Category Archives: Author Friends

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

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Secret Spilling Space Pets

I’d like to welcome all you critters and critter lovers to Pets Are People, Too.
I’m Clawdia Kitty.
And I’m Nose-4-News Hound.
Pets-post
As you know, we like to dish out the secrets on our human pets, because, hello, they are sharing us everywhere and with everyone!
And we have some pets with SECRETS to share, Clawdia.
I have to say, we’ve had pets on YouTube, pets on skates, pets on the wall of shame, pets on Twitter, pets on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, grumpy pets, happy pets, slightly dysfunctional pets—we’ve have even had pets who have pets, but we have never had pets from space!
[Long howl from News] Let’s bring it, then, Clawdia.
First up, we have K-Nine, coming to us from A Mate For Matrix. K-Nine, can you tell us a little bit about this human author, known as S.E. Smith?

SESmith2K-Nine knows the inside scoop on S.E. Smith’s fascination with squirrels. It is so bad, that she often sits in the car for an hour or more just watching them. It is like she is addicted to knowing what they are doing! She takes pictures of them, talks to them, and has even been known to offer them tidbits of mulberries, bananas, and pineapples from the garden. Of course, only the ones they have already been eating on. K-Nine has even caught S.E. Smith singing the Gray Squirrel song. “Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel, bush your bushy tail. Hold a nut between your toes, wrinkle up your little nose. Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, bush your bushy tail.” Man, she loves that song! Personally, I think she is totally nutty.

Ms. Kitty loves squirrels, too. I think S.E. and I would get along, girlfriend.
Next we have Bang Bang, who is just panting to tell us about Susan Grant

SusanGrant2Bang-Bang here. I’ve battled monsters on remote planets, raided with the Interplanetary Marines, and witnessed emergency drills onboard Bezos Station, but never have I seen the kind of action that explodes at the Grant household each day at dinnertime. See, Susan Grant is “lost in space” in front of her computer, writing, until  precisely 5:07 pm when my little friend Skye begins her dinner vigil next to her human’s desk. “Oh, geez, look at the time. Skye, you want dinner? You want dinner?” Susan Grant asks (silly question if you ask me, as dumb as “Who’s a good boy?”). Susan Grant races to the fridge, stirs a scoop of canned dog food with Skye’s kibble, feeds her, then runs back to the fridge and grabs random ingredients that no sane human would dream of combining. Then she and Skye dash out to the garden to find more edibles to add to the crazy mix. When Mr. Susan Grant asks what’s for dinner, she laughs and replies, “A magic mix, never to be repeated.” “I love your magic mixes,” he says truthfully, and considers her the “MacGyver of cooking”. After watching all this, I’m ready for a nap–after crumb patrol, that is…

If I wasn’t a kitty, I’d be in love with the oh-so-cute, Sparky, who is ready to dish some stuff about Cara Bristol

CaraI was shocked when I found out not all humans can dance. Though it’s not mentioned in Spark of Attraction, my owner Miranda Lowell is a naturally gifted dancer and loves the Xenian Whirl, the Arcanian Scramble, and the Solar Breeze. Author Cara Bristol? The woman has two left feet and no rhythm. She and her husband took something called “Ballroom dancing,” lessons – still don’t know a step. Then they enrolled in a beginning “Swing” class. When the other students advanced to intermediate—they had to repeat beginning again. And still can’t dance. Worse, Cara Bristol almost crippled a man once. She was “dancing” in a nightclub, and accidentally stomped on his foot with her four-inch heels. The poor guy doubled over and hobbled off the dance floor. No one else asked to her dance that night.

This cute duo is, respectively Moby and Midorri, and what they don’t know about Veronica Scott, is not worth knowing….

MobyMidorriVeronica likes to belt out show tunes, country music and old rock n roll songs at the top of her lungs. She might even dance, which confuses us pets and we take refuge under the chair until the concert is over. Last night it was “Meet Me in St. Louis”, “The Trolley Song” and various really old Beatles tunes, plus a bit of Shania Twain.

Miss Kitty would like visiting that house. She loves meeting hip cats in St. Louis…

Pets bravely go where no-one has gone before! Pets spill the beans on their authors in #PetsInSpace

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And from down under—the solar system—we have Peddrenth, the bearded dragon. I can’t even imagine what you could tell us about Pauline Baird Jones….

Pauline2My experience with humans is somewhat limited, but really, I have two complaints. She does not like the heat. Right there we are incompatible. I live to be warm. My species comes from Australia! And just try to find a good, big, live bug to eat in her house. If you like chocolate, you’re golden. You can’t turn over a piece of paper without finding chocolate, but trust me. There are no bugs in her house. Her chilly house. Her really chilly house.

I feel your pain, dragon. We cats like to be warm, too. But here’s a guest for you, Nose-4-News… And from far far away, so far, they can’t hear me howl, we’ve got StarDog, Katrina, who looks like she’s more than a dog—and well equipped to spill the goods on Laurie A. Green

Laurie2Ohhhh, yes, yes! I know many sekrits. My author? She’s forced to write. No kidding! I’m a StarDog, I don’t lie about such things. There’s this big, menacing dude in her office that always has his blaster trained on her to keep her motivated. What, you want proof? *digs around in sekrit photo stash* You’ve got it.

PiSaStarDogSecrets

Ooh, this little bundle of energy — literally — is buzzing to spill the beans on Alexis Glynn Latner

AlexisThe question is meaningless to me, because I consist of energy.  I am very interested in electricity and electrical circuits.  I am indifferent to what you protoplasmic beings do with your bodies. I do know what secrets are – something surprising that is unknown to others.  I have secrets of my own.  As to Alexis’ secrets, I can tell you this: for a generally orderly being, who has her physical belongings and computer files alike neatly organized, it is most surprising what a mess of power cords exists in her office behind her desk.  A nest of electric eels would be more orderly than that.

Miss Kitty believes the only purpose for cords is for her to play with… Woof, woof, introduce our next guest, Miss Kitty… Oh fine…oh, you are fine, Ranger, you rangy beast, you, do tell us about Lea Kirk

Lea2[thumping her tail and batting her eyes at Nose] I have three humans to deal with. My book humans, Simone and Graig, and my author human, Lea Kirk. All of them have juicy secrets, but since we’re only focusing on our author humans I will tell you about Lea. As a teenager, the first romances Lea discovered were by Bertrice Small, and she used to sneak them home in her school book bag. Believe me, if her mother only knew, I might not be here today.

Mother knows best, and what mama doesn’t know…. [a howl from Nose-4-News] What, oh, our last guest is a fox. Try to control yourself, Nose-4-News. Ember maybe be a little fox, but she’s also our guest! And she is dying to tell us all about Carysa Locke….

CarysaOf course I know secrets! I am kith. I know the most secret thoughts of all the humans around me…not that they are usually all that interesting. Truly, humans worry about the strangest things. But those fortunate enough to be bonded to kith benefit from our help. Without us, I’m sure they would all have died in the early days of the colony. Oh, but you asked about secrets. Well, it’s an open secret that the one who calls herself Carysa Locke is actually a team of two – one writer, and the one who originally made our universe. I know everything about both of them. They both rely far too much on a drink called coffee – a stimulant. Though the writer claims she just loves the taste and warmth of a cup every morning, I believe she is more reliant on it than she realizes. She has a gleaming silver contraption that makes all manner of strange noises while preparing her drink, a version of the substance called espresso. It is highly impractical. She cannot travel with the machine, so whenever she is forced away from home, she is much grumpier than usual waking up without her usual beverage. She says none of the shops which provide this espresso make it as well as she does. I worry that this obsession she has will interfere with the words she types into the machine, building our society and stories. If she had a kith, I’m sure this sort of dependence would never have happened. We kith are known to reliably wake our humans in the morning, with no need of shrill alarms or special cups of stimulant to get them moving.

I don’t know about you, Nose-4-News, but I think this might be my favorite interview yet. I’d like to thank the pets of Pets in Space for dishing out the secrets of the authors of Pets in Space, because wow, they sure had some. We still love them, though, because PETS! SPACE! [HOWLING that fades gradually away….]

#PetsInSpace spill the beans on their authors! Who would have known their deep dark secrets like this?! #SciFiRom

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Pets In Space 600x900Download your copy of Pets in Space here:

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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 Bestselling authors have nine original, never-released stories 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 profits from the first month 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.

Click here for more on Pets in Space.

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