Archive for the ‘fiction’ Tag

Interview with Ryan Hill   1 comment

Today’s interview is with Ryan Hill. Welcome to the blog, Ryan. Tell us something about yourself.

Ryan Hill Author PicI’m 21 years old, live in West Newbury, MA, and am originally from Greenwich, CT.  I attend the college of UMASS Amherst, and I’m studying to be an English major.  I’m also writing my second novel, but it’s taking a whole lot longer than I expected.



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

I knew I wanted to be a writer in sixth grade.  I had to write a four-page mystery for my English class but instead wrote a 25-page scifi.  Ever since then, I have been writing fiction.


My teachers hated when I would do that. Tell us about your writing process.

For my first novel, I had a daily quota of writing I needed to hit.  My book ended up being a hell of a lot longer than it should have been, but I did complete it in a matter of months.  My goal was to just sit down and write everyday without any care toward how long it would become.  I started writing thinking I would never reach a full length novel’s word count.  I was very wrong.

My second novel has been much slower for me.  I don’t have a daily quota, and I keep restarting the book trying to get it to sound just right.  The good news is, I have been making steady progress, and it is getting longer by the day, but it’s taking me years where my first novel took me months.


I always go back to revisit the beginning on rewrite. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

Ryan Hill Author Pic 2My favourite genre to read is horror, and my favourite genre to write is horror.


What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about writing a good novel, and I’m struggling to produce one.


What is something you cannot live without?

I can’t live without my family.  The house feels so empty if one of them is away.



When you are not writing, what do you do?

I am full-time student, but when I’m not studying, I work out at the gym and watch a lot of movies. I am a huge fan of film and hope to take some screenwriting courses this spring.


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

Ryan Hill Barking Madness ebook coverBarking Madness is the only book I’ve completed thus far, and it did change the way I view myself.  Whenever I think I can’t do something, I think back to my writing that novel.  That accomplishment is still my greatest.


Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

Movies.  I want to write fiction that makes others feel how movies have made me feel.


What sort of research do you do for your novels?

I do minimal research.  Fact checking is the biggest.  I write about things I already know about.


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

Well, my first and only novel right now, Barking Madness, is really childish.  I wrote it when I was 18, and it’s about 18 years old.  The language and descriptions match what you would expect of an 18-year-old narrator but because of this, there’s never any rational adult thinking taking place.


Do you have a special place where you write?

No.  I’ll write anywhere.  I do like my room, though.


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

I do like the whole man-becoming-monster thing.  Something about a good man or woman becoming horribly evil gets me going.  I tend to like those characters more than the others when I’m watching them on the television or reading about them in a book.


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

I’m more of a plot-driven writer because I like the whole show-don’t-tell formula of writing.  Put people in a terrible situation and see who rises to the occasion.  I always think that’s amusing to watch or write about.


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

I write from an outline because it helps keep me on track with where the plot is going.  I also like having the ending set in stone before I start writing anything.  I like knowing where the characters and story will end up.


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

I prefer to write in first person because it’s so much easier to write from a character’s narrow viewpoint when describing a situation or object.  When writing from third person, I find it hard to seemingly move on from situation to situation or object to object.


Do you head-hop?

I am writing my second novel in third person, so there is no head-hopping, but my first novel, which is in first person, has no head-hopping either.


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 will bring a great television system, a ton of movies, and a computer.  I will watch those movies and write a book during my stay, nothing more.



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

No it wasn’t.  I write for the fun of it and for the readers’ entertainment.  If the readers aren’t entertained, then they should stop reading my book.


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

I just want them to have a good time, that’s all.


What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Nobody would publish my book, and I really wanted to hold it.



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

No, because there are hundreds of thousands of books published each year.  In order to find the good ones, it helps if they have been represented by a publishing company.  Usually self-publishing comes with connotation that the books are not as good as the ones that are published traditionally.


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

All the money you make is your own.


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

Positive publicity.  Almost everyone I have spoken with about my book treats it more officially because it is published.  Before I got it published, all I had was a manuscript that most people thought unworthy of reading.


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?

Get it published traditionally and more recognition will come with it, or make sure it’s real damn good and all the reviewers like it.  Hopefully, word of mouth will spread.


Who designed your book cover/s?

I bought my book cover online from The Cover Collection. They were great to work with and had a lot of covers to pick from.


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?

Self-published authors can definitely produce as high-quality books as traditionally published authors.  Getting your book recognized without traditional publishing is the hard part.  Less reviewers are willing to read your book because it hasn’t been backed by a publishing house.


Do you belong to a writer’s cooperative? Describe your experience with that.

No. I reach out to people on facebook through groups and on twitter as well.




Where Mystery Meets Romance   Leave a comment

Fiala Missing the Point2I hope you’ll enjoy Missing the Point and the books of my fellow authors in Chandler County.

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Missing the Point   Leave a comment

fiala Missing the Point CoverStephanie (Stevie) Jorgenson is a detective in Chandler County.  Though she comes from a wealthy ranch family, she made her own way in the world and followed her dreams.  Keeping Chandler County safe is her top priority.  When she meets the handsome security specialist from Bluegrass Security, there is an immediate spark and the two succumb to the attraction, but neither believes anything more should come of it.  Life, circumstance and intrigue follow the pair as they are thrown together time after time dealing with some terrible situations in Bourbonville.

I hope you’ll enjoy Missing the Point and the books of my fellow authors in Chandler County.

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A Visit with Jane Bwye   4 comments

Today’s guest on the blog is Jane Bwye, a longtime friend and fellow writer. Welcome back to the blog, Jane.

Bwye Author PicLela, it’s good to be visiting you again. While browsing through your Writing Wednesday blogs, I discovered our interview way back in 2014. It was the very first one in your series. You mentioned that I might be following it up with an article. Well – here it is – three years later, on the eve of the launch of another book!

GRASS SHOOTS, the sequel to Breath of Africa, will be launched on Amazon on 30th March, 2017!

Caption: Elephants in Shaba Game Reserve

“More rocks had appeared on the near shore, captured by the sun. She glanced at the original clump, and back again. They had multiplied, and were covering the sand bar. They were moving…  ‘You’ve seen the elephants?’”

Bwye breath of africa - 902kbThis tender inter-racial love triangle concludes the saga of Caroline’s and Charles’s inter-racial families. Their children climb an erupting volcano, explore archaeological sites along the coast, and go on safari in Kenya’s exotic game reserves. The book pivots round the devastation in a highland village caused by the violence after the elections of 2007.  It touches upon present-day problems with foreign aid, beset by politics and corruption. It explores the possibility of alternative ways to help, which include input from the people on the ground – the ordinary villagers – and a burgeoning Kenyan middle class.

That’s sounds like a great book, Jane … one that really touches on the issues faced in Africa today.

The words I wrote in our previous interview have evolved into the main theme which is one of hope, and charity.

Faith and hope are strong among the poorest of its people, who exhibit a simplicity, happiness and gratitude for the smallest of mercies. Volunteers from churches overseas have had life-changing experiences when visiting to help communities in Africa, and I suspect the spiritual benefit received by those offering charity can be greater than that of the recipients. Africa can teach the rest of the world a thing or two about faith, forgiveness and the philosophy of life. I guess that is why I believe so firmly that there is a future in Africa – even though it may not be the same hope as understood by the rest of the world.

Bwye Kenya07 003 (2)Although I have no personally had the opportunity to do missions in Africa, I have friends who are involved in mission efforts in Tanzania and I think you’re probably right about the spiritual benefit accruing as much ot the missionaries as to the recipients. It’s my experience that Christians who live in difficult circumstances are much more reliant on God’s grace as exercised through faith than we are in the 1st world.

The name of my fictitious charity, which is founded in the United Kingdom, is Grass Shoots; and a significant part of the action takes place in the make-believe highland village of Amayoni, which – in Swahili – means birds.

Bwye I lift up my eyesTropical forest grew in great entanglements around her and its immensity engulfed her. It was denser than she could ever have imagined, with myriad shades of green and mystical shapes and forms, vibrant with life. Bursts of song filled her ears, yet she could see no birds in the thick foliage, which rocked and swished as the wind gusted through.

            Suddenly a branch bent over with a crack, and something large and blue flopped partially into view. Her senses were filled with the glorious sight of a large bird, a flash of yellow on its beak, its blue-green feathers melding into the background. It stayed, majestic, still, for a breath-taking second, then crouched forward and hopped in smooth bounds up the branch.

            “That’s a great blue,” a voice said at her shoulder.

            “A great blue?”

            “Turaco. You’re lucky. They’re a rare sight in this forest. The name of the village you’re going to visit tomorrow is Amayoni, which means birds.”

            They were standing on a closely-cropped lawn gazing over the carefully cultured flowerbeds at a dense wall of trees. A stream raced between them and the forest, its bank smooth and inviting. On the other side, a disarray of broken sticks and branches trailed in the water. A tumble of trunks growing at various angles dissolved into the mass of trees, blocking off the evening sun.

Bwye Grass RootsShe stooped to dip her finger in the torrent. It was icy cold. She straightened her back and pulled her cardigan round her shoulders before following the manager into the Kakamega Forest Lodge.

There is an enhanced Glossary of terms at the back of this book.

This sounds like another great book, an excellent follow-up to Breath of Africa.

Thank you for having me again, Lela. I will be happy to return the favour any time.



Jane lived in Kenya for over half a century, where she brought up her large family. An intermittent freelance journalist and business owner, she has written a cookbook, Museum Mixtures (1989) in aid of the National Museums of Kenya, and a History of her church in Eastbourne (2013).

Her first novel, Breath of Africa (2013) was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. It draws on her experiences growing up in the country she still calls her home. Grass Shoots, the sequel, completes a family saga through to modern day Kenya. The novella, I Lift Up My Eyes, (2015) is set in Sussex.

A world traveller, Jane has bought a bird book in every country she visited. Now living in the UK, she is a business mentor and dressage judge, while indulging her love for choral singing, tennis, and playing bridge.

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What They’re Saying About “Transformation Project”   Leave a comment

“I had never read any of Markham’s books until last night, and I read two of them in one sitting.” Texanna – Amazon Reviews #apocalyptic #kindle #indiebookboost

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#Free #Apocalyptic   1 comment

lifeasweknewitA small town must forge its own disaster plan when terrorism cuts them off. Free Today ONLY.

#Apocalyptic #Free   Leave a comment

lifeasweknewitToday only. Character-focused apocalyptic fiction.


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