Category Archives: Author Friends

Interview With Susan Hayes

Author Spotlight – Susan Hayes

I was thrilled when Susan agreed to contribute to Magic New Mexico Kindle World and so we had a lot to chat about when we finally got to sit down together.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write?
I’ve been writing since I was old enough to realize that letters made words, and words put together could become stories. I’ve always loved to write, but I didn’t get serious about it until the death of my little brother. His passing made me realize that time is short, and if I wanted to chase my dreams, I should get moving. Since that day, I’ve written more than twenty-five books in a variety of genres including science fiction, paranormal, and contemporary.

2. What inspired you to write your first book? I had been writing freelance comedy articles for a couple of websites, including Cracked.com. I started wondering if I could switch from non-fiction/humor to writing novels and decided to give it a shot. Since I loved reading romances, writing one seemed a natural choice.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’ve discovered that inspiration is everywhere. A photo. A snippet of conversation overheard in a grocery store. A glimpse of an old couple walking together as I drive home from work. Life is full of stories.

4. Where/When do you do the most of your writing?
I write during my lunch hours at work, and most evenings you can find me in my office at home. I have to have music or a television show on for white noise, and my cat is usually a few feet away, supervising.

5. What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment?
Not giving up. My first book was rejected several times. So was my second book. Even after I was accepted by a publisher, there were hurdles to overcome and so much to learn. It was daunting, but I persevered and I’m glad I did. I love getting to do what I do every day.

Buy links: AmazonB&N | ARe

6. What series/book did you write that has the biggest following?
The 3013 Series is the one that has the largest readership. Those readers are fantastically supportive and enthusiastic. 3013 has three authors writing in the same, shared world and it’s a great adventure for all of us.

7. Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m a pantser. Which means I write by the seat of my pants and don’t know how the story is going to go until the characters and my muse get together and work their magic. Sometimes that works very well. Other times it means that the story can take a surprising turn and I have to go back and tweak the beginning to adapt to the new twist.

8. Are the experiences of your characters based on any of your own or people that you know?
I think every writer bases at least some of their writing on their own life and experiences. I know that I have included elements of my brother’s death and the impact that had on my family in a few stories. My Wilde Brothers series is about a set of brothers who are all connected to law enforcement. My father was a police officer, and I worked as a civilian support staffer at the same police department as him for ten years. Those experiences are absolutely woven into that series.

9. Is there a particular niche or direction you would like to expand your writing portfolio into?
Having written in a variety of genres, now, I have discovered that I have the most fun writing sci-fi and paranormal. They feed my inner geek. I’ll be focusing on those two genres in the future. (At least until my muse informs me differently.)

10. Describe your latest WIP.
I’m currently working on 3013: FURY, which will be out in May, 2016. It’s a sci-fi romance about Danor and Verak, two Krytos (a shifter alien race) brothers who have set their sets on Gina Falcone, a fiercely independent human woman who makes her living as a freighter pilot. To find their Happily Ever After, the three of them will have to overcome the re-appearance of old enemies, new threats, and the challenges of forging three separate lives together, forever.

How can readers reach you?
You can find out more about my books at my:
Website: http://www.susanhayes.ca
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanHayesAuthor
Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/389883471205646/
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Interview With Michelle Diener

Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write? Thanks for having me here! I’ve been writing since I was a child, but only started writing seriously about ten years ago. I started writing fantasy and historical fiction, and dabbled with a bit of science fiction, but my first four published novels were all historicals.

What inspired you to write your first book? My first book that was published was based on the real-life Renaissance character Susanna Horenbout, who most likely worked for Henry VIII as a court painter. I discovered a bit of her story in a reference book I was reading and was captivated by her and inspired to write about her, a woman working in what was a man’s profession in those times, in a very tense and unfriendly court, for a very mercurial king. It became a series of three books, starting with In a Treacherous Court.

Where do you get your inspiration from? I get it from all around me. Songs, stories, the news, my imagination. I’m constantly amazed at what my subconscious seems to conjure up!

Where/When do you do the most of your writing? I either write in my study, on my bed, outside on the veranda or in a coffee shop. Lately, I’ve been going to a lot of coffee shops 🙂

What series/book did you write that has the biggest following. The series that has the biggest following is my science fiction Class 5 series. A Dangerous Madness, one of my regency historicals, is not far off from it, but Dark Horse and Dark Deeds have been my two best received.

Do you have a favorite author? I have so many favourite authors. And each and every one of them has inspired me and helped make me a better writer. From Enid Blyton when I was a child, through C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien, to Iain M. Banks, Agatha Christie, Dick Francis and Terry Pratchett, and many, many others, they all took me away to their exciting worlds, and made me want to do the same.

Are the experiences of your characters based on any of your own or people that you know? Not really, but while the situations are from my imagination, I like to ground my characters’ reactions and feelings on reality, so I am a big people-watcher.

You write what would seem to be two very different genres – SFR and historical romance. What do you do differently when writing for both genres or is romance, romance and the location incidental? While good world building is good world building, and both historical and science fiction novels need a well-built, believable world, the approach is very different between the two genres. Historical fiction requires a great deal more preparation from me in terms of research, but as I like to use real historical incidents as much as possible, the plot is more defined, whereas science fiction I don’t need to do as much preparation, but I do need to work more on the direction of the plot and how it holds together. For me, they both have their own unique challenges and excitement. I love reading both genres, and I love writing both.

Describe your latest WIP. My current WIP is the third book in the Class 5 series, Dark Minds. I’m still in the grappling stages of the book, working out exactly who my characters are. It’s fun but challenging.

How can readers reach you? Through the contact form on my website www.michellediener.com or on twitter @michellediener or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Michelle-Diener-196593580366013/
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Interview With Peggy Henderson

Q. Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write?

A. I guess I consider myself the “accidental author.” I’ve always loved writing, but it’s not something I ever considered to do for a living. English is my second language, and I used to make up stories in German when I was little. When a story idea came to me back in 2009, I started writing. My background is in veterinary medicine and lab sciences. I’ve always been an animal nut. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we have two boys. I’ve always loved the old west, and that’s where most of my books are set. I started with time travel romance, set against the backdrop of beautiful Yellowstone National Park, but I also write strictly western historical romance.Q. What inspired you to write your first book?

A. My husband and I have loved going to Yellowstone since we graduated from high school. One summer, I went on a girls-only trip with a good friend, who was also my boss at the time. I came home from that trip with a story in my head. It stayed with me for over a year until I finally started writing it down. That’s how my first book, Yellowstone Heart Song, was born. I found someone to critique the story, and she urged me to pursue publication, which I balked at until I had three more books written. I was writing for my own personal enjoyment, not to publish, but I’m glad I finally took her advice. It’s led me to an entirely new career path.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration from?

A. My inspiration comes mostly from nature and the beautiful places in Yellowstone and the Tetons. It’s where most of my books are set.

Q. Where/When do you do the most of your writing?

A. I’ve been lucky enough to become a full-time writer about a year ago, and so I can write pretty much throughout the day. I prefer the quiet hours in the morning and early afternoon when my kids are in school.

Q. What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment?

A. My biggest accomplishment as a writer has been simply getting that first book published, and then kept going from there. A huge person accomplishment for me came last summer when I finally hiked to the top of Mount Washburn in Yellowstone (a climb up to 10,000 feet), something I had been avoiding to do in all the years I’ve been to Yellowstone.

Q. What series/book did you write that has the biggest following.

A. Definitely the Yellowstone Romance Series. I still shake my head in disbelief that I have so many wonderful fans who love this series.

Q. Who has influenced your writing the most?

A. I think my editor has been the one with the biggest influence on my writer. She’s always challenging me out of my comfort zone with my writing. Once, she challenged me to make a bad character likeable. That turned into an entire book of its own, and although I wrote it kicking and screaming, it became a fan favorite.

Q. Do you have a favorite author?

A. One of my favorite historical western authors is Dorothy Garlock. I read her books long before I started writing.

Q. Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing?

A. Writing dialogue has always been a challenge for me. I’m a very quiet and shy person, so talking to people presents a challenge for me, and I find the same is true when I write. At least I can think about the dialogue a lot longer when I write, than when I have to come up with things to say real quick in a real conversation.

Q. Are the experiences of your characters based on any of your own or people that you know?

A. My characters experience a lot of adventures in the wilderness, and for the most part, they are made up. I have used a few personal experiences and from friends (with permission) in a few books.

Q. Do you have any advice for other authors?

A. Keep writing!

Q. Is there a particular niche or direction you would like to expand your writing portfolio into?

A. I hope to write more historical westerns without time travel, and would like to dabble in some contemporary romances.

Q. Describe your latest WIP I’m working on three books at the moment.

A. One is the seventh book in the Yellowstone Series, and it is such a challenge to write, because it builds on everything that I’ve already written. Since it’s a time travel, keeping the chronological timeline correct has been tricky, and keeping all the facts about previous characters straight. As one of the characters said in a previous book “What we think we know may be completely different” really comes into play in this book, and I hope my readers will be pleasantly surprised.

The other two books I’m working on are strictly western historicals. One is the fourth book in my Blemished Brides Series (this series is about heroines who aren’t your typical gorgeous romance heroine, but they still capture the love and attention of the hero).
Finally, I started a book in a brand new series. I was going to wait until the new Yellowstone book was done, but the muse was calling, so I had to get it started as it wasn’t leaving me alone.

Q. How can readers reach you?

I can always be reached via my email address: ynpdreamer@gmail.com
My website is www.peggylhenderson.com
I love interacting with readers on Facebook
My mailing list
I can be found at these online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes

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Veronica Scott on Why Pets Are No Trouble At All!

Pets In Space 600x900I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Veronica Scott:

I never had much experience with dogs as pets growing up. I liked the idea of dogs just fine but for some reason my family went more toward cats.

I think it may have had something to do with the fact that my mother’s mother raised and showed Boston Terriers – all of whom she named Christopher! – and my mother just wasn’t too fond of dogs after that. My grandfather had a wonderful, cuddly mutt rescue dog named Spooky, who he’d adopted after finding her lost near their summer cabin in the woods. I really liked her. She’d take my dolls for rides and was good to curl up with when I wanted to read. The terriers were just too full of energy for me.

playful_little_dog_wonderbook_veronicaI still have the little Wonder Book my grandmother gave me, hoping I’d be more in love with Boston Terriers after I read it. Nope, cats still ruled in my heart!

We have a saying in our family, which must be uttered with heavy sarcasm, “Pets are no trouble at all.” It was grandfather’s favorite remark whenever the various Christophers had gotten into mischief, which was often of course, being high energy canines. I should have used it in my story for Pets In Space, but the right moment didn’t arise. Maybe in a future book!

But whether you have a dog or a cat or an otherworldly creature, there’s nothing quite like a pet to keep you company…

The blurb for Pets In Space:

Even an alien needs a pet…

Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?

New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!

10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

And the blurb for Star Cruise: Stowaway:

Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.

A short excerpt from my story. The stowaway has been found, thanks to the two pets, and now Fleming, the captain of the ship and Jake, his security chief are being briefed on the situation.

Fleming frowned. “So this sentient female could be a kidnap victim, or someone who tried to rip off the wrong people or worse. I want this kept as quiet as possible. I’ll break out of hyperspace long enough to transmit to the authorities, see if the Sectors Criminal Investigation Agency wants to board us to take her and the mystery off our hands, or meet us at the next port.”

“Care to share what you’re thinking, sir?” Jake asked.

“Probably the same as you – this has the hallmarks of a Combine operation. I don’t want the Zephyr mixed up in an organized crime problem, not if we can help it.” Fleming glared at the container as if the box offended him. “All right. Unless there’s anything to add, I’ll stop engines and transmit a report to the authorities. Plays hell with the schedule, but I’m going to wait for instructions. If the Combine is involved, we can’t go it alone. I’m not taking on the Amarotu gang with a ship full of passengers to protect. ” He turned to Jake. “Come sit in on the conversation. I want the girl under constant guard, assuming she survives. And Owen, the same goes for the crate. I don’t want it touched till the SCIA arrives. Can you shut down all activity on this deck until we know more?”

Surprised at the request, he nodded. “Of course. I’ll have to shift cargo in a day or two, though, to offload what’s due at our next stop. You want my guys standing guard duty?”

Fleming gave him a level stare. “Jake’s force is stretched pretty thin, so yes, but only the men and women you’d trust with your life. No one else gets access to this deck.”

About Veronica Scott:

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “City On the Edge of Forever.”

Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Scott/e/B006CUCJ92/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Click here for your copy of Pets in Space

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