Archive for the ‘author interview’ Tag

Watch for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

I’m finally interviewing that North Pole Alaska author I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Stay tuned!

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   1 comment

This week’s interview is with an Alaskan-based author, Dan Griffin. He lives in the same town as I do and we travel in some of the same circles, but oddly enough, we met on Twitter.

Posted September 23, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Interview with Lucinda E. Clarke   1 comment

LClarke Author PhotoToday’s interview is with Lucinda E. Clarke, a friend from the Booktrap, and quite the adventuress. Tell us something about yourself, Lucinda. 

Starting with basics, I was conceived and born in Dublin, Ireland (I don’t remember the conception part too well), then taken to England. By the time I got married I had spent years and years in the classroom, then trained to spend the rest of my life in the classroom, so I was not ready for the big, bad world.

That is so true for all of us.School is definitely not real life.

After first wedding, I tried crofting in Scotland (disaster we couldn’t get a spade through the permafrost) – bred small animals for pet shops (disaster, they all died) –  bred dogs (disaster, one took off and killed chickens).

So we took off for Kenya (disaster, husband walked off the job and we were almost stranded). On to Libya (disaster, this time we were thrown out of the country altogether), then Botswana (disaster, husband got fired, and I ran the worst riding school in the world). Then South Africa (finally success!!!) After slogging for a while in the classroom (this time I was fired) I began to write for radio and TV. Eventually I had my own video production company.

LClarke EggshellsWhat was the first story you wrote and how old were you?

You want me to remember that far back? I think it was when I was about 6 and it was written on little scraps of paper and I was so proud of it until my mother sneered at it. I do remember being an avid reader of Enid Blyton and thinking this doesn’t look too difficult, I could do this! (I was a precocious brat).

What are you passionate about?

My writing. Injustices against women. Cutting down trees. Population control.

What can you not live without?

In no particular order – my laptop, my iPad and my iPhone, a good internet connection and I better add my husband in there as well. Peace and quiet to write, beauty around me, that is vital too.

LClarke TLPYou lived in South Africa, have met Nelson Mandela, (scary) had a huge career in broadcast journalism (thank you). Tell us about that.

I am passionate about Africa and her people, but I just wish they would go the mentorship route and stop worrying about skin colour. In my books Truth, Lies and Propaganda and More Truth, Lies and Propaganda I tried to point out that mindsets and tribalism and nepotism are a factor, not race. I want to cry when I see how things are developing now in South Africa, everyone is adversely affected, all races and all people, except for the elite few who are exploiting those who are weaker.

Tell us about Walking Over Eggshells.

Originally I wrote this as a long, long letter to my children, and it stayed in manuscript form for several years. Then after the bombardment from the media about sexual abuse and how terrible it was, I began to get angry. Sure, that is horrific, but emotional abuse is more insidious. It does not stop at maturity, it does not stop if you move away, it goes on relentlessly, even after death. It’s difficult to pinpoint, almost impossible to explain and a nightmare to prove. It robs you of your self worth, your self confidence and your relationships with everyone you meet.

Then one day I decided to publish, in the hope that it might help even a few people who had had the same experiences. The emails I’ve received have been amazing and I have no regrets about sharing my story with the world (well a few people anyway!)LClarke More TLP

But it’s not a doom and gloom book, there is lots of humour there, and I think, an easy read.

Tell us about Amie.

Amie is my first real attempt at a full length novel. Most of my documentaries I turned into short, funny stories as they were aimed at educating and I feel this is best done through humour.

It was much harder than the autobiographies as I had to ‘make stuff up’ and I had to remember who was where and how they would behave in character. I’ve written stage plays, so I had a grounding in that format, but a 108,000-word book was much, much trickier. I just sit down at the lap top and write. I only have a basic storyline in my head and the characters take over and then I have to go back and mop up afterwards in case they made mistakes or contradicted themselves. It’s nothing to do with me, I blame them every time, I’m just on the scene to write down what they tell me.

LClarke AmieOh, I so represent that!

I have just finished the second Amie book – Amie and the African Child – which I hope to publish in August if not sooner.

I have a love / hate relationship with Amie, but she has become more feisty and so I like her a little better now.

I love feisty female characters. Tell us about Truth, Lies and Propaganda 1 and 2. Having been a journalist, I find that most of my former colleagues don’t see themselves as propagandists, but I know they are. So talk about that some.

These two books follow my writing career from the beginning to when I left South Africa. I had dreamed of writing for a living ever since I could remember, but was told to ‘get a proper job’ (hence the teaching).

It’s almost impossible not to play the propaganda game. Every newspaper has an agenda or supports one political party or another, or the views of the proprietor. If you are paid to write, then you write what the client wants, and I had my share of the clients from hell! You soon learn to take criticism (the customer / client is always right even when they are wrong), hone your tact and diplomacy and I guess lifting the lid on the few blatant examples in the books, I was getting my revenge!

Sure, you can starve in a garret and hold fast to your principles, but if you want the luxuries in life, such as food, a roof and clothes to wear, then you toe the line. I worked with some amazing people and many of the stories I reported and filmed were true to life, but of course it is the ones which tell lies, which tell the funny stories.

I feel very privileged to have been welcomed into rural huts, township shacks, Chief’s councils, had my fortune told by a witch doctor, visited AIDS patients, there are just too many incidents to mention here. I believe I saw Africa as few others have. I’d ask my crew to take care of me as I was probably the only white person for miles in any direction. I have to read my books to remember it all.

Every incident in both books really happened without exaggeration.

What are your literary plans for the future?

This is going to sound so pompous, but you asked? OK, so I’m not going to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, they don’t go for the kind of books I write. One of my heroines is Dorothy Parker and I would be in my seventh heaven (or the other place) if any of my phrases or sayings were to be printed in a book of quotations, that would be great!

Of course I’d love to be on all the bestseller lists, and write the screen play from one of my books. On a more practical level, I’m hoping they will put up a shelf for me in the local old folks home, so I can gaze at my books when I can no longer get out of bed. I’m almost up to 5 now and I plan to write a whole lot more.

Anything else you would like to say.

Since I have been a lecturer in script-writing, I can’t help be honest, so if anyone asks me for a review, or comments they will always get the truth. I still have grave doubts about my own writing, I’ve always been the same and never believed all the awards even when I walked up to collect them. The only advice I can give any new writers is to sit down and write, do it and then get ready to change it again and again until it is right. It’s worth it.

I am happy to be self published, and I’ve been approached by a publisher and refused. It’s much harder on your own, but more rewarding. I’ve been published by two of the Big 5 way back in the 80’s and so far (I could be bribed) I’m happy to continue being self employed.

There are two amazing moments in life – when you hold your baby in your arms and when you hold your first book in your hands.

Links, websites, cover art, author pic, etc.

Walking over Eggshells

Amie an African Adventure

Truth, Lies and Propaganda

More Truth, Lies and Propaganda

Blog link

Web page


twitter name   @LucindaEClarke


Facebook             My page


 Walking over Eggshells page

Amie page   Amy page

Further links for Walking over Eggshells

Barnes & Noble

Apple itunes




iTunes store

amazon author page Lucinda…/B00FDW…/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3…

Interview with Peter Cimino   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with Peter Cimino, another Twitter meet. Welcome to the blog.


Thank you! It’s a pleasure to spend some time with you. I truly appreciate it.


Tell us something about yourself. 

I was born and raised in the great state of New Jersey. I spent my first 4 years in a town called Garfield, which is where all of my family settled after coming over from Alessandria della Rocca Sicily and Calabrese, Italy. I moved to a town called Haledon where I lived from age 5 to 22. I lived near the Jersey shore for a few years, until I moved to the Chicagoland area in July of 1994. I currently live in Naperville, IL with my wife Wendy and two boys Matthew 8 & Nicholas 6.

I walked away from Corporate America in Sept. Of 2014 to do what I was born to do: Coach and Write. Currently, I am an author and baseball instructor.

My first published fiction piece was a short called “Lucky Says Hello”. My first full length novel titled, “The Four Corners, a Sicilian Story”, has been out since November of 2014. Currently both are self-published.

Lucky and The Four Corners are historical-fiction, prohibition-era, Sicilian-Mobster dramas with the same characters and setting.

I am currently working on a nonfiction mobster project. We hope to have the proposal done and out to literary agents in a few weeks.

I also own a baseball school called “The National School of Baseball” in Naperville, IL teaching baseball players in the surrounding area.

I am a Level 2 National Pitching Association Certified Biomechanics Pitching Coach. Besides coaching my son’s teams, I am the Pitching Coach for T’s Traveling Pirates of Lombard – an organization with nine travel baseball teams. I am also an assistant coach for the Naperville Renegades 8U Baseball team.


Sounds like you’re at least as busy as I am. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I think subconsciously, I always wanted to write, but I caught the bug while finishing my degree in psychology. I loved doing research papers and writing. My Senior Thesis on Anxiety and Depression was supposed to be published; but I declined. After graduating in May of 2000 I took two writing courses through the Long Ridge School of Writing: Breaking Into Print and Shaping and Selling Your Novel.

I cannot begin to tell you how valuable these courses were. I thought I knew how to write…..that is until I really learned how to write.


Yeah, I went to journalism school and had a similar experience.

I wrote a bunch of pieces for content mills on many different topics – mostly sports. I then had a fiction short called “One Island, One Woman, One Choice” published by Angie’s Diaries.

Soon after I was hired by a print magazine called Sports Life as their Head writer. I wrote several feature stories, mostly interview pieces, in six different issues.

After that I did some freelance work for the Bleacher Report and special web sites owned by friends. I built up quite a following during these times.

My first published book of any kind was “Lucky Says Hello”.


Tell us about your writing process.

Almost everything starts with some kind of outline. I fill in as much as I can. Sometimes I bounce back and forth: beginning, end, middle. Whatever pops in my head I plug into the outline. I usually do not start writing anything until I have a beginning, middle and end to the outline – unless something really awesome is sitting at the tip of my fingers! I almost always write in chronological order. I hear that is a bit unusual, but that’s how I do it. When writing I always refer back to the outline. And the outline can be tweaked and changed along the way.


I hate outlining, but whatever works for you is what you should do. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

As far as writing books: mafia crime; especially the 1920’s to 1950’s. As far as stories and articles – sports.

I read a lot of specific topics and authors: Mafia & Mobsters; JFK Assassination (I have an entire library on this topic as well); True Crime; Jonathan Kellerman; John Grisham & Tom Clancy


What are you passionate about?

Coaching Baseball; Writing; My boys; sports


What is something you cannot live without?

Same as my passions


When you are not writing, what do you do?

Work at my baseball school – The National School of Baseball. Coach Baseball teams. I am constantly promoting or interacting on social medial for obvious reasons. I watch my favorite television shows and movies if I have the time. And I readc of course.


Of course! Writers must be readers, I think. Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

I’m not sure if you would call it a transformative effect. My current fiction novel became a truly eye opening experience and confirmation on a lot of things I thought were kind of true. After being told by my aunt “Peter, you are closer to the truth than you think”; I was stunned. She told me several jaw-dropping stories. It was truly like someone got into my head while I was writing in order to get that close to the truth. I also received several notes from people that knew my family and my grandfather, who inspired the main character; all of them confirming things I knew and some telling me things I didn’t. It was more of a reckoning, I guess. Very cool stuff!


Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

I have an entire library of mafia books, movies, videos and documentaries. So, I am a bit of an aficionado on the mafia. I also watch just about every mobster special on television. I have been infatuated with the mafia since I was a kid.

A lot of inspiration comes from legendary family stories especially about my family, especially my grandfather, who unfortunately passed away before I was born. I am his namesake so there has always been a bit of a kindred spirit to my relationship with him. I know he is with me.

As far as writing about sports – I am a sports nut, so that’s easy.


What sort of research do you do for your novels?

Most of my research is trying to make sure the true stuff I am writing about is 100% accurate, like names, dates, places, events etc.. My research seems endless at times and can be extremely time-consuming. But, when done, knowing I have it correct is very satisfying.


If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

I have been told many times, that I have an extremely unique and distinctive voice in everything I write. That being I make sure everything is believable and relatable in some manner. The more real the characters, setting and story the better. I bring my characters to life and make them unforgettable. I want the characters to resonate with the reader and feel like they really know them. I want the reader to want more at the end of the story. I want them flat out hooked.


Do you have a special place where you write?

There’s nothing really special about where I write. Most of it is done either in my home office or just sitting on the couch. My best writing is done when my mind is clear and I am totally relaxed.


Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

Well, the short story Lucky Says Hello is a quick sequel to The Four Corners. So the answer would be “yes”. There is so much more to this tale….there could be several more books. Even my nonfiction book is of the same era and about mobsters. And there can be several other books that come from this source.

I’m not ever really in search of an answer – except in nonfiction when I am unveiling something that most don’t know or stories that have been continuously told incorrectly.


Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Both. The fiction is more character driven – but you still need a good plot and story. Nonfiction is more about the plot or story – unless it is about one particular person.


What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?

I prefer third person, just because it’s easier to tell a story that way for me. Although, my nonfiction is first person, based on the gentleman I am writing the book with and about. It’s his story, so it will be his first person voice


Do you head-hop?

Sometimes, if it is done effectively. Most editors frown upon it. But if it is done correctly and in the right spots it can really add to the story.


I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

First off, I better have a ride home because I’d go stir crazy! LOL!


I wouldn’t leave you stranded, I promise! Well … for long ….

Does the cabin have internet? (Nope, not even cell service) Assuming it does not, I would still bring my laptop and/or my tablet to write. I’d bring several books one or two of each of my favorite authors and topics. I’d bring lots of movies. My iPod. There better be some alcohol in that food you’re bringing!


I’ll pop for some amber lager from the Silver Gulch Brewery. There’s a creek on the property that will cool it right down to about 35 degrees. So talk tell us about your books.


I’ve touched a little on both fiction stories. Lucky Says Hello was written first. It is somewhat of a short sequel to the Four Corners, A Sicilian Story. Both are historical fiction, prohibition-era, Sicilian mobster dramas. They feature a minor character called Big Pete Carissimo, a very popular and charismatic businessman and politician in Garfield, NJ. Through nothing but fate, he builds a loyal relationship with the biggest mobster in the country, Charlie Lucky Luciano. A business partnership is formed and Pete hits the big time. However, an enemy arises and Pete is faced with a cross roads. In order to save everything that is dear to him, especially his reputation and family, he might have to become something he vowed he would never be; a gangster.

My nonfiction mobster drama, which I cannot reveal the title of yet, is about one of the most famous mob hit men in history and his son. It is the son, who is 80 years old today, that tells the story. It is one of the most incredible stories ever told about that life and how his father, while serving 24 years in prison, guided his son to a respectable and successful, man of honor and respect, while never being a member of the mob. This book is also filled with never-before-told-inside stories about the mob and the real truth about many mobster tales that have been told wrong for decades!


That actually sounds really cool. I always figured Hollywood was pumping those stories. Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

I never start out with an intention of either or. Yes, there needs to be one, but the story will dictate what it is.


What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

They will never forget the characters; they will hang onto them like old friends. And they want more of the story.



What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Honestly, self-publishing was totally by accident. It is not what I intended. Unfortunately, there are too many wannabe publishers out there. And authors can get wrapped up in the idea of being published by a publisher. Let’s just say I learned a valuable lesson. I think Self-publishing is a wonderful avenue and can lead to great things. But, I am still a traditionalist and strive for traditional publishing through a big house.


If you have experience with both traditional and indie publishing, compare the two.

I’ve only worked with very small publishers – and had to work just as hard as those who self-publish with marketing and promoting. I have never had the opportunity to go through a big publishing house yet. Hopefully that will change with my nonfiction project.


There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

I absolutely disagree! There will be two ends of the spectrum with nothing in between. Self publishing and big house publishing. There is no way the big houses are going to get run out. No one can market the way they can – they are machines with the money to back it up. And most big publishers are making it easier with their own on-demand printing. There is just no way, the big houses go away. It is the small time wannabe publishers that are in trouble?


What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishng?

You get all of the royalties. However, sometimes less is more. I would rather have a smaller percentage of 10’s of thousands of books than all of about a thousand.


Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

They are missing out on the big time money marketing machine that can only be supplied by the big houses, and connections to Hollywood.


With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

Define stand out? Sales? Critically acclaimed by experts? This is all about timing – the right genre and the right story at the right time. It is also about being skilled in social media. I have read some horrible books that have sold thousands and thousands of copies. Why? Because they know how to or pay for marketing, pay for reviews, pay for followers etc. To me, there is only ONE way for your book to stand out. Write a good story well! It all comes down to writing.


I completely agree with you. Self-publishing has really revolutionized the industry by allowing great stories that never would have made it past the gatekeepers to be published, but it has also lowered the overall quality of books on the market. I think the big pubs will slowly adapt to a more indie-oriented market, but they won’t go away because they have advantages that we indie authors really struggle to reproduce on our own. Speaking of something indie authors often struggle to do well, your Four Corners cover was what attracted me in the first place. Who designed your book covers?

A dear friend and young graphic design artist named Kate Lelek.


 Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

Again, define high quality. High quality to me is well written and compelling story. An excellent writer with an excellent editor, who knows the genre and knows the writer’s voice, can produce a high quality book. That does not mean it will sell. But, the answer is yes.


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Interview with LK Kelley   3 comments

LK Kelly Photo1Today’s interview is with L.K. Kelley, who has been a great supporter on Twitter. Welcome to the blog, Kim. Tell us something about yourself.

First, I want to thank you for the invite, Lela.  I am truly honored.  My name is LK Kelley, but most people call me “Kim”.  My first name is a “secret”!  Doesn’t fit my personality! 🙂  OK.  I was born somewhere in Pulaski County, Arkansas, and placed for adoption.  I was adopted when I was 7 months old on December 3, and taken to live in Fort Smith, Arkansas by my adoptive parents, Jerry and Curtis Smith.  I would get the last name of Smith! 😉  I attended grade, junior, and high school, and lived there for 20 years.  I am married to a fabulous man, Wesley Kelley, and have been for 41 years just this past June 1, 2015.  Still don’t know why he chose me, though! 🙂  We have one daughter…and I’ll tell you a little secret, now, and it’s an exclusive for you, Lela.  Some believe it is me, but what they don’t know is that the beautiful woman on the covers of all 3 of my books is our daughter, Laura!

LKKellyPhoto2 Scroll of TimeShe is indeed beautiful! And I don’t tell my legal first name either. I’m not sure what my parents were thinking. So tell us about your life.

I have worked for retail such as Sears and Michael’s, as well as attorneys and medical clinics in every office role imaginable including office manager.  In 2002, I worked as an office manager for 6 years in the lawn care business.  My Father died on the same day that I was adopted – December 3, 2002.  In 2006, I quit my position to take care of my invalid Mother who had no discs left in her back.  Quite frankly, everyone was stumped that she was able to walk at all for 20 years, but my Mom was tough, and she would never say quit!  She spent the last year and a half in her bedroom where my husband and I set the room up like an efficiency apartment.  She continued to walk with her walker until the last 6 months of her life.  She passed away on November 23, 2009.  This was during the meltdown of our economy.  It, literally, took me from 2009-2014 to find a job.  Many companies left our area, and it was sorely depressed.  I, now, work at Sam’s Club as a cashier, and truly enjoy it!  I love the people I meet, and love to help them find whatever they need! One of my favorite parts to my job is helping the disabled to shop.

I am also an avid collector of Disney Pins, Belleek Porcelain, and tea sets.  I am a professional cake decorator, professional Interior Decorator, and…well…I’ve been called a “Jack of all Trades” by just about everyone.  Oh, and I am also an office organizer as well.

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Honestly, I had always thought about it, but never attempted it, Lela. In school, I made straight A’s +, in all my writings. I just never thought about turning it into writing until 2012, when a wonderful author, Anita Meyers, asked me if I would edit her book for her.  Editing is second nature to me, because I edited everything for my daughter while growing up, and I still do so to this day.  I hadn’t thought of being an editor, but I decided to try it.  She loved it, and thus, I became a book editor.  I have edited 2 books for her and another author, Carol Shauffel, and I am in the middle of editing for at least 2 other authors.

My first story began in July, 2013, when I woke up in the middle of the night, and out of nowhere, came an entire book fully formed in my mind.  I managed to go back to sleep, but when I woke up the next day, I started writing.  I spent every spare moment writing from July to October.  During that time, I realized that I had enough for a trilogy.  I bounced immediately from book 1 to book 2 to book 3 without stopping,  but I never told anyone that I was writing a book.  My husband, eventually, guessed, but no one else knew.  I was a little shy about it, but I wanted an honest opinion.  So, I asked my author friend, Anita, if she would give it a read, and see what she thought.  It wasn’t long, before she told me she loved it, and had no idea that I could write anything like it!  Just to be sure, I asked 2 other friends of mine to do the same.  One is a realtor; another is an Assistant to a school Principal.

I heard from both of them – fast – and both of them were stunned, and said the same thing Anita had – they couldn’t believe I could write like this!  My latter friend, who has known me since Junior High, told me that I had missed my calling all these years, and that she had never – ever – known that I could write!  And, from all 3, I had orders that I had better not disappoint them in the ending!  They couldn’t wait for book 2!

When I told my daughter, she was shocked beyond belief!  It never occurred to her that I might write a book, let alone three.  I was a bit hesitant, because I truly wanted her to be the face of my heroine, Kaitlan Seneca O’Hara.  Well, I didn’t have to ask, because the next day, she offered to be the face of my book along with her best friend who is the hero of the books.  Eventually, another friend of hers offered to be the face of my villain.  After multiple photo shoots, both in Arkansas and in Colorado (where my daughter lives), I was ready to design my own covers.  And, that’s what I did.  Each book cover’s background is from photos I took in Colorado, and with the last cover, we hiked to Hanging Lake where I took the photo that is on book 3.  And, by the way? If I can create my own, anyone can! It was a lot of fun!

I totally agree. I created my own as well with some help from my artist daughter. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy project, but it is definitely within the skills of anyone with imagination. Tell us about your writing process.

I don’t really have one, truthfully. I don’t use an outline, nor do I count my words. I never did good with outlines in school, and I hate following them. They are far too restrictive for me.  As for counting of words?  Nope.  I write quite a bit differently.  I love listening to the commentaries that come along with movies as well as the backgrounds on how they make movies.  So, I applied this same thing to my books.  While I don’t use story-boarding, outlines, etc., I do write all scenes inside my mind – then I actually act them out as if they were being made for a movie!  When I have it formed in my mind, I write.  When writing my trilogy, I had to rein my mind in before I wrote, because the scenes were coming fast and furious.

LKKelly Book 3 Banner TWWP TRILOGY
What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

Fiction – just about anything, but I do have a penchant for the supernatural, Romance, and Paranormal, Lela.

What are you passionate about?

Truth, Loyalty, and Honesty are my biggest passions – both from others, but most especially,  from myself.

What is something you cannot live without?

My Christian Faith.  I will not live without this, and I have no problem admitting it publicly.  It makes my life better all the way around, and while I do not write Christian books, it is always within me nonetheless, Lela.

You and I are in total agreement about Christian faith. When you are not writing, what do you do?

Like everyone else, I have to work to pay the bills, Lela!  I knew, going into this, that it takes a while to establish a persona as an author.  🙂  But, in my spare time, which is truly rare these days, I love to R.E.A.D., of course.  I love movies, as well.  Growing up, I introduced my daughter to a great many genres, as well as music, and today, she is just as versatile in what she loves as am I.  We have an amazing collection of movies!  And, of course, my favorite is…what else?  Science Fiction!

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

The 3rd book in my series, The White Wolf Prophecy ~ Scroll of Time ~ has to be the one book that truly transformed me.  Reading about, and listening to, other readers who didn’t like outcomes of either an ending, or even in the middle of a series, played a great role in this.  So, I decided, instead, to listen to my own fans.  Everyone who had read my first two books told me “Don’t disappoint me with the last book!”  Each of them told me what they wanted to read – and it was all incompatible with the end I had thought I might write.  Well, that wasn’t going to be easy at all.  In fact, after everyone’s wishes were made known to me, the end had me completely stumped.  That’s when I remembered fans of TV, movies, and books who had all been disappointed, because none of the endings went as they wished.  Ideas from everyone from the typical end of a series to telling me to kill off one or two of my main characters, not to mention everything in between was truly driving me nutty as a squirrel!  All I could hope for was for something, or someone, to point me in the right direction, and I truly think that God did this for me.  Again, in the middle of the night, I awoke, and suddenly, the full last half of the 3rd book was born.  Completely written, and all I had to do was refine it.

I took all the suggestions, and molded them into one, final, slamdunk ending!  And, trust me — it’s not like any other ending you will read.  The first reviewer placed her review on Barnes and Noble, and I was so flattered, it humbled me.

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

There is only one, Lela.  Because, truthfully, I have no idea where they come from if they were not given to me by the Great Man upstairs!  It’s the only thing that accounts for why I wake up in the middle of the night, or am in the shower, because that’s when they all come.

I get my best ideas filing at work or driving to Anchorage (400 miles one way). Maybe it’s the alone-time with our Savior. What sort of research do you do for your novels?

I have been studying the supernatural genre of werewolves, vampires, elves, aliens, mysteries, mythology, time travel, and many other things for years, so a lot of it comes from my studies.  I also am an administrator for an online site known as “Atlantis Rising Forums”, and have been a member since 2001.  On the forums, we had active searchers for Atlantis, as well as many other mysteries, and mythology.  After 14 years of meeting such great minds, as well as my own studies, I draw upon this knowledge, and while some things might be set in stone, the fact is that with myths and legends, I can get away with “tweaking” them for my own, creative works.

If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

I have actually written a blog about my writing.  It is not out of the realm to say that a great many, if not most, supernatural/fantasy books are #targeted to teens between twelve and eighteen. Many women between the ages of eighteen and sixty are either publicly, or “secretly”, #readers of supernatural/fantasy teen books.  However, it is not just teenagers who like to see themselves as a “heroine”, but they would like to receive “supernatural powers”, too, but with adult #themes.  What they want added is far more intense, and explicit, writing which would not be appropriate for teenage books. Because I realized that I was not alone in these same wants, I wrote The White Wolf Prophecy: Mating, Book One (a Trilogy) to be followed by a fourth supplemental book in the line – The White Wolf Prophecy: Children of The White Wolf. I specifically incorporate not only the supernatural/fantasy, but adult themes for women..  This includes #love, #romance, laughter, #sex #scenes, supernatural abilities, family, #evil, and so much more.

LKKelly Photo 4 SWIRLYFOR GOOGLEAfter speaking with several #women within this age group, I discovered a great need for supernatural/fantasy books for adult women.  One of the best examples of this as fact is the huge popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey.  Women want so much more than a teenage book can deliver. I believe my book is exactly what they want based on research, the reviews I have received, and the excitement for the second book before the first proof book was ever received. I, also targeted this age range, because as our population ages, the majority of readers will be within this age group, and will be buying most all books.  And, this is something everyone needs to consider seriously.

Based on #5-star #reviews received from women, as well as a man who asked to read and review it, the excitement for Book 2 has brought forth begging me for Book 2 – The White Wolf Prophecy: Hall of Records.  They cannot wait to find out what happens.  Also, those who have read the first two #chapters in the PDF supplied online have been excited, want more, and want to purchase the book.  All of the reviews just reinforce the proof that women’s desire for their own supernatural books is wanted en masse, but with more romance, sex in detail, #danger, evil, a true plot, along with character #development that moves along
LKKelly Photo 5 Curse 1-4=KimKelly-medIn addition, many women have wondered, and asked me, why only teenagers are given “supernatural powers”, and at such young ages. It is strange to them that “supernatural #powers” should be given to those who are  teenagers, have not experienced #life, and do not have the ability to wield them.  It has not been lost on adults that  teenagers are just about the only available books with adults who appear either dumb, or the parent(s), or adult in their life, cannot handle the supernatural world, and the teenager(s) hide the fact from the adults in their life when the opposite should be the case.

This is not to say that the teenage books do not have their place. An adult woman, however, should not need to resort to books for teenagers due to the lack of #mature books.  My intent was to merge all of these ingredients into a book series for women adding full, mature themes.  Thus, in my book, “supernatural powers” do not come into being until the age of twenty-seven when my #heroine, Kaitlan, receives her “supernatural powers”.

The book is an entirely different twist on the supernatural world of fantasy with #werewolves, #vampires, #elves, as well as #humans.   While it revolves around werewolves, a curse cast thousands of years before changed the world which changed all the supernatural races.  The White Wolf Prophecy is the key upon the appearance of The White Wolf.  The races of Earth are in #clans. Vampires have a partial cure where they do not need blood all the time, the ability to go out into the light, function normally, and can eat real food.  Elves hold all the secrets, and a human becomes supernatural.
The White Wolf Prophecy: Mating, Book One, holds all the elements of the supernatural fantasies for adult women who feel they have very few choices. Based on my research, I believe that my book gives adult women exactly what they are craving. Love, romance, #mating, sex, danger, evil, and supernatural powers are all inclusive with a mystery plot, and heavy character development that is not stagnant.  And, an ending in Book three that will blow all of it out of the water!
There is a huge, untapped #market for women in supernatural/fantasy #books.  And… I decided to tap it!

LKKelly Photo 5 LAURA, WIN, WOLF COVER TEMPSMOOTHEDAre you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

This is a really great question.  For me, one cannot write without a character in a plot, or the plot around the character.  In other words, I believe they go hand in hand, and it is why one cares about the characters. One cannot identify with a plot in general, but if you weave the two together in a seamless way, then the plot and characters become believable and you care for them.  And, isn’t that the way one is supposed to write as well?   Karen Moning is the writer that influence me the most, along with Quinn Loftis.  These writers do not differentiate the plot with the character, but instead, merge their characters so intricately into the plot that you automatically cannot split them into either/or.  George Lucas and Peter Jackson did this as well.  Their characters (Lucas in Eps IV, V, & VI), and Jackson merge so beautifully within the plot, and the plot surrounding the characters, they merge together into a story.  I don’t believe in looking at a story from a plot POV nor a character POV.  I prefer to merge them into one so that one cares about the characters, and the background compliments them.

What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?

I’ve considered, and read, all POV’s.  While I really do like first person, it limits the writer to what others are thinking.  However, there are some who use their chapters to shift back and forth between characters for their POV.  But, I have no plans to do this at this point.  Perhaps I may do so in my next book series.

Do you head-hop?

I have never read any book which did not have this except perhaps in the first person.  There are times you need to use it.  While I don’t do that a lot in my novels, there are certain times to use it such as when characters are in deadly situations.

However, I use dialogue, but I don’t head-hop within certain “scenes”.  As I said…I think of books in “scenes” like a movie or TV show.  I like to write what the other person is thinking, but not back and forth several times in a scene. That’s not necessary.  However, I’m sure I’m just as guilty of it as other writers at some point.  I don’t really keep track of these things, because I write from my gut and imagination as if someone is filming it.

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

Wheeeee!  Never thought about this. Let’s see…how about an old-fashioned typewriter in case there is no electricity, a ream of paper, warm clothing, and with no way to get internet?  I’d still bring my Kindle to read my books, my iPad to read my iBooks, a few extra charged up emergency batteries for both, and my copies of the Fever Series, Lord of the Rings, and my Bible just in case the batteries poop out on me!

Talk about your books individually.

The White Wolf Prophecy ~ Mating ~ Book 1


The White Wolf Prophecy

When The White Wolf appears,

All that once was,

Will yet again be,


Beware that danger is not past.

Evil still present,

Will cause to suffer,

That which is,

To not last.


Find The One, who cursed our worlds,

Or succeed in task will he.

For if he wins, the second time,

Our fate, forever, will be cast.



LKKelly Photo 6 twiitterFINALGRAYFRONTWWOLF~ ~ ~ And, so, the Prophecy begins ~ ~ ~

Evil exists everywhere, and in every supernatural book.  But, I opted to completely rip up the stereotypes of werewolves, vampires, and elves.  This book begins the White Wolf Prophecy.  The prophecy is ancient, and an evil villain, Zanack, somehow got his hands on an ancient scroll, and cast a curse to alter the future.  Unfortunately for him, though, he goofed up, and cast it wrong causing severe damage to the supernatural world, but not in the way he wants.

Current day finds 26 year-old, Kaitlan Seneca O’Hara who is an Editor in her Father’s publishing house.  I chose her age for a specific reason.  I don’t really know who thought up the idea that the only age group to receive their “powers” is somewhere between 15-18 years old, but I decided to erase that stereotype, and give those powers to someone who would be able to handle them.  An adult cannot handle those things let alone a young teen.  Therefore, I chose the age of 27 for Kaitlan’s power to manifest itself.  Once she has mated with Cordone Tristan Valon, the ancient curse begins to unravel throwing Zanack’s plans out the window.

When Kaitlan is forced, by her father, Canaan O’Hara, to meet her nemesis, Cordone, she is completely in the dark that her Father sent her to him the day before her 27th birthday, and her first change.  She is quite angry because she had planned an intimate rendezvous with her fiance. While she does not know, her Father has already spoken with Cordone who isn’t all that happy about having her come, but when her Father tells him of the danger she may be in, he relents.  Kaitlan is overawed at the incredible house that she has heard about.

Once her change is completed, she is terrified, and doesn’t know what has happened, but it doesn’t take long for her to find out when she awakes after a night of running with Cordone by her side – without a stitch of clothing!

Kaitlan has 3 best friends:  Sarah Collins, her human friend, Anita Moore, and Lynne DeVane who, along with each of their mates, Sam, Dan, and Richard, the prophecy begins its journey to get rid of Zanack. And, the only thing they have to do?  Find their mates, and become one with them!  And, changes for everyone abound.


The White Wolf Prophecy ~ Hall of Records ~  Book 2


The White Wolf Prophecy (Lost Scroll)


When the White Wolf appears,

All that once was,

Will yet again be,

Beware that danger is not past.


Four there were,

Four were cursed.

Four there are,

Four are blessed.


Evil still present,

Will cause to suffer,

That which is,

To not last.


The one who cursed our worlds returns,

From the beginning and to the last.

For if he wins, the second time,

Our fate, forever, will be cast

The Hall of Records is a collection of all the knowledge of Earth from so far in our past, we have forgotten it. It is believed that it exists under the Great Sphinx on the Giza Plateau in Egypt.  But, is that really where it is?  The final mating takes place at the beginning of the book between Lynne and Richard aka Linora and Eric.  Richard is the oldest of everyone on the great council which is now headed up by Kaitlan after her Father has been killed.  Also introduced into this book are vampires and the elves who hold so much knowledge, it transcends time.  But, the other supers do not know this.

In the book, the curse has been broken, but the discovery that the scroll used by Zanack was a fake scroll, and the real one may be somewhere within the Hall of Records.  The big question of the book is just who is Richard O’Malley?  He’s the oldest on the council save one.  The other question is just where is the Hall of Records?  Several questions abound until these questions are answered, and it is a complete surprise to the reader, so I won’t go into this too much.

Sarah comes into some powers that shows that she was no ordinary human, while the group fights hard, and fast, to find the scroll before Zanack does who is always at least one step ahead of them, and they cannot figure out why. But, why? Why would someone forge a scroll, and place it to be found while hiding the real one?  What we do find out that if they don’t take out Zanack, the fate of not just the Earth is at stake, but the universe!  The book also includes a couple of surprise characters, and a new theory as to where the Hall of Records really is and a hint as to who, and what, Zanack may really be. 


The White Wolf Prophecy ~ Scroll of Time ~ Book 3

The final book finds our characters in a state of almost panic.  A third scroll exists, only this one has to do with time travel.  Like everything else,  this scroll is dangerous.  It has a curse in it that can take one back into time, and Zanack desperately tries to get it first.  After his failure with scroll one, and finding out that in scroll two his doom is on the horizon, his only chance to recast the curse is to return to the time and place where he first cast it. And, it will take blood…lots of it to open the portal of time.   There is a race against time to get it.  However, a very strange anomaly occurs causing repetition which delays everything.  It becomes annoying.  We find out Zanack’s true identity, and his evil plans.  He hates Kaitlan with a passion, and plans on killing her along with the rest of them, but he fixates on sweet Sarah.

Kaitlan is forced to make the most difficult decision of her entire life.  How can she do what she must do, and live with herself, and will it turn her as evil as Zanack?  Is she strong enough? This book is not for the feint of heart, and there are graphic details of how, and whose blood Zanack takes in order to open the portal.

The ending is a complete surprise, and unlike most people have ever read.  The beginning of the end begins ½ way through through the book. I want to thank those who gave me input about what they wanted to see, and I didn’t want to disappoint them!  So, the ending is a tribute to those people who “warned” me to not disappoint them!

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

Nope.  I wrote it entirely for an adventure, fun combined with true evil (and of course what would a  supernatural novel be without blood and guts?)  However, I guess there is a moral if you look hard enough. But, I just had a great deal of fun writing it for adult women!  The problem? I never imagined that my books would become popular with men!  But, they actually love it!  Big surprise to me!

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want them to immerse themselves into a fantasy world that could very well be reality.  I also want my readers to feel as if I gave them plenty of ups and downs, laughter and tears, terror and hate, and finally…  Oops! Almost gave something away! 😉

Why did you chose an Independent Publisher instead of self-publishing.

I chose this method for two reasons. One, I just didn’t have the time to self-publish, and two, I knew him from an author friend of mine.  ISOTUT is owned, and operated, by Michael Kiser.  He knows so much more about publishing than I do, and I think, for me, the establishment of a small Independent publisher was the route I decided to go. In the future, I may go to self-publishing, but right now, I’m perfectly satisfied.

LKKelly Photo 6 DSC_0018aaChristians are told to be “in the world, but not of it.” As a Christian writer, how do you write to conform to that scripture?

My books will always have a Creator in them.  And, by that, I mean God.  Even the supernatural world recognize Him. Christians belief in a supernatural world, or God could not exist.

Again, Lela, I want to thank you for asking me for this interview. I truly appreciate it.  LK Kelley aka Kim ( @lkkelley1 )


















I manage, and maintain ALL my pages personally without help from anyone. Why? Because I love to do it! It’s fun.  And, all of this in addition that I work at Sam’s Club between 26-32 hours a week as a cashier in Fort Smith, AR.

You’re awesome, Kim!

Interview with CL Wells   7 comments

Today’s interview is with debut novelist, CL Wells. Welcome to the blog.

Thanks so much for having me, Lela!

Tell us something about yourself.

Well, I was born in raised in Kansas, but I don’t plan on spending the rest of my life here. As soon as I can, I will try to move far, far, far away from winter.

For the last ten years I’ve worked in Finance at a major corporation. While I’m grateful for my job… because it does pay the bills… and for food, which is important, and publishing, which is really important, I always say real life starts once I’m walking out the door at the end of the workday.

We only have four legged children and they’re both older than us in their respective fur-years. We have a senior doggie that is around 13 or 14 and our cat is 17. I’ll stop there otherwise I will talk about them forever.

We have two dogs (one who is quite geriatric) and we’ve had lots of cats (just not now). At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

My first real memory of enjoying the writing process was in grade school. We’d been learning about the science of the weather and our assignment was to write a weather report. Our teacher said we could pick any location. So, I chose Mars and my meteorologist was abducted by aliens midway through his report. Figured it was okay since she didn’t specify the location had to be on this planet. I got an A and note in red from the teacher telling me how creative I was! It felt good.

I rocked out some fun papers in college and I blogged for a year or so, but until I started this project … I guess I didn’t take myself seriously.

Tell us about your writing process.

So far, I’m a pantser. For Memoirs of a Girl Who Loves God, I just started writing. I was inspired by someone close to me and the story just came to me. But when you’re writing, you think about your characters all the time. So in my head, I knew where I was taking the story.  I just didn’t know how I was going to get there until I was at my computer – actively writing.

I tried to do an outline for my current WIP, but so far it’s not working for me. I have to just think it out and write it.

I totally understand. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

My favorite genre  to write is Faith & Spirituality. But, I love to read all kinds of books. I love YA Fiction, Faith Fiction, Historical, Romance every now and again, Suspense, Thrillers …

What are you passionate about?

Animals-I will be any animal’s advocate. One day I hope to open an animal shelter

If you lived here in Alaska, you could become a dog musher. What is something you cannot live without?

God first. My family. Then air, water, food… those are important too. J

I like the order. When you are not writing, what do you do?

Publishing. Seriously, getting this book out has consumed my life. It’s a lot of work. There are so many steps, but God has made sure I could handle it all. I’ve met some amazing people. My editors, formatter, cover people, bloggers, and the WEBSITE. Oh my goodness, God sent me help for my website. I almost threw my laptop out the window trying to deal with that. I’m okay now though, lol.

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

Memoirs is my first, but I always go back to God on this. As writers, we all draw from our life experiences. Once you need to write something else in, it’s time for research.

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

All kinds. Sometimes you just need Google. But for Memoirs, I visited our local homeless shelter and took a tour. I spoke with and interviewed soldiers and asked a million questions. It’s important to ensure what is being written is reflective of real life. This isn’t a fantasy book so if someone who has self-harmed picked it up or a soldier who was in Desert Storm, I want them to relate.  Now each person’s individual experience will vary… For instance, one of the soldiers I spoke with who was in Desert Storm was in a troop who was right in all the action. Their access to water was limited. Another soldier whose troop wasn’t in the thick of the action said they had plenty of water. So much of it, in fact, that they were building houses with the bottles when they were bored.

Do you have a special place where you write?

Not yet. I desperately want a special place to write. Right now, our home is very small and though it’s just the two of us with our pets, we need more room.

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

More discovery in the details. With Memoirs, I knew where I was going, but needed the ‘discovery’ aspect to get there.

Do you head-hop?

I do. It was out of control for a minute, but my super-duper content editor whipped me into shape. So now I do it, but appropriately. No Dramamine needed.

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have to worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

Oh, this is easy. I will explore, of course. It’s a must to be aware of your surroundings. But I would take that time to write. I would love to have a whole month to myself with no other obligations… such a dream. I would probably stick to reading before bed. That’s how I get my reading time in now. I would take some of my favourite movies for down time. But I bet I could write an entire book in a month under those circumstances.

Talk about your book.

Memoirs of a Girl Who Loves God took me two years to write because of… well, life. My inspiration for the story was based on someone very close to me. She was very open and honest about her experiences and I drew all I could from her.

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

I didn’t think of it that way in the beginning. Not in a literal sense. I never said, ‘I’m going to write this to give hope to those who have self-harmed or…’  But my moral in life… real-life, is all about showing God’s love. So if I decide to write a book, I certainly want God’s love built-in.

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want people to read it and have a new or renewed sense of how much God loves them. My characters are not far fetched. They’re out there. They exist in someone and when we are looking for them, we’ll find them.

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Research. I did a ton of research and reading. I’m still so new that there are some things I can’t make heads or tails of. But it appears that traditional publishers don’t operate the way they used to. The market has changed drastically with ebooks and self-publishing so publishers have been forced to change with it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest another couple of years in finding an agent and then publisher. I’m a pretty good people person and as for marketing, I will try a hundred things that don’t work to find the one thing that does. So in the end I decided to self-publish and I think I’m glad I did.

There are people who believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

I can see why people say that. While self-publishing has put a huge dent in the market, I still think traditional publishers have their place. Who doesn’t want to be signed by a ‘big dog’ and get an advance… have someone else take care of all your editing needs and pour money into promoting you?

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

Having 100% control over your own success or failure. That can be good and bad. You have to be a go-getter. You can’t just write it and put any humdrum cover on it and hope people are going to buy it. You have to take it seriously, make it the best it can be, and then market forever. If you don’t plan market your own book, you may want to consider trying the traditional way.

What do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

Less stress. Don’t get me wrong; I know that authors who are signed with traditional publishers have their own stress. Deadlines for one thing. But! A traditional publisher handles a lot of expenses and if you received a decent advance, you’re not working a 9-to-5. That alone is a dreamy thought.

As a self-published author who also works a day job, you won’t get an argument from me. With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

Yes. I’ll do it anyway. I will try those hundred things. As long as I’m trying I know God will open the right doors at the right time.

Who designed your book cover/s?

A lot of people, lol. I took the photo for it and commissioned Zei Llamas to create the cover. Much of the idea for design came from my spouse. He’s quite creative in ways I’m not and I’m so glad. Zei really brought the ideas to life. Victorine Lieske gave the title/font a facelift and Carey Bradshaw polished it until it shined.



Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?


Absolutely. It’s harder for us, but it’s important to do it right. If you’re writing anything you ever plan or hope to have published then you need to network. It’s time consuming but it’s a must. You have to make connections and meet people who know all the things you don’t. Find groups on Facebook to be a part of and get on twitter and meet people. Talk to them. Make real friends. You never know what can come from it. I’m in a group on Facebook called Clean Indie Reads (CIR) and they are the best! I can’t rave about them enough. I wouldn’t be this far without the folks I’ve met in that one group.



Do you write specifically for a Christian audience? Why or why not?


No, definitely not. I write what I love and I happen to love God so that will come through.


What are some of the special challenges of being a Christian writer?

There’s no special challenge for me. I’ve never looked at it like that. I don’t write to appease any group of people. I love God, but I’m not into religious titles. I don’t mean that sound rude, but I want to be real. I don’t hide the fact I love God but at the same time, mainstream Christianity isn’t something I cater to.



We’re in total agreement on that subject. Christians are told to be “in the world, but not of it.” As a Christian writer, how do you write to conform to that scripture?


Anyone who really loves God and is working on his or her relationship with God is already on the right path. You will be set apart by being real and loving and kind.



Do you feel that Christian writers are expected to conform to some standards that are perhaps not realistic to the world?


Yes, probably so. But we have to push against that. I’m not writing to be in a Christian writing club of some sort. If you can’t be real about what you write and what you believe, then you shouldn’t bother.



Do you feel that Christian writers should focus on writing really great stories or on presenting the gospel clearly in everything they write? Or is it possible to do both?

I think if a writer is a Christian, they should write like any other writer. They should listen to their heart and focus on their craft and write amazing stories. If you write a story and you’re focused on external expectations, then you’re writing will not be true to you.


If you write speculative fiction, do you find that the Christian reader community is accepting of that genre?

I haven’t written it, but I’m not saying I never will.

Some will be accepting and some won’t. But who cares? The only one you’ll ever have to really answer to is God. Mainstream Christianity has got to stop finding ways to point fingers. If all believers would just focus on God, we’d be so much better off. If someone writes something I don’t like, I don’t read it. It’s that simple.


Where can readers find you and your books?

Fourteen-year-old Krystal finds herself flailing when her parents separate. Unable to cope, she begins cutting. No one knows.

At her new school, she makes one single friend, Em, who invites her to volunteer at the local homeless shelter. There, Krystal discovers fellow misfits, including Brandon, a boy from her school. How can Krystal start a new life when the scars of her old one will never fully heal?

What readers are saying about “Memoirs of a Girl Who Loves God”

“This is a heartwarming story that was written from the heart. It brought real meaning to me––of some things in life––that never made sense before. It made me smile, and also brought tears to my eyes. This is a must read. I wasn’t able to put it down once I started.”

“A compelling story that will have readers touched and unable to put it down. I’ve read it more than once and each and every time it brings tears to my eyes.”

“WOW!  It is not an easy book to read, but it is a powerful book. Heartbreaking, heartwarming, challenging and uplifting.”

Connect with C.L. Wells

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Additional contact information for C.L. Wells

Interview with KC Sprayberry   3 comments

Today’s interview is with K.C. Sprayberry. Welcome to the blog.  Tell us something about yourself.

Sprayberry EyesI currently live in Northwest Georgia, but that will be changing soon. We’re in the process of selling our home and relocating to Alabama. Not only am I an author, I’m also the editor-in-chief of Summer Solstice Publishing, an imprint of Solstice Publishing. My significant other is my husband of nearly twenty-two years and the only child remaining in our almost empty nest is our youngest, who will be returning to college in a year.

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

As far back as I can remember, I have loved reading. I think that came from my mom, who in an effort to control six unruly children over school holidays, was wont to sit us down with a book in our hands and order us to read. We all developed a deep-seated passion for those books and many others that continues to this day. Sometime during this process, I began to create stories in my head. At first, I put these tales into my diary, until one of my brothers discovered it and blabbed. After that, I kept the stories in my head, until high school, where a very good creative writing teacher pulled that magical string and let them loose. Since then, I’ve been jotting down stories on pieces of paper, napkins, even my hand when I was without a piece of paper. It’s like the faucet will never close, and I aim to make the most of this journey.

Sprayberry callchronicleskindlecoverThat’s a common history for many of us writers … that tap that cannot be turned off.  Tell us about your writing process.

My writing process generally consists of me yelling at the characters demanding to be heard while I attempt to do those normal things—prepare meals, tote the child here and there, and clean the house. They won’t shut up, so I’ll plop down and pound out their stories, until the dust bunnies are of Jurassic size, and then do the normal things until the characters are too loud again. It’s a vicious circle I can’t, and don’t want to escape.

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

It might be easier to ask what is my least favorite genre. I will read a book as long as it’s good. It’s that simple. Be it fantasy, contemporary, romance, sci-fi, or any of the other genres, as long as the author has created a wonderful, consuming story that I can’t walk away from. There are exceptions though. I don’t read porn, have no use for it, and literary fiction leaves me cold. Most literary fiction I’ve attempted to read bored me to tears within the first ten pages.

Sprayberry lost and scared cover artWhat are you passionate about?

Writing, reading, photography, nature, honesty in politics. Yes, I know the last one is a bit of a laugh, but I feel that politicians should be honest with those who have elected them. That’s probably why I’m not too popular with that group.

What is something you cannot live without?

A quiet place to write… my books (we have close to 3,000 print and ebooks)… my kitchen—cooking is my way of relaxing. As one of my children recently described it, “I don’t know how much she puts of what into the pot. She just tosses this and that, and it all comes out great.”

Sprayberry Softly Say GoodbyeWhen you are not writing, what do you do?

Visit the library… a park… smell the flowers outside… meet up with people I like. I’m a simple person. There’s no need for a fancy meal, or an elite gathering. Give me down home folks and good food, and I’m enjoying myself.

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

My most recent novel, Lost & Scared, and my latest collection, Soar High 1 Standing Strong.

The novel, Lost & Scared, is about non-custodial parental abduction told from the viewpoint of twins, a brother and sister, with an almost mystical connection. One of them is left behind, while the other is taken in the abduction with three of their younger siblings. It’s intense, explores a lot of emotions and actions I’ve avoided in my other teen novels, and as my editor put it, is a darned good book.

Soar High 1 Standing Strong is a series of stories about abuse. It’s about overcoming abuse more than about the actions themselves. Freeing those being abused from their situation is more than mouthing words, it’s about action, doing what others may say is wrong, but still taking that step to walk away from the pattern so it doesn’t hold onto you forever.

Sprayberry Where U @Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

Things happening around me, news stories, situations I experienced growing up and as an adult. Sometimes a character will appear in my head and demand that I tell a story I’ve never considered. Those are harder to write, but far more satisfying, especially the research I do to find out more about the situation I’m crafting.

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

Newspapers, the internet, talking to people who have experienced what I’m writing about, or who know someone who has gone through it. Sometimes, to craft a great story, you have to step away from the characters and envision things how their friends see them. That’s why it’s important to get the opinion of bystanders.

If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

I’m intense and approach subjects that aren’t comfortable. Things like underage drinking, school violence, texting and driving, non-custodial parental abduction, and bullying to name a few. Some say those are hot subjects, but I try to look at them from a viewpoint that hasn’t been done before.

Do you have a special place where you write?

I have a writing cave. It’s a private place, where those in the house know they can’t wander into at will. I’ll also write in a notebook at the park, or sitting in the bleachers before a game, or even at the grocery store if the muse strikes.

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

Currently, I’m returning to the non-custodial parental abduction theme. Lost & Scared 2 is in the early planning stages. There are a couple of chapters written, but I’m still researching a few elements that I don’t really know well, so those characters are well rounded. I have to say this book will portray the original twins in a completely different way as the first book, which is why I’m having so much trouble getting it to work. They’ve matured, are getting ready for college, and still dealing with the near past. And that’s all I can say about that book at the moment.

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Character driven, definitely. My characters are very much a part of my life. They feel the same as my kids. I care about them. I cry when they do, laugh with them, and fight for the same things they believe in. Well-developed characters can move a plot so well, and I strive hard to do that with mine.

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

I’m a panster through and through. I’ve tried writing from an outline, but it never works. Before I reach chapter eight, I’m tossing everything out the window and listening to my characters, switching up situations, letting the plot take off on its own.

Sprayberry Take Chances (683x1024)What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?

For my teen books, I prefer first person, present tense. It’s more alive, contains more a feeling of immediacy. Romance, military fiction, and westerns are all third person, past tense. That’s how the story wants to be told, and I learned long ago not to ignore the story.

Do you head-hop?

I try not to. Some of my stories have that happen accidentally, but mostly I stick to the point of view I’m working with at the moment. Do I have multiple POV stories? Yes. Two of my teen books, my romantic suspense novel, and my western are all multiple POV, but I work hard to ensure the reader isn’t confused about whose story they’re reading.

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

Better be some really good mosquito spray. I’m a magnet for those critters, and I hear the ones in Alaska are huge!

The huge ones are easy. They’ve very slow, so you can smack them before they get to you. It’s the smaller ones that attack with ferocity and by the millions. But we have great bug spray.

You’ll supply the food too? Will it be food I don’t have to prepare? Because if so, I’ll be spending that whole month doing a NaNoWriMo type writing marathon with one major difference. I won’t have to stop to grocery shop, or make meals, or clean the house. You might have to use a shoehorn to boot me out after a month.

Tell us about your books.

We’ll start with the first. Softly Say Goodbye was inspired by a Breaking Benjamin song, Here We Are. The moment I heard that song, the characters came alive in my head. The plot and theme were a lot slower, until I settled on underage drinking and one girl’s passion to stop teens in her school from going down that road.

Take Chances is probably the second most emotional book for me. This idea began right after Columbine. That really hit home for my family. We knew people there, people I’d worked with before we moved to Georgia. Watching the news stories, seeing the terror drove home just how awful this is. The main character, Julie, is a military brat, and proud of it. She has her secrets, one of which is revealed the day before horror visits her at a school a second time.

Sprayberry The Wrong One 2 (427x640)The Wrong One is my first multiple viewpoint story. Two children are ripped apart in a night of terror when they are four. Fourteen years later, the boy, Kyle, stands by his vow to bring Lyssa home. Lyssa doesn’t even know who she really is, due to a threat made in the early hours after she was taken from her home. This book is my first psychological thriller, but not my last. The Wrong One placed #7 in the 2013 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll.

Inits—it’s all in a name, or as Alex puts it in this book, the inits, initials, of your name. And his are a curse word. He’s tried for years to stop punching people who use his inits, but now that he’s starting high school, he knows he has to find a peaceful way to stop the teasing. Only one person stands in his way, the school bully, who is determined to make Alex get over his inits and let people use them.

Texting and driving is the theme for Where U @, but the book is much more than that. It also explores some racism, where the main character, Trea, must put up with harassment because she’s one quarter Cherokee. As she discovers, it’s easy to say don’t text and drive, but the temptation might prove too strong at certain moments.

Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates is the first in a planned 6 book series about a group of teens living on a space station. It’s irreverent, funny, and full of all kinds of dangerous situations—the perfect book for adventuresome boys and girls. Oh, and there are space pirates, with one big surprise for BD Bradford, the main character.

Canoples Investigations Versus Spacers Rule, there’s a new gang making trouble on Canoples Station, along with a lot of hatred for the Canoples Investigations crew. Can they overcome all of that to protect the station from dangerous animals and… gasp!… gas?

Paradox Lost: Their Path is a time travel fantasy novel. What starts out as a prophecy that will happen sometime in the future, turns into a fight for their lives for triplets DJ, Matt, and Elisa. To compound the problems, each of them must make the choice to save their father, trapped in the debris of 1906 San Francisco after the earthquake, thereby changing history and causing more problems. Or will they put their personal concerns aside and work for the more important issue, stopping Rogues from destroying the world? Paradox Lost: Their Path placed #3 in the 2014 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll.

The Curse of Grungy Gulley, a tale that has been with me for a long time. It originally started out as another “dead mother” book, but evolved into a good versus evil fight spanning 144 years, with four viewpoints. Three teens must overcome a Bewitcher who has been harrying their families since the time of The Black Plague in fourteenth century Europe.

How do you stop a stalker who is determined to possess you? That’s what Lisa faces in Evil Eyes. This book is also about teens experiencing new feelings of closeness with their significant other once they’re off in college, away from a protective home environment.

Lost & Scared is my most recent YA novel, and the most intense writing experience I’ve ever had. The theme is non-custodial parental abduction from the viewpoint of twins, a boy and a girl. Each of them originally has the same reason to exhibit disgust for their dad, but they find themselves being tested beyond what they thought were their limits as the story unfolds. This book isn’t for the faint of heart.

What if you had a chance to ride in the Pony Express? What if you were a girl and this was your dream? That’s the theme of Pony Dreams, a book set in mid-nineteenth century Nevada. Abby will do anything to get near the ponies, even thinks about sneaking away from home to join the new mail venture.

Westerns have always had a special place in my heart. The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang was an experiment that I suggested to The Western Online. This book was actually first published on their website as a serialized novel, much like the penny dreadfuls of the nineteenth century. It’s about a family who has a duty to find and bring to the justice the men who burned their home and murdered their parents.

What would you do if your daughter allegedly committed suicide but you are certain she didn’t? That’s what Jayme and Brad face in Starlight, a romantic suspense novel about corruption.

*** I do have short stories, collections, and anthologies along with my novels, but in the interest of space, I didn’t include them. ***

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

It never starts out that way, but the subject matter I deal with usually ends with a message. Honestly, I really try hard to avoid being preachy about those messages.

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want them to get mad, to cry, to laugh, to think of my characters as they would their family or friends. I would love my readers to be so involved in the book that they are screaming for a win during a game, beating the armrest of their chair when things go wrong, or hiccupping from sobbing at a very intense moment.

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Interview with JS Bailey   3 comments

Bailey JS Author PicToday’s interview is with J.S. Bailey, writer of supernatural suspense. Welcome to the blog.

It’s an honor to be here, Lela!

Tell us something about yourself.

I’ve lived in the Cincinnati area for my entire life. It seems that Cincinnati has become part of my identity. (If people ask me where I’m from, I don’t tell them I’m from Ohio even though that’s the state where I live.) I don’t think I could ever live anywhere else—though I do love to travel!

I feel the same way about Alaska. There are many lovely places in the world and I like to visit them, but I always want to come home.

I live with my husband and two rambunctious cats named Thai and Chai. My husband has been incredibly supportive of my writing journey, and if not for his encouragement, I might not have ever completed my first novel.

What was your first story and how old were you?

To be honest? I don’t know. My earliest stories date from when I was in kindergarten. I have no memory of making them. I would put them together myself and draw all my own pictures to go with the story. One was about a bear that went to school. Another one written a few years later was about a sentient pink rainbow that followed people around.

I wish I could remember what first possessed me to pick up a pen and write. What I do know is that I haven’t stopped since. I started writing more seriously in high school and had my first novel, The Land Beyond the Portal, published while in college. In all, I’ve been writing for about 21 years.

Bailey Servant CoverYour website says you dabbled in science fiction until you found supernatural. What was your first taste that drew you in that direction?

As a teenager I was very much into Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, Frank Herbert’s Dune series, and Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, so I assumed that those were the sort of things I would write. For my 20th birthday, my future sister-in-law gave me two Dean Koontz books. I hadn’t read any Koontz before so I was hesitant to read them, but when I did, my mind was blown away. Instead of taking place on other worlds, Koontz’s stories featured extraordinary things happening in our own world.

So I decided I could do that, too!

Stephen King says he writes horror because he was always sure something really scary was hiding under his bed when he was a kid. Do you feel that there is a supernatural world just beyond our sight that most people just don’t see?

I do believe that. However, the only things I’ve ever found lurking under my bed are my cats.

So when did you decide to be an author?

Again, I don’t know. I think that the desire to write was encoded in my DNA. I did dabble in various endeavors before deciding that the only thing I wanted to do career-wise was to write.

Bailey Solitude CoverTell us about the books.

Servant, my most recent novel, is the first book of The Chronicles of Servitude. Bobby Roland, the protagonist, has been plagued with premonitions of disaster ever since his father’s untimely death six years earlier. Whenever someone he knows is going to be killed or grievously harmed, he’s forewarned about it and has to figure out how to save them. He unknowingly places himself in the line of fire when he rescues the Servant, a man chosen by God to exorcise demons from the possessed. Bobby must ultimately choose between saving others and saving himself. Book 2, Sacrifice, will be released in 2015.

Rage’s Echo was my second novel and is currently unavailable, as I’m republishing it. It will have a lovely new cover and interior! It tells the tale of Jessica, a young paranormal investigator who has the ghost of a murder victim follow her home from an investigation one night. Jerry, the ghost, yearns to move on to heaven but also wants to get revenge on the people who killed him. I had entirely too much fun writing this novel!

The Land Beyond the Portal is also unavailable, but instead of just getting a new cover I’m rewriting it from the beginning to reflect my current writing style. It’s about a teenager named Laura who awakens in a snowed-in house with no memory of who she is. While exploring the house, she finds a room in the basement that transports her into another land. So not only does she have to relearn her identity, she has to find her way back. The Land Beyond the Portal will likely be re-released in 2016.

I’ve also published four short stories. Vapors and Weary Traveler are standalones, Solitude is a prequel to Servant, and Rochelle’s Pizza Run is a short story sequel to The Land Beyond the Portal and appears in the anthology Through the Portal. My fifth short story, There We Will Be, is due to release in the anthology Call of the Warrior on May 25.

What you are passionate about?

My husband. Stories. Mexican food. Learning new things. The internet. More Mexican food. Burritos.

What is something you cannot live without?

Would it be redundant for me to mention burritos here, too?

Bailey JS Author Pic 2Not at all. I’m partial to egg rolls myself. Your website also says you believe good should always triumph over evil. How does that work in your way of thinking?

As a Christian, I believe that “good” has greater power than evil. I think our society focuses too much on the evil in our world and too little on the good things. While my stories often show depraved characters committing evil deeds, I will never allow him or her to win in the end. Because how depressing would a story like that be?

I’m going to drop you off for a month in a remote Alaskan cabin. It’s summer so you don’t have to worry about freezing to death and I’m providing the food and bug spray (an Alaskan necessity). What do you bring with you? What do you do while you’re there? And if you bring books, what are they?

I would have to bring my husband. I’d definitely bring a camera because whenever I go on vacation I have to take dozens of pictures. I would probably go exploring and try writing longhand in a notebook. As for books, I’d probably bring a few Dean Koontz and Ted Dekker paperbacks with me. They’re my faves.

Links, author site(s), cover art, author pic, etc.

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

baa10-bluetypewriter-whitepinkflowersThis week’s interview is with JS Bailey, supernatural suspense novelist.

I’ll also probably have a writing process article.

Dianna Gunn Interviewed Lela Markham on The Dabbler   4 comments

Front Cover LAWKI no windowI met today’s author, Lela Markham, through Twitter, which has become my favourite social media network over the last few months.

She’s got a very interesting body of work, but I think I’ll let her speak for herself.

Please give Lela a warm welcome.

Thank you for having me, Dianna. I am a lifelong Alaskan who gew up in a house built of books. Back in the days before the Trans Alaska Pipeline was built, we were a pretty isolated community with limited television. Both my parents were great readers, so there were always books around which they encouraged me to read. As an adult, I have embraced the adventure that comes with living in the Last Frontier and followed my somewhat insane husband into the forests dragging our two fearless offspring with us.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your books?

I write in a variety of genres.

Daermad Cycle is an epic fantasy with Celtic and Christian influences. The Willow Branch was published last year and Mirklin Wood should come out this year or early next year. Told in two timelines (past and present), it tells the tale of the destruction of a kingdom and the attempted restoration. There are human factions, vengeful Celtic goddesses, evil mages, less evil mages, heroes who are doing the best that they can and dragons. The Christian influences in the book do not make the book a candidate for inclusion at the local Christian bookstore. This is a series that can be enjoyed by any fantasy fan and there will be other books after Mirklin Wood.

Transformation Project is an apocalyptic series. Although Amazon classes that with science fiction, it’s written in modern times. Life As We Knew It came out in March. It tells the tale of a small Midwest farming town struggling to deal with the aftermath of a large scale terrorist attack. My focus is primarily on the town and its survival. The affects on the country as a whole are merely background. Shane, the main protagonist, is a damaged hero who can take care of himself, but may not always make the best choices for the people around him. He is surrounded by an ensemble cast who will evolve as people over time – kind of like what would happen in a world gone crazy in reality.

2. When did you first know you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?

Mom said I told tales from the time I could talk. My friends valued my imagination to make long Alaskan winters stuck in the basement entertaining. I wrote down my first fiction story when I was in the 5th grade and that started something that I just couldn’t stop. I wanted to make my living as some sort of writer since the 10th grade when I was asked to write some articles for the town newspaper. I got my degree in journalism and worked as a reporter for a time, but got frustrated with the politicalization of journalism and the lack of a living wage, so I started working in administration, where my writing has been in demand for grant-writing, newsletters, and other publications. I always wrote fiction no matter what I was doing for a living. I published some short stories in Alaskan anthologies, but found that finding an agent required that I choose between writing Christian fiction and adhering to those rules or writing fantasy without the Christian elements. I felt really constrained by those rules, which stalled me for a time until the self-publishing wave began to swell. I was asked to join Breakwater Harbor Books, which is a small press that acts much like an author’s cooperative, so I went indie with them.

 3. Who are some of the authors that inspired you to start writing?

Wow, there are so many! Madeleine L’Engle and Zenna Henderson were early role models, followed by Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Robert Louis Stevenson. I can’t leave out CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien … what fantasy author can, right? Katharine Kerr and Kate Elliott have been favorite role models in adulthood. I like Stephen Lawhead and Morgan Llewellyn. And, I’m sure there are others I’ve forgotten.

 4. Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

It’s sort of unprocessed. I’m an adventure writer. Generally, I read a lot – not just the genres I’m writing in, but a lot of non-fiction too. A character presents itself and decides to tell me their story. At this point, I think I sound a bit mentally ill, but I used to work for a mental health center as an administrator and my co-workers say I’m fine. The character demands I write their story down. If that story coincides with some research or maybe some imagery I’ve run across in the past, I begin to develop the story into a full novel. I’m typically a third of the way through a novel before I have any idea how it’s going to end, at which time I hit pause, draft an outline to get to that ending and sketch out the major scenes to achieve it. Then I go back to the drawing board and do a thorough rewrite. What follows are many re-readings and edits, sending the book to alpha readers and then beta readers, finally asking a BHB author to do a final read/edit and then going back through for more editing.

5. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you? How do you make it easier for yourself?

Figuring out when to end the story is probably the hardest part for me, especially if the characters still have stories to tell me. I make it easier for myself by writing series.

6. How do you balance writing, marketing and life?

I really have no idea. If you have any advice, I’m still working that out. My family is used to me writing … it’s something I’ve always done. I often do it in the livingroom amid chaos so I can be with them. I grew up in my mom’s daycare center, so I actually don’t find that terribly distracting. I do take time off to hike into the woods (I bring a notebook with me, though) and to do other fun things in life. I think it’s really important for writers to have a life outside of our fictional worlds because fiction should imitate life. The marketing end of it keeps wanting to eat my life and I’m finding I have to put limits on myself about that and sometime just be downright rude to people who don’t “get” it. I’m using social media to market my books, not to be social, but I also want to be friendly. It’s a definite juggling act. I recently “hired” an assistant (my teenage son) to do some of the automated features of Twitter so I can have time to do some other things. If people sense that I’ve been replaced by a robot … or a budding engineer … it’s because I have been part of the time.

7. What is your favourite social media network and why?

I prefer Word Press because I can write a blog post and link it across Facebook, Twitter and a couple other platforms, which is an enormous timesaver.

8. If you could give one aspiring writer just one piece of advice, what would it be and why?

Read and live a life. That’s two, I know, so I guess I’d choose read – anything and everything. It’s all research for writing and you never know what your story might demand. A writer’s head needs to be stuffed with “trivia” that can flow out into details in your character development and world building.

9. What are you reading right now?

I’m reading the third book in Kate Elliott’s Cold Magic series – “Cold Steel”, my friend Kristin Gleeson’s “Along the Far Shores”, and I am also re-reading a political science textbook from college as part of research for Transformation Project. And, the Bible almost every day. That’s a pretty skimpy reading list for me, but I’m very busy these days writing.

10. Are you working on anything right now that readers can look forward to?

 “Mirklin Wood” will continue the story started in “The Willow Branch”. Readers can find out what happened to Donyl when the dragon grabbed him and what happened to Tamys after the Celtic goddess threw him out of a window. Padraig and Ryanna will continue their separate searches for the True King while the Svards begin their campaign to invade the kingdom. I want to publish “Mirklin Wood” this fall, but I had a major technological setback a couple of months ago, so it may be early 2016. That will be followed by the second book in Transformation Project“Objects in View” sometime later in 2016.

I’m participating in two anthologies in the next several months, but I don’t have publication details yet.

I’ve got some works in progress for different genres, but they’re nowhere near ready for prime time, so readers will have to wait on those.


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