Guest interviews!

Hey everyone,

Since Due Date was re-released several weeks ago, I’ve been interviewed a couple of times. My interview just went up today over at Misterio Press. I was interviewed by  Paper Angel Press a couple of weeks ago.

Misterio Press is a “a small indie press that operates as an author cooperative. Authors are allowed to join by invitation only and the criteria for membership is that they are primarily mystery/thriller writers and that their writing is high quality” (from the website). I’ve interviewed some of the Misterio authors and have enjoyed plenty of the Misterio books. Many thanks to Kassandra Lamb for this interview.  You can check out the interview here.

Paper Angel Press, as you know, is my new publisher. I’m very pleased with them. Just yesterday, I received a lovely surprise in the  mail: two DVDs, one for Due Date and one for Treasure Hunt,  that contained all the cover images and social media images. Amazing! Click here to read my interview with J Dark. Thank you!

Happy reading!


Meet Denis Olasehinde Akinmolasire

denisToday, I’m happy to host Denis Olasehinde Akinmolasire. Denis is a software engineer who has always enjoyed writing and is taking the opportunity to share his unique insights and hidden talents to the rest of the world. *

Denis’s perspectives have been formed through his own journey in finding love, battling to overcome the challenges and fears that have been put in front of him in the pursuit of glory and being the very best he can be at everything he does.

Today, Denis is talking about his book of spoken word, Love, War and Glory. I was so intrigued with the book that I bought it, read it in practically one sitting. I loved it! My review is below.


The book is 122 pages and was published on July 27, 2018. You can find the book here:

And now, the interview.  I liked how Denis took my fiction-oriented questions and went with them!

Why did you decide to write this book? 

I have had certain troubles and experiences in finding love and had to overcome various hurdles to achieve my ambitions in life.  I wanted to share my thoughts on how to handle disappointments in life, what to do when you achieve your ambitions, staying hungry and what it means to love someone.  I’m hoping this book will inspire people to not give in and offer encouragement regardless of what stage they are at in life.

What genre is your book?

Poetry/Spoken Words/Critical Essays

What makes your book unique? 

A lot of books focus on love, a lot of books may focus on war and some may touch on glory.  But very few cover all three in a manner that can be applied to everyday life.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write? 

A combination.  It is about letting the ideas and inspiration come to me.

How do you decide on the setting? 

This book takes place everywhere.  This book is global and touches many themes and places.

Do you have a writing mentor?

No; my book was driven from my own experiences and what I had seen in life.

What is your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

I write whenever I am free and have ideas.  My favorite place to write is my living room.

Anything else you would like to add? 

I honestly feel this book will appeal to everyone.  If you like love poems you can find them here.  If you want to hear about stories of warriors fighting never-ending battles this book has it.  If you want to know how to cope when you reach the top of your mountain in any aspect in life you will find it here.  There are event accounts of some of the great champions that have come about in our lifetime.  I believe there is genuinely something in here that everyone can relate to.

Where can readers find you?





Nancy’s review:

5 stars! This is definitely not the genre I usually read, but I was so intrigued when Denis approached me for an interview, that I immediately thought “I want to read this book!” It grabbed me. The collection is unique, uplifting, and inspiring. Denis’ approach to life is very down-to-earth, but he’s equally passionate and daring.

There are four parts to this collection: Love, War, Glory, and Life Stories. The first section on Love contains poems, essays, and odes to love; love in all its facets and complications and messiness. The offerings are both direct and lyrical. The section on War did not focus on war as it’s depicted in TV and movies, which I really appreciated. The essays centered around war with yourself, your fears, your self-doubt and inner critic;  war with the other team; war for revenge. My favorite essay in this section was called ‘The Champion Within,’ six packed paragraphs on purpose, resilience, and commitment.

The section on Glory was the one I found most interesting. Glory is not a concept in my daily lexicon. I liked how the author personalized it, reminding me that glory can be a positive and powerful tool in life’s journey.  But my favorite section by far was the last section, Life Stories. I loved the tidbits here, from the essays on football, to the ruminations about work, to the shorter insights on food, time, ego.

Each piece in this collection is a gem. I loved how the author brought his own feelings and point of view into the essays, but was also able to make them apply to anyone, anywhere. His point of view is positive and uplifting. You can dip into this book anytime, and find inspiration.


Meet Laurel Heidtman

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Today, I interview Laurel Heidtman. I met her through an author Facebook group I’m a member of. I’m really looking foward to reading her books. Laurel is originally from southwestern Ohio and is a three-time graduate of Miami University of Ohio. For the past 28 years, she and her husband  have lived on private land inside Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky with an assortment of dogs and cats (3 dogs, 2 cats at the current time).

Over the years, she’s worked in many different professions. Laurel has been a dancer, a police officer, a registered nurse, and a technical writer to name the ones she did the longest. When she retired from the 9-to-5 life, she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction. She now writes mysteries and thrillers as Laurel Heidtman. She also write cozy mysteries, contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Lolli Powell.

Here’s a list of Laurel’s books. It’s impressive!


Catch A Falling Star (An Eden Mystery), 247 pages, May 2014 – Laurel Heidtman


The Boy Next Door, contemporary romance, 226 pages, November 2014 – Lolli Powell 



The Wrong Kind of Man, romantic suspense, 353 pages, January 2015 –Lolli Powell


Bad Girls (An Eden Mystery), 344 pages, August 2015 – Laurel Heidtman



Whiteout, thriller, 284 pages, March 2016 – Laurel Heidtman


The Body on the Barstool (A Top Shelf Mystery), cozy mystery, 314 pages, November 2016 – Lolli Powell

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Whiskey Kills (A Top Shelf Mystery), cozy mystery, 369 pages, September 2017 – Lolli Powell


The Gift: A Novella, 99 pages, November 2017 – Lolli Powell



Convenient Death (An Eden Mystery), 260 pages, January 2018 – Laurel Heidtman

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Murder in Eden, bundle of three Eden mysteries, 757 pages, April 2018 – Laurel Heidtman


On to the interview!

What genre are your books?

As Laurel Heidtman, I write mysteries (crime novels) and thrillers. As Lolli Powell, I write cozy mysteries and romance.

Do you consider your books character-driven or plot-driven?

I think all of my books are a pretty even mixture of both. I write genre fiction, and the primary purpose of genre fiction is to entertain, so obviously plot is important to that. But unless the reader also believes in and likes/hates/fears the characters, he or she isn’t likely to be entertained. In 2017, Whiskey Kills, the second book in my Top Shelf cozy mystery series won a Bronze in The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards contest. The contest is judged by reader groups in London and Stockholm, and the readers provide feedback to the authors. One of the things they give an opinion on is whether they think the book is plot- or character-driven. Out of twenty-three readers, ten thought my book was plot-driven and thirteen thought it was character-driven. Since they all read the same book, I think that confirms I’m correct in thinking mine are a pretty even mixture.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

I know where the story starts and where it ends, but how I get from one to the other usually emerges as I write. It’s like a road trip—you start at point A and you know you’re going to point B, but there are a lot of roads you can take to get there.

How do you develop the names for your characters?

I name characters the same way I name my dogs and cats—I play around with different names until the dog/cat/character tells me that’s the one. Seriously, some names just don’t seem to fit, and then all of a sudden, one does.

How do you decide on the setting?

That is dictated by the story or the situation or event that triggered the idea for the story. For example, I got the idea for my thriller Whiteout from the experience of being trapped in our home in the woods in the freak March 1993 blizzard that hit Kentucky. We had 22 inches of snow and the high winds piled that into hip-high drifts. We lost power, of course, and had no hope of getting out for days. So I imagined what would happen to two couples with issues stranded like that and then two escaped killers show up on their doorstep.

Do you have a writing mentor?

Not really. But I am thankful for the support and encouragement of the many indie authors I’ve befriended both locally and through the Internet.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

My writing schedule leaves a lot to be desired, especially in the summer! I really want to get more disciplined about that, and it’s my goal for not only the New Year but the rest of this year. I’ve written and self-published eight full-length novels and one novella (plus published a bundle of three of my mysteries) in the last five years. That’s not bad, but if I had treated this more as a full-time job, I could have done a lot more.

I don’t have any favorite or interesting place to write. I just write at my desk, or occasionally I might take my laptop to a comfortable chair.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d just like to remind people that all writers, but especially indie authors, depend on reader reviews. Potential readers also depend on reviews to help them find a book that would appeal to them. We writers appreciate any and all reviews. Of course, we appreciate ones that detail what the reader liked and didn’t like about the book (the latter helps us improve), but even a simple one- or two-liner is appreciated.

Where can readers find you?

I have two websites, one for each of my author names. They are: and

My blog link is:

Amazon author pages: and

Facebook links:

Laurel Heidtman Facebook link:

Lolli Powell Facebook link:

Twitter link:

Google+ link:


Meet Justin Robinson

612yrNavtyL._US230_Much like film noir, Justin Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles. He splits his time between editing comic books, writing prose, and wondering what that disgusting smell is. Degrees in Anthropology and History prepared him for unemployment, but an obsession with horror fiction and a laundry list of phobias provided a more attractive option. He is the author of more than 10 novels in a variety of genres including detective, humor, urban fantasy, and horror. Most of them are pretty good.

Justin is the co-host of Tread Perilously a weekly “worst of television” podcast (featured on Fanbase Press).

He and his wife Lauri Veverka started Captain Supermarket Press in 2013 when they published Coldheart, the first book in the League of Magi series. Lauri sometimes designs stuff and likes to read Justin’s books. Sometimes she designs stuff for his books. She also updates this website, sometimes.

Justin and his family reside in Los Angeles with too many cats and extensive book, comic, and DVD collections.

Today, Justin is talking about his latest book, Wolfman Confidential (City of Devils, Book 3). It is 402 pages, and will be published on Halloween.


The other two books in the series can be found here:

City of Devils (Book 1):

Fifty Feet of Trouble (Book 2):


Why did you decide to write this book?

My City of Devils series has a passionate fanbase and I love to explore the world, so writing the book is a foregone conclusion.

What genre is your book?

Like the bulk of my work, it’s best classified as Weird Noir. Essentially, imagine Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but instead of cartoons, it features movie monsters.

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

Most of my earlier stuff is strongly plot-driven, but this one is character-driven. Nick Moss, the hero of the two previous installments, has to decide what he is: a detective or a gangster while navigating a world of monsters.

What makes your book unique?

It’s the best parts of classic noir and b-movie monsters, but since the book takes place at the end of 1955 and the beginning of 1956, it also features several historical figures in supporting roles.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

I outline. Noir plots tend to be too intricate to write by the seat of your pants. You’ll wind up with huge logic gaps and plot holes.

How do you develop the names for your characters?

With my human characters, I use census data from the time to look at common names. “Nick” sounded like a good private eye name, and “Moss” has that kind of nondescript feel I wanted. In the world of City of Devils, after someone gets turned into a monster, they choose a new name. These tend to be classical allusions, or they’re puns, because I like puns. So in this installment, you have a pair of wolfman cops named Lou Garou and Phil Moon, a bride of Frankenstein-style character named Jane Stitch, and a trio of goblin gangsters with the handles Flux, Murk, and Sawbones.

How do you decide on the setting?

I love noir and I love monster movies. It was a natural fit.

Do you have a writing mentor?


What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

I write when my daughter naps. Since she’s only a year old, fortunately she naps a lot. She sleeps right next to me while I write. That’d be my favorite place.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have a ton of free short stories on my site ( set in the world of City of Devils starring a lot of the characters from the books. So if you have a favorite character, from Gelatin Keyes the blob to Sam Haine the pumpkinhead, you can find a story all about them. Alternately, if you don’t know whether you want to start the series, take the world for a test drive. See a Thanksgiving crime gone horribly wrong in “Light or Dark,” or what the crew of a ghost ship does on vacation in “All Wet.”

Where can readers find you?


Twitter:  @JustinSRobinson

Instagram: @weirdnoirmaster


Meet Linda Lingle


Linda began writing at a young age and had some early success with her whimsical short stories. Then life intervened and she took a break from writing to build a career in public service.  When the story line for Dear Heart came to her out of the blue, it sparked her imagination and reignited her enthusiasm for writing.

​Linda lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Arthur, and her dog, Sam. She is currently writing a screenplay which incorporates the plots from both Dear Heart and Sweet Heart, and working on the second draft of her third book, Interoffice Romance.

Dear Heart was published by Solstice Publishing on May 6th, 2018 and is 168 pages.  The companion book, Sweet Heart, was also published  by Solstice. It came out on August 1st, 2018 and is 123 pages.

About Dear Heart and Sweet Heart:

Can love survive a nearly-forty-year separation? Can passion? And what happens to lovers who are separated for a life time? See how their destiny unfolds as the parted lovers dream about finding their way back to each other’s arms, and an unlikely guide emerges to light the path of their journey.


Deirdre Reid and Hartley (Lee) Tate feel an immediate attraction when they meet at the office where they will work together and fall in love. There is only one problem: they are married to others and Lee has four daughters to whom he is devoted.

For 15 months Deirdre and Lee carry on a passionate affair. Then Lee’s wife is offered a big promotion across the country. With his heart breaking, Lee leaves Deirdre in San Francisco and moves East with his family so his wife can advance her high-powered career.

Soon, unforeseen circumstances have Deirdre second-guessing her insistence on a clean break. She resists every impulse to fly to Lee’s side, but on the first anniversary of their parting, Deirdre grows increasingly regretful and melancholy. Then she receives a surprising Christmas present which sets in motion a 38-year ritual that, against all odds, keeps alive the love she shared with Lee.


Heartbroken and resentful, Lee has a difficult time adjusting to his life without Deirdre and struggles to settle in to his new surroundings. Knowing he made the only decision a father could make does little to lessen Lee’s profound sense of loss. Although he tries to be upbeat and optimistic for the sake of his daughters, in the dark and quiet of his lonely nights, Lee relives the fifteen heady months that he spent with Deirdre and gives free rein to the anguish and bitterness he feels because he was forced to leave her.

Then, his youngest daughter enlists Lee to help her find an elusive Christmas gift for her favorite teacher and everything changes.

As if guided by fate, Lee stumbles across a poignant reminder of his time with Deirdre and sets in motion the 38-year ritual that eased his heartbreak and sustained his hope for the future.

In this companion book to Dear Heart, we meet the people who populate Lee’s world, and learn the shocking secret he promised never to reveal.

Why did you decide to write these books?  

I awoke on the morning of my fortieth wedding anniversary thinking about all of the ups and downs my husband and I had survived, and about how love had changed for us as we weathered the bad times and the challenges of day-to-day living. Then — and this is where the magic came in, I began to wonder how life would have been if romantic love had lasted forever. The next thing I knew, I was sitting at my laptop, writing the first chapter of Dear Heart.   

What genre are your books?

I would characterize both Dear Heart and Sweet Heart as contemporary romances.

Do you consider your books character-driven or plot-driven?

Definitely character driven since each book is narrated by a main character; Dear Heart is told by the female character and Sweet Heart is told by the male character.

What makes your books unique?

Primarily, the voice of the characters. But I think that the use of music and specific song titles to drive the plot is something that distinguishes these books from other romances.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

I knew when I started that the main characters would have a passionate affair, be separated for a long period of time, and would ultimately get back together because, well, when I read a love story, I want there to be a happily ever after.  Beyond that, the plot emerged as I wrote.

How do you develop the names for your characters?

I knew the title would be Dear Heart before I even started writing the book.  When I came upon the name Deirdre when I was looking at baby names on the internet, it hit me that the first four letters of her name was a variation of the first word of the title. Then I found the name Hartley for the male character and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. The only problem was that I thought Hartley was too formal for the male character. I struggled with that for a little while, until I decided to give him a nickname.

How do you decide on the setting?

I knew I wanted to include music as a key element in the book and I decided to use music recorded by Frank Sinatra very early on. When I started going through his discography and discovered “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” it felt right to set the story there. And when I separated the lovers, I wanted Lee to be on the other side of the country, hence, New Jersey.

Do you have a writing mentor?


What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

I am very lucky to have my own study which looks out into our yard, so I enjoy working there.  But I don’t have a set writing schedule. I write when the spirit moves me. I don’t force it. I say, why torture yourself? Conventional wisdom is that writing in 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. But for me, writing is 100% about the inspiration, because when you’re inspired, you won’t have to break that much of a sweat. I’m not saying you won’t have to work, but the fact is that a truly inspired story will tell itself, while a story light on inspiration and heavy on perspiration will end up hopelessly contrived.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, I’d just like to tell other aspiring writers to never give up.  More than anything else, believe in your story. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to dissuade you from writing it. And don’t let anyone convince you to self-publish if you believe you can place your book with an actual publisher. It took me almost two years of sending out queries before Solstice Publishing offered me a contract for Dear Heart. And I could not have been luckier that Kathi Sprayberry and Melissa Miller took a chance on me. Together with KateMarie Collins, these women have taught me more about publishing and marketing than I thought I’d ever know, and I owe them a debt of gratitude I can never repay.   

Where can readers find you?





Meet Rachel Tamayo


Today, I’m hosting Rachel Tamayo. She’s on a blog tour to promote her latest book, a 92 page novella, Once Upon a Kiss. It was just released by Foster Embry Publishing. Rachel has written romance, paranormal, and thrillers. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her with her family. She’s Mom to two small kids and has been married 14 years.  Her full time profession as a 911/police dispatcher in the Houston area gives her an interesting perspective into people that others might not have. Rachael was born and raised in Southeast Texas, where she lives with her family.

As part of the tour, I was given a pre-release copy of Once Upon a Kiss. I loved it! See my review at the end of the interview.

About the book:


Why did you decide to write this book?

Writing thrillers is hard, so sometimes between thrillers I like to write a romance to clean my brain, so to speak.  Like cleansing the pallet so you can really get into the darkness of the next thriller.

What genre is your book?

Contemporary Romance

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

I think it’s really both.  I write in deep POV, and this gives my characters layers and flaws and makes them easy for the readers to connect to.  But what good is a great character with no place to take them? I like fast paced, so that’s what I write. You won’t find useless filler in my books, they are all page turners!

What makes your book unique?

I like to call this one a reverse fairy tale.  What that means, is the damsel is in distress—but this time she saves herself, and him too!  She’s a strong woman, she was born in Israel, and she’s not taking any crap, but she’s still very likable.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

Although I have tried, I can’t outline my books. I’m what’s called a “pantser.”  It comes to me as I write. Very often what I end up with is totally different than what I intended when I sit down to start a book.  I let the story write itself.

How do you develop the names for your characters?

Easy, I Google baby name sites and scroll until I find one I like.  

How do you decide on the setting?

My books are all set in Texas, that is where I am, it’s what I know.   

Do you have a writing mentor?


What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

I can write anywhere, anytime the mood hits. I use OneDrive, just so I can write anywhere. I’ve written on my phone waiting in a doctor’s office before.  As a “pantser” it’s the only way. I can’t force wordcount, or a writing schedule. My books don’t come out well when I try to do that. I have to wait for the story to talk to me.  

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’ve had so many tell me “just write” or that it doesn’t matter, just put words on paper.  I have to say that isn’t right for everyone. I can’t write without purpose. I’ll start over again and again until it’s right. I actually ended up writing Release (my September short erotic book that just released) in one draft. So, if you are a budding writer, there is no right or wrong way.  YOU DO YOU, as they say. Learn from everything, every mistake, every book, and make the next one better. Listen to editors and don’t keep making the same mistakes. This is how you grow.  

Where can readers find you?

Website: Rachel Tamayo Writes

Twitter: @rtamayo2004


Nancy’s review: 5 stars

What a fun book! It truly is a reverse fairy tale. Instead of being saved, the princess is the one doing the saving. The main character, Talia, has grit and determination. Once she’s left high and dry at the altar, she manages, with the help of her bridesmaids and a healthy does of tequila, to keep her dignity intact. Running into Jessie, an old boyfriend, one she never really got over, helps.

But the relationship with her ex doesn’t end at the altar. When she discovers he’s been scamming her for months, she comes up with a way to turn the tables. But things get complicated….!

I really enjoyed how the author moved the story along.  I love the eye-catching cover. The book is fast-paced, and an easy, engaging read. The erotic sections are very well done. Definitely recommend.


Meet Lynne Marino

I’m excited to be picking up my interview series again! This week, I’m happy to host Lynne Marino, author of  The Cha-cha Affair and Five Things. Lynne was born and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where she was always the first in line for the Bookmobile.  She has spent most of her adult life in the Southwest, still reading away. Now she writes her own stories. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.

Book blurb for The Cha-cha Affair:

Stephanie Ledger isn’t a Scottsdale princess anymore. Her messy, never-ending divorce has left her with an empty upscale house, and an even emptier bank account. She swears that she doesn’t want another man in her life-ever, until she meets Joe Schmidt at a ballroom dance class, and the sparks begin to fly.

The more time Joe spends with Stephanie, the more he wants their fledgling partnership—on and off the dance floor—to become something more. Unfortunately, he works for the IRS and they are investigating her soon-to-be-ex-husband, and Stephanie’s connection as well. Joe knows that if she ever finds out, he’s toast.

Still determined that she’ll never fall in love again, Stephanie ropes Joe into a riotous caper to get some leverage on her lying, lecherous husband in the hopes of finally bringing her divorce to a close. The duo dance their way in and out of trouble, and into each other’s heart, until Stephanie discovers what Joe has been hiding. But will she also discover what everyone around them already knows? While the two of them may be annoying and imperfect together, they are also annoyingly perfect for one another.  

The Cha-cha Affair is 263 pages long and was published by Solstice Publishing in June, 2018.

Why did you decide to write this book?

Before my daughter got married, my husband and I started taking dance lessons. We are still dancing away, and I had many funny stories in my head to tell about the experience.  

What genre is your book?

Comedy romance

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

Character driven, although the plot entanglements drive the novel along, too.  

What makes your book unique?

Besides a cadre of hilarious characters (even when they’re trying not to be), this book takes place in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Not many books are set there. Additionally, it pokes a lot of fun at the plastic surgery business that flourishes in Scottsdale.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

This one just came flowing out of my head.

How do you develop the names for your characters?

I usually pick names that are indicative of the generation I’m writing about.

How do you decide on the setting?

I’ve lived in Arizona for the last twenty-five years, twenty of which were in Phoenix. I know the city and its inhabitants well.  

Do you have a writing mentor?

There are many writers whose use of humor I enjoy. Carl Hiaasen comes immediately to mind. Also, Fredrick Backman.  

What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

With a laptop, I write in a number of places around my house. Whatever feels right.

I try to write on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Right now my Tuesdays and Thursday are spent learning the ins and outs of book marketing.

Where can readers find you?



Buy links:

The Cha-cha Affair

Five Things

Anything else you’d like to add?

Go to my website and read the first chapter of The Cha-cha Affair. You’ll also find the first chapter of my other comedy romance, Five Things. I hope you enjoy them.

Meet Dr. Bob Rich

Bob Charlie EmilyAs of July, 2018, Bob has had 17 books published. He has retired 5 times so far, from 5 different occupations. He is still a Professional Grandfather. Anyone under 25 only needs to apply. Many do so by sending him an email of despair. His words often make a difference, and hundreds of young people blame him for now living a good life. Because he passionately cares for all the youngsters everywhere, he has been an environmental and humanitarian campaigner since the 1970s. Everything he does, including his writing, is intended to change the insane global culture, which encourages and rewards the worst in human nature, particularly greed and aggression. He works for one that encourages and rewards the best in human nature: compassion, empathy, decency. Only, he hates being preached at, and won’t do that to others. Instead, he writes exciting fiction his reviewers tell him is gripping. Find out more about him at his blog and his writing showcase

Today, Bob is talking about his book Hit and Run:

84-year-old Sylvia Kryz barely escapes death when a teenage driver plows down six children and a crossing guard. Shaken, Sylvia draws his portrait, creating a connection with this 14-year-old boy that allows the police to locate and arrest him. That night, he appears to her through a supernatural process neither understands. At first, all he wants to do is to murder her, too, but then she helps him to look after his little brother. She is the only adult, ever, to have treated him with decency and respect…

Can one woman’s belief in the power of love make a difference in the life of a boy who wants to change?


Hit and Run was published by Writers Exchange in May, 2018. It’s 198 pages, but since currently it’s only available in electronic format, there are actually no pages at all.

Why did you decide to write this book?

You make it sound like I was in charge. I am an obedient scribe, and do as I am told. Sylvia decided to write an account of her nine months of contact with the young murderer, and she needed someone to put it into a computer. I was elected, and who am I to say no to a lovely old lady?

What genre is your book?

All my life, I’ve had a complete inability to fit into other people’s boxes. One novel, Sleeper, Awake, and one short story collection, Bizarre Bipedsare clearly SF. All the other works of fiction are healthy mongrels of whatever genres happen to fit.

Hit and Run is inspirational, with paranormal elements, and given all the troubles my young protagonist suffers, probably a thriller too.

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

Again you have me scratching my head. It is both. The people in the book are the left wing. What happens to them is the right wing. Flapping both, I fly high.

It all started because I needed to displace my outrage at a real crime, so I could work with the victim in my psychotherapeutic role. So, I invented a far worse crime. Right, that was plot. But this crime had people in it: 14 year old Chuck, who would have blown up the whole planet if he could. So, he stole a car to kill people. I needed a witness, and there Sylvia was.

After this, she took over. Things happened, though I didn’t invent them. New people came along, and introduced themselves. Some were Sylvia’s beloved friends and relations, and she told me about them incidentally, while recording events in her journal. Others were new to her, and we learned about them together.

What makes your book unique?

My beta readers, fans who have read it, and other reviewers have said it’s my best novel so far. Mind you, they said the same about the previous one, Guardian Angel, and the one before that, Ascending Spiral.

Maybe I should do a controlled experiment and get different people to read the three books in different orders. Perhaps the last read will always be the best? 🙂

It’s not unique to this book, and not unique to my writing, but I think it’s noteworthy that what happens in the story has strong scientific backing. I have a PhD in psychology and 22 years of running a counseling psychological practice. One of my interests for many years has been research on the rehabilitation of criminals, especially young ones. Sylvia didn’t have this knowledge, and I certainly wasn’t thinking of it while writing, but the boy’s change is entirely believable in the light of this evidence.

So, the unique feature may be that, after you’ve read this story, you will have learned a set of tools on how to lead anyone, criminal or not, to a good life.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

This kind of question always makes me think of cooking. A beginning cook either has a recipe or a disaster. With experience, you can adapt the recipe to what’s in the cupboard, and what’s seasonal. A chef writes recipes. And a master chef can cook without one. If you analyze the process afterward, you can extract the recipe, but it wasn’t explicitly set out before or during the cooking exercise.

In the same way, a beginning writer either develops a plot or ends up with a structureless ramble. With practice, this can free up and become more intuitive. After sufficient experience, the story comes the way it is supposed to, without prior planning. The plot is still there. You can analyze the final work and set out its plot. It may well be tighter than a beginner’s original plan. But it wasn’t there before the writing.

I wrote a little essay about how to develop a plot in 2013.

My first organically grown novel was Sleeper, Awake, which won an international award.

How do you develop the names for your characters?

The main characters tell me.

Chuck got his name as a form of abuse: his mother had vomited right through pregnancy. Sylvia introduced herself as “Sylvia Kryz” to the policewoman. It wasn’t until well into the book that she explained her surname to me, in what I find a very touching scene, even now after dozens of re-readings.

There is a 12 year old girl in the story, who is now Jenny. She is an exception. When she came onboard, she was Petra, and it really suited her. But then, I found out that she and her mother were hiding from an abusive man, so she needed a far more common name. It took me ages to get used to the change, but fortunately the characters in the story didn’t even notice.

With some characters, particularly those from a different culture, I may do an internet search. So, Sylvia’s husband became Wotjek. I was puzzled for a while why her son had to be Ron (but they insisted), until I did another search for Polish names and found Hieronim.

How do you decide on the setting?

This story takes place in a geographical and social setting very close to the one I live in, but this is almost a coincidence. My previous novel, Guardian Angel, is in a different part of the same country. When my little heroine told me this, I needed to do considerable research to get the details right, but then I enjoy research.

Sleeper, Awake took place all over earth, but this was 1500 years into the future, so for example southern California was the island of South Calif, and Sweden was the Swedish Islands, and southern Africa was split into Eastrica and Westrica. And I only found out these details as the story unfolded.

Do you have a writing mentor?

When I started out in fiction writing, I paid for an edit of three different novels by three different external editors. That had to be done by posting off a boxful of papers in those days before email. I learned an enormous amount from each, so now I do my best to give the same kind of educational service to my editing clients.

One of my clichés is, “If someone else can do it, I can learn it.” Therefore, my most important writing mentor is Bob Rich.

I have a wonderful team of beta readers who comment on my work before anyone else sees it. Some of them do it from friendship and interest. With others, I have an ongoing trade: we beta read for each other.

Here is a description of a beta reader’s task:

One of this team is Professor Emeritus Florence Weinberg who writes historical novels, many of them whodunits. Not only do we give feedback to each other on our writing, but also we are great friends, although we’ve never met. She is my ultimate authority on questions of grammar and word usage.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

With the luxury of retirement, I spend much of my day in my recliner chair, with my computer on my knee. When I am typing stuff into it, that’s where I am.

However, that’s recording, not composing. That I do during all the many tasks of everyday living. Here is a hopefully amusing little essay that sets out the process:

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am part of an informal network of writers, organized by Rhobin Courtright:

The funny thing is, I am the only thorn in this bunch of roses.

Rhobin organizes a monthly topic related to the trade of writing, and somewhere between 6 and 20 of us each write a blog post on it (or some modification of her topic: writers are individualistic beasties).

So, this is a treasure trove of insight into writing of a variety of genres, interests and skills.

All my contributions to “Rhobin’s Rounds” are listed at and from there you can access past contributions of all the others.

And once more, thank you for having me here. I wish you, and all your visitors, a life full of successfully met challenges, and spiritual growth.

How can readers connect with you?

Twitter: @bobswriting


Meet Geoff Nelder

Geoff-IOM-12Geoff Nelder escaped from his roots in the south of England and now lives in the north. He would do most things for a laugh but had to pay the mortgage so he taught I.T. and Geography in the local High school. After thirty years in the education business, he nearly become good at it. A post-war baby boomer, he has post-grad researched and written about climatic change, ran computer clubs and was editor of a Computer User Group magazine for 11 years. He read voraciously after his mother enrolled him in the children’s science fiction book club when he was four, and has written for fun since his fingers moved independently. His experiences on geographical expeditions have found themselves into amusing pieces in the Times Educational Supplement and taking his family on house-swap holidays years before they became popular added both authenticity and wild imagination to his creativity.

Geoff lives in Chester with his long-suffering wife and has two grown-up children whose sense and high intelligence persist in being a mystery to him.

Today, he’s talking about Xaghra’s Revenge. It was published on July 23, 2017. It’s 360 pages and was published by Solstice Publishing. And he’s lucky enough to have a YouTube trailer for the book:

Note: Most people pronounce Xaghra as zagra. The Maltese would say shaara.


When Reece and Zita become lovers, past and present collide as the spirits of their ancestors force them to relive one of the greatest battles of the 16th century.

Xaghra’s Revenge follows the fate of a sixteenth century abducted family, and of two contemporary lovers thrown together by the ancients. Reece and Zita are unaware that one descends from the pirates, the other from the abducted family. While ancient Gozo spirits seek revenge, so do the Ottoman Corsairs, who intend to roll back history, and this time win the siege of Malta.

The history is real. The places are authentic. The tension and excitement are palpable.

“A gripping tale, full of energy and mystery, keeping you wanting for more with every line you read.” John Bonello, First-Prize Winner of the Malta National Book Award

“I liked it. There’s a foreground of interesting characters combined with a skilfully fed-in hint of weirdness.” Jaine Fenn – Hidden Empire series.

Link to buy Xaghra’s Revenge

Why did you decide to write this book?

The Maltese islands, not far from Italy, is a popular tourist honeypot for Brits and more recently for Japanese and Americans. Everyone speaks English and it sports an ancient history. While on vacation there I visited a nearby tiny island, Gozo. To my horror I discovered that in 1551 pirates abducted its people, threw them onto a fleet of 148 galleys and after sailing them to Libya, sold them as slaves. Some to row, farm, or to be harem women. Those souls cried out for revenge. I gave it to them.

What genre is your book?

It’s a historical fiction with a strong element of fantasy. It’s also horror and some hot sex  – what genre is that- romance?

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

The characters drive the plot. Yep, the plot is crucial here: a revenge for a vile kidnap, rape, destruction of lives act, but the people are larger than life here too. Funny because in April 2018 the hotel in Malta at which I stayed to do the research invited me back to do a signing. A splendidly elegant Maltese lady handed me my euros and asked what historical fiction books I’d read before writing my own. I rattled off a few then added that all of them, like so much historical fiction, focused on the rich, the nobility, royalty and knights. (Fair enough because readers have heard of them and suppose more facts are known blah blah). However, while I reference those powerful players in history, I concentrate on the humble man and woman – ordinary folk to whom extraordinary things happen. “Ah,” she says. “It is good to feature the humble. My partner is a Knight of the Order of Saint John you know.”

I cringed. What if she wants her money back? I needn’t have worried. She works in the Advocate Chambers and often defends the poorer sections of society. In fact she gave me twice the price of the book saying it is worth it. I need a thousand more readers like her!

What makes your book unique?

As above it is the only fiction leading with the peasant victims of the abduction. It also takes point of view from the Turkish pirates—both galley sailor and admirals. It might be the only book featuring one of the oldest buildings in the world. The Ggantija Temples on Gozo in the town of Xaghra are older than the pyramids, older than Stonehenge. Nothing is known of their builders or whether the building is really a temple – common assumption of anything old! I get a buzz when I hug those rocks and they play their own part in the novel.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

The plot summary: abduction; fate of the taken; a contemporary couple thrown together by ancient spirits—one descended from the pirates, one from the abducted; finale with the 1565 Siege of Malta—a cusp in time between the Ottoman and Christian empires. All this came while on the pushme-pullme Gozo to Malta ferry after learning of the 5000 abducted. Nuances emerged later as research unfolded new facts and as the characters took hold.

How do you develop the names for your characters?

It’s great naming characters. It’s like having children without the pain! Stjepan (the 1551 Gozo farmer) is Albanian / Croatian but I found it on a list of genuine Gozo dwellers of the time. Love its unusual sound. His wife was Lydia until a Maltese beta reader told me there is no letter y in Maltese.

Some of the names are of real historical characters of the time. Rais Dragut and Sinan Pasha were real leaders of the Ottoman / Turkish invading forces.

How do you decide on the setting?

I live in chilly, rainy Britain and often have the urge to write of a hot, dry setting. Hence while the story sets itself in historically accurate Mediterranean islands and a hot, arid Libyan desert, my heart encouraged that.

Do you have a writing mentor?

I have a group of writing mentors – one very large composed of the world’s greatest writers of all time and quite crucially, a small group of fellow writers in a critique group. It’s run by the British Science Fiction Association. We send each other our stories – fantasy, hard SF, time travel, historical fiction if it has a alt-history slant, and surreal stories.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

I used to have a schedule of getting home from my teaching job, marking and planning lessons in the evenings then write stories afterwards, often around midnight for a couple of hours. When I was told to retire early with a full pension (I was becoming deaf) I could write in the daytime too but I didn’t follow a schedule. I aim for 2,500 words a day but often fall short. I’ll write anywhere given half an hour peace. Have laptop, will travel. However, I really enjoy a writers’ retreat in Methana, Greece and go there for a couple of weeks every year.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to add a thousand dollars to my royalty income. Thanks for asking!

People often ask me from where I get my story ideas. I think I must have inherited a creative gene from my father who helped produce one of the first science fiction magazines in the UK. He’d illustrate them including the cover art. I thought all dad’s did that! To trigger that quirky gene, I’d go for long walks or bicycle rides. Perhaps the enriched oxygenation of my brain helped the ideas to spawn. It did with my ARIA Trilogy when halfway up a steep Welsh hill I suddenly thought how lucky we are that amnesia wasn’t infectious. I stopped. Wrote down that thought and hence was born-as far as I know- the world’s only novel on infectious amnesia.

Where can readers find you?

Webpage and blog:






Meet Jeannie Sharpe


Jeannie Sharpe has a deep love to write. Her first attempt at writing resulted in two children’s books, Once There Was An Orange Truck and Orange Truck Helps Katie the Kangaroo Find Her Friends. She has sold 8,900 copies of these titles. Her love for romance came to life when she landed a publishing contract with Solstice Publishing. Her first novel, The Baker’s Husband: A Second Chances Book, was first released by Solstice, and was re-released in June, 2018 by Foster Embry Publishing. Her second book  Her Daughter’s Preacher: A Second Chances, was also published by Foster Embry and was released on August 1.

A career in writing is a dream coming true for this mother of two, Brent, 23 and Bailey, 16. Jeannie has been married for over thirty years to Vance Sharpe. But more than her admiration for writing, her love to sing outweighs it all. She shares her talents with her husband in many venues around the United States and Canada. Be on the lookout for new books by this aspiring author.


About the book:

Corey’s life fell apart when her preacher husband turned his back on her and their family. Corey is raising the kids on her own, but she is struggling. She has no support from her family and she is estranged from the faith that was her foundation for most of her life. So, when she meets a handsome man that turns out to be her daughter’s preacher, she is determined to keep her distance.

No way, no how, will she make that mistake again.

But this preacher has his eyes on Corey and he will not give up easily. Will Corey learn to love again and possibly find her faith in the process?

Why did you decide to write this book?

I was asked by an editor friend of mine to write a romantic suspense story.

What genre is your book?

Romantic Suspense

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

Both with about 10% more character driven.

What makes your book unique?

For one thing it doesn’t have any bad language in it and has a clean romance and it is Christian based.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

I let it flow while writing.

How do you develop the names for your characters?

I try to think of different names – to try to figure out names that are usual.

How do you decide on the setting? 

I write for present time normally.

Do you have a writing mentor?

Not at the present time. I’ve gotten help from Nancy Toback in recent years.

What’s your writing schedule?

I try and write some every day, but not on a regular schedule.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I love writing and would love to make it my career.

Where can readers find you?

Facebook: https:// jeannie.sharpe

Twitter: https:// Jws415Sharpe @Jws415sharpe

Instagram: https://

Instagram: https://

Facebook: https:// Sharpe-Jewelry-739595549453517/