Archive for the ‘author interviews’ Tag

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

I have another great interview with an indie author and some news from Breakwater Harbor Book’s author CMT Stibbe.

Interview with DG Driver   1 comment

Today’s interview is with D. G. Driver. Welcome to the blog, Donna. Tell us something about yourself. 



I grew up in Southern California, but I’ve lived near Nashville, TN for 13 years now. I miss the ocean every day. During the day I am the lead infant teacher at a Child Development Center in Nashville that helps both typically developing and special needs children. I am married with two grown step-daughters and a daughter of my own in high school. We are all performers. I once was a professional actress/singer, but now I enjoy doing community theatre musicals with my husband (and sometimes my kids). I’ve been cutting back to only one show a year lately so I can devote more time to my writing. I primarily write YA and Middle Grade fiction, but I have a story in an adult romance anthology coming out soon. I enjoyed writing that so much that I’m thinking of writing a full-length romance soon.


Anthologies are great for getting us to stretch our writer wings. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

This isn’t a light on or off question for me. I wrote purely as a hobby through school, and I even slowly worked my way through penning a horror novel while in college. I started submitting some stuff after I graduated from college, but I didn’t seriously consider writing as a career choice until after I sold my first story and had my first children’s play produced a couple years later. Slowly I phased out my acting pursuits and began focusing on writing instead.


Driver PassingNotesTell us about your writing process.

I like to plot out my novels in chunky outlines before I begin. Each paragraph of outline is what essentially will go into each chapter. As I write, the story often ventures away from this outline, and I have to readjust it as I go. As far as how I approach my writing time? Well, I squeeze it in when I can. Usually the bulk of my writing is done on the weekends.


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

I am a plot girl. I love books with lots of action and adventure in them. Quiet books about interesting people don’t grab me as much. I read a ton of YA, because that’s what I write. My favorite books right now are The Raven Boys series by Maggie Steifvader and all of the books by Sharon Cameron. I also love everything Libba Bray writes.


What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about special education and arts education (particularly theatre and music). I am also passionate about keeping the environment clean and healthy, this is a theme imbedded in my Juniper Sawfeather book series.


Driver CryforseaWhen you are not writing, what do you do?

I watch a tremendous amount of TV. I didn’t when I was younger, but the invention of the DVR has changed my life. I only watch TV, though, in the evenings with my husband (sometimes the girls, if they’re interested). I’m partial to science fiction and fantasy shows, but I’m equally in love with classic films. Every day I spend a dedicated amount of time to my social media pages. I’m busiest on Instagram, Twitter, and my Facebook page. Once or twice a year I’ll get involved in a community theatre musical. I love doing them, but they are very time-consuming. There are two back-to-back at a local theatre this year that I want to be in – badly – but I probably will have to choose between them.


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

I co-wrote a series of biographies on classical composers and a nonfiction book about The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. These were all published by Morgan Reynolds Publishers between 2005-2008 (written as Donna Getzinger). They were my first opportunities to work with an editor that did more than proof-reading, and the experience was intense. I learned a ton about research and revision doing these books. It changed my ability level and gave me a lot of confidence. While I’m not pursuing any non-fiction at the moment, I definitely use what I learned from that experience toward what I’m writing now.


Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

I get some of my ideas from snippets on the news or documentaries. Sometimes they come from my own experiences. Passing Notes, for example, came out of watching one of my step-daughters communicate with her then boyfriend only through texting. I thought it was terribly un-romantic. Around the same time, cursive writing was being cut from a lot of elementary school curriculum (learned from the news). I combined those things to create that story.

My short story in Second Chance for Love was born out of a memory of when I was a bit younger and I got stopped for speeding. I remember crying, pitifully, because I knew I’d be late for work. I turned that around to wonder what a cop feels like when he stops people like me.


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

I write about teenagers in realistic settings who encounter magic and fantasy and have to figure out what to do now that everything they know about what’s “real” has changed.


Do you have a special place where you write?

I wouldn’t call it special. I do have my own office in my house. It is very small and cluttered, but it is mine.


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

I am definitely a plot driven writer. I like things to happen in stories, so I always create my plot first. My characters’ choices are decided by what is happening to them.


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

I’m a little of both, as I mentioned above. My outlines are not super specific, just chunks of “what happens next” to force me along a road. When that little paragraph turns into a 15-25 page chapter, though, I find lots of things change, and my planned plot is constantly evolving.


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

I prefer first person past tense. Funny enough, a lot of my first drafts are in 3rd person, and when I revise them, I move them to first person. I like the immediacy of it. My novella “A Ticket to Her Heart” in the upcoming romance short story collection Second Chance for Love (Satin Romance, April 2016) is the first time I’ve written in first person, present tense. It’s a little odd to write like that, I found, because I can’t ever refer to something as a memory. It’s all happening right then.


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?

I think I’d hike a lot. I used to hike often, but now I’m too busy. I’d bring notebooks and write by hand outdoors. I like doing that sometimes too. I would in fact bring books – lots of them. They’d be books I hadn’t read yet, because I don’t often re-read books. I might pick some by my favorite authors to guarantee they’d be enjoyable.

Driver Discovermagicflier

Talk about your books individually.

Cry of the Sea is the first book in my Juniper Sawfeather series. In this book, Juniper, teen daughter of environmental activists, discovers real mermaids washed up on the beach during an oil spill. In her efforts to save them, she finds herself in the middle of a struggle between her parents, the media, the kids at school, a marine biologist (and his handsome young intern), and the oil company over the fate of the mermaids. Can she save them from being exploited? Or killed?


Whisper of the Woods is the 2nd installment of the Juniper Sawfeather series. Her parents have moved on to protest the logging of old growth trees. Juniper becomes obsessed with one giant tree, and it seems the tree is obsessed with her. Soon she finds herself trapped 150 feet up in its branches, and the ancient tree spirit living inside it doesn’t seem to be interested in letting her go or allow anyone to save her. Will her feet ever touch the ground again?


Passing Notes is a sweet YA romance novella about a ghost that teaches Mark to write a perfect love letter in order to impress the girl he adores. If he follows the ghost’s advice, will he win Bethany’s heart? A heart-warming story about love and family.


Driver 2ndChanceLove_FINALSecond Chance for Love is a brand new anthology of sweet romance stories about single parents finding new love. This is a not a YA book, although my story “Ticket to Her Heart” does feature a prominent teen character. My story is about a traffic cop (who is a single father of a teen) who falls for a woman he has ticketed for speeding. With his daughter’s help, he connects with her again, but he can’t tell her he’s the cop he gave her the ticket or it’ll ruin everything. This book is being released by Satin Romance in April, 2016.



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

No, it wasn’t. For both of my Juniper Sawfeather books and my novella Passing Notes, reviewers are always pointing out the important underlying themes of environment or communication. I did put those in there, but the books are not intended to be message books. When I initially wrote Cry of the Sea, I was writing an action-packed YA fantasy novel.  Passing Notes was meant to be a charming romance that might bring out some tears toward the end.  The environment and written communication are important in these books, but what I really want young readers to take away that Juniper is a strong girl who cares about doing the right thing, and Mark is a good-hearted guy learning how to express himself.


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

I’d like readers to come away from my books with a desire for action. I’d like them to remember to throw away their trash when they’re at the beach or in the woods. I’d like them to make an effort to write a lovely note to a friend or boyfriend/girlfriend to share how much they care.



Where can interested readers find you and your books? 

My website:

My publisher:


Amazon Kindle:

Cry of the Sea –

Whisper of the Woods

 Passing Notes




Cry of the Sea

Whisper of the Woods

Passing Notes



Lulu (for print)

Cry of the Sea

Whisper of the Woods


Second Chance for Love (no buy links yet, just the publisher link)

or find updates at


Interview with Rebecca Lombardo   3 comments

Today’s interview is with author Rebecca Lombardo. Welcome to the blog, Bekka. Tell us something about yourself. (Where are you from, what do you do to pay the bills, significant relationships, as little or as much as you want).

Lombardo Author PicI am from Michigan, I’ve lived here my whole life.  I’m very happily married to an amazing man.  This August it will be 15 years.  I come from a large family.  We don’t have kids, but we do have 5 cats that we rescued. We adore them.


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

I’ve had an idea that I wanted to be a writer since third grade.  I can recall writing a story, with my own illustrations, all in crayon.  It was about a little American Indian girl named White Cloud that lost her feather.  It just felt right to me, so that was my ultimate goal for most of my life.


Tell us about your writing process.

I don’t actually have a set writing process that I utilize every time I write.  It tends to vary.  Being bipolar, I have to take what I can get.  There are times when I experience months of writer’s block and occasionally months of wanting to write every day. The wheels are constantly turning inside my head.  If I get an idea, and I can come up with at least 2 sentences to back up the concept, I will try to develop it.  However, it doesn’t always work.


Lombardo Author Event.jpgWhat is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

My favorite genre to write is obviously memoir.  I like being able to write from personal experience.  I also enjoy reading memoirs and biographies.  I enjoy true crime, some historical books, and I have a few select chick-lit authors that I enjoy reading.


What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about mental health and the stigma that surrounds mental illness.  I’m passionate about animal cruelty, and photography.  I’m also extremely focused on raising awareness on the benefits of non GMO food.


What is something you cannot live without?

I couldn’t live without my husband and my cats for sure, but I love movies and TV so much, I don’t know what I would do without the ability to escape for a little while.


When you are not writing, what do you do?

When I’m not writing, I am usually most often promoting my book. As I stated, I do love photography and recently got a new camera as a gift, so I will get out and do that whenever I can. I spend a lot of time with my husband, we’re joined at the hip.  Frankly, I spend quite a bit of time managing my mental illness symptoms and trying to raise awareness.


Lombardo Not Your JourneyHave you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

I’ve only written the one book so far, and if anyone were to ask me about it, I would tell them this: it’s a real, raw, and heartbreaking account of a very dark time in my life, and I how I made it back. I don’t hold anything back about what I’ve been through.  It’s important that people understand what mental illness is truly like.


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

Life filled with love, despite their condition.


Do you have a special place where you write?

When I’m writing, it’s almost 100% of the time on my laptop at my desk in our bedroom. Red is my favorite color, and our bedroom is red, my laptop is red…it all gives me a somewhat comforting feeling.


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

I prefer to write from my own point of view at this point.  I don’t know if that will change in the future.  I don’t do a lot of research or focus a lot on creating specific storylines, because I find that just allowing it to flow organically gives it a realistic quality that people enjoy.


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?

If I’m stuck in a remote cabin in Alaska for a month, I think I would spend a lot of time just trying to be in the present, and not dwelling on the issues from the past. I would definitely try to center myself and stop worrying all the time.  I would for sure want my camera, I think that would be amazing. As far as books, I would probably take Memoirs of a Geisha and/or The Joy Luck Club. Leah Remini’s memoir, Troublemaker is fascinating, and I could read that a million times. I would probably also take some books by Jane Green and Jennifer Weiner, they’re two of my favorites. Most of all, I would relax and enjoy some stress-free time away from social media and the world.


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

It was my intention that my memoir deliver a message. I just wanted people that are dealing with the same type of issues that I am to know that they are not alone.  My book is a cautionary tale of what didn’t work in my life with mental illness.  I also wanted to make sure that the loved ones of the people dealing with these issues could get a grasp on just what their family member is going through.


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

I would want someone that read my book to know that they’re not alone … that things can get better if they put some work into the process. I want them to learn from my story what NOT to do, and most importantly I would like them to learn that it is possible to lead a happy and productive.


How do readers find you?

Interview with Katy Huth Jones   10 comments



Katy Huth Jones author picToday’s interview is with Katy Huth Jones. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself.

I grew up an Army brat in a creative family, and being a painfully shy child, books were my best friends during our frequent moves. I dropped out of college and married my husband Keith 37 years ago, planning to finish “some day” but ended up being “self-taught” after homeschooling our two sons and hundreds of others for twenty-five years. Now we have three precious grandbabies, live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, and I play piccolo and flute in a quality regional symphony.


You probably have a better education that 90% of the people coming out of college. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Although I’d been writing stories since I was eight, I made a conscious decision to “be a writer” at age 28 when I had a four-year-old son, six-year-old foster daughter, and a foster infant on a heart monitor. I wanted to do something “grown up” and since my head was usually full of story ideas, I thought it would be a simple thing to write and sell science fiction stories to magazines. It took seven years and more than 600 rejection letters before I finally sold my first story—a fantasy.


Oh, my … 600!?  You’re way tougher than I would be. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

My favorite genre to read and write is Christian fantasy.


Katy Books top row


What is something you cannot live without?

My Savior, and my Bible.


What sort of research do you do for your novels?

Research is one of my favorite parts about writing. I learned while writing magazine articles and my one nonfiction book how vitally important accurate details are, even to a work of fiction. A reader can’t “suspend disbelief” if he or she is jarred out of the story by an improbable detail or situation. I read books, but also look for as many hands-on opportunities as possible. To write scenes of jousting, I attended jousts at a Renaissance festival and Medieval Times in Dallas. I bought a replica of a 13th century sword to get a feel for its weight and maneuverability. I’ve made (and bought) historical costumes so I can understand how it feels to wear clothing that you can’t put on or take off without the help of a maid or squire. You feel trapped!


Katy and harp.jpgIf someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

I only realized this a few months ago, but all of my fiction written since I’ve had cancer has a similar theme: Finding hope and light in dark places.


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

Totally character-driven. My stories always begin with a character who is wandering around inside my head. If I start asking him or her questions, pretty soon I begin to understand who this person is, with dreams and fears. Then I ask, “What’s your story?” It took me many years to learn this, however. When I first started trying to write sci fi, it was plot-driven and never worked, because I was forcing 2-D cut-out characters into a plot instead of taking the time to get to know the characters and let the stories flow from who they were and the choices they would naturally make.


You’ve got them in your head too? Good to know. This is my Alaska question because I live here. 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?

I’ll bring my camera, zoom lens, and tripod, because I’m sure there will be amazing birds and animals to capture. I’ll bring at least ten spiral notebooks to write in, because I prefer writing first drafts by hand. My brain is connected to the pen or pencil, not the keyboard. As for books, I’ll bring my Bible and possibly a field guide to Alaskan wildlife, but no fiction in which to immerse myself, because I’d rather fully experience the beauties of nature in a remote place like that!


Katy Butterfly ladyNice. Talk about your books individually.

Since my writing can be divided into B.C. (before cancer first struck in 2005) and A.C. (after cancer), I’ll just talk about what I’ve published A.C. That other writing life seems like it belongs to someone else!

I wrote a MG fantasy allegory of the cancer experience called Leandra’s Enchanted Flute, which was published by Cool Well Press in 2012. It’s the story of a 14 year old flute player with cancer who is taken to a fantasy world by a talking Carolina wren because he believes she has the courage necessary to save them from a growing world-wide “canker.” Although not specifically Christian, it still carries that theme of hope and light in dark places. CWP asked if I would write a sequel, which they published in 2013, Return to Finian Jahndra. Within a month, CWP went out of business. I got my rights back and re-issued them under Quinlan Creek Press (our homeschool was Quinlan Creek Academy) in 2014. This was my first experience with self-publishing.

Another story I tried to write in 1988-1989 was a fantasy novel about a reluctant warrior prince and a pacifist Healer. Even after two rewrites, it didn’t work, so I stuck it in a drawer and went on to actual money-making writing projects, such as children’s books and writing for magazines, both fiction and nonfiction.

Then in early 2011, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer, and to distract me in my grief while helping my Mom (he wanted to die at home, and it took him eleven months because he fought so ferociously), I pulled out the old fantasy manuscript, threw away everything but the opening battle scene, and as a “writing assignment” asked the characters to tell me their story. The words poured out, day by day. It was therapeutic, but also exhilarating. I actually came to know these people, and the story completely changed because it grew out of who they were, not an improbable plot I had thrust upon them.

Once I reached chapter 70-something, I realized this was going to be more than one book. Soon it became apparent it would take five books to tell the entire epic story. My critique group (all trad published authors) read the first one, Mercy’s Prince, and encouraged me to find an agent. I knew that Christian fantasy would be a hard sell, but to humor them I sent out queries, even though I had already paid a content editor and proofreader, planning to self-publish the first book in September 2015, once I was closer to finishing the series.

Then the first of June 2015, my cancer came back unexpectedly and with excruciating pain. My husband and I both expected to hear that it was stage 4 and nothing to be done. I wrote my obit, we went to visit our children (and I ended up in the ER in Kansas City because the pain spiked). I decided to move up the publication date for Mercy’s Prince, since all it needed was a cover, and it would be my “good-bye” for family and friends.  I managed to publish it the first of July 2015, just before chemo started. And since the lymphoma was “only” stage 3, chemo put it back in remission, praise God!

Unfortunately, due to chemo brain I couldn’t concentrate on writing. I had book 2, Mercy’s Gift, edited and proofed, with a lovely cover by Perry Elisabeth, and it was published in September 2015. I was about 80% finished with book 3, but I was scared I would lose the rest of the story.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo last November in order to bring my brain back online after chemo. I managed to finish book 3, Mercy’s Battle, and get a good start on book 4, Mercy’s King. These are long books, each between 125,000 and 139,000 words! Lord willing, and the cancer stays away for a while, I hope to finish the series in 2016.


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

I hope that anyone who reads my books realizes that trials and upheavals happen to everyone, even faithful children of God, but through faith there is always hope and light to be found in Him.


What influenced your decision to self-publish? If you have experience with both traditional and indie publishing, compare the two.

I never intended to self-publish, since I’d been traditionally published beginning in 1992. But being traditionally published is no guarantee of sales. In fact, the marketing director for my latest trad published book expects me to do what I’m doing for my self-pubbed books, only I have no control over prices, cover, and blurb. It’s a YA historical novel entitled Treachery and Truth, which tells the true story of “Good King Wenceslas.”


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

The greatest advantage is being in charge of all the details and having the ability to “think outside the box.” The worst advantage, for me, is being in charge of all the details. I just can’t think as well as I could before having chemo twice and it takes me a long time to learn technical things.


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

Honestly, the only thing is that great satisfaction when, after pursuing the craft for years and collecting hundreds of rejections, you finally get an acceptance by a well-known magazine or publisher. It’s a validation of all your hard work.


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?

Definitely! It’s possible because we’ve invested our heart and soul in this “baby” and want it to be the best it can be. It’s much more difficult without hiring extra sets of eyes to edit and proofread your manuscript. A good editor is worth his/her weight in gold.


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

Yes, because it’s who I am as a child of God. I can’t separate that from my writing.


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

Making sure the story honors God. The temptation is always there to “add stuff” to make the book sell more copies.


 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?

There are lines I will not cross, not in my Christian life, and not in my stories. No profanity, no immorality glorified or justified, and though there is violence in my stories (since I write about the Dark Ages and medieval times) I try to make sure it’s not there to “shock” but only what is necessary to tell the story. The Bible contains a lot of violence, but it’s not “in your face,” so I try to let that be my guide. Potential readers should be warned that they will find blood and battle injuries in my stories.


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


If you mean, are Christian writers held to a higher standard, then I agree. I hold myself to the high standard that Christ demonstrated for us.


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

I personally don’t “preach the gospel” in my stories. I try to show the characters living it through their words and deeds. My goal is to reach those who aren’t Christians, those who are struggling with darkness in their own lives. I honestly don’t know how people get through traumas such as cancer without faith in God.


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

There is a small but fervent market for Christian speculative fiction. Many Christian readers won’t read anything that is considered fantasy or science fiction, which I learned long ago in my early homeschooling days. I just keep trying to find the few readers who are looking for Christian speculative fiction. I know they’re out there!


Where do readers find you?


Amazon page:






Interview with Nicole Sorrell   1 comment

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Nicole Sorrell, author of The Art of Going Home, book 1 of The Art of Living series.


Nicole, if you were in a box of crayons, which color would you be, and why?

Sorrell Nicole Author Pic.pngI’d have to say a blue-green, like the color of the ocean. That’s because you get green by mixing yellow, (a warm color) and blue (which is a cool color). Adding a little more blue gets teal. I’m introvert, which I associate with cool colors. But I do have my moments of gregariousness, which I think correlates to a warm color, like yellow sunshine. And I’m also drawn to water. It’s very peaceful and cleansing.


Tell us a little about yourself.

I currently live in a rural area of the mid-west in the United States. After living in various parts of the U.S. and traveling abroad, I recently moved into the very same home where I spent my first 18 years. I enjoy country living: ours is a small community and everyone knows everybody. I also appreciate the culture of the city: the shopping, dining, and the opera and ballet.

I love travelling, especially to other countries, and I speak Spanish. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Literature, and a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising. Home decorating is one of my favorite things. Of course I love to read, and I’m a published poet. I like baking pies. Oh, and I like playing cornhole, and I spend way more time than I should playing computer games.

My constant companion is a tiny Yorkshire terrier named Georgie Doodlebug. I call her GiGi.


Tell us about your series, The Art of Living.

Sorrell Art of Going Home Cover.pngThe series is a duology. Book 1 is called The Art of Going Home, and book 2 is titled The Art of Retribution. The novels are equal parts contemporary romance and mystery. They’re about the personal journey of a young woman named Maddie Chandler. The story begins when she must return to her small home town due to the untimely death of her surrogate mother, “Aunt” Ceci. To deal with her overwhelming grief she finds herself relying on her high school crush, local attorney Zac Redondo. Though she scolds herself for depending on him so much, she can’t seem to find the strength to resist their mutual attraction.

During her visit, Maddie is haunted by childhood memories of her twin sister Angeline, who was killed five days after their tenth birthday. She is persuaded to investigate the unsolved murder only because she fears refusal will threaten her sanity. Her mother eventually succumbed to mental illness after Angeline’s death, and Maddie is terrified she will also slide into madness. Her inquiries into the case uncover years of deceptions that were maintained to safeguard her from the brutal truth. Not only are lives threatened by her pursuit of justice for her twin, it ultimately causes her world to shatter.

Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, Maddie struggles to face her vulnerabilities and to accept the love of a man who holds the key to her future happiness. And while coping with the hostility of her estranged father, she discovers the true meaning of family from a boisterous clan that is not linked to her by blood and unwittingly strengthens the fragile bond with the one relative she was determined to say goodbye to forever.


What was the inspiration for this book?

I can’t point to one particular thing that inspired it. Since I was fifteen I’ve wanted to write novels. But I never could dream up a plot line. Then one day, this idea struck. It’s completely fictitious, not based on any experience I’ve had in my life.

The more I thought about the storyline, the more I details I added. And the novel took shape. Why it took so many years to come up with an idea, I can’t say. I guess I’m just a late bloomer!


Besides the hero and heroine, who’s your favorite character in The Art of Going Home, and why?

It would have to be the Madisen’s best friend, Tabitha. She plays an important role in The Art of Going Home because she has always been there to provide emotional support for Madisen. Tabs, as her friends call her, grew up in Alabama until the age of ten. She has a pronounced drawl, and often uses sayings common to the south.

Here’s a short excerpt from the book. Madisen is talking to Zac about the first time she met Tabs:


     “It was the first day of fifth grade, and she’d recently moved to town. We were in the bathroom, washing up for lunch. Elaine had her cornered, trying to monopolize the new girl. You know how she liked to have minions to lead around by the nose? Elaine pointed at me and told Tabs, ‘Watch out for that one. She murdered her twin sister during summer vacation. Held her under the water until she drowned.’

     “Tabs inspected me carefully. She told Elaine she didn’t believe it. Said I was too scrawny to be able to hold anyone under water ‘til they drowned. I was astonished that anyone would stand up to Elaine like that. She turned her back on her, walked up to me, and said, ‘My name is Tabitha Lynn Strayer, but I’ll let you call me Tabs.’

     Telling her my name was the first word I spoke since…” I stopped and lowered my chin.

     “Since Angeline died?” Zac said softly. I nodded, not correcting his assumption that her death was the reason I’d stopped talking. In reality, it was because I’d been blamed for it. I quickly swallowed the traitorous tears that formed.

     “She took my hand,” I said, staring at my lap. “And we left the bathroom together. I guess you could say that, in a way, she hasn’t let go of my hand ever since.”


What is your favorite scene in your new release?

One of my favorites is the scene where Maddie has drunk too much wine when she’s having dinner at Tabitha’s house. Zac, the guy who wants to be her boyfriend is driving her to her hotel. When he drops her off, he tells her she needs to get used to the idea that they’re going to be lovers. Because she’s tipsy, she’s too slow to protest before he lays a big kiss on her. Then when he . . . well, if I say anymore, I’ll give too much away.


What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”–Mahatma Gandhi

I like it because it’s about getting an education, which is invaluable. Its importance is never underestimated. An education is not confined to the classroom. Be a student of the world. Don’t stop learning, and don’t limit yourself to the point of view you agree with. Weighing all sides of an issue is required for growth and wisdom.


What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?

The first one is travel the world.

The second would be to travel more.

Third would be to travel to all the places I haven’t seen yet!


So you just want to do a bunch of traveling! That’s cool. How can readers find and your work?

Here’s my links:


Amazon Author Page:
Amazon Book Links:




Barnes and Noble:






Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

This week, I’m interviewing Nicole Sorrell, who I know through the Open Book Blog Hop. There will be some more Mirklin Wood-related posts.

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

It’s back to business as usual with an author interview and maybe some Mirklin Wood-related topics. It’s coming along nicely and I have two beta readers, but there’s room for more if you’re interested.

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

There’ll be an interview and maybe an update on Mirklin Wood.

And, hey! Watch for a Booktrap event on December 3 and 4. Come celebrate the Magical World of Books.

Interview with Claire Stibbe   1 comment

Claire Stibbe Author PhotoLELA: The 9th Hour is the first in a seven-part mystery series set in Albuquerque. Published by Crooked Cat Publishers, UK. It released yesterday, November 17, 2015

Claire has published short stories and once ran a newspaper for two local businesses in Albuquerque. She is currently working on the second and third books in the Detective Temeke series in which she explores how even in the darkness of criminal depravity, the light of faith is never entirely extinguished.

So, Claire, I loved your historical fiction. What prompted the change in genre?


Claire Stibbe 9th HourCLAIRE:

After completing two historical fiction books I felt it was time for a change. I read an article about a child who was snatched from a tent on a camping trip. Needless to say, it left an indelible mark and I decided to write a story dedicating the book to her in my own way. Most of us will never understand the pain a parent goes through at the loss of a child — a child snatched by a stranger, whose last moments must have been terrifying, a life cruelly and violently cut short.


The best stories are based on reality, especially detective novels, I think. Tell us about it.

Detective David Temeke, half Ethiopian, half British, lives in New Mexico, a vast state with cornflower blue skies, rolling hills of gray-green sage and rose colored mesas. All these are only part of the charm; not forgetting the great aroma of roasted green Chile.

Temeke ‒ brash and pigheaded ‒ is ousted from Homicide on account of a falling-out with the Chief of Police. He is sent to Northwest Area Command to lead a case nobody else wants. There he meets his new partner, Malin Santiago, an East Coast transfer with a nose for the truth. Not only must he steer a course around the higher ranking officers, he must fight his way through the dense forests of Cimarron State Park to find the killer before it’s too late,

That sounds existing! I can’t wait to read it.

Book Blurb: When the ninth young girl falls into the clutches of a serial killer, maverick detective, David Temeke faces a race against time to save her life.

The Duke City Police Department in Albuquerque, New Mexico is no stranger to gruesome murders but the new serial killer on their block keeps the body parts of his eight young victims as trophies and has a worrying obsession with the number nine. The suspect is incarcerated in the state’s high security penitentiary but Police Chief Hackett is faced with a dilemma when another teenage girl vanishes.

Detective Temeke and his new partner, Malin Santiago, are sent to solve a baffling crime in the dense forests of New Mexico’s Cimarron State Park. Time is running out. Can they unravel the mysteries of Norse legends and thwart the 9th Hour killer before he dismembers his ninth victim?

Stay tuned to Claire’s Facebook page for more updates and book links.

To find out more about Claire Stibbe’s books, take a look on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

To learn more about Claire, visit

About the author: Originally from England, Claire is a world traveler and makes her home in New Mexico, USA.  She began writing as a child and received school awards for English literature. A former medical and executive assistant, she has helped lead workshops and has spoken at various literary events across the Southwest. Her interest in archaeology has inspired and informed all her writing from historical fiction to thrillers, and she is the author of two ancient Egyptian novels, Chasing Pharaohs and The Fowler’s Snare.


Why not sign up for her occasional newsletter here


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Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   1 comment

My friend Claire Stibbe is popping in to talk about her just released detective novel The 9th Hour.

And, yes, I am feverishly working on the second book in the Daermad Cycle — Mirklin Wood.

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