a great start to build up loyal followers who will then be keen to buy your book when it’s available. I wish I’d done this!
Twitter is another essential tool, helping you to connect with other writers, avid readers and people in the publishing industry who can offer loads of advice and support.
WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?
Everyone loves a good review! It’s such a boost to know that someone really loved your work. Mixed reviews are ok too –after all they’re very subjective and we can all find something we’re not keen on in a lot of books. Bad reviews – well! What is there to say?! I’ve not had a ‘bad’ review as yet but I’m sure I’ll be upset if I get one. But if it’s outweighed by a number of good ones that’s what I’ll focus on.
WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
A wild horse . They have so much freedom and are such beautiful creatures.
Links:
Excerpt from Dangerous Waters:
Jeanne went out on deck as the spring sun broke through the clouds.
A warm glow spread over green and gold jewel-like Herm and its
larger neighbour, grey and white building encrusted Guernsey.
The salt-laden air enveloped her like an old and trusty coat.
Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and was a child again,
playing on the beach with her parents. The image was so powerful
that tears formed and she blundered, unseeing, towards the railings.
As her vision cleared she found herself staring at Herm and,
without warning, was overwhelmed by such a strong feeling of fear
that she had to hold onto the rail. Jeanne’s heart began to race, blood
pounded in her head and her breathing came in short, painful gasps.
Oh my God, what’s happening to me? After all this time, please, not again!
Struggling to breathe she was on the verge of passing out. Letting
go of the rail she stumbled, crashing into a man who was walking
past.
‘Hey, steady on! Look where you’re going!’ he said angrily,
grabbing hold of her to stop them falling. ‘Overdid the duty frees,
did you?’
Stung by his accusation, she took a deep breath before replying.
‘No… no. I. I just lost my balance.’ The man’s hands were gripping
her arms so hard that she could already imagine the bruises. ‘Hey,
that hurts!’
He loosened his grip and guided her back to the rail where she
clung on, filling her lungs with the sea air.
‘Sorry, didn’t mean to hurt you. OK now?’
Jeanne nodded. As the man stepped back she took in, through
still blurred eyes; dark brown hair, deep blue eyes and the muscled
arms of a man unlikely to be a pen-pusher. Responding to his
slightly warmer tone, she managed a tight smile before straightening
up and walking, unsteadily, to the starboard side.
What on earth was that? Is this what I can expect now? Perhaps I
shouldn’t have come back though I didn’t have much choice… The thoughts
whirled around her pounding head. She shuddered as she leant
against the railings and Guernsey came into full view. While the
ferry headed towards St Peter Port harbour, she felt as if she were
approaching a strange, unknown country rather than the land of
her birth. The whole of the northern sea front, from Les Banques
into St Peter Port, had been transformed. Towering edifices of
granite and glass had replaced the old, tired mish-mash of
warehouses, scruffy hotels and shops. With a gasp, she realised that
even the elegant landmark of the Royal Hotel had been supplanted.
Wow! What’s happened here? It was if a natural disaster had
occurred, flattening the old front and replacing it by buildings more
reminiscent of London than of the parochial island she
remembered. She’d never have thought that Guernsey would move
into the twenty first century with such a bang.
The dramatic transformation which lay before her seemed to
Jeanne to be an echo of all the change in her own life and she felt a
stranger here. She wished that she had stayed in the familiar, dull
Midlands town which had been her home these past fifteen years.
For a moment the urge to remain on the ferry and return to
England, without setting foot on the island, was overwhelming. Her
face must have mirrored her inner turmoil as a middle-aged lady
standing nearby asked, ‘Are you all right, dear? Only you’ve gone
very white.’
‘I’m fine, thanks. Just not very good on boats.’
The older lady nodded sympathetically. ‘My Tom gets seasick
too. Has to fill himself up with beer or the odd whisky or two before
he’ll set foot on a boat. Just as well I can drive or we’d be marooned
on the ferry till he’s sobered up!’ She laughed.
Jeanne grinned weakly.
‘Aren’t these waters supposed to be dangerous?’
‘Yes, they can be, if you don’t know where all the rocks are,’
Jeanne replied. Yet again, her heart hammered against her chest and
her breathing quickened. She fought down the feelings of panic to
add, ‘but these big boats are perfectly safe,’ wondering who she was
really trying to reassure.
Jeanne now joined the throng of eager passengers heading
towards the car deck, found her car and sat there feeling sick and
trapped in the echoing bowel of the ship. She would just do what
had to be done here and then go back – but where? Her body
arched with pain at the memory of her loss. Going back would
be as painful as going on, she realised. The sound of car horns
blaring behind her brought her back to the present. She started
the engine and joined the queue towards the gangway and
whatever lay ahead.
***
Interview with Gary Henry
WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I enjoy ultramarathoning, photography, dogs, beer, movies, reading... but I LOVE to write. I review books at http://honestindiebookreviews.wordpress.com/
In real life, I’m a marketing communications writer for a manufacturer of construction products.
WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?
Reading. Always loved the way a good story made me feel, and so I wanted to do that.
WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Don’t recall the title. I was in third grade. Story about a trip to Pluto where gigantic monsters attacked the spacemen heroes, who escaped back to Earth. But the monsters followed them and were destroyed in a big battle with the Army.
WWM: Can you tell us something about your book, "American Goddesses"?
I thought you’d never ask! It’s a sexy, super-powered paranormal romantic thrill ride ~ or at least that’s how I hope some kind reviewer will one day describe it. Two small town women develop ultimate superpowers. They struggle with their relationships, as a result, and attract attention from high-powered bad guys.
WWM: Where did the idea for the novel come from?
A sexy Halloween costume my wife Karen wore a few years ago.
WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Just in my head at this point. But it’s coming.
WWM: Where can people go and read your work?
My reviews of other people’s books are posted at Honest Indie Book Reviews, along with the first chapter of “American Goddesses.” I have a short story collection ~ “What happened to Jory and other dark departures” on Smashwords and Amazon. My poetry collection “The Moon Poem and other strange jingle jangles” is on Smashwords. “American Goddesses” is on Smashie and Amazon.
I also have non-fiction about running ultramarathons – mostly 100-milers – at http://ultrastory.com.
WWM: What is the last book you read?
Blue Water Killer by Charles L.R. Dougherty
WWM: Which writers inspire you?
All of them.
A little more specifically ~ I grew up on Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber. Hemingway and Steinbeck, of course. Indie writers inspire me the way amateur atheletes inspire me. They’re – we’re, I should say – just writing for love of craft and art without much hope of ever striking it rich.
WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Read a lot. Pay attention to how your favorite writers do what they do. And then there’s the same advice I give to aspiring ultramarathoners ~ just keep going.
WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?
Let as many people know about your book as you can, but without spamming. It will help if you can get other people to promote your book for you. You can do that by promoting their books, as well as your own.
WWM: What do you like/dislike about indie publishing? 
I like the control Indie publishing affords me. I dislike the stigma of being self-published, but it seems to me that it’s not as bad as it used to be. Probably due to the fact that there’s so many of us Indies now. I think we owe a debt to Smashwords and Amazon for making it more possible now than it’s ever been.
WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?
I don’t care for reviews that are uniformly positive or negative. In even the worst-written book, there’s going to be something to like. And even the best should have something that can be improved. If you haven’t found both, you haven’t read closely enough.
Also, reviewers who lose sight of the fact that books are like children to most writers need to rethink what they’re doing. You can be honest in your review – must be honest – but still be compassionate. If you can’t be, you shouldn’t be reviewing.
WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why? 
Karen says I’m an otter, because I’m playful and I like the water, but also a touch wild and at home in the outdoors. As I get older, though, I sometimes feel more like a sloth.
Links:
The Moon Poem and other strange jingle jangles: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/62904
Excerpt from “American Goddesses”:
Chapter 1. A night in the life
Lawrencedale Journal, Sunday edition
Living Section
Super wife makes life
super-interesting
for Lawrencedale husband

by Anne Straits, Journal staff writer
Like many Lawrencedale residents, John A. Harris, 39, watches games Sunday afternoons during football season, rooting for his favorite teams as he has done every year since he was a boy.
But it won’t be the same this year. Or possibly, ever again.
“It’s kind of wierd knowing that if she wanted to, my wife Megan could walk out on that field and score touchdown after touchdown, and the defensive packages of both teams put together — along with their offenses – couldn’t stop her,” Harris explains.
Just 5 feet, six inches tall, Harris’s wife, 40-year-old Megan Harris, is one of Lawrencedale’s two extra-special citizens.
Along with 22-year-old waitress Patricia Reilly, Megan, an editor at Deacon Press in Lawrencedale, was accidentally gifted with a basketful of incredible abilities recently, by a Midlands University researcher.
Dr. Susan Tzin-Zin, head of the university’s immunology research effort, selected the women as volunteer participants in an exotic program to prevent and combat a wide range of human ailments. The doctor planned to pit the mind’s own psychic potential, in a form of bio-feedback, against everything from the common cold to cancer.
Tzin-Zin explained that once a telekinetic effect bolstering the body’s cellular defenses could be documented in healthy individuals with extreme psychic potential, work could begin on inducing it in less psychically-gifted subjects, then in patients suffering from various ailments, minor to life-threatening.
“We selected Megan and Patricia out of dozens of possible subjects,” Tzin-Zin explained. “Their results in the Puthoff-Targ and other ESP tests were far above statistical average.”
Several male volunteers also participated in the program, Tzin-Zin said. But the astounding and unexpected results which manifested in the female subjects have yet to make an appearance in the males.
“We’re still testing and cataloging their many new abilities,” Tzin-Zin said. “Our team is studying the test data to learn just what sparked the ‘breakthrough.’
“We hoped for a measurable improvement in the overall health of our subjects,” Tzin-Zin said. “We never expected anything like what occurred.
“If we could all obtain total mental control over our bodies and the physical environment as Megan and Patricia have, life might become a little more pleasant for us here on planet earth. Or at least more interesting,” she added.
It has certainly made life a bit more interesting — and challenging– for Megan’s husband Harris, a project manager for Witzell Construction. . .

*************
Megan skimmed the rest of the story and studied the image of herself in the accompanying photograph. It showed a slim, dark-haired, brown-eyed woman with a patrician nose and proud, arched eyebrows. In the photo, Megan smiled in a superior sort of way. Looking at it now, she didn’t like that smile.
She wore, in the photo, a short-sleeved black leotard, modestly cut, and a short red skirt over black tights. She’d crossed her legs as she sat leaning against her husband. She looked at his image in the photo, and thought again how much she loved that handsome face with the dark eyebrows over intelligent brown eyes, strong cheeks and chin and – Megan thought – very kissable lips.
Megan minimized the newspaper website page on the computer screen. She returned to the marked-up printout of the manuscript on early Paleolithic tribes of North America. It cried out for her skills as an editor at Deacon Press, a publisher of scholarly books.
She flipped through a few pages of the treatise, sighing at the misspellings and grammatical errors.
How could a researcher be so capable in his own field, yet be so oblivious to basics like grammar and spelling, she wondered.
Megan tried to concentrate on the manuscript. But something about the newspaper story on her husband nagged at her. Published in the previous Sunday’s paper, the story gave the facts accurately. It even painted a rosier picture of her marriage than perhaps was true.
Megan felt she should be pleased with the story.
She didn’t participate in the interview, but judging from what appeared in the paper, her husband, John, had said all the right things. He’d told the reporter he loved his wife and supported her. The statements stood out, inarguable, in black and white.
Her co-workers had cooed over it and given Megan their own copies to send to her relatives.
So why did reading it make her feel ill?
A gentle rap on her open office door interrupted her reverie. Judy Holstrom, big, blonde and green-eyed, stood framed in the doorway. She grasped a copy of the Living Section from the Lawrencedale Journal that contained the story.
Megan brightened at the sight of the tall lady.
“Hi sweetie!” Judy said, her big voice jolly as usual. “Interrupting something, I hope?”
“Just a bunch of red ink for a researcher who never learned to read and write,” Megan laughed. “Come on in and park.”
Judy swept in, loose tan pants and black blouse swishing on her big frame, and sat in the chair next to Megan’s desk.
Was there something tentative about Judy’s entrance? Megan wondered for an instant. No, couldn’t be. Judy never did anything at less than full-throttle. That’s what made her so much fun.
Judy plopped the newspaper on Megan’s desk.
“I’ll only bug you for a minute,” Judy said. “I thought you could use an extra copy of the story for the scrapbook or your Mom or something. Meant to drop it by earlier in the week, but I kept forgetting. Absent-minded as usual.”
“That’s neighborly of you, girlfriend.” Megan glanced at her watch. “It’s almost Friday-five,” she said. “John’s working late again, so I’m on my own. Let’s grab a martini. We haven’t done that in ages.”
“I wish I could, sweetie,” Judy said, rising, not looking at Megan. “Ted and the kids are expecting me to make dinner.”
“Couldn’t you call him like you used to?” Megan asked. “Ted,” Megan attempted a poor imitation of Judy’s big confident voice, “you’re feeding the kids tonight. I’ll be back whenever. Now shut up and do as you’re told.
“God, that cracked me up every time,” Megan said. “Fellow boss-lady.”
Judy grinned half-heartedly as she edged toward the door. “You can only get away with that so many times,” she said. “We’ll go out for a nice cocktail again soon, sweetie, I promise.”
Then she left.
Megan stared at the empty doorway.
What was that all about? she wondered. We used to go out together for a drink almost every Friday after work. Friday-five, we called it. Sure could use a drink tonight. Don’t want to go alone, though.
Megan pushed her chair back and stood. She picked up the paper Judy brought, intending to put it in her purse, turn out the lights and leave.
Suddenly, she gasped and froze, as psychometric impressions from the paper leaped into her consciousness.
Megan’s brown eyes widened in disbelief at the emotional truth Judy’s touch left behind on the paper.

She’s afraid of me! No!
Megan threw the paper down.
She collapsed back into her chair, thinking hard.
Why is Judy afraid of me? My powers? Can’t be. That woman has always been fearless! Saw her threaten to break a pool cue over the head of a rowdy redneck on one of our Friday-fives. Megan smiled and shook her head at the memory.
Then she remembered
.
Surprise office party, for her, right after the first story on the breakthrough appeared in the paper.
Her co-workers begged her to show them some of her new powers.
She levitated. She teleported. She lifted desks with her hands and file cabinets with her mind as her co-workers oohed and aahed.
She should have stopped there. But they wanted mind-reading.
Megan tried to tell them that her repertoire didn’t include mind-reading– as far as she knew. But her new talents did include psychometry – the ability to accurately read impressions from objects by touching them– as she’d just done with the newspaper.
Bob Shafer, from Accounting and a retired Navy Chief, handed her a commemorative coin with anchors emblazoned on it. He carried the coin everywhere.
Megan needed only a moment’s touch to describe the secret chief’s initiation ceremony Shafer had gone through to get the coin.
That’s it, Megan thought. That’s when I lost Judy. She has secrets. She’s afraid I’ll see them.
Megan took a deep breath and sat slumped in her chair a moment longer.
Goddamned powers. Losing friends. Even John’s acting strange, drinking more, working late, watching more sports than ever.
Only one thing to do, she thought, running a slim hand through her short, thick black hair. Bath. Glass of wine.
Rising a second time, she shut down her computer and quickly stuffed the newspaper into her purse’s side pocket. She slung the purse over her shoulder and shut off her office lights. She walked down the hall into the lobby and out the glass doors.
The parking lot lights barely kept the chilly November night at bay as Megan headed for her car, a white Volvo sedan.
Then the purse-snatcher hit.
He jumped out from behind a car, grabbed the purse and jerked it away, and sprinted toward the nearby buildings.
“Well that’s just great,” Megan muttered. In the next instant, she stood casually in front of the fleeing felon in her long-sleeved yellow blouse, khaki pencil skirt and brown pumps.
He smashed into her at full speed and fell backward onto the pavement, still clutching the purse.
“I’ll take that, please,” Megan said.
The purse pulled out of the man’s hands and floated to Megan. She put it back over her right shoulder. She looked more closely at the would-be robber.
“You’re just a teen-ager!” she said, surprised.
The teen-ager, still on his back, regained some sensibility. He pushed away from her, on his back, then turned over, stood up and tried to run—only to fall again, when one of his feet refused to leave the ground.
“What the–!” he shouted. He stood up again and turned to face Megan.
“I didn’t say you could leave,” she said.
“What are you doing to me? Let me go!”
“What’s your name?”
The boy, in dirty blue jeans and a gray Midlands University sweatshirt, stayed silent. He struggled like an insect on flypaper trying to free himself from Megan’s telekinetic grip.
Megan had her phone out. “Suit yourself. We’ll let the police handle it.”
“No, wait,” he said. “Please don’t call. William. William Listerbrook. I’m really sorry. It was just a prank.”
She considered the name for a moment and looked at him. Curly brown hair framed a round face with brown eyes, a straight nose and lips that looked babyish in their fullness.
“You’re not related to Joanie Listerbrook over at Benton Press are you?”
He nodded. “She’s my aunt,” he sighed. “If she finds out about this, it’ll kill her.”
Megan pressed buttons on the phone, her eyes on the boy. She held the phone to her ear as it rang on the other end.
“Joanie, I’m glad I caught you,” she said. “It’s Megan Harris.” She listened. “I’m fine. Just leaving work. You won’t believe who just ran into me. Your nephew.” She looked at William as he shut his eyes and grimaced against the humiliation of the moment.
“He’s right here,” Megan said, “I’ll put him on.”
Megan gave the boy back the use of his hands and arms, but kept his feet anchored. He took the phone.
“Hi Aunt Joanie,” he choked out. “I’m fine.” He listened. “What am I doing at Deacon Press?” He looked in panic to Megan.
“Internship,” she whispered.
“Internship,” he repeated. He listened. “Well, I don’t know if–” He listened again. “I was checking the place out. I don’t have an interview or anything.” He paused and looked at Megan. “Yes, she is a nice lady. No, I never read the newspaper story about her. Powers?” He looked at his immobilized feet.
“Okay,” he said. “I will. Tell Uncle Henry I said ‘hi’.” He handed the phone back to Megan.
“Hi Joanie.” Megan listened. “It is funny, isn’t it? We are looking for an editorial intern. I’ll be glad to put a good word in for William. No, you don’t owe me a thing.
“All right, Joanie, bye bye.” Megan put the phone in her bag. “Your aunt is thrilled that you want to intern with a publisher,” she told the boy.
“Could you please let my feet go?”
Megan nodded slightly. The boy shuffled on his feet with perceptible relief.
“I met you when you were a little boy,” she said. “Joanie brought you into work one day. That was back when I was at Benton. Now why did you try to steal my purse, William?”
“I’m pledging for a fraternity,” he said. “It’s like my last test. They said we’d return the purse tomorrow. Leave it on the person’s door step.”
“Which fraternity?”
He looked at her, helplessly.
“William? Which fraternity?”
“Tau Ceti,” he whispered.
“You know it was a stupid thing to do, right?”
He nodded.
“What if I’d been a little old lady and had a heart attack?”
He nodded again, taking it.
“What happens when you come back without the purse?”
“Probably won’t get in,” he muttered.
“I think that’s for the best, don’t you?”
“I guess so.” He looked up at her. “How did you—how did you freeze me like that?”
“Oh that?” she laughed and tapped the side of her head. “It’s all up here. Mental powers. They come in handy some times.” Other times not so much, she thought, recalling Judy.
William nodded again. “I guess I better go,” he said. “If that’s all right with you,” he added hastily. “I still have finals to study for. I’ll tell Tau Ceti I’m not interested any more.”
Megan took a pen and notepad from her purse. She scribbled, tore the small page from the pad, and handed it to William.
“Here’s the phone number for Jennifer Smith,” she said. “Jennifer’s the HR director for Deacon. You call her first thing Monday and tell her you’re interested in the internship.”
“I will,” he said. He took the paper, glanced at it and folded it. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Megan said. “Can I give you a ride back to Rose Hall?”
He stared at her in surprise. “How’d you know I live in Rose Hall?”
“I have my ways,” she said. “How about that ride? My car is right over there.”
“No thanks,” he said. “I’d rather walk. It’s not far. I have a lot to think about.”
“Good,” she said. “I’m glad you’re thinking. I’ll look forward to seeing you again when you come in for the interview.”
He turned away, somewhat dejectedly, Megan thought, and disappeared into the night in the direction of campus.
Megan smiled and shook her head. Bad boys, she thought. The phrase gave her a chill for no reason she could explain.
Megan resumed her interrupted walk to her car. Easing into the driver’s seat, she put her purse on the passenger seat. The newspaper Judy gave her fell out of the side pocket where Megan had stuffed it.
She picked it up off the seat to put it back. Something made her open it again to the story on her husband. The article made her feel awful. But why? Megan ran a finger down the columns of the story, her eyes closed, her newly clairvoyant mind seeking out the unsettling thing locked away behind the print.
She gasped, as though slugged in the solar plexus, as the thing revealed itself like a mugger jumping out of an alley. She saw John her husband; and the reporter Anne Straits.
Together. In bed.
***
Interview with Wodke Hawkinson
Wodke Hawkinson is the author name for writing duo P J Hawkinson and Karen Wodke.
WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? 
Karen & PJ: We have known each other since high school. We began writing together in 2009. Prior to our collaboration, Karen published a book for young readers entitled James Willis Makes a Million, and PJ released a novel entitled Half Bitten. We have since written six books together.

WWM: What inspired you both to get into writing?
Karen: I always liked writing. In fact, PJ and I would write silly stories as far back as high school. But it’s only been in the last few years that I became really serious about writing as a career.
PJ: I was inspired to write a vampire novel after reading the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer and the True Blood series by Charlaine Harris.
WWM: Do you remember the first stories you wrote?
Karen: I wrote my first stories when I was a child. I don’t remember much about those. But PJ & I wrote some pretty silly stuff in high school. After that, we didn’t write together until 2009. Our first book, Tangerine, was self-published. We recently pulled it as it was picked up by a publisher and will soon be re-released with revisions.
PJ: The first stories I wrote were the silly stories Karen mentioned. In fact, I put them together in a binder and we both have copies. Other than that, Half Bitten was my first attempt at writing.
WWM: Can you tell us something about your books?
Karen & PJ: We have three volumes of short stories: Catch Her in the Rye, Blue, and Alone. They feature stories that cover a variety of genres. Our novel Betrayed is the tale of a woman who is abducted during a botched carjacking. After that, we put out an alternative ending to Betrayed, which provides the reader with more of a vengeful satisfaction than the original novel. And at this time, we are getting ready to release our next book, Zeke, which is a novel of obsession and suspense. As stated earlier, Tangerine, which is a sci-fi novel, will be released soon.
WWM: Where do the ideas for your books come from?
Karen: Anything can inspire a story, from a glimpse of a person on the street to an overheard conversation or a piece of art work.
PJ: My mind is so full of ideas sometimes they fall out and get lost; but most the time I try to get the gist of the idea on paper before it escapes. Plus, Karen is right. All it takes is the smallest glimpse of something and the brain will take over with a book or short story being the outcome.
WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Karen & PJ: We are just finishing up the final work on Zeke. After that, we have several in the pipeline. We are considering doing a fantasy next.


WWM: Where can people go and read your work?
Karen & PJ: We are on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
WWM: What are the last books you read?
Karen: I am currently reading The Long Shooters by Daniel C. Chamberlain
PJ: I am currently reading the Hunger Game trilogy by Suzanne Collins.


WWM: Which writers inspire you?
Karen: I’m partial to JRR Tolkien, Dean Koontz, Jenefer Schute, Stephen King, and Isaac Asimov and many others.
PJ: JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, Piers Anthony (Xanth Series), JK Rowlings, Robert Heinlein, and the list goes on and on. 

WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Karen: Write a lot and edit even more. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
PJ: I agree with Karen and I can’t stress the editing part enough. You must edit your writing, then you must edit, and after that, you must edit once again. Even then, it is possible to miss something.
WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book?
Karen: There are some great articles out there about marketing and promoting your books. We basically rely a lot on word of mouth and social networking. We also have a website.
PJ: Karen is correct, there are a lot of marketing and promotion plans for purchase but most are above our current budget. Karen does most of our promotion at this time and she does an excellent job.
WWM: What do you like/dislike about indie publishing?
Karen & PJ: What we like about indie publishing is having full control over our material. What we dislike about it is the difficulty of getting our books into brick and mortar stores.

WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?
Karen: Probably no author enjoys a bad review, but we have to face the reality that not everyone likes the same thing. Some people will love a book and some will hate it. An unfavorable review is merely one person’s opinion, and as long as it doesn’t propagate inaccurate information and isn’t motivated by malicious intent, it’s fair to post. Each reader is entitled to his or her views. Good reviews, of course, make my day. They are really a lift to the spirit. There is always a lot to be learned from mixed reviews.
PJ: I agree with Karen. Everyone should be allowed to voice their opinion; if, as Karen says, their information is accurate. I would suggest reading the back blurb of a book before purchasing it. It saves the reader time and avoids a bad review simply because the reader doesn’t like the story’s content.

WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, which animals would you be and why?
Karen: I would have to go with a cat because I’m fond of naps.
PJ: One of the big cats would suit me fine. Jaguars, tigers, and cougars are all beautiful and graceful; plus, they are strong and are mighty hunters.
Links:
Wodke Hawkinson author website: http://wodke-hawkinson.com/ 
Website for readers & indie authors: http://findagoodbooktoread.com/

Excerpt from Betrayed by Wodke Hawkinson:
Tears ran down her cheeks at the thought of putting weight on her damaged feet, but she tried to stand anyway. Pain soared up her legs and she slumped back to the ground. A fresh, sharp sting issued from the back of her thigh. She turned her leg and found a large gash emitting a steady flow of blood. She wiped her hand on her shirt and turned her eyes back to the slope. Unable to go up, unable to walk, she pulled herself along the ravine, tugging the shirt sleeves down over her hands to protect them. 
She had lost the stream and was thirsty again, and the cold had reclaimed her. She took small mouthfuls of snow, but it did nothing to ease the parched feeling in her mouth and throat, and she had started to shiver again. It was another half hour before she found a shallow rain puddle in the hollow of a large flat rock. She broke through the paper-thin crust of ice over the water, and drank deeply before moving on. 
The woods grew denser, and the ground became riddled with knobby roots and half-buried stones. Her progress was slow and painful. After a while, she came to a game path, hard packed dirt with few rocks. Brook thanked God for giving her a way relatively clear of obstacles. She crawled onto the path, brushing stray branches and rocks from the ground as she went, making her way steadily onward, putting more and more distance between herself and the wrecked car. The shirt she wore was now wet and clung to her skin like a layer of frost.
Snow began to accumulate under the wide-spreading branches overhanging the trail. But, so far it was just a light covering, and for this she was grateful. 
After a while, she tried to stand again, pulling herself upright with the help of a tree. Pain radiated up her legs, but her feet were numb from the cold and she found she could stumble along at a slow pace. It seemed she had been wandering for hours. Providing she hadn’t been going in circles, she calculated that she should be miles from the car by now. But she could see no help in sight and no foreseeable end to her misery. She had heard that freezing to death was a peaceful way to go. Brook couldn’t imagine how that could possibly be true as she stood quaking in the frigid air. She assumed she would eventually just lie down and close her eyes, and then it would all be over. She would just fall asleep and never wake up. Tears stung her eyes again. She didn’t want to die! Keep moving, said a small voice in her head. Keep moving.
Her feet grew heavy and her limbs ached with exhaustion. Brook realized she was probably traveling further away from any possibility of help, but she had no idea which way to turn. There was nothing but trees in all directions. Trees and more trees. And she was so tired. She focused on the mechanics of taking a step. First lift one foot. Then set it down. Then lift the other. Set it down. Moving very slowly now, she trudged on.
It began to feel as if she were sleepwalking. Shadows darted here and there in the trees at the periphery of her vision, but when she turned her head to look, she saw nothing. Faint music reached her ears, like a radio playing far off. A chorus sang in perfect harmony. Angels, Brook decided with a weary smile. She strained toward the sweet voices, but each time she concentrated on the sound, it faded. I'm dreaming, but I'm awake. With dull surprise, she became aware that she no longer felt the cold. Groggy as she was, she still knew it wasn't a good sign. I won't sleep. I won't sleep. Head hanging, Brook pushed herself forward, one difficult step after another. 
She stumbled into a clearing at the same time she heard another nightmarish scream. Unlike the earlier screams, this one was deeper, sounding as if it were wrenched from the throat of a demented being. It jolted her from her daze. Jerking her head up and scanning the area ahead of her, Brook’s gaze fell upon a madman. He stood before her, holding the bloody remains of a body. Long straggly hair hung wild about a bearded face, and streaks of blood smeared his cheeks and clothes. He threw back his head and howled again, as if enraged or locked in the throes of some sick passion.
Shock slammed through Brook. Before she could stop herself, she cried out. The crazy man turned his head. Surprised eyes met hers, and she felt an icy fear slither down her spine. For a long moment, neither of them moved. Then her survival instincts kicked in, flooded her system with a healthy dose of adrenaline, and she turned to flee from the killer. Slipping on the snow-slick humus, she scrambled for purchase, found her footing, and ran face first into a tree. There was a sharp thwack as her forehead made contact with the wood. She slumped gracelessly to the forest floor and was still.

***
Interview with author K.S. Haigwood
WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I can try, but have you ever tried to talk about yourself? It isn't an easy task. I have been married to my soulmate for almost 8 years who wouldn't pick up a book unless promised that it was full of pictures. We have a 6 year old daughter who has a very vivid imagination and talks too much. (I have no idea where she got those traits) I have a 15 year old step-son who is very into football and hunting. I am a CNC Machinist by day and a PNR author by night and weekend. Above all else, I love to write. Writing is not a hobby. For me, writing is a necessity...like breathing. Oh, and I have written 6 books in 2 years.
WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?
I have always been an avid reader. I love to get lost in a book. Books make it possible for me to go to places I would only dream of going. Each page is a different journey. I always carried a book with me, everywhere I went. I had been asked numerous times by friends and family why I didn't just write my own. My response had always been, "I can't write a book." That was true until my voices (characters) started talking to me. They really didn't leave me a choice of if I wanted to write or not. So, I guess they are what inspire me. And no, I'm not crazy, I just have some interesting friends.
WWM: Do you remember the first story you wrote? 
Absolutely! I wrote Eternal Island 2 years ago, this month. It was the first book in my series. There are currently 3 books in the Eternal series, but it still isn't finished. There will probably be around 6 or 7 books before it is complete. I will actually start publishing them with Ella Medler as co-author in a few months. We are partnering together to make it the best it can possibly be for our readers.
WWM: Can you tell us something about your book, "Save My Soul"? 
My, my, my, you do ask difficult questions, don't you? *laughing* I guess I should have mentioned this in the first question. It is near impossible for me to summarize. I can write a 76k word novel in 21 days, but it's extremely hard for me to break it down to 3 sentences. So, I'm going to cheat, and copy and paste my short synopsis from my amazon page. ;-) Kendra Larkin had everything going in the right direction. Her life was seemingly perfect, and she wouldn't have changed a thing about it. Unfortunately, the course of her life was about to be forever altered. A tragic rappelling accident lands her on Dr. Adam Chamberlain's operating table. She agrees to a deal proposed by a guardian angel to help save the soul of the man who is both her doctor and soulmate. If she is successful, she gets to keep her life. However, she later learns that it isn't just her life that's in jeopardy, but her soul as well. Even with the help of her handsome guardian angel, Rhyan, it seems there is no happy ending in sight. Torn between her newly discovered love of Rhyan, and the undeniable attraction she has for Adam, Kendra finds herself at a crossroad. With Adam's steadfast rejection of God, and his guardian demon conspiring against her, she fears her soul may already be lost. Will she find a way to overcome the evil her life is suddenly burdened with? Or will Adam's guardian demon win both their souls and make Kendra his own personal puppet in Hell?
WWM: Where did the idea for the novel come from? 
Geez, I'm going to sound like a crazy person when this interview is over. Some of my characters are very aggressive. They will not let me sleep or think about what I need to think about until I give in and write. Kendra is one of them. She wanted her story told, so I helped her tell it. 
WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment? 
I'm so glad you asked. Yes I am. Forbidden Touch will be released June 2012, which happens to be, *gasp* this month! It isn't a sequel to Save My Soul. Actually it is a completely different paranormal creature all together. Do vampires interest you?
WWM: Where can people go and read your work?
Amazon - here is my author page where all of my books can be downloaded at once. ;o) www.amazon.com/author/kshaigwood
WWM: What is the last book you read?
Sun is Burning the second book in the Unbound series by Jessica Bradshaw - Gave books 1 and 2 five stars. Very good Y/A PNR
WWM: Which writer(s) inspires you?
Where do I start and how long do you have to listen? *Lol* J.R. Ward, Nicole Hill, Charlaine Harris, Jessica Bradshaw, Laurell K. Hamilton, Regan Walsh, PC and Kristen Cast, Richelle Mead, Kym Grosso, L.J. Smith, Ella Medler, Stephenie Meyer, Patti Roberts, D.G. Torrens, Hope Welsh, LA Kuehlke, Suzanne Collins, Gale Minchew, Maree Ward-Russell, Charlie Nitric, Carlyle Labuschagne, Lenore Wolfe...There are hundreds more that have inspired me over the years, those are just the authors that come to mind right now.
WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
I have a lot of tips, but I honestly don't have time to list them all. I guess I need to write a book on that "Tips for Aspiring Writers" It's been done a hundred times, but every author has different experiences and I'm no different. My #1 tip would be to never give up. #2 Self-Publish. If you don't know how, there are thousands of Indie-Authors out there willing to help in any way they can. #3 Stay away from Vanity Publishers. Agents and publishers get paid when you get paid, and if a publisher is asking you for money, you might as well be self-publishing. You are going to have to market your book anyway.
WWM: Do you have any advice on how to market a book? 
There is a lot of free promotional help out there to help authors get their book noticed. Google them. Find them. Use them. Make friends on Twitter and Facebook. Build your platform up and never stop telling people about your book. If you stop you will get passed by, by someone who wants it more than you do.
WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?
Oh, good question, and one of my favorite things to talk about. Giving reviews: I give honest reviews, but I will be the first to tell you that I don't like everything I read. Nobody does. If I can't give someone at least 4 stars, I won't post it at all, but I will send them a private email telling them what errors I found, so maybe they can change them if they are grammar or punctuation related. Usually if it is the story I don't like, I won't even read past the 5th chapter. Getting reviews: I imagine it's quite comical to other people when I realize I've received a five star review. I do the "5 star dance." And I've done that dance 27 times since I published Save My Soul March 16th, 3 months ago. The bad reviews don't bother me, especially when I have a lot of good reviews. I'm aware that not everyone will share my interests, and I have a 2 star review to prove it. Truth be known, a few bad reviews mixed in with a bunch of good reviews will actually boost sales. Think about it, I have 27 five star, 5 four star and 1 two star review(s). If it was me looking at a different author with those same ratings, I'd want to read the book just to see what the problem was with the 2 star giver. That's just my opinion. My sales haven't suffered because of it. 
WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
What? Seriously? All those book questions and you're going to throw something like that at me? *sigh* All right, let me think for a second. I guess I would be a dolphin. They are smart and aren't hunted like most animals.
Links:
Excerpt from “Save My Soul”:
He couldn't be serious.  So, this was why Rhyan had been trying to intercede yesterday, and why he was so clearly angry today.  If I didn't complete my mission, then I wouldn't only lose my life, I would lose my soul as well.  I stared at Coen in disbelief.  "You tricked me?  I bargained with you, not the devil.  My soul shouldn't be up for grabs, Coen."  The more I talked the more pissed I got, and I cry when I'm pissed.  I felt the hot tears streaming down my face and I ignored them.
"It is the price for such a gamble.  I thought you were aware.  I apologize for not informing you better."
I threw the bed cover off my legs and started for him.  "The price!?  It's the price I have to pay?"  I pointed at my chest.  "Well, if a soul is the price, I think it should be yours that we are gambling with.  You are the one who has failed to keep Adam on the right path.  Tell me something, did you cause my accident?"  Rhyan's head turned swiftly, and there was a look of shear horror on his face as he stared at the other angel.  Coen didn't flinch.  I continued pressing for answers.  "I think you did and then made your option of me helping you sound easier and better than dying and going to heaven. You knew I wouldn't turn you down.  Am I right?"
Rhyan stepped a foot closer to the angel.  "You know I'll know if you lie to her, Coen."
Coen dropped his head and clenched his jaw.  He waited a full twenty seconds before responding to either of us.  "I had nothing to do with your accident."
"Liar!"  Rhyan shouted almost before Coen finished his sentence, then hurled himself at the other angel and they both tumbled to the floor.  Rhyan was straddling Coen's chest and had both hands around the other angel's throat.  I didn't know what to do, so I backed up to the wall.  I couldn't call the cops and say, "Oh, hey, yeah, my guardian angel and another angel are duking it out on my bedroom floor.  One of them tried to kill me yesterday, and he will be the cause of me dying, for good, in six days.  Can you send someone out to break up the fight for me, please?"  Yeah, that would so not be happening.
"What would you do if Patrick had her soul in the palm of his hand, and they only gave you a week to get her back?"  Coen said, after taking three solid blows to the face.
Rhyan got to his feet quicker than I would have thought possible.  He looked down at Coen with a kind of sadness on his face.  "I wouldn't have risked another human's soul for mine, Coen.  I would have suffered greatly, but what you've done is unforgivable.  You know the consequences of your actions."
Coen closed his eyes in defeat.  "My brother, I thought with the feelings you have for her that you would understand."
My jaw dropped as Rhyan slowly raised his head to meet my eyes.  He wasn't holding Coen down any longer, but he didn't really have to, Coen was smart enough to stay on the floor.  Our eyes met and we stared at each other for the longest time.  He finally looked down at Coen, then bent and placed his hand on the angel's chest.  There was a loud pop, then both of the angels were gone. 
I guess angels just don’t believe in good-byes.
***
Interview with author Edward Kent
WWM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in a small town on the shores of Lake Ontario. Both of my parents were teachers, so I had education running through my blood at an early age.  I was the youngest of three, with two older sisters.  My dad taught art before becoming head of the guidance department at the high school. I'm pretty sure he passed some abilities on to me, since I always loved to draw, and continue to paint and draw today, even illustrating my series of Zombie Ed children's books myself.  After high school, I studied theatre at Niagara University, before getting my masters in Elementary Education at Niagara as well. I went on to teach second grade for two years in Virginia Beach and eventually found my way back to Western New York and started teaching grades six through eight at a Catholic school.
After teaching for a few years, an opportunity arose at a local dialysis center where I began a new career as a reuse technician.  I eventually became a training coordinator, requiring travel, which would have been really cool if I wasn't afraid to fly!  During this time, I had a beautiful baby girl, divorced, remarried the love of my life in Las Vegas, officiated by Elvis of course,and eventually found myself a victim of downsizing. I had always wanted to write, and after seeing how easy it could be by self-publishing my Dad's novel, which he wrote a few years before his death, my new career was born.  
WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?
My father had written a novel, The Place Of A Skull, many years before, and when he passed away in 2009, I decided to find a self-publishing site online that I could get his book printed and distribute to family. I thought he would have gotten a kick out of this. I only regret not doing it earlier! As I was doing this, I knew that my job was possibly going to be eliminated soon, so I thought about writing my own books, and trying to achieve success as an author. I had a vivid imagination, and with three young kids, children’s books seemed to fit quite well. Having artistic ability gave me the opportunity to draw my own illustrations as well. So Zombie Ed was born, and since 2010, I have written six Zombie Ed children’s books, the most recent being Stop Bullying Me! I’m A Zombie. So What? and What’s A Zombie To Do, When His House Is Split In 2? While working on the last three, I also began my first YA novel, Ed Undead: The Chronicles of a Teenage Zombie.
WWM: Where did you get the idea from for your book, “Ed Undead”?   
While writing the Zombie Ed books, I wanted to take the zombie character and dig a little deeper into a more mature story, using some of the images from my small town growing up, keeping the name Ed, and having fun developing a larger scale to work with story-wise. I love zombies, and everybody has seen enough zombie movies and television shows to know how things most likely go when confronted with a zombie apocalypse, and I use many similar images and depictions, but I wanted to have a twist, being that Ed has the virus, is slowly turning, trying to find help in the form of a cure, along with the fact that he has met up with his high school girlfriend, who is not infected. 
WWM: Can you tell us something about the story?

Ed is a sixteen year old who wakes up one day to find that his house is empty and everyone he encounters is now a flesh-eating zombie.  The only problem is, he has been infected too, and is slowly becoming a zombie himself.  He must seek help and leave his small town, all the while fighting off people he used to know, along with his girlfriend, Lisa Jane, who is not infected.  They are being stalked by a mysterious being who for some reason, wants or needs Ed. 
WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?
I am about to begin the next chapter in Ed’s life soon, but am busy promoting the current novel, Ed Undead, as well as my latest Zombie Ed children’s book about divorce, What’s A Zombie To Do, When His House Is Split In 2?
WWM: Where can people go and read your work?
All of my books are currently available on Amazon, both in paperback and Kindle, as well as Nook. Readers can also find Ed Undead at Smashwords.  On a side note, my father’s novel, The Place Of A Skull, is also available at Amazon, Nook, and Smashwords! His name is Berne Kent.
WWM: What is the last book you read?
The last book I read was 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I love King. He might have been my first true inspiration.
WWM: Which writer(s) inspires you?
I have always loved Stephen King, especially older King, ‘Salem’s Lot being one of my all-time favorites.  I am also a huge fan of Shakespeare and Poe, as well as more contemporary writers like John Grisham and Dan Brown. 
WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
They say everyone has a book inside them.  If you feel you do, and you feel passionately about it, go for it. Do whatever works for you: write by the seat of your pants, or outline first. Just write. Don’t worry about anything else. I like to just go and let the story unfold and see where the characters take me. Then after you’re done or close to it, start to think about editing, and how you will proceed later.  Get other people to read it and give you critiques. Try to avoid close friends and relatives. They will most likely tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. And when the criticisms come, and they will, listen with an open mind and work within them, while trying not to compromise what you want. Not easy, but it can be done!
WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?
As I stated previously, there is much to be taken from different levels of reviews.  Enjoy the good ones, see what can be learned from the mixed or bad ones.  Sometimes, a person who reviews it and does not have a lot of positives, could either not be a fan of your genre, or is an author or an aspiring author who believes that they have all the answers. Take any review with a grain of salt, but again, be open enough to seeing why the review was the way it was and is there anything that can be taken from it. 
WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
Probably a hawk.  I hate to fly, but I know if I were a hawk, I would love to soar high above, looking down at the countryside and gliding and swooping down and about.  I could travel all over, sampling the rodent cuisine on the ground from state to state!
Links:
Excerpt from “Ed Undead”:
The boy moved slowly. His legs were sore and tired, and begging him to stop, which of course, he couldn’t. He was wandering around the end of the building and heading toward the alley. The sun was bright, and it hurt his eyes. He used to have a cap. It was a Red Sox cap, and it was his favorite. Now it was gone. It had been lost somewhere between the mini-mart and the high school. He had tried to pick it up, but they were gaining on him, so he had to leave it. The boy hoped one of them didn’t take it. The cap was his. On anyone else, it would be wrong. A violation. 
He came to the alley and stopped. The boy glanced down toward the end to see if they were there. Not seeing anything or anyone, he slowly made his way toward a dumpster resting near a door he hoped would be open. 
He carefully walked down the alley, making sure he stayed in the shadows that mercifully hung out as if they know he needed their help. The boy thought he heard something behind him, but when he turned, there was nothing. Just the various debris, which flitted about like tumbleweeds in so many of the Western movies he had once watched.
The dumpster grew closer, and he was starting to feel better. He would reach the door, it would be open, and inside he would find safety. They would not be in there. Maybe there would be help. Maybe there would be someone he knew. A friendly face? Maybe. Maybe it would be empty. Just like everywhere else. Still, he had to try. Keep trying.
His legs were screaming. He was tired, and his head ached. At the moment he reached the dumpster, he heard them. They were close. He could hear the noises they made. The grunting. The low, guttural growls much like a dog sounds if you reach too close to the bowl while it’s eating. Sometimes there was an attempt at speaking. Sometimes, he could almost understand a form of language. Mostly, it was just sounds. The boy hated the sounds. The boy hated them. He couldn’t be sure if they hated him as well. He only knew that he had to keep going. Trying to find someone who could help him. Who would help him. 
He reached the door as they turned down the end of the alley. Sensing him, they began to growl louder. Their pace quickened. As quick as their pace could allow for anyway. 
The boy grabbed the handle and turned. At first it seemed frozen. Certain doom waited if he could not get it to turn and open. He glanced back and immediately wished he hadn’t. They were closer. Slowly approaching, arms extended, and their sounds were becoming more frenzied.
The boy turned his attention again to the doorknob. Giving it all the strength he could muster, he yanked down and turned it again. The knob completed its destiny: turning fully, latches clicked, tumblers tumbled, and the door swung open. 
Stepping in and slamming the door behind him, he fumbled for the lock, only to discover that it required a key, which unfortunately he was not in possession of. He searched for something to block the entrance and keep them out. Finding an old metal chair, he shoved it under the doorknob and kicked it as hard as he could so it would find a purchase underneath. Satisfied that it would hold at least temporarily, he found a stairwell and proceeded up. It stank of old, rotted meat, and there were bits of who knows what all along the walls and on the floor as well. He could hear the door booming behind him. As he made his way up the stairs, the faint sound of a doorknob rattling echoed behind him. 
The boy finally reached the top floor and surveyed the situation. No sign of them in sight. The hallway appeared empty, except for fleeting ghosts of a time past. This used to be an office with cubicles, alive as fingers hammered keyboards and the smell of coffee and doughnuts and a thousand different colognes and perfumes filled the air. Workers had scurried from printer to copier, taking breaks to talk about their next family vacation or the latest illness at home. 
The boy felt sad for a moment as he missed such normalcy, like trading this office for a classroom.  Same long day, and similar situations, just no paycheck. He knew he could not stand around and wallow for long. They would eventually get in. They would smell him. For they were what was commonly referred to as zombies. The boy, whose name was Ed, knew this all too well. 
He was a zombie too.
***
Interview with author Helen Hanson
In this interview we’re talking to Helen Hanson, an author of thrillers about desperate people with a high-tech bent.  
While Helen writes about the power hungry, she genuinely mistrusts anyone who wants to rule the world.  Helen directed operations for high-tech manufacturers of semiconductors, video games, software, and computers. Her reluctant education behind the Redwood Curtain culminated in a B.S. in Business Administration with concentrated studies in Computer Science.  She also learned to play a mean game of hacky sack.  She is a licensed private pilot with a ticket for single-engine aircraft.  Helen and her husband spent their first anniversary with their flight instructor studying for the FAA practical. If you were a passenger on a 737 trying to land at SJC in 1995, she sends her most sincere apologies.  Really.
Born in fly-over country, Helen has lived on both coasts, near both borders, and at several locations in between. She lettered in tennis, worked as a machinist, and saw the Clash at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium sometime in the eighties.  She currently lives amid the bricks of Texas with her husband, son, and a dog that composes music with squeaky toys.
If you enjoy her books, please consider writing a review.  If you don’t, please be kind.

WWM: What inspired you to get into writing?
HH: I view writing as an overflow of the ideas ricocheting about in my head.  Eventually one of the ideas gets cheeky enough to demand my attention.  So I meet with the idea.  Is it worthy of ninety thousand words?  Is it compelling enough to forego my family, occupy my core brain cells, and consume all my free time for the next eight months?  Will the idea go the distance with me? If so, then we get to work.  

WWM: Can you tell us something about your books?
HH: We live in a time when technology surrounds us.  The kid down the street has instant access to information unfathomable 100 years ago.  My characters aren’t superhuman but merely human with all the insecurities and inconsistencies that occupy their world.  When they fall prey to the evil ambitions of others, they fight back with weapons they understand.  And it isn’t always ballistic.
WWM: What got you interested in writing thrillers?

HH: From film noir to the best of espionage, thrillers have always been my first choice for entertainment.  As a girl, I stayed up late watching the old movies featuring Bogart, Stanwyck , or anything by Hitchcock.  My favorite novelists are the cold-war spy masters such as John le Carré and Len Deighton.  Meeting George Smiley was a turning point in my appreciation of the spy genre.  Neither flashy nor equipped with the latest gadgetry–though I like these–George suffered a wayward wife, a high-ranking mole, and a nemesis worthy of his own brilliance.  He was a real person not simply a persona.

WWM: Are you working on a new book at the moment?
HH: I’m writing about the young man in the corner booth hunched over his laptop at the coffee shop.  He fills your in-box with offers of high search engine ranking, online gaming, and Viagra. Meet Baxter Cruise: spammer for hire.  His cozy world of free wi-fi and lattes is about to explode.

WWM: What is the last book you read?

HH: OUR GAME by John le Carré.  It’s one I missed when originally released, as I was busy working eighty hours a week.  His characters are intelligent, nuanced, and possess a keen perception of their immediate world.  

WWM: Where can people go and read your work?
HH: I’m in all the usual haunts:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo (soon), and XinXii.

WWM: Which writer(s) inspires you?
HH: John Grisham made novel-writing look easy to me. Sorry, John. And of course it’s not easy, but it’s one of the reasons he is so successful.
And Dr. Seuss.  I still love his playful, rhythmic use of words.  It may be simply obstinacy on my part, but I refuse to fully outgrow his stories.  I could have said Shakespeare, but, how dull is that?

WWM: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
HH: Write.  Read every book you can on the craft until the advice is so familiar it sounds like white noise.  Contemplate what you read until it springs from your pages.  Then do what you damn well please. 

WWM: Good reviews, mixed reviews, bad reviews - what are your thoughts on each of those?
HH: Good reviews are the mountain-top experience, mixed reviews expected, and bad reviews keep writers humble.  Even in real life I’m an acquired taste, so I don’t know why my novels would be any different.  It’s an opinion, to which everyone is entitled to at least one.  Writers are never universally appreciated.  Even the greatest writers spoke harshly about one another’s work.  Catty little brats.

WWM: Do you think a mixed review would impact your sales?  
HH: Perhaps, but I can’t write specifically to target sales.  Every story has to please me first because I’m going to live with it much longer than will any reader.  Take OUR GAME for example.  At Amazon, it doesn’t have unanimously glowing reviews.  Does that mean le Carré wasted his time?  Or the readers? Novels are like gourmet dishes.  We select this one over that one based on the non-integral senses.  It’s only when we consume the thing that we can form a more informed opinion.  Just because the cranberry frittata wasn’t someone else’s favorite dish doesn’t mean it wasn’t beautifully prepared, or that I won’t revel in it.  I happen to adore cranberries.

WWM: Lastly, if you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
HH: A Laughing Owl.  I’ve been a vegetarian, but I’m a carnivore at heart.  While this New Zealand species is now extinct, owls have few natural predators.  Plus they get to hang out in trees, sleep all day, and this owl apparently has a keen sense of humor.  Most importantly, if I’m going to do time as a critter, I need some wings.

Excerpt from Dark Pool:
Martin Fender stepped out from behind the bush as if a game of hide-and-seek had ended. Maggie moved toward him.
“That’s far enough, ma’am.” An officer’s voice warned from her left.
She whipped around to him. “He’s my father.”
“I don’t care if he’s Superman. You stay here.” The officer on Maggie’s right flashed a badge at her father. “I’m Sergeant Garcia with the Half Moon Bay Police Department. Sir, I need you to put down the knife.”
Her father’s face glistened under an eerie light cast by the porch lamps. Slender fingers grasped the knife like a child clutching a balloon string. He ruminated his tongue and didn’t respond to the command.
“Sir. I’m going to tell you one more time.” Sergeant Garcia drew his service pistol. “Drop the knife.”
Maggie stared down the officer. “Please! He has Alzheimer’s. Let me talk to him.”
“It’s true. He does have Alzheimer’s.” Ginger called from the rear.
Sergeant Garcia, a pockmarked Hispanic man with a full mustache, motioned Maggie forward. “You get one chance.”
She nodded.
There was no recognition on her father’s face. Neither was there any apparent concern. Not for the police. Not for the knife. Not for the dead man in the parking lot.
Trisha’s extended illness had left each of the Fenders hollowed out like a rotted gourd. But for Maggie’s father, his disease continued the long march against his mind.
As he stood behind the foliage, she tried to make eye contact. All the familiar connections were missing. She’d seen pictures of dead people; it wasn’t like that. He was alive but somehow empty.
“Daddy?” She leaned toward him and took a step. “It’s me, Maggie. Can you hear me?”
Maggie walked closer. “Daddy? Travis is home.” She heard sharp laughter from the crowd.
His chin lifted, eyes drifting from side to side as if looking for a place to land. “Travis?” His eyes sagged in their sockets. “Where’s Travis?”
Good question. Maggie glanced behind her, scanning the faces. No Travis. “He’s here, Daddy.” She walked next to him, took the knife from his hand, and laid it on a stiff hedge. “C’mon, let’s find Travis.” She locked arms with him and led him down the path.
Two officers swarmed them and took control of her father. Maggie hadn’t noticed the arrival of the second patrol car. Or the camera crew. All eyes trained on her father, including Channel 5.
Crap. Another Fender on the nightly news.
Patrol lights bounced off the sergeant as he approached her. “We have to take him to the station for questioning. What’s your name, ma’am?”
She was going to ask on what charges and then remembered. “My brother and I found a man.” Her throat quivered over the words. “He’s dead.”
The sergeant’s face hardened. “Dead? Are you sure?”
Maggie nodded.
“What’s your name?” He motioned for another officer.
“Maggie Fender.”
When the second officer joined the pair, the sergeant said something to him, but Maggie couldn’t hear it over the thudding in her ears. “Ms. Fender says she found a deceased male. Where was this exactly?”
“He’s about half a mile south in the beach parking lot.”
“Go check the parking lot. I’ll stay with Ms. Fender,” Sergeant Garcia said.
“What’s your father’s name?”
“Martin Fender.”
“We were looking for Dad—”
“Whose ‘we’?”
“Travis. My brother. Well, half-brother, technically.”
“Travis Fender. That’s why the name sounded familiar. He’s out already?”
The rude question sharpened her focus. “We were looking for my father when we found the man in the parking lot. There was—” She covered her mouth. “There was blood on the ground. I checked for a pulse, but he was already dead.”
“Why didn’t you call the police?”
The question reminded her of Travis’ trial. Keep the suspect on the defensive. “We ran home to call. But you showed up for my father before we arrived.”
“Did you know the man?”
“No.” Maggie saw the police push her father into the back of the squad car. “Travis and I are coming to the police station, too.”
“Stay right here, please.” He left her to confer with another officer.
She knew what he was thinking. Dead body found in the proximity of a knife-wielding zombie. But it made no sense. Her father didn’t have any enemies.
And where the hell was Travis? For six months she’d carried this burden alone. Now when he could actually be of some use—
Ginger sidled up next to her. “I’m sorry, Maggie.” Her voice was sultry like a snifter of cognac enjoyed by the fire. While the face matched the voice, the rest of her required a muumuu to cover. “Can I do anything?”
Maggie’s thoughts chased the details of her routine. With Travis in prison, it centered on her father and paying their bills. Hopes of attending law school faded. “I’m going to follow Dad to the police station. Can you feed The Firm?” Their brother-sister beagles, Bailey and Belli, were named for the famous attorneys. Legal beagles nicknamed The Firm. Maggie ran her fingernails over her scalp. “We haven’t even been inside yet.”
“Go on, I’ll take care of them.” Ginger glared. “The reporters too if possible.”
“Have you seen Travis?”
“Isn’t he here?”
Maggie leaned in toward Ginger, but Sergeant Garcia chose that moment to return. Ginger retreated.
“My officers located the body in the parking lot. I need to get statements from you and your brother, Travis.”
“There’s not much to tell.”
Maggie recounted the details of her day. “Travis can give you his own statement as long as I’m present. But my father’s not competent to answer your questions. I’m his legal guardian. He gave me power of attorney for his financial and medical affairs before—well, back when he could.”
“This one’s beyond me.” The sergeant’s face winced in concern. “The county homicide unit is on their way. We’re going to detain your father at the station until I get specific instructions regarding his condition.”
“Jail?”
“He’ll be fine there. But, depending on what homicide finds, they may transport him to a more secure facility. Does your father have an attorney?”
The moron who handled Travis’ case didn’t qualify. Maggie could have done a better job defending him. “No. He doesn’t.”
“We’re doing the paperwork for a search warrant right now. Of course you can save us the ink and consent to a search of the place.”
No way she’d give the police permission to rummage through her home, but she knew her father wasn’t a killer. A programming nerd. A wannabe beach bum. A guitar freak. Not a killer. “I won’t give permission for a search, but I will allow an officer to walk through the house with an escort. No touching anything. You don’t like what you see, go get a warrant. Agreed?”
“Agreed. But I need your brother’s statement.”
Her protracted day still offered no horizon. Fatigue wormed its way through her body and crawled out as a yawn. She covered her mouth. “Excuse me,” said Maggie. “My brother was released from prison today. I don’t condone his actions, but he’s still my kid brother.” She stifled another yawn. “I’m his guardian, too. You’ll get your statement.” She left Sergeant Garcia standing in the driveway.
The young male reporter had a microphone in Maggie’s face before she reached Ginger’s house. “Miss Fender. Is your father’s arrest connected to your brother’s release from prison?”
She scowled at him, pushing the microphone away with the back of her hand. The drill reminded her of Travis’ fiasco. The response—once a part of her lips—came back like a second language, “No comment.”
Ginger opened the screen door and yelled. “You’re on my property now. Get off, or I’ll drag you off!”
The words had the desired effect.
She spoke again before Maggie hit the porch. “Carlotta called, Travis is with Javier.”
“He’s needed here, so of course he’s over there.” Maggie stamped her foot on the planking. “Sorry. Thanks. I told the sergeant he could walk through my house. No searching, just walking. Would you let them in for me? The guitars are the only thing I’m concerned about.”
“Of course, honey.” Ginger took a wide stance. She looked solid like a small refrigerator. “I love you both like my own, Mag, you know that. And I’m not the kind that offers advice before people ask.”
Maggie leaned back on a hip.
“But if I were, I’d remind you that while you are a worldly twenty-two, he’s only fifteen. He celebrated his last birthday in prison, his father has a miserable disease, and his sister is acting like an ass.” She let the door slam. “But I’m not the kind that offers advice.”
“Good thing.” Maggie’s words bounced off Ginger’s broad back. She spun off the porch and ran over to Javier’s.
Javier Modesto’s family owned a desirable apartment complex in Half Moon Bay. Seventeen fashionable units situated barely a block from the beach. They converted two of the lower apartments into a single, large home for their family.
Javier’s mother, Carlotta, opened the door and ushered her in. “Margaret, it’s always so good to see you. You’re looking as lovely as a flower.” She led the way into the family room with a gliding motion that defied the use of actual steps. She often wore long, flowing skirts, and when she moved, it looked as if she were on rollers.
“I’m so sorry about your father. This error will no doubt be corrected quickly.”
Maggie never heard her utter a negative word, and she staunchly professed to believe in Travis’ innocence. They should’ve hired her as his attorney.
“We are so happy to have Travis back. I’m sure it must be a joy for you.’
Joy. Yeah, that’s it.
“He’s in here, dear.”
Carlotta Modesto was one of those women who kept a unilateral conversation flowing during the awkward moments of life. The Fenders may have abused that social nicety of late. She left Maggie alone in front of Javier’s room because she also understood the value of silence.
Maggie knocked on the door, but she knew Travis would be in there alone because Mrs. Modesto would have arranged it. And Ginger was right, she had been acting like an ass. She’d never really forgiven him for putting the family through the ordeal of a trial.
Their worries about her father had surfaced several years ago. They all suffered when Trisha died, but Travis’ trial took the last of his starch. An ache welled from within that made her knees wobble. She clutched the side of the door. She was Travis’ parent. And Daddy’s. Legally.
Everybody got a parent but her. Damn it.
She pulled long on the air, enough to sustain her insides from a cave-in. It was time she acted like the sole grown-up of the family. It was time to get her father out of jail. But first, it was time to forgive her little brother for being so freaking stupid.

Links:
  
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10 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting me today. I always enjoy hanging out with madmen!

    Helen

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  2. Thanks for hosting me, Paul! I always enjoy hanging out with Madmen.

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  3. "Laughing Owl" - I like it :)

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    1. They also shred rodents, as needed :)

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  4. It was a blast, Paul. Really insightful questions.

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  5. I loved the interview With Kristie Drennin Haigwood! Her witty charm is infectious. I have read her book "Save my Soul" and loved it. I simply wait with anticipation for her next book. Fabulous interview! Great questions and amazing answers well done to both of you.

    D.G. Torrens

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  6. Fabulous interview with K.S.Haigwood! Her witty charm is highly infectious... I loved the interview, great questions and fabulous answers. Well done both of you :)

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