Let’s Meet ‘New York’s Finest’,It’s Time For Meet The Author: James. J.Cudney ! + Giveaway #amreading @jamescudney4



I can’t tell you the last time I saw a man in a pair of trouser braces! Let’s get to know James Cudney’s style! He’s  the author of Father Figure, it’s on my Kindle ready for me to tuck into reading I can’t wait… it’s time for Meet The Author.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Although most of my family is from the New York area, my parents took a brief excursion to Florida for a few years where I was born. We lived there until I was three years old when they returned back to Long Island. I grew up there, went to college in Pennsylvania, and had a brief stint in California. For the last six years, I’ve lived in New York City. I have this battle of wills between living in the suburbs and living in a major metropolitan city. I’m already itching to go somewhere rural, but it will probably need to wait a few years.

I’m a quiet, stay-at-home, routine-oriented kinda guy. I do a fair amount of world traveling, watch a few favorite television series, working out, some gardening, reading and genealogy. I like researching and analysing things and puzzles, but for the most part I’m usually doing something relatively simple and calm. Every so often, I get a little crazy and go out to a few bars, get adventurous, and cause a ruckus. I try to keep that to a minimum cause it might make me suddenly get outta control! And I don’t want to have to explain any jailtime experience… although that might help me become a better writer… 😊

Kim: Haha, ‘jail time.’  And Long Island? New Yorkers from there have such a cool accent.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

I’ve got four favorites these days: Agatha Christie, Ken Follett, Henry James and Kate Morton. My inspiration would be a toss up between Follett and Christie because they are the most prolific story tellers I know. I hope to have dozens of books over the next thirty years.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Although I read across almost all genres, my go to ones usually include mystery, historical fiction and thrillers.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I don’t think it changed my actual writing process, but it has given me an entirely new level of admiration for editors. I’m fairly strong at understanding 90% of all the grammar rules and styles, but I missed a lot. I never worried about the differences between “knew” and “had known” as it can be fairly minor when you speak; however, it’s a whole different ball game when you are telling a story in the past tense and need to refer to something that happened even further back. I’m much more careful of these things while I’m writing so that my editor doesn’t have to find the obvious problems – I get those fixed in my early drafts before passing it on to her.

Kim: Hmmm, I hear that or is it I heard you? 🙂 

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

I’m working on the sequel for my first novel right now. I knew it could and should be a series, but I wanted some security than readers would find it equally as compelling. I’ve heard them loud and clear about it, and so I’m in the outlining process now to deliver something within the next year. I’m also focused on looking at potential options to turn it into a film or television series down the line.

The books will follow the Glass family who live in Connecticut, USA. Ben, the patriarch, died in a car accident in the first book, leaving behind his wife and five adult sons. His will was the catalyst for the family to implode over all the buried—or not-so-buried—secrets that were on the cusp of staying hidden. I’m currently drafting several short stories to function as a prequel for everything that happened to each family member before the first book, then a sequel which will show us life three months after the huge family showdown near the end of the last one.

Kim: Did you say movie? *raises eyebrows* that would be amazing!

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

It’s quite complex because there are 6 flashbacks that happen in the book where details about characters’ lives are revealed. Everything is so date driven, I keep a detailed list of facts and timelines showing all the integration points. It’s a good thing all my research, project management and genealogical skills stayed with me!

Kim: that’s what also throws me in writing too, the timeline of events, you can guarantee one reader will be paying such close attention they’ll notice if you are even a day out! Lists work in my experience.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Yes! I am planning to write a cozy mystery book and/or series next year. I’ve also been convinced to write a romance novel, but I’ve never really read any before. So, I need to brush up on some good ones in that genre, then take a crack at it. Hey… you’re familiar with that… and a pretty popular author… maybe I need some pointers from you?

Kim: *blushes*  * clears throat* well, ya know… maybe I could help, anyways back to you a new male author in the romance genre sounds good to me. I interviewed two other guys who want to do it, I wonder who has the biggest balls and will go for it!  I’d love to read it.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

Being able to say I published a novel and have an ISBN registered in libraries and bookstores. I accomplished my goal, and if I didn’t get to publish any additional after these first few, I will still be proud of what I achieved.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Nope, not my laptop. People, yes. Random pieces of junk mail sitting on the desk needing to be thrown out, definitely. My frustration usually comes if there’s a negative review that’s from someone who’s just being rude. I like constructive criticism as it drives you to do better. But the meanies make you occasionally ask yourself ‘why do I do this to myself’ and then I want to throw things. Just not my laptop – too much saved on it!

Kim: Never mind the haters, do they know what it takes to knock out 90,000 words? Your book is 400 pages ,so at a guess from experience I’d say that’s about the word count if not more. If they don’t like your work… well, at least they bought the book and your pockets are lined either way, LMFAO.

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Sorry, sorry no I meant never mind the haters, for every one person who hates or dislikes what they read there are ten that did love it! Chin up.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

Definitely a plotter. I map everything out in a 30 to 40-page outline before I ever start to write. I assign chapters to weeks, detailed descriptions to characters and settings to scenes. From there, I am a pantser. I start with parameters and knowing what I need to accomplish in each scene, but whether the character is happy or sad, truthful or deceitful, funny or mean… that just flows as I’m writing.

Kim: sounds good to me.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

Oh – insert your favorite explicative – you are not! I am comma heavy. I tend to insert them whenever I hear that pause in the words in my head. My editor totally called me out on it in a nice way. I’ve cut the usage by 75%, but she still catches several per page. I give up at some point and think… ‘this isn’t my area of expertise, let the person who knows how to do it fix it!’ If I didn’t, I might just lose my mind permanently.

Kim: ha, I think I over inset too if I’m honest.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

I do, but it’s not that I confuse two words in spelling. I think faster than I type sometimes, so I end up reversing the order of words such as “to” or “the.” I can’t tell you the number of times I end up with something along the lines of “I am going the to store.” Then when I am re-reading or editing, I totally skip over it and the editor or beta readers find it. I’m like ‘Yo, writer, how does this happen???’

Kim: ‘Yo! Writer! *smiles* when I want a really good laugh, I pull out my first draft of my first ever romantic suspense.

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What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m writing some of the prequel Glass short stories. I’m outlining the Glass sequel. I’m outlining the intro to the cozy mystery series. But… I’ve suddenly become obsessed with a very emotional love story that I can’t get out of my head. But there’s no way I can write all 4 by December, so I need to push two until next year. What do you think I should do?

Kim: hmmm, when this creativity overload happens to me, I go with what I can’t get out of my head as that’s where the passion and heat is. Personally, I’d go with what drives you most, as you’ll write it with heart. Keep the outlines going but write what’s calling you… But whatever you do, write them all no matter how long it takes. Myself and Didi are working on The Suspenseful Collection Volume #2  and  have outlined #3. Technically, she has been waiting for me to finish two stories since Christmas! Other things have called us both, we focused on this, but we both know when we go back to those stories they are going to be totally badass, because it will be the right time the calling is there. Never write under duress the result won’t be your best work.

So… where can we get your books?

Right now, from Amazon. Both are available on my author page @ https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

A big ego hurts writers. A tiny ego also hurts. This is the case of Goldilocks and the three bears. Find the happy medium and stick with it. There is a time to self-promote and share why you are a great writer and there’s a time to sit back and let other people take the lead.

Kim: *Nods head* nice, agreed.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Interesting question… I’ve made the conscious decision not to worry about research in my first two books. I chose story lines where I knew the settings and time periods so well, it wasn’t necessary to research. I had a couple of plot points to work out, for instance exactly when did using hair for DNA research become common practice and what happened with college acceptance forms in the 1980s. Both were easy, but my focus was on writing and making a name for myself. The plan is to spend more time researching for future books now that I’ve built up a readership and interest in my style and voice.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes, I’ve read everything on Goodreads and Amazon, and if I stumble upon it anywhere else, I read it. I can’t help it. I want to learn what readers like and dislike, so I can grow. I am overwhelmed and speechless by all the good ones. On a few negatives ones, readers have chosen to be unnecessarily cruel and silly. I’m all for constructive criticism, but when someone is downright nasty, it hurts. I have a thick skin, but it still causes you to feel awful. It’s not unlike life though. People say things to hurt you, then move on. I wallow for a day or two, then I am good again.

Kim: the best amour writers can wear is thick skin, to be honest James I’ve come to the conclusion there is a reader for every writer’s style, even when you break the rules of the norm for the gene. So just keep pushin’ and really don’t let the mean comments hurt you, I promise there will come a time where you just don’t care for the straight up mean rubbish.

What was your hardest scene to write?

In one of my novels, there is a scene where someone is violently attacked. I made a conscious decision to stop at a specific point and leave the rest to the reader’s imagination. I knew exactly what point that was but leading up to it was quite impacting. I’m lucky and privileged to never have gone through something so painful. Just living it through my words and imagination was hard enough, I cannot understand how someone could ever hurt another person or how the survivor finds the strength to persevere. It was important for the scene to be full of emotion and fear, but not be vulgar or vicious in the choice of words. I needed to create imagery without crossing a line. I’m very happy with where it ended up from a word perspective, but I sometimes struggle even in re-reading it myself.

Do you Google yourself?

Yes, and it’s funny. I’ve done it for the last few years, and the things it finds as time goes by… wow! My last name isn’t very common, but I am the fourth with this name as it’s been handed down, so occasionally, I have to check if it’s me or my dad!

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Wow! I’m privileged to know and chat with at least another 50 published authors that I’ve met through my blog and my publisher. I also find a way to reach out to an author I don’t know if I read their book and give them a 4 or a 5. I’ve been able to connect with most of them, too. I learn something new and good from each of these wonderful writers. Sometimes just having a colleague who has been through a situation you’re going through, or a novel handling a topic you need information on, is an amazing source of comfort.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

With two under my belt, each took 6 months from start to finish, including editing. Once they went to the publisher, it was another 2 months, plus a prep month for outlining… so we’re looking at 9 months per book. Some of that time I can be working on two books, so my goal is to deliver two books every year to year and a half.

What’s your favourite movie?

Defending Your Life. Who doesn’t love Meryl Streep?

What music do you like?

I’m a radio guy – top 40s pop make me happy!

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I’m keen on Australia and Patagonia as my next big trip. I’m hitting Italy and England for 3 weeks this spring, but then I’ll be planning the big one!

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

Olivia Glass… she’s vivid and ruthless at first, then finds a tender moment. She’s torn between love and power, support and pain. She’s every person in life just on a much larger scale.

Do you need a lot of sexual experience to be a good erotica author?

What an interesting question given I haven’t yet written erotica. I do have 3 scenes in my first book and 5 or 6 in my second book that are quite intimate. Both cover discussion of body parts, physical acts, and imagination. I’m almost afraid to answer this question. It may reveal way more than I intend, but I’m usually an open book, so I’ll give it a try. I think you need to have a fairly extensive amount of experience to be able to write erotica – BUT… that experience could come from many places. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something you’ve done yourself. Sometimes reading about it or watching it happen gives you enough details to understand a human being’s reaction to physical intimacy. Combining what knowledge you do have, talking about it with other people, and experiencing varying degrees of it yourself, you find the right balance of being able to write about it. Consider an author writing a scene in which a character of different sexuality is engaging in something erotic. You may never have done that yourself, but you can imagine what it’s like based on all the other things you’ve seen and done. There’s an emotional reaction we all have to a release. There’s a powerful connection we have at the initial touch. There’s expressions we make when we have little to no control over something happening to / inside us. It can’t often be controlled in the same exact way, but there’s enough to get a clear picture you can augment with your creativity. At least that’s how it works for me! Can I go hide now?

Kim: LMFAO! You’re just too cute you skirted around actually answering!! You answered that like a true politician James. This question was for an erotica author I interviewed, glad you never overlooked it. Well, what can I say? Imagination is a good friend as well as reality, as a romance writer, writing erotically can come naturally ( I don’t write sweet romance) so… yeah, I hear ya! My hardest challenge in this area was co-writing, again, with my co-author a lesbian serial killer! In present tense  and first person point of view!  Now when I started the story my co-author totally rolled with the whole girl-on- girl scene, and finished up really good! She shocked the hell out of me. When readers demanded part #2   we had to finish up as readers demanded it,  a challenge like none other as it was pretty steamy s*hit, even if I say so myself!

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

I’d have started sooner… I wasn’t ready, and I needed to develop more confidence. Sometimes trial by fire is the best path.

Pick one a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

Follett… he’s been writing for 3 decades and continuously impresses people of all ages.

Thanks for a great interview James! isn’t he a cutie? How he answered the erotic writing question really made me smile. Anyway guys, check back later for excerpts  ( posted later today) and a book review of Father Figure in the very near future. Yours truly will do a read and review, I can’t wait.

About The Author:

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do outside of writing: I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dog has a weekly segment called “Ryder’s Rants” where he complains about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.

A bit of humor: Everything doubles as something else when you live in NYC. For me, it’s the dining room, my favorite space in the apartment, where more than just my cooking is on display! As I look out the windows onto a 12th floor terrace, various parts of nature (trees, bushes, flowers, bugs & animals) inspire me to write. Ryder, my 10-year old shiba inu, usually lays on my feet, growling when I shift positions too many times or when I forget to share my food! Although he’s only 20 pounds, he’s quite strong and pushy. But how else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?


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Father Figure will be available FREE from 5/6 thru 5/10! Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Also, if you haven’t read James’ fantastic debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, pick it up on sale for only $0.99 on Amazon from 5/6 thru 5/10!!!

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Meet The Author Christmas Special + Excerpts Fantasy Author Charles. E Yallowitz @cyallowitz #amreading #fantasy

 It’s Christmas day! And of course being the 25th it’s time for Meet The Author. This month I have a fantasy author. I have so much respect for authors in fantasy/ paranormal / sci-fi genres. The talent needed to create a ‘new world’,  is a whole new level of creativity.  Let’s get to know Charles’ style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Nice to meet you too and thank you for having me.  I’m from Long Island, New York, which is that long pronged piece of land you see at the bottom of the state.  People say it looks like a fish, but I think it’s more like an alligator with its mouth open.

Besides writing, I do low key stuff like reading manga, watching anime, and cooking the dinners around here.  The reason is because I’m also the stay-at-home parent, so when I’m not writing, I’m wrangling with an 8-year-old.  We read together, play with Legos, and just have fun once his homework is done.  I find that most of my non-writing hobbies revolve around doing stuff with my son these days because I like sharing what I love to do with him. Oh, going to zoos, aquariums, and nature preserves are a big thing too.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

It’s been so long that I can barely remember.  Way back in 2nd grade, we had work stations that we rotated through during the week.  One was a writing station and I figured out how to make books.  These were mostly about animals, my toys, or jokes.  They’re still in a satchel somewhere too, but this is where I fell in love with telling stories to others.  People were interested and I felt like they were happy.  I did hide under the table to keep writing after station time was done, which cost me that spot for a while.  The thing is that I didn’t think of this as more than a hobby until high school.  I’d read ‘The Books of Lost Swords’ by Fred Saberhagen and just felt like I could do that.  I was always dreaming up stories and adventures, so putting them to paper ended up being a natural transition.  Been doing it ever since and I grab inspiration from just about anything around me.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

Legends of Windemere is a fantasy adventure series that follows six young warriors who are destined to save the world of Windemere from an ancient evil that had been erased from history and mortal thought.  It begins with only one of them, Luke Callindor, stumbling into his first adventure and learning that he has a long way to go to be as successful as his famous ancestors.  From there, more heroes join and their true path is uncovered with each of the 15 volumes having its own adventure.  Much of the story also deals with how these characters grow knowing that they have to fight for the world and that their destiny only says they enter the battle.  There’s really no assurance that they’re going to win, which makes them repeatedly wonder if they are doing the right thing or should plan for the future.

As deep as that is, my series is primarily a fun action adventure with tons of magic, humor, and characters that I hope people connect to.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

It was fairly nerve-wracking at first, but having each book contain its own story helped out.  Most of the links are through the characters evolving and growing into what they need to be for the final battle.  I felt like the heroes and villains should be the ones to give the story a natural progression instead of forcing the connections.  Also, I do a lot of planning, so I had outlined all of the books beforehand.  I knew where I was going and would just alter stuff to accommodate any changes that happened when I was actually writing.  Keeping myself fluid in thought really helped make this project a lot easier to put together.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I’ve dabbled in a few other genres with various levels of success.  Long ago, I tried my hand at horror with a slasher/psychological story that I still published for some reason.  My second attempt has gone better and I’ve done three volumes of this story that I post on my blog throughout October.  It starts with a young man going to a mental health facility where strange things happen and then goes from there.  It’s hard to explain without doing the big spoiler of the first book.

I also have a dystopian action comedy series that I have a lot of fun writing.  The United States has been cut off from the rest of the world by walls on the borders and an international navy.  Soon after that, someone nuked D.C. and everything fell apart to create the Shattered States. The series follows a young woman named Cassidy who is traveling with a serial killer who she let out of prisoner to help her travel from NYC to San Francisco.  Her mom was killed after a decade of protecting her and she promised to toss her ashes off the Golden Gate Bridge.  I like playing in this world because I get to cut loose with the language, violence, and everything else since it’s an R-Rated story.  My fantasy tends to be more PG-13, so the Bedlam Series is a great release of both stress and imagination.  Especially since I can make so many odd villains in a world like this.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

This might sound strange, but I would say when Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero got onto the Top 100 lists soon after it debuted.  I had no idea what I was doing in terms of marketing and blogging.  I didn’t even know about blog tours and hadn’t touched Twitter at this point.  To this day, I’m not sure what I did right, but it gave me a great foundation to keep going forward and push through a lot of obstacles.  Is it right to be proud of a moment that could have just been dumb luck?

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Never because of what I was writing, but I have a touchy relationship with technology.  For example, my new laptop needed to go back to the manufacturer twice for repairs before I had it for 6 months.  Problems with the sound system.  I’ve had hard drives crash because of Windows updates, printers burst into flames, and full system wipes without any warning.  Those usually lead to me wanting to Frisbee through my laptop off the roof.

Kim: haha ‘ through the roof.’ 

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I’m such a plotter that I plot about plotting.  I usually start a project with a story blurb to get the general idea and then I make character bios.  These help me establish subplots and basic evolutions.  Then I do a chapter by chapter outline that simply tells me the goal of each section.  It helps me because I live in a house where distractions are common, so having this to work off of means I can move in and out of a story with more ease.  Basically, it’s became a survival tactic because I’d get nowhere if I didn’t do a lot of legwork beforehand.

Kim: you sound a lot like me, I do bios and chapter outlines too! Help rid any plot gaps.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

Commas are an odd thing, but I remember an English teacher once sat me down to explain them.  The reason was because I never used them beyond lists and when mentioning who you’re talking to in dialogue.  What I was told is that you put a comma when you hit a point where you would naturally pause if saying the sentence out loud.  Even with this rule, I miss some because people talk at different cadences.  It’s funny too because I’ve been accused of not having enough and using too many.  Now, if we’re talking semi-colons, that’s where I run away screaming.

Kim: Lawrd, I understand all of that. I was taught the same rule and try to follow it. I’ve learned people breathe and pause at different speeds, so my commas are always moved around by my editor.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

  1. Write what you love because that love will come through your words.
  2. You are the only who makes the final call. Ask for advice if you’re stuck, but don’t think you have to take it because only you know the story in your head.
  3. Not matter what you think, you can improve your skills. Just like your characters, you are always evolving and developing until the end of your adventure.

Kim: good advice there I like all that.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

Well, I just released Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age, which is the final book of the series.  So, I’m kind of feeling a little lost since I started working on it in 1998. I already finished the first book of my next series, which is War of Nyte.  This looks into the rise of the Dawn Fangs, which are a new breed of vampires in Windemere with magical powers and the ability to walk in daylight.  I’ll probably tackle the next one because I like keeping my writing ahead of my publishing.

All that being said, my next release will be the 3rd volume of my Bedlam Series.  I typically do that in February.

So… where can we get your books?

All of my books are available on Amazon for Kindle.  You can check them out on my author page HERE.  (After all these years, I still feel weird doing blatant self-promotions.)

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

This is a really tough question because most people think it’s financial and they’re very quick to tell me this opinion.  Personally, I think success is when you publish your book and people read it.  Hearing that somebody loved one of my characters or stayed up late with my stories feels like a better victory than making a fortune.  As far as saying I’ve made it, I don’t know if I’ll ever fully believe I have.  There always seems to be a new level to reach for whether it be in style or career.

Kim: I think I agree with a lot of that. Financial is good, but nothing beats making a connection with readers who really enjoy your work.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I love this question because ego is seen as a negative so often.  Yet, we need at least some to help us move through the slings and arrows that come with being a published author.  I think a big ego can protect an author from the cruel comments and help them push forward with their own vision.  Yet, it’s also dangerous because letting it call every shot means you ignore good advice.  It’s like wielding a very large sword.  It can help you in battle, but only if you maintain control.

Kim: what a comparison 🙂 swords and egos!

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

With my fantasy stories, I don’t do much research beforehand because I created the world.  Much of my research was done back in college when I designed the basics.  Many of my monsters are made on the spot and I’ll look up certain weapons when I need them.  A lot of times I have to go back to my own notes, which could count as research.  Now that I think about it, I probably spend more time on names than anything else. This is the opposite of my dystopian series because I work within Earth.

For Bedlam, I’ve had to research all manner of modern weapons and check to see how far from reality I’m going with certain ideas.  The big thing for this series is planning the characters’ route because their adventures always involving traveling.  So, I spend a day or two looking up towns within the states that they’re passing through.  I love finding small ones with a quirk that I can build into a strange culture like a town that worships peanuts or one that is a strange mix of Egyptian and Norse.

What was your hardest scene to write?

For Warlord of the Forgotten Age, I had a hard time with the entire book because I was saying good-bye to the characters.  The toughest one has to be the final scene where closure is finally achieved.  Although, the overall series has one scene that I would put above the others.  I originally planned for a character to die a certain way in Ritual of the Lost Lamb, but it didn’t feel right until I went with my gut. The good is that it came out beautifully.  The bad is that I can’t even read that scene with crying.  Actually, I’m starting to tear up now because the visual is stuck in my head.

Kim: aww.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with a lot of indie authors through my blog and we comment on each other’s ideas. We also help promote each other’s books when we have a new release.  Over the years, I’ve been very thankful to work with C.S. Boyack, John W. Howell, Nicholas Rossis, Olivia Stocum, Victoria Zigler, Sue Vincent, Don Massenzio, and the list will just keep going.  Honestly, people can come to my blog and check the comments to final plenty of authors.  There’s also the Rave Review Book Club where many indies can be found supporting each other.  I highly recommend it to people who are starting out and needing a positive foundation.

Kim: Rave Review sounds good, I’m on my way over…

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Starting at the initial planning stage, a full novel can take me 3-4 months to get the first draft.  This is on the high side because I’m factoring in school breaks, family gatherings, and weekends being busy here.  It’s basically 2-3 weeks to get the first stage done and plan a little of the future to get an idea of where I’m going.  1-2 months to write the first draft.  Then another 2-3 weeks to do a first edit.  One thing that helps is that I spent 10 years doing the some of the initial work for most of my 30+ ideas.  I use this stage as a break between projects too, so I’m always pushing ahead on some future project.

What would you like readers to know?

I write to entertain.  That’s my biggest goal when I tell a story.  To draw a reader into my world and take them on the adventure.  It’s one of the reasons why I’ve gravitated towards Present Tense 3rd Person style . . . and people go running for the exits.  This is something I have to be upfront about because it can be a jarring style since we’re all used to reading past tense. Probably should have started with this warning.

Kim: HIGH FIVE!!! In my genre present tense third person ( or even first) is so frowned at ( romance). Me being me, I did it, I still do it, and I’ll keep doing it if I’m feeling it for that story. * Kim sticks her tongue out.*  There are no rules! Just your own. I love present tense third person for the exact same reason you do…. the journey. It also comes more naturally to me when I write. I love first person as well, a fast paced thriller/ crime story just works so much better this way sometimes, get up close and personal with the villains. * Kim sticks her tongue out again.*

What music do you like?

Various types of Rock n Roll and metal.  Sort of orchestral if you count the video game music I listen to like Final Fantasy themes.  Honestly, it’s a little hard to think beyond my first answer because Pandora is playing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and my dad is giving me strange looks whenever I start singing.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I haven’t done a lot of traveling, so there’s a long list.  I’d really like to see Greece one day because I’ve had an interest in Greek mythology.  Many of my Windemere deities were based around how those gods and goddesses acted.  I’ve heard it’s a beautiful country too.  Australia comes in a close second, but I have a really big fear of spiders and anything poisonous.  Maybe I should just try for New Zealand and wave at Australia.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

I start every character off with a flaw like a temper, reckless behaviour, a phobia, etc.  This isn’t for them to get over it though because some flaws stick with you for life.  They can be reduced, but I like having these key points rear up in certain situations.  A reason for this is because I don’t think characters should only rise when developing.  Real life is like a rollercoasters with ups and downs, so it should be the same for fictional heroes.  They have losses and victories, which give them a natural evolution.  As much as I plan where I want them to go, it’s the spontaneous reactions when I’m writing that really develop my heroes and villains.  So, it seems the answer here is with a little guidance and then by the seat of my pants.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?
As much as I would love to say Luke Callindor because he started it all, I have to go with Nyx.  This is a female caster who debuted in Prodigy of Rainbow Tower and has the power to lay waste to a small army.  She started off with a nasty temper, but has softened over the course of the series.  At times, it feels like the books are all about her development because she’s different from the other champions.  Unlike the rest, Nyx was raised knowing she would be going into the battle, so this destiny is all she’s known.  There’s a vulnerability to the character because she’s scared of thinking about a life without this ancient evil looming over her, which is something she’s never done before.  It doesn’t matter that she can hurl powerful spells and is a character who will take a beating and get up to keep fighting.  This human aspect of Nyx makes all of that secondary and rather appealing to most of the readers.  It’s made her a joy to write and I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to make a character like her again.

Thinking about it, she’s probably the one I had the hardest time saying good-bye to at the end.

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

First, I wouldn’t have tried to take everyone’s advice on how to write.  This cost me a few years because I had turned my first book into a hodgepodge of styles and concepts.  Took me a while to fix it after I learned that I had to follow my gut.  Second, I would have started in on self-publishing earlier.  It’s hindsight now, but I feel like I spent too many years submitting queries and manuscripts.  Fear was definitely the reason I didn’t jump at the chance when it started, so I kick myself for stepping up rather late in the game.  Third, I’d not take negative reviews too personally.  They happen and it’s best to move on even if you’re getting private messages about them.  You can’t please everyone and even a friendly debate with someone who didn’t like your book can lead to a mess that takes time away from writing.

Kim: *salute* great learning curve.

Pick one: a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

Longevity every time.  Bestselling author is nice, but I’d rather win at the long game than the short one.  That means I can keep writing, which is what I need to do make this a lifelong career.  After all, what’s the point of an award or title if that’s where your progress stops?

Kim: Amen to that. An award or crafting a  best seller is just the starting point, and all the confidence you need to just keep doing your thing= writing. I totally agree longevity is the route.

Thank you so much for your time today, it has been a pleasure to meet you and hear your view point on a lot of things Charles.

 Connect With Charles Here Social Media Links

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com



Excerpt: Luke’s Awakening


With a groan, Sari’s eyes flutter open and she bats at the beams of light that are striking her face. Rolling off the small couch, the gypsy lets her enchanted boots glide her to the floor where she remains for a few minutes. Ivy dangles from the ceiling, which she is sure had been bare when she passed out last night. Slipping off her boots, she enjoys the cool stone on her sweaty feet and lets the sensation ease her tense muscles. Holding up her arm, Sari can see that her dress is getting worn around the seams, the garment being the only thing she has worn for the last four days. The urge to change or take a bath still eludes her, so she pulls out a bottle of perfume to hide the smell that she is beginning to notice. Sitting up, the gypsy takes in the sight of the well-furnished bedroom and enjoys the strong breeze coming through an open window. Claiming a half-eaten cookie as her breakfast, the blue-haired woman flips to her feet and turns to face the canopied bed that she has refused to stray far from.

The food falls out of her mouth when Sari sees that Luke is sitting up, the blonde-haired forest tracker staring ahead like a zombie. Light bounces off the gold flecks in his chocolate brown eyes, but the glistening orbs hold very few signs of awareness. It is only when he reaches up to touch the pink scar crossing his torso that the gypsy finally accepts that she is not dreaming. Moving slowly across the room, Sari keeps her attention on Luke as if he is a wild animal that can be startled at any moment. Reaching a pile of pillows, she nudges an exposed arm with her foot in an attempt to wake her companion. All she receives is a whimpering moan and a gentle slap to her heel from the bronze-skinned limb.

“Luke is awake, Grasdon,” Sari whispers at where she thinks her friend’s head is. Sitting on the pile, the gypsy locks her body to prevent Kira from rushing to the bed. “Don’t make any sudden movements. He’s sitting up and staring at something. Not much blinking and no sign that he knows I’m here. I’m as excited as you are, but we need to be smart. Yola could have put a spell on him or maybe he’s possessed by a ghost.”

“Get your butt off my face, gypsy,” Kira angrily growls before pinching her companion in the thigh. Freeing herself from the immovable woman, the heiress crawls to a basin where she hastily washes her face and hair. “Hand me a clean towel and turn away because I’m changing out of my travel clothes. Luke woke up an hour after you fell asleep. Sorry I didn’t tell you, but it was . . . All he did was cry until he just stopped. No build up or slow down. He simply started weeping and it cut off abruptly. That’s why I buried myself under the pillows because I can’t see him like this.”

“You didn’t try to get a reaction from him?” the gypsy asks, stealing some of the basin water to clean herself. Caring very little about privacy, she changes into a clean shirt and new layered skirt while liquid tendrils run along her skin. “I know Dariana told us to be careful, but we can’t leave him like this. One of us has to be able to get through to him. I mean, he’s obviously awake, right?”

Meet The Author: Antoinette Huston- Sci-fi, Fantasy + Comic author #amreading

Last up is Antoinette Huston! A southern girl from the USA and gamer. Let’s get to know her style.



Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi! I’m a southern girl born in Texas raised in Georgia and I enjoy creating jewellery out of leather, cooking and rpg video games.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create? I started writing when I was in Middle school.

My parents bought us a Brother’s Word Processor. Waaay back in the 1980’s. My inspiration? That had to be the comic books I from the stash Dad had hidden in the attic or my dad’s fantasy books I started reading one summer bored out of my head.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

Piers Anthony, Steven R. Boyett, Richard & Wendy Pini or Steve Perry are the authors that inspired me and continue to do so.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy reading Fantasy and science fiction

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It opened my eyes to the adventure of writing. My first book was a hot mess. I didn’t know anything about editing, beta readers, arcs or anything! I just put it out there. I learned really quick, like a week afterwards all the ‘no-no’s’ I did. I learned about social media, about scams, about organization. I’m still learning.

Kim: The first one is so bitter sweet, teaches you so much!

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

Honey Cantrell was a simple comic book geek when aliens or Celestials, introduced themselves to Earth. A captain was needed for the first Celestial to visit Earth, a sentient ship, and Honey was mistakenly chosen. After nearly killing her, Honey finds that the Orb that makes her Captain, has been tampered with. Besides the secrets held within her Orb, she has to deal with unexpected feelings for her Celestial partner, a revenge plot that shouldn’t include her and a dangerous alien mating ritual that she had no intentions of joining but was made a prize for the winner.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

I hadn’t planned on a series, but you cannot deny creativity.

Kim: Got that right.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

When I first started writing, I simply thought what I wrote was fantasy or science fiction, the sub genres was a shock to me. Now I dabble in Fantasy, space opera, urban fantasy and I may not stop there.

Kim: Go girl.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

Getting that first great review.

Kim: Aww 🙂

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Often! Especially when characters get mouthy or scenes don’t come out on screen as they did in your head.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I am a proud ‘pantster’! I have never planned anything out, it comes to me and I write it as is, of course I’ll go back and rearrange it afterwards.

Kim: I had a feeling!

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I think I use more commas that anyone and semicolons, too!

Kim: *sighs* feel your pain.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

There is usually a problem for me. I’m always switching the ‘I’ and the ‘e’ for some reason. As and about also gives me issues.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Research them before you agree ( publishers). Join a group of like minded writers and don’t give up.

Kim: great advice.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

Well the plan was to publish my third and final book for my Urban Fantasy series, but I’ve brought my epic fantasy story to a close and it’s decided to become a series as well. Wonderlost is the next book to be published (when I get the money to get it edited) It’s ready to go.

Kim: Best of luck

So… where can we get your books?

Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Mostly-Human-Antoinette-Houston-ebook/dp/B00WVUXQ6C It’s available on a few other sites but this is the main sites. Signed copies are available through my author page and facebook fan page.

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

That I couldn’t tell you, I’m not subscribed to any myself.

Kim: Writer’s Digest is good.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

When I hit 100 reviews on all my books, I know it’s small for some, but it’s the reviews that make the book.

Kim: I agree, I have read that every one in 100 downloads lands a review. That’s a steep hill to climb if that’s true.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

It hurts. I’ve never met an Author I admire in person, (yet). But I would be totally crushed to be greeted by an a-hole.

Kim: LOL

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

My research usually happens during the book. I’m pretty good at scanning the process or getting the giest of whatever I’m looking up to include it into my story(ies).

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Of course. That’s the only way you can go back and correct the issues. I really enjoy reading the reviews, sure the bad ones hurt at first (later they sting) but as long as they give a why then I’m fine (eventually). It’s the ones that give no reason for being bad that really hurt. I don’t mind going back and fixing my work.

What was your hardest scene to write?

The sex scene!


Do you Google yourself?

A lot!

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It varies. My very first book took years to get polished and then published. The second book after that took six months. Mostly Human came out the next year. So I ‘m guessing about six or seven months.

What would you like readers to know?

I’m Human and I make mistakes. I have a tendency to totally veer off course and I love giving chars difficult attitudes. I don’t like monochromatic stories and I always make a group of characters.

What’s your favourite movie?

Grave of the Fireflies. The only Japanese animation that has ever made me cry. I mean boo-hoo tears! It’s a beautifully done movie about a brother and a sister trying to survive the last few months of WWII.

What’s your favourite book and why?

Ariel by Steve R. Boyett. It was my intro to urban fantasy. Besides, it’s got a smart-a** Unicorn that curses more than her Human counter-part.

What music do you like?

A lot. I listen to an eclectic array of music. From Sam Cooke and Chaka Khan to Public Enemy to Eminem, Yanni and Enya to Pentatonix, Lindsey Sterling and Nuttin’ but Stringz. On to The Cure and Vast to Metallica and Disturbed. I’m all over the map. It depends on the mood or the scene that pops in my head, but music plays a huge part in my writing.

Kim: great taste you have there.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Ireland or Scotland. I don’t know why, I’ve just always wanted to go.

Kim: It’s chilly wrap up!

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

My characters have a lot of friends and myself in them or I dream them up.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

Rita ‘Red’ James – From my first book: Red Summer. I grew up with her. She’s been with me since the 1980’s.

Do you need a lot of sexual experience to be a good erotica author?

No, if you have an imagination you can create whatever you want.

Kim: Good answer.

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

How I released my first book. Research first. A lot of wasted money that could have been put to better use.

 Pick one a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

An author with longevity of course. I want be relevant for a long time.


And that’s a wrap a very in depth interview here. I hope you enjoyed getting to know a new author. Connect with Antoinette and check out her work below.



@1975Okame on Twitter




monthly features



Meet The Author: Aaron-Michael Hall-Fantasy, Paranormal Author #amreading

 It’s the 25th of the month, and sandwiched in the middle of three great authors this month is author Aaron-Michael Hall! I’m excited to interview her, I crossed paths with her over a year ago when I first joined WordPress. Most of you know I’m a big fan of this genre especially when there is romance thrown in, as a reader I love it. I salute writers in the paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi genres so much, it’s a whole new kind of creativity and talent to spin these tales… I sure as hell can’t! I think the level of creativity needed is something real special, let’s get to know Aaron- Michael’s style.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Thank you for having me, Kim. I am originally from Illinois and write classic epic fantasy with a grimdark edge and science fantasy romance. I also enjoy photography and play several instruments.

Kim: Gosh, what talent musical instruments that’s something. I really need to read one of your books too * flips to Amazon*. Welcome.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I have always enjoyed writing. My first novel The Rise of Nazil was written approximately fifteen years ago. It was a story that I wanted to read (with diverse characters and a dense plot) that I could not find. It was not until I allowed others to read the manuscript that I was prodded to publish.

Kim: Now I feel like a baby! Two authors this month, who wrote their first works over ten years ago. Great stuff. 🙂

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I read a lot of non-fiction. However, I enjoy some science fiction and fantasy.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

As aforementioned, I was writing only for myself. When I decided to publish, I had to learn the process and my particular market. It has been an interesting journey.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I started writing only Epic Fantasy. I always enjoyed Sci-Fi and recently incorporated my love for that genre in Rites of Heirdron and Orbs of Trenihgea. Blending fantasy, science fiction, and romance was an extremely enjoyable writing experience. After my second Epic Fantasy trilogy releases, I might revisit the SciFan genre.

Kim: Keep us posted here on MTA.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

It actually depends. My Epic Fantasy was thoroughly plotted and outlined. However, the Science Fantasy Romance just happened. The more I wrote, the more the story developed.

Currently, I am collaborating on a new fantasy with another author. We had a basic idea that turned into 70k in a few weeks. Nothing was planned in the beginning, and the concept has morphed and expanded over a few months.

Kim: Ahhh amazing, ya know you learn so when working with a co-author, great fun too.



Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

Unfortunately, yes. LOL I have two that I continually mistype and catch during the editing pass. Accept/Except and Past/Passed. I know which to use where, but my fingers do not always follow the commands of my mind.

Kim: at least you have just two… I won’t tell you how many I have. 🙂

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Oh gosh, there are many. But you must stay true to yourself and write from the heart. Remember that this journey is a marathon and not a sprint. Writing the novel is the easy part, what comes after is where the true work begins.

Kim: That’s such great advice, I would agree wholeheartedly. Especially the marathon part. Thank you.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I am currently collaborating on an Epic Fantasy titled Kurintor Nyusi. It is set in the fantastical Fifth Kingdom, and has an assortment of diverse and intriguing characters. The mythos and deities created for the novel are epic, and the concept is captivating. It has been a pleasure to create this new world.



Orbs of Trenihgea, the second novel in my SciFan Romance will be up for pre-order next month. The audiobook for the first novel, Rites of Heirdron released this month on audible.




Kim: Did you say romance? Wait wait, when is pre-order date? Keep us posted please.

So… where can we get your books?

All of my novels are available on Amazon and Audible. Readers can also purchase signed copies by contacting me directly (the.rise.of.nazil@gmail.com) or visiting my website (aaronmichaelhall.com).

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Research is extremely important. With my first novel (The Rise of Nazil), the research was extensive: ancient herbs and medical practices, torture techniques, distances horses could travel (in numerous instances), distances men could travel on foot, combat configurations, fencing and martial techniques, etc. It was the same with my SciFan. I probably spent more time reading and researching than it took to write the novels.

Kim: See what I mean about you fantasy writers…. I’m dizzy just reading all that! The level of creativity is beyond me.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Not often. If a “bad” review is informative, I learn from it. If someone posted a review where it is obvious they did not even read my novel, I get irritated. I have had several instances of that. Albeit I understand that not every novel is for every person. Even King gets one-star reviews.  I appreciate anyone taking the time to read and review my work. With the plethora of authors and novels available, I am honored that they selected me.


Kim: Argh! Those one stars “did not finish”  baffle me.I always think to myself if I see them when browsing books to read you have no real basis for that,you never read it, it’s hard to understand that. I’ve never reviewed a book I did not or could not finish at all. It kinda feels wrong to me if I never made it to the end. That said, haters are gonna hate regardless, good thing is  I think as a writer you get to a point where you bat off those whining reviews regardless of the stars, and crack on writing with no self-doubt. 

What was your hardest scene to write?

I have a few scenes with torture and some sexual abuse. Those were extremely difficult to write.

Do you Google yourself?

At times. I Google my novels as well. That is how I discovered all of the pirated copies.  🙂

Kim: I need to do that, you’re about the fifth MTA feature who has said that. 

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

That depends upon the novel. Rites of Heirdron took approximately two months. I spent six months writing Seed of Scorn.Thank you for inviting me to chat with you, Kim. I truly enjoyed it! Great success.

And that’s a wrap people! Thank you for your time Aaron- Michael this was a really great to get to know you better. I’d love to read one of your books with a romance element too.

Connect With Aaron- Michael:

For more information about Aaron-Michael Hall (Newland Moon), please visit her WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, and TWITTER!

You can listen to a sample of the Mehlonii language created for The Rise of Nazil Epic Fantasy series HERE, and enjoy a trailer for the SciFan romance Rites of Heirdron HERE, and listen to an excerpt of the audiobook narrated by the exceptional Victor Bevine HERE.


monthly features





Meet The Author: L. J Kane Thriller, Suspense Author + First Chapter Sample FREE #amreading #thriller

It’s the 25th of the month , I am honoured to feature another British thriller & suspense author. Mrs… yes Mrs L.J Kane. She’s one of those mystery authors that like to keep their gender in question I’m assuming, with initial usage. Reminds me of another certain household name British female author. Let’s get to know L. J’s style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hello. I’m L.J. Kane, the author of Snatch Girl, the shocking, fast-paced, kidnap thriller released in April 2017.

I live in the UK with my husband, and I love learning about the Earth Sciences. I dream of seeing the Northern Lights, but my fear of flying has stopped this ambition being realised, but it is still on my bucket list. My interests are diverse: geology, country walking, painting, and watching movies. And reading, of course!

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

About twenty years ago, I wrote the very first draft of Snatch Girl (it was untitled back then, and Darren Broderick was the only recognisable character in it). I read the first few chapters to a friend who loved it, and when I met up with her, about 5 years later, she asked me whether I’d written more, she liked it that much. So, I guess I knew then, that I’d be an author. It just took twenty years to take the plunge and bring Snatch Girl to life.

I love people-watching, overhearing conversations on the bus, dreaming up exciting plots while waiting in traffic, and while walking the dogs. I am having so much fun with my novels, and it’s because I’ve always believed in myself, that I have finally become an author after procrastinating for twenty years!

I live with my husband who’s a great soundboard, full of encouragement, and great ideas. Between us, we have met many unusual characters over the years, people with extraordinary lives from whom I can derive lots of inspiration.

Kim: Twenty years??? Wowzers….  Twenty years ago I was just fourteen. It’s rude to ask a lady her age, but I  guess you’re a mature lady. Welcome ma’am pleasure to have you here.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

Stephen King. His books just hook me in, even if I don’t feel like reading. I also read his book ‘On Writing’ and it really helped me focus on my own project, but I still can’t bring myself to read the axe scene in ‘Misery’.

Kim: He is such a great writer, I agree. 

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I love reading (and writing) thrillers. The genre is exiting, fast-paced, and you can explore a range of emotions. I love movies and novels that keep you glued to the screen and to the page, with thrills all the way through. What I like most of all, is to finish reading a great book, and then start the book all over again!

Kim: I hear ya!

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I prefer to outline the novel first, and then plot each chapter, so I know where it’s heading. Snatch Girl started out as a ‘write and see’ type of novel, but I had to reign it in pretty quickly for the re-write, so I guess I’m a ‘plotter’!

Kim: Salute, me too your approach is the same as mine. It’s nice to connect with another plotter, most MTA features have all been pansters.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I have three thrillers in the pipeline! I am currently writing the first draft of a thriller mystery set in the UK where the witness to a murder becomes the target, and the other two novels are scary psychological thrillers, exploring the dark side of human nature, which I have plotted, and can’t wait to start.

Kim: Lawd! These have “Kim’s read” all over them, please let me know when they are released I’d love to read them both.

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So… where can we get your books?

Snatch Girl is available as an ebook and paperback worldwide on Amazon: http://amzn.com/0995627312


I’m also considering opening up Snatch Girl to other online retailers soon.

Kim: great, I’ve got my copy 🙂

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It’s amazing how much research goes into a novel. Things you think you know well seem to take on another level and suddenly, you’re researching little things, like how to apply butterfly stitches, and what the hell does an animal trap look like anyway? I spent many happy holidays in and around Dartmoor in Devon, so I didn’t need to research the landscape for Snatch Girl, but I did need to brush up on my knowledge of hypodermic needles!

Kim: I’m so glad you feel this way, I think in our genre because of the level of detail in things like police involvement, ways to …err, well ya know kill people or personality disorders /traits we give characters the really sick ones,  research is needed. Can’t afford to brush over certain things in this genre, the story will lose its edge and gritty feeling. 

What was your hardest scene to write?

With Snatch Girl, I found that the scenes just flowed, and amazingly, the scariest parts were the easiest! I think it helped that I had all of the characters firmly drawn in my mind, and knew just how they would react to each scenario. The hardest scene was where Ellie faced Braddon alone.

Kim: Great job!

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Once I’d dusted off the original manuscript, it took me about 6-7 months to finish Snatch Girl. I could write a first draft in about two months, as long as I don’t flick over to edit mode…

Kim: haha … hmmm.

What’s your favourite movie?

My favourite movies of all time are, ‘Vanishing Point’ and ‘Get Carter’ from 1971. Vanishing Point has a surreal edge to it; a gritty film so different from the modern day, with a nod to escapism that I love. In one particular scene, the filmmakers overlaid a violent attack with gentle music, which stressed the poignancy of the scene, and changed the mood of the film.

Kim: Okay… I wasn’t even conceived then, I’m sure my mum was still partying the night away in 1971. Sounds like a good movie though.

What music do you like?

I like music from across most genres, so I don’t have a particular favourite. I enjoy Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys, Boy George, and also Don Williams, Abba, David Bowie, Adam Ant… and I love classical too!

Kim: Adam Ant haha, my older sister loved him. My mum told me she’d wear the stripes on her face too.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

I create backgrounds for each of my characters, with jobs, relationships, and a reason for their hang-ups and flaws. I wanted the characters to be as natural as possible, so that they would react, as any of us would, to the situations in which they find themselves.

Kim: I think I’m going to enjoy your work after hearing that. 🙂

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

It has to be the star of Snatch Girl, Ellie, the kidnap victim we follow right through to the end. We have been at her side throughout her ordeal, and I really felt her emotions as I dragged her through nightmare situation after situation. I guess I have to feel sorry for her, maybe even a little guilty!

And that’s a wrap, it has been a pleasure to speak with another British author in this great genre. I’ve even got readers an excerpt, the first whole chapter from Snatch Girl... you lucky things you. I’ve read it, I like L. J’s style I look forward to reading the full novel. Download below click the link:

LJ Kane – Snatch Girl – Sample Chapter 1



Girl missing. What if you’re with her all the way to the end…if it ends…? Will Ellie survive? Would you?

Snatched from her sadistic captor’s lair by his own getaway driver, eighteen-year-old student Ellie realises that she’s still kidnapped. As the enigmatic Darren Broderick drives off into the night with the terrified girl beside him, the sadistic Jon Braddon is not far behind.

Thrown together, on opposing sides, Darren and Ellie must stay one step ahead of Braddon’s twisted mind, and Ellie must resist Darren’s Aussie charms to the end. Darren Broderick needs the ransom, Braddon needs a victim. And he will fight to the death to get her back.

The shocking, fast-paced, suspense thriller that will hook you from the very first line.


Connect With Author L. J Kane:

Blog:                                    http://www.ljkaneauthor.wordpress.com/blog


Website:                              http://www.ljkaneauthor.wordpress.com


Goodreads:                        https://goodreads.com/L_J_Kane_Author


LibraryThing:                    https://www.librarything.com/author/kanelj



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Book Review: Pills By Jack Binding 5+ stars Wow!!! @jack_binding

Jesus. Just read it end of review!! This book right here is an experience to read. My only advice is, those who are offended easily, not partial to the odd swear word, a bit of sex, drugs and the like don’t disappoint yourself by picking up this book. Those who are open minded, get British humour and fans of yes STEPHEN KING this book is for you. I’m wasting no time, let’s get into this review.


Well, this is an anthology of eighteen short stories. Some characters crop up more than once, and in that way some stories link. The first story is linked to the last story, and in the middle there are some links and random stories too.

My Review

Pills is a very clever anthology, with very clever writing. The way it links and at the same time has some disconnections within the stories is outstanding. Don’t let this put you off, as there is no way you will get lost or think huh?

The author has a certain writing style, one that personally I love as a writer myself, and a reader. He uses first person POV quite a bit, so in that way you are in the shoes of the main characters. The stories are quite raw, gritty, shows how some Londoners think and feel, which I could relate to and very well written. The characters… humpf! Badass  🙂 that’s all I’m saying. There is not a character I did not dig in this book, but the characters are just like the stories gritty, raw but likeable or damn right scary!!

Here are my favourites of the eighteen stories

Property: A great start to the collection, the end will shock you. Loved it. To me this story kind of highlighted the downfall of the rat race of London.

Dot Matrix: This story just needs to be a full blown book I can see it, or even short novella on its own. A gripping story. I hung onto every word. It has a  good thriller feel.

Happy Endings: Ah… not so much a happy ending, but a great story very entertaining from a woman’s perspective. I won’t say why read it.

Bit: I had no idea where this was going to go, it’s a gorgy/ horror one, I really enjoyed the shock ending. This is one that could also be continued.

Twenty Seven: When I read this story I wondered if the author had read a lot of conspiracy theories? It reminded me of some I had read and got engrossed in. A great story. What happens when you make a deal with the Devil himself?

Sleeping Pills: A rather emotionally shocking story. A good one to read, sad ending.

Perfect Anastasia: You know deep down I saw this as a love story with some unfortunate things thrown in. We also meet Mags for the first time, Mags is badass!

Sexting: Clue is in the name… great story! Shock ending.

Dog In A Suitcase: Wowzers, no further comment.

Cremation:  good serial killer story with a very creative twist. I wanted to know more about the lady at the end.

FMM: Wowzers the characters entertained and made me laugh a lot. I could relate the the setting of this story, the fashion world. Really liked it.

Rocking Chair: Super creepy, it made me think next time I hear a floor board creek I’ll wonder if it’s one of these characters. Freaked me out.

Standing Ovation: Mags crops up. The ending of the anthology has the same bang the start did what a way to finish up!

I’m giving Pills 5 + stars for a number of reasons, it’s well written and the flow works with these short stories. Each one has some kind of twist or shock ending, I didn’t read one that didn’t leave an impression on me. Be it scary, creepy, laughing, shock or a mixture of all these emotions.  Believe it or not, some of these stories feature an element of love … gone wrong for whatever creepy reason. As a romance lover and reader it resonated with me. That said these are NOT romance stories, God no far from it. But some feature relationships as the base of the story.

Overall, Pills was a damn good reading experience, I would recommended it to lovers or fans of Stephen King. And no the author has not tried to imitate at all,  you can tell he is himself and very British.  It’s the vibe of his stories that would sit well with King’s fans as well as horror and dark humour fans. I will be reading more of Jack Binding.

This book needs more readers grab a copy! From Amazon

Pills-Kindle (1)

Book Review: Silence Is Golden- Historical Romance 4* By Sara Ackerman @saraackerman #amreading


This novel  gave me a number of experiences while reading. I laughed, raised my eyebrows and at times toward the end had slightly damp eyes. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. It’s part of a trilogy, I’ve not read the first part, but I was able to get my head around the complex plot in this second part. This book has a lot of concepts waved into the story line, many of which face the modern woman of today, even though it’s set in a historical backdrop of Lords and Ladies in a British setting. Let’s get into the review.


This novel is set in the UK, written by an American author. I don’t like too many spoilers so I’ll just outline the plot. Evelyn Westbury is an entitled lady from London, some what spoilt but to me very likeable. She has a fierce headstrong side to her. She has been cursed by a gypsy, she is unable to speak to anyone outside of her family.  She communicates with a notepad and pencil. Her plan is to travel to France, find the gypsy and break the spell. She finds a stash of money her father hid, that’s her meal ticket to set sail to France. She starts her journey via cart from London to the port in Southampton to take the boat to France. In the middle of a war too!

Part of her mission to break the curse is as her engagement has broken off, she feels her lack of speech could have been the reason why, as well as other family drama. She was due to marry a the very rich and entitled Lord Newgate. On her journey in the cart and carriage to Southampton she meets Alfred. T. Combes, enter Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome. She is drawn to him more so than he is to her, as he ignores her. Evelyn is not used to this, men seem to swoon over her. There are a couple of bumps along the way, Alfred decides to be her travel partner and protect her.  A lady travelling on her own in this historical time frame is not acceptable. Evelyn also finds that she is able to speak to Alfred, is the curse real??

Their journey is delayed and the drama starts. There’s a lot of push and pull, build up. Toward the end we learn that Evelyn has got herself into more than she realises, with the money she took from her father. She becomes a wanted woman,  for many reasons I won’t giveaway. Lord Newgate (her ex and our prize prat and villain) turns up and wants to know her again, after he broke off the engagement. He has his “reasons”,  he’s not happy about Alfred minding her these two have a history. Fireworks spark.

Along the line Evelyn is kidnapped, this is where we see our Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome take charge and fight for his lady, which he did amazingly! They find their happy ever after. But not before a few bumps, twists, one loss that sends Evelyn back to her mute former self. She mourns for a few months, Alfred really comes to life as a hero. It was great to see this play out. She cuts off her hair and really experiences a change of character over a major loss. I found this very realistic, I think when a woman chops off her hair ( from a longer length) she is experiencing some major change internally.  I liked this emphasis on her character .Finally the pair make it back to England via boat, a new life starts as a married couple, right at the end her loss has been restored, this leads to part three of the trilogy.

My Review:

I’m giving Silence is Golden 4* stars because like I was saying, this was quite an enjoyable read for me. The characters are likeable, the ones we should like. Lord Newgate is written well enough to show him as an unsavoury villain. I really liked Beatrice, Evelyn’s sister- I loved her to bits. I liked Evelyn too, I watched her grow a lot in character from spoilt to mature lady.  The author did a good job with character development. The outside characters are all really likeable too, some were very entertaining.

The plot of this book is good but very complex, so you will need to pay attention to what’s happening. What I liked about the complex plot is, it takes your average historical romance into a whole new  reading experience of suspense, what will happen next? And realness. Evelyn is faced with some decisions a woman of today could understand. Does she marry and live an entitled life with Lord Newgate, once he shows interest. Or does she settle with genuine happiness, with a man with no land, title, money etc. ? In this time era this question was a massive one for a woman, maybe even one that a woman did not have much choice on. To support herself, back then, would have been unheard of. In this day and age, many women may ask themselves  this still, even though we can now support ourselves. The question is more about long term happiness now a days rather than survival. Shall I date him as his pockets are deep, and he won’t be feeding off me? But he’s a bit shallow?  I liked this element of reality.

Toward the end about a good 75-80% in, is where I really experienced a change of pace in the storytelling.  My heart strings tugged, the hero  (Alfred) made me go “ahhh what a man”,  trust me he really fights for his woman. Later down the line in the story is where I had slightly damp eyes. Evelyn’s major loss is heart-felt, and her reaction is also heart-felt. The author wrote this last section of the book with heart. She gave it some! And delivered. This was the most enjoyable part of the novel for me towards the end. Things started to tie together as well. It’s well written, you get a feel for the time frame. The author also did a real good job as an American portraying old England, good job from a British reader!

This book is just over 300 pages long, and don’t get me wrong was enjoyable to read. The one thing I would have liked is the fast pace, punch, swift movements and heart this author gave around 75% in, I would have loved earlier. This book is a slow-burner (and there is nothing wrong with that), but my reading experience (personally) may have been heightened if the pace picked up sooner.

That said, it was an enjoyable read, and ends in a way to make readers think gosh what will happen in part three?? Great job Sara! Ya got-em hooked! That’s how it’s done, that’s how we do suspense. I like it!

Grab your copy now from Amazon.com  read Sara’s Meet The Author Interview and connect with her here  Author page here.