Archive for the ‘Self Published Sunday’ Category

Lucifer Blog Tour: Interview With Annabelle Cadiz

We are very excited to be hosting not one, but two spots on Annabell Cadiz’s blog tour for her debut novel Lucifer (book one in the Sons Of Old trilogy). Today is devoted to getting to know a little more about Annabell and her recently released paranormal novel.

AnnabelleAnnabell Cadiz was born in the sweltering heat of South Florida. She was raised surrounded by Puerto Rican chefs and band of siblings that weren’t all related to her. A self-proclaimed nerd and book-a-holic (her room does hold much evidence to prove her claims are justifiable), she created TeamNerd Reviews to showcase her EXTREME love for novels where, along with her best friend, Bridget Strahin, she hosts book reviews, interviews, giveaways, Indie Shoutouts and much more. She also blog tour services for authors. She also had the pleasure of being published in three separate issue of Suspense Magazine. She also adores Cinnamon Teddy Grahams, has an addiction to Minute Maid Orange juice, and is a proud Jesus Freak. Lucifer is Annabell’s debut novel and the first book in the Sons of Old Trilogy.
You can find out more about Annabell and her work by visiting her website, Goodreads author page, Pinterest account, Facebook page,and her fabulous book blog. Alternatively, you can converse with her on twitter.

What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, you’ll find me hanging out with my crazy Puerto Rican family or hanging out with my girlfriends. Having movie night with the girls or having creative chats where we discuss creative projects we’re working on or thinking about doing. Or you’ll find me yelling from the stands at my nephew’s soccer practices and games. Or stalking the shelves at the library and piling my arms full of books. I also love bike riding.

What inspired you to become a writer?
I started writing when I was sixteen. I had decided if Stephen King could write a book so could I. The arrogance (and ignorance) of youth *hehe* The job to writing a book and publication I knew absolutely nothing about so that was a fun and tough learning experience. I was inspired to become a writer because I adore storytelling. I like how a story can haunt you or tempt or teach you. There’s a power and beauty to storytelling and I love it!

What was your inspiration for LUCIFER?
LUCIFER was inspired through the series that follows the SONS OF OLD TRILOGY, the FALLEN ANGELS SERIES. I had never really thought about writing a prequel trilogy or series of any kind, but the idea came to me when I got stuck trying to figure out what direction I wanted to move in with the FALLEN ANGELS SERIES. I started wondering about how Lucifer could come to have a child with a human woman. How would he convince a woman to fall in love with him? Would he care if she really loved him or would he just kidnapped some random girl and force her to have his child? Would he somehow fall in love with the human girl? Could loving that girl change him? I had wanted to explore Lucifer’s path to creating war with Heaven that happens in the FALLEN ANGELS SERIES thus the SONS OF OLD TRILOGY was born.

Tell us about your book:
LUCIFER follows Zahara Faraday and her family. Where Zahara and her father, Solomon, are all human, her mother, Mia, and her aunt, Catalina, are Light Witches. They hunt down rogue supernaturals—supernatural creatures who are up to no good (i.e. stealing human memories, drinking human blood, possessing humans) and return them to the Supernatural Kingdom they belong to. Everything is going as normal (well, as normal as normal can get for a family half made up of Light Witches with powers who hunt down dangerous supernaturals), when Zahara and her family find themselves under attack by an unknown enemy determined to use them in his quest for revenge against Heaven. There are memory-stealing fairies, blood drinking rogue Imagoes (supernatural creatures who can steal a human’s soul and drink human blood), powerful fallen angels and Nephilim (hybrid children of angels and humans), and battles to survive. There are tons of hawt guys and kick-butt beautiful ladies. There are flirt fighting romances, kidnapping, and murder. All juicy things to check out if you’re a fan of the urban fantasy, supernatural, and paranormal genres 😉

Are any elements of your book based on real life experiences/people?
There are few elements to LUCIFER that are inspired from real life.

The family dynamic between Zahara and her parents as well as Becca and her parents. Zahara and Becca are really close to their parents and their parents are extremely overprotective of them. They really respect their parents and are very open with them. I have the same type of relationship with my parents and my family. I grew up in a HUGE family and everyone is really close and involved in each other’s business. There really isn’t much privacy =P I’m really close to both my mom and dad. My parents are my best friend and I have a really close relationship with my older brother. My family does everything together. We don’t really like going anywhere alone. It’s not that we never do, it’s just we prefer having someone tag along. When you grow up in a family as big as mine, its normal to always have someone around.

I also grew up in a Christian family. Zahara and Becca do as well. I share the same values as they do. You don’t go out with a guy without first building a friendship with him and introducing him to your parents. He has to ask for their permission. It’s a matter of respect for both the girl and the parents. Its old school thinking but it was the way I was raised.

Zahara’s character was inspired by both myself and my mother and grandmother. The strength she possesses, how stubborn and strong-willed she is, how once she makes her judgement on something it’s really difficult to change her mind—I’m just like that *smiles sheepishly* Becca’s character was inspired by my two best friends Bridget and Eve. Becca is bubbly and sarcastic and optimistic. My two best buds are very much like that in many ways.

What books have inspired you?
There are many books that I have loved that have inspired me as a writer! Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, The Stand by Stephen King. All really great reads =)

What was the last book you recommended to a friend?
The last book I recommended was actually to my niece. I bought her a copy of Beautiful Creatures and she fell in love with it 😉

What/Who inspired you as a reader?
My mom is my biggest inspiration as a reader. She taught me how to read really young and loves reading herself. She has a collection of books all her own and made sure I grew up with a love for stories.

Just For Fun!

Paper, Audio or eBook?
I haven’t really listened to many audio books. I do read ebooks and enjoy them but I will always prefer hardcover copies of books. There’s just a special type of magic with a book made out of paper and ink. It’s like hugging an old friend you’ve missed *hehe*

If LUCIFER was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)

Zahara Faraday (Kick-Butt Heroine)—I was thinking actress Saoirse Ronan would be a good fit. If you saw her in the movie Hana, you would understand why 😉 She was awesome in that movie and in The Lovely Bones.

Becca King (Best Friend & Awesome Sidekick) –Originally I had thought Zoe Kravtitz would make a good fit for Becca but I was iffy about it. My best friend Eve told me about Logan Browning and she fits Becca much better.

Bryan Hamilton (Hawt Male Lead) –I love Freddie Storma! And not because he’s easy on the eyes *wink* He’s an actual good actor and has such a sweet and humble demeanour (at least from what I can tell by interviews =P)

Rekesh Saint-Louis (Hawt Leader of a Powerful Imago Coven)—Bryton James has a really good Rekesh vibe and I like his acting. He seems really laid back and charming.

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?
ABSOULTELY must have Family Force 5! LOOOVE THEM!! The Civil Wars, Paper Tongues, Flyleaf, Matchbox 20.

Slippers or barefoot?
Slippers! I HATE walking around barefoot. I don’t like my feet being dirty. It just bothers me like crazy!

Email or postcard?
I LOVE handwritten stuff. Notes, letters, post-it notes. There’s something very beautiful and loving about giving or receiving a handwritten letter or note. There’s a romanticism aspect to it and an intimacy of love you can’t really get through an email. (Can you tell I’m a romantic? lol)

luciferWell, for eighteen-year-old Zahara Faraday, she doesn’t have to wonder. You see she comes from a lineage of Light Witches, those who have chosen to help protect and serve between the supernatural world and the human world. The only problem is Zahara, like her father Solomon, is as human as a human being can be whereas her mother, Mia, and her Aunt Catalina, were born as Light Witches. As a family they hunt down rogue supernaturals—creatures who harm humans or who have committed an act against their kingdom.
Zahara’s hunting skills are usually kept dormant since her parents would prefer she live life as a normal human girl without knowledge of the supernatural world. She plans on doing just that—except when she finds a couple being attacked by fairies, she has no choice but to step in. Before she can return to pretending to be blissfully ignorant, Zahara encounters a problem she isn’t the least equip to handle: Bryan Hamilton, the good looking new co-worker she has to help train. In a heartbeat, her best friend, Becca King, has set her up on a double date with herself and her new crush, Rekesh Saint-Louis, who happens to be the most powerful leader of the biggest Imago Coven in South Florida –supernatural creatures with the ability to control water . . . and suck out human souls.
Zahara has no time to focus on how she’s going to explain her double date with her best friend and the enemy they have a tentative truce with to her parents because soon one of the members of Mia and Catalina’s coven is found murdered with a strange tattoo of a snake with wings carved into his arm.
Zahara is then thrown into a whirlwind battle with an angel determined to have revenge against God, an Imago coven she doesn’t think they should trust, and slew of dream-eating fairies and powerful Nephilims, hybrid children of angels and humans, more than happy to rip her to shreds.
Normal just got a deadlier definition.

Lucifer, the first book in Annabell’s Son’s Of Old Trilogy, is available to buy now from Barnes and Noble, and

In honor of the two main female leads in LUCIFER, Zahara and Becca, Annabell created a fun swag pack for ONE very lucky winner!
Win a specially made makeup kit by E.L.F along with one DVD copy of the movie Sixteen Candles, a fuschia metallic manicure set, a Girl Power Superwoman wristband, a LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD silver necklace, a silver bracelet with handcuff & key charms, Honey Sweetheart lotion (that smells INCREDIBLE!), two toned lip bloom (that is SUPER cute!), and gray colored cheetah printed socks that are SOOOO adorables and an ecopy of LUCIFER!
ANNNND if that wasn’t enough,FIVE other lucky winners will win a FREE ecopy of LUCIFER!
TWICE a week on MONDAYS & FRIDAYS a new clue from LUCIFER will be posted up. Enter the new clue inside the Rafflecopter every time a new one is posted and get more chances to win!
Stop by the BLOG TOUR page(here) to enter!

Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow as Annabell shares the benefit of her experience of self publication.

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Self Published Sunday: Interview with Shuhin Ali

Big Book Little Book welcomes Shuhin Ali to discuss his debut novel, Lost Reunions.
Shuhin Ali was born in 1983 in Chester, England. Shuhin graduated with a degree in Accounting from the University of Liverpool and later qualified as a chartered accountant. After spending his days working with numbers Shuhin pursued his desire to work with words and began to write in his spare time. Shuhin currently lives and works in London. Shuhin speaks English, Bengali and conversational Spanish. When he’s not writing Shuhin spends his time trying to improve his Spanish, keeping fit through running ten kilometre and half marathon races , trying to stay on his feet in Muay Thai training and watching movies, reading books and listening to music.

What inspired you to become a writer?
I have always been a fan of storytelling whether it be in the form of books, movies or music. For as long as I can remember I would spend my time reading books, watching movies or listening to music. I always seemed to have a story running in my head and I guess writing just became a way for me to digest those stories.

Tell us about your book?
Lost Reunions is a contemporary tale of friendship, self-discovery and redemption. It explores the nature of staying true to your dreams and ambitions in the midst of the pressures and temptations of modern society. It charts the story of two friends, an investment banker and a doctor, who face very different challenges in staying true to themselves and the promises they’ve made. It’s set between the UK and Bangladesh and I’ve tried to transport the reader to those settings to give it a real world feel.

What research did you do for this book?
A large part of novel is set in Bangladesh. I spoke to friends and family who had recently visited Bangladesh to describe their experiences whilst there; the food, culture, landscapes and cities. Additionally, I already had some knowledge of the country myself as well (see below).
I also took up yoga to carry out the research in developing one of my characters, a yoga teacher. This was certainly painful to begin with but got me fit and nimble in the end.

Are any elements of your book based on real life experiences/people?
My parents are from Bangladesh and I have spent one year living there (two six month stints) when growing up. I used some of my memories and experiences to draw inspiration in creating the setting and atmosphere for that element of the novel.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on my second novel. Set between the time when India was partitioned during it’s independence from Britain through to present day Britain. It tells the story of how one man sacrificed true love to save the life of his friend and his family’s fight to help him find his true love again.

What is your writing process?
As I have a day job I write in the evenings, normally for a couple of hours before I go to bed. I find this works well for me as I spend most of the day conjuring up ideas, dialogue and sub-plots and this is the perfect time for me to get them out of my head. I’m not really a pen and paper person so will spend my time in front of my laptop.

Do you use anything to sustain you during the writing process? Coffee? Chocolate? Music?
Yes. Coffee, chocolate and music. When writing I find it important take breaks and reward myself when completing a chapter or resolving a particular conflict within the novel. A fifteen minute coffee, chocolate and music break (not always in that order) helps me to stay focused without over thinking or burning out.

What prompted you to self publish?
The same as most aspiring writers I was sending the usual letters and three chapters of my manuscript out to agents and publishers only to receive rejection letters, and at times no reply at all. I was fully aware that the publishing houses would only publish a finite number of books and so competition was fierce for their attention, but I had faith and confidence in my writing and the novel I had written. After meeting a few authors who had self-published their novels successfully this gave me the impetus to embark on the self-publishing journey, it was either that or let my manuscript languish on my laptop forever. I am happy to say that I believe I made the right choice.

Can you tell us about the challenges in writing and publishing your first novel?
The biggest challenge with the writing was staying disciplined. I already had the story in my head and remained driven throughout my writing and I knew if I remained disciplined I’d get it done. The main challenge in self-publishing was that I had to go from being a writer to a publisher and project manager. When I began writing I just wanted to be a writer but I soon realised that I’d also have to learn how to do all of the things publishers are expert at. I had to make sure that I would produce a novel to a highly professional standard, in particular the cover art and editing. The process was challenging and took up most of my spare time; I spent the best part of a month working through to midnight after getting home from my day job. This only made it more rewarding when I finally published the novel.

Do you ever experience writers block? How do you overcome it?
So far I’ve been lucky enough not to have experienced writers block.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Forget about perfection and just write. Sometimes the fear of not churning out the perfect line can leave you staring at a blank page whilst trying to get the words perfect in your head. Get the words onto the page you can do the editing afterwards. The more you write the better you’ll get.

How did you choose the genre you write in? What inspired you to write it?
I chose to write in the genre that I like to read. I wanted to write the kind of novel I would read myself and something that I felt wasn’t out there.

What books have inspired you?
I’m a fan of contemporary fiction and literary fiction with strong characters. Books that have inspired me include White Teeth, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and One Day.

Just for Fun!

Paper, Audio or eBook?
Paper. I love the feel and smell of a paperback.

Tea or Coffee?

Shower or Bath?

Marmite: Love it? Hate it?
Love it.

Email or postcard?
I love the romance of a postcard but have to say that email is just so quick and convenient.

Shuhin_Ali_Lost_ReunionsHot-shot 29-year-old investment banker Max Turner is handsome, wealthy and at the top of his game. But he is dogged by an overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame. What happened to the bright-eyed graduate determined to make the world a better place? Why does he fail to show up to the annual reunions of his closest friends from university? As the banking world is plunged into the financial crisis a chance encounter with one of his old university friends, Neela Ahmed, propels Max on an unexpected route to Bangladesh, where Max finds an opportunity to find redemption and Neela has the chance to keep a promise she made to her father.

For more information check out Shuhin’s Website, Twitter or Facebook page.
Lost Reunions is avaliable now from Amazon and Smashwords.

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Cover Reveal: Light In The Shadows

Having throughly enjoyed reading A. Meredith Walters’ stand alone New Adult romance, Bad Rep I am delighted to be a part of the cover reveal for her latest book Light In The Shadows.

light in the shadows cover reveal

Isn’t it just gorgeous?!
Light In The Shadows is the follow up to Find You In The Dark. Which, refusing to be outdone by it’s sequel, has undergone a shiny makeover.

find you in the dark cover revealMaggie Young had the market on normal. Normal friends, normal parents, normal grades…normal life.
Until him.
Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never thought he had a chance at happiness.
Until her.
Maggie thought their love could overcome anything. Clay thought she was all he needed to fix his messy life.
That together, they could face the world.
But the darkness is always waiting.
Sometimes the greatest obstacle to true love is within yourself

Posted by Caroline

Light In The Shadows will be published on the 26th of March 2013, while Find You In The Dark is available to buy now.
To learn more about A. Meredith Walters and her work click on the link to visit her Facebook page or converse with her on Twitter.

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Self Published Sunday: Interview with Sherry Chiger

This week Big Book Little Book is delighted to introduce Sherry Chigerauthor of Beyond Billicombe.
Beyond_Billicombe_Cover_for_KindleSuzanne has come to Billicombe, a faded English resort town on the Bristol Channel, for one simple reason: to find her adored older brother. A recovering addict, Jax had moved to Billicombe after completing rehab, but it’s been six months since Suzanne last heard from him. Her search, however, turns out to be anything but simple. For one thing, Suzanne is a former child actress, well known for her role on a long-running TV series, and she needs to avoid being recognized while exploring Billicombe’s seamy underside. For another, Richard, a local man Suzanne turns to for help, has problems of his own stemming from a car accident that cost him much of his memory. Suzanne’s quest for Jax and Richard’s attempt to put his life back together collide in ways neither could have expected.

Are any elements of your book based on real-life experiences/people?

While the narrative isn’t based on anything I’ve experienced—thank goodness!—I do have a friend who suffered from memory problems similar to Richard’s, though otherwise the character isn’t like him at all. And of course I’ve had friends who struggled with substance abuse, either themselves or within their families. The book’s fictional towns of Billicombe and Boutport, though, were inspired by the towns in North Devon where I worked and lived for three years, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple. Because of the nature of the story, Beyond Billicombe focuses on some of the seamier aspects of the area, but I hope it also reflects my love of North Devon’s beauty and of the friendliness of the people. For the record, I’d move back there in a nanosecond if I had the chance!

What is your writing process?

I prefer to write away from home. I work from my home office most of the week, so a change of venue helps to keep me focused on the story at hand, rather than having my mind wander back to my paying gigs and everyday concerns such as what the hell I’m going to make for dinner or where my daughter’s missing textbook is. Luckily there’s a fairly neglected park, complete with picnic benches, near my house. When it’s not pissing down rain or unbearably hot or cold I head out there first thing in the morning with my laptop and try to get at least a solid hour of writing or revising in before heading back to begin my workday.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Keep writing—unless you’re not enjoying it, in which case, stop. And I’m not talking about one day in which writing is more pain than pleasure. If overall you’re not enjoying relating the story, spending time with the characters, puzzling over the optimal turn of phrase, just stop. There are too many things in life we have to do that bring us no pleasure. Writing shouldn’t be one of them.

What books have inspired you?

So many! Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries and the novels of Richard Price, for illustrating the beauty and poetic possibilities of everyday language. John Wray’s Lowboy, for showing the importance of the quest in plotting a novel. The Three Musketeers and its sequels and Joan Aiken’s Wolves Chronicles for making me want to create characters as vivid and memorable. Wuthering Heights for introducing me to the concept of the unreliable narrator.

If your book had a soundtrack, which artists would feature on it?
The band James feature a few times in Beyond Billicombe, so obviously they would be on the soundtrack, and there are references to Squeeze and Justin Timberlake as well (though for the record, I’m not a Timberlake fan, but one of the secondary characters is). “One for the Road” by Ronnie Lane would appear near the end, as its blend of melancholy and stubborn defiance is perfect for the protagonist Suzanne at certain points—plus it’s one of my all-time favourites.

Sherry Chiger has worked for and had articles published in magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom, ranging from Vogue to Chief Marketer. A native of Philadelphia, she lived for three years in North Devon, the area of England where her novel Beyond Billicombe takes place, and where she dreams of returning, although her husband and daughter are quite happy with their current residence in Litchfield County, CT. (The family dog doesn’t much care where he lives, so long as there are treats available.) In addition to Beyond Billicombe, she’s the author of two nonfiction children’s books for Scholastic and a contributor to Walford State of Mind, a book about the long-running British soap EastEnders.

To learn more about Sherry and her work check out Sherry’s Amazon author page,Sherry’s Blog, her Goodreads author page or converse with her on Twitter.

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The Redemption Series Blog Tour

Big Book Little Book is delighted to welcome author Lindsey Grey and host the latest stop on her Redemption series blog tour.
redemptionLife is for living. Afterlife is a chance at redemption. As the only remaining female vampire in existence, Lily attempts to make her way towards her ever after. But with best friend Becca, new beau Ian, human husband Ryan, Archangel Peter, and a host of demons all standing in the way of Lily’s chance at a peaceful eternity, how can she possibly survive?

What do you do when you are not writing?
I spend time with my husband and two kids or I’m reading. I read a lot. Last year was the first year I really kept track of how much I read. Thanks GoodReads! So while writing, editing, publishing, and marketing my own book, I read a total of 59 other books. So you could say I’m almost as passionate about reading as I am writing.

What inspired you to become a writer?
In the sixth grade my teacher gave us an assignment to write a daily journal. My life was not all that exciting at age eleven, so I asked my teacher if I could write stories. He agreed and I fell in love with it. I wrote my first manuscript at age twelve, typed in all caps because I hated to type at the time. It was over a hundred typed pages long and had a pretty good story and plot. I still read that story over every once in awhile to see how far I’ve come.

What was your inspiration for The Redemption Series?
The Redemption Series came from me wanting to write about vampires. I have been borderline obsessed with paranormal, supernatural, sci-fi type stories, movies, and TV shows for as long as I can remember. I wanted to write something different, so instead of the world being over run with the vamps, the world of Redemption has just a few. Lily is the only female vampire and she was the first character I created. Lily was inspired by a song by Robbie Williams,


Come on hold my hand
I wanna contact the living
Not sure I understand
This role I’ve been given

I sit and talk to God
And he just laughs at my plans
My head speaks a language
I don’t understand

I just wanna feel real love
Feel the home that I live in
‘Cause I got too much life
Running through my veins, going to waste

It totally sums up Lily right in those few words. She wants love and life, but feels it all slipping away at the beginning of the series.

Tell us about your books?
Redemption: Lily is one of only three vampires in known existence. After falling in love with a human, sexy and talented musician Ian, she realizes their love is putting him in mortal danger. She flees from her life in Boston to the solace of her frozen wasteland. 

As her past continues to haunt her, Ian seeks out the only family Lily has ever known. Becca introduces Ian to a world he never thought possible as they embark on a search for Lily, starting in the bowels of a mysterious company called The Manchester Group. 

Will Ian and Becca find her? Or will the reemergence of a long lost love take a hold of their future?

Revisited: As the Redemption series continues, in Revisited everyone’s path leads into one.
Lily Edwards, the last remaining female vampire, is facing a daunting task. She has to find Liam Caldwell, the vampire she was forced to create, and change him back to his human state.

But Lily’s task will not be an easy one as fellow remaining vampires, Filipp and Debir, have been secretly plotting her demise for decades and were the ones responsible for Liam being turned.

While Liam is grateful for Filipp and Debir’s guidance during his transformation into the vampire he felt destined to be, he’s having second thoughts as he learns their whole plan is not what it seems. A handpicked army of humans waits for Liam to change them into vampires at Filipp’s instruction. Adding to the mix is Valentina Pavel, the last member of a Romanian witch coven, who brings forth new challenges of her own. Together, they all have Liam doing the unthinkable, pleading for a way out.

Lily’s adopted daughter, Becca, is also preoccupied with a few dilemmas of her own. Discovering that the angel, Sam Fleming, is her biological father presents her with a choice to accept the powers of her birthright, or continue her human existence. She must find the answer while continuing to fight the feelings she has for fellow angel, Abe North, and her missing new love, Ian Holt.
Ian’s world has been turned upside down now that the body-stealing demon, Gideon, is controlling him. Ian struggles as Gideon’s decisions cause them both mental and physical pain. The only thing they agree on is their insatiable need to be with Becca at all costs.

Friends-now-turned-enemies struggle for their eternity, while enemies-turned-friends fight side by side. Will Lily’s past give her the answers she needs to reach the future?

What research did you do for these books?
I did a lot of language research. For “Redemption”, I was up to my elbows in ancient Sumerian. For “Revisited”, it was Romanian. The series takes place all over the world so I did a lot of research into where everything takes place like Boston, Iceland, London, Bucharest and Rome.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the third and final instalment of the series, “Resolution”. I’m also starting another series of fairy tales with a twist called “Grimm Twin Tales”. Along with those, I have a paranormal political thriller entitled “Deliver Me” and two other strictly romance projects.

What is your writing process?
I write when I can, usually very late at night or on the weekends. When the ideas strike and I can’t sit down and write, I grab a scrap of paper and write it down, or jot down a note into my phone. I used to write everything out by hand, but then I found myself getting so bored when typing it up. Now I write exclusively on my MacBook Pro. I haven’t tried writing on my iPad yet, but that maybe something I try soon.

Do you use anything to sustain you during the writing process? Coffee? Chocolate? Music?
I write much better when I have my ear buds in and listen to my favourite playlist. Chocolate does help at times, but coffee is a big no. (My stomach can’t take it, unfortunately.)

Why did you choose to write adult fiction?
At this point, I have too much of a dirty mind and mouth to curb it for younger readers. For my next series, I am attempting to keep it in check as I delve into the YA universe.

How did you choose the genre you write in? What inspired you to write it?
I grew up watching “Doctor Who” and “Quantum Leap”. Those shows got my creative juices flowing, and then when “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” and “Charmed” came along I got the paranormal itch. At some point in time I would like to do a time travel series or even a stand-alone novel, but the paranormal itch is pretty bad right now and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

What books have inspired you?
The Harry Potter series, The Twilight series, and even Dr. Seuss.

What was your favourite book as a child/teenager?
My favourite book may be an odd choice, but it was “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is the reason one of my characters in “Revisited” is named Nathaniel. I was just really drawn to the strength of Hester Prynne and how she struggled to make a life for her child. Strange, but it just got to me back then and I read it over and over.

What are you currently reading?
It depends on the day because sometimes I can read a book in a day. I just finished “Fallen Too Far” by Abbi Glines, which I loved. I’m now on to “What’s Life Without the Sprinkles?” by Misty Simon.

What was the last book you recommended to a friend?
I think I recommended the Fifty Shades series to most of my friends before it became the huge success it is. My publisher originally published it and I had the pleasure of getting to know Ms. James. It helped me understand the story a bit more and I was able to explain to my friends it wasn’t all whips, chains, and bondage. It’s an amazing adult tale with elements that I’m sure have helped rejuvenate many relationships.

What/Who inspired you as a reader?
I’ve been inspired by several of my fellow TWCS authors such as Sherri Hayes, Michael Schneider, and N.K. Smith. I’m also a fan of JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer as well as too many others to list.

Just for Fun!

Paper, Audio or eBook?
I love paper, but since I got my Kindle I’ve been reading more eBooks than paper ones.

If The Redemption Series was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)
For the part of Lily I have visualized Jewel Staite. You might not recognize her name, but you know her face. She stared in Joss Wedon’s “Firefly” and “Stargate: Atlantis”.
As for Lily’s adopted daughter, Becca, I see Sarah Lancaster who played Chuck’s sister on “Chuck”.
Another character that I’ve visualised since the moment I thought of him was Michael McMillian as Peter. Some of you “True Blood” fans would know him as Reverend Steve Newlin. Not that he would remember me, but he and I were actually in a musical together back in our high school days. He was such a talent even back then and I believe he would be perfect as Peter.

Tea or Coffee?

Slippers or barefoot?

Shower or Bath?

Email or postcard?

Redemption blog tour large button

To find out more about Lindsey and her work simple click below to visit her blog, Facebook page, Twitter, The Writers Coffee Shop author page, Amazon authors page or You Tube.

The Redemption Seriesis avaliable to buy now from: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lulu, iTunes and The Writers Coffee Shop Publishing House.

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Self Published Sunday: My Kindle Romance

Today I’ve decided to make a confession; one, which I’m sure, has the power to divide fellow bloggers and bookworms.

I LOVE my Kindle.


Now don’t get me wrong, I still love paper books; the way they smell and the way they feel; the thickness of the paper; embossed text on the cover; the softness of some dust jackets and the comforting weight of a paperback in your handbag. Don’t even get me started about how I fantastic my hardback collection looks on my shelves. I agree whole heartily with the saying “A room without books is like a body without a soul”. But ebooks are fast becoming my favorite reading format.

My relationship with my kindle got off to a shaky start. As an infrequent traveller I didn’t see why I would need one of these new-fangled eReaders. My husband, fed up with our multiplying bookshelves, bought me a kindle in the vague hope that if he couldn’t cure me of my book addiction he could at least physically contain it. Mission accomplished, in the eighteen months since my kindle and I were introduced I haven’t need to buy a new bookcase (I ask you to kindly overlook the fact I have started to double stack my books).

The move of traditional publishers to start issuing eArcs to reviewers and my discovery of Netgalley certainly improved my relationship with my kindle.

Gradually, without really realising it, that friendship developed in to a full-grown love affair. It started with my first experience of the kindle sale. Before long I found myself becoming a savvier shopper, selecting the kindle version when I found it to be cheaper than paper copies.

I found myself rebuying ebook versions of larger (600+ pages) books I already owned as I found them less intimidating and thus more likely to read in ebook form.

I have succumbed, more than once, to the instant gratification (not to mention sleep restricted nights) that only my kindle can provide. It is pure pleasure on reaching the end of one book and to be able to instantly download its sequel.

However where my kindle has comes in to its own, what is fast becoming my favorite feature of my beloved, is the access it grants me to the world of Indy and self-published authors.

Like the rest of the book loving world I have been swept off my feet by the mature YA / “New Adult” books that fantastic, Self published authors like Abbi Glines and Tammara Webber (Click here to read my Easy review) have championed.

These books are so popular among their readers, that traditional publishers are sitting up and taking notice, and more and more of these independent authors are having their work scooped up and placed on bookshop shelves by traditional publishers.

What follows is a selection of my favourite Self and Indy published, contemporary romances. If you are offended by tattooed, motorcycle riding, bad boy musicians with a secret romantic soul, look away now!
All of the books features fall in to the New Adult/Adult category and as such all contain adult content (i.e. bad language, sexual content, drug/alcohol use).

For more information about the featured authors simple click on their name to be taken to their blog or authors page.

Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines

Fallen Too FarTo want what you’re not supposed to have…
She is only nineteen.
She is his new stepfather’s daughter.
She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother.
But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.
Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…
Blaire just may have fallen too far

2012 was an awesome year for Abbi, her Vincent Boys/Brothers books (originally self-published in Oct 2011 and June 2012) took the YA book blogging world by storm. The Vincent Boys series along with Abbi’s equally steamy and no less awesome, Sea Breeze series have been picked up by traditional publishers; Hot Key Books and Simon and Schuster respectively, given glamorous cover makeovers and will be heading in all their papery glory to a book shop near you very soon.

Whether writing for the YA (Breath, Existence, Predestined) or a more mature market, for her contemporary series’ (Vincent Boys , Sea Breeze , Fallen Too Far) or in the paranormal genre (Existence series), Abbi’s work is filled with compelling, interesting characters whose chemistry fizzes off of the page.

Self-published, under her own name, Fallen Too Far is the latest offering from this prolific author and in my opinion the steamiest and the most un-put-down-able of her work so far. I gobbled it up in a single day and I have already managed to re-read this raunchy little number, once more in a single sitting!

Abbi’s writing is absolutely addictive. Like a chain smoker, a soon as I reach the conclusion of one of her books, I find myself compelled to download and read another. Alas, I now have to endure the torturous wait until March for the second installment of Blaire and Rush’s story and because of my gluttonous behavior I don’t even have any of Abbi’s other titles in my TBR to help me pass the time.

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

wallbangerCaroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.
Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.
Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

Thank you to Amazon recommendation feature for highlighting this little Indy published beauty from title=”Omnific Publishing”>Omnific Publishing

Wow, just wow!

Not nearly as raunchy as the cover and title would lead you to believe, Wallbanger is a lesson in creating and maintaining sexual tension. Underneath the rather provocative cover is a laugh out loud funny, beautifully paced, sweet romance, and when the couple finally get their act together the wait is O so worth it!

While overall all I guiltily enjoyed E L James 50 Shades series, I found the characters references to her “inner goddess” irritating and at times utterly ridiculous, causing me to skip those portions of the book. In Wallbanger, Clayton totally nails it. Funny, insightful and absolutely true to the character, Caroline’s’ internal dialog was one of my favorite features of the book.

Bad Rep by A. Meredith Walters

bad rep“Who gives a damn about their reputation? Oh, that would be me! Especially since mine had gone straight to hell in the span of thirty minutes”.
Maysie Ardin is soaking up the summer before her junior year of college, shopping, hanging by the pool and shopping some more. But when her black belt in spending lands her in trouble with her parents, she is forced to take a second job at a local bar to dig herself out of a deep financial pit.
She thought she’d be miserable. But then Maysie didn’t count on Jordan Levitt, the hot, pierced and tattooed, drum playing bartender who also happens to be very interested in her. And the feelings are totally mutual.
It had the makings of the perfect romantic set up. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy has girlfriend? Okay, maybe not.
But attraction is a hard thing to ignore and soon Jordan and Maysie find themselves in the middle of a gossip induced firestorm. Maysie has to learn whether she can set aside her fear of public disapproval in order to be with the one she wants. Or will she let the opinions of others dictate her life and her heart?

Maysie has met her perfect man. This intelligent, thoughtful, gorgeously talented musician with abs of steel and ink to swoon over has it all, including an equally perfect long-term girlfriend.

There is no denying that these two belong together, their chemistry is off the charts and they have so much in common, including the habit of making frustrating choices.

There were points in this book one or other of the main characters irritated me so much with their stupidity, I wanted to grab them by the scruff of the neck and shake some sense in to them. Then, like a little girl with her Barbie dolls, lay them next to each other and smush their faces together, so that they would have their happy ever after already!

But rather than dislike this book, I found it a compulsive and enjoyable read. It was their questionable choices, completely in keeping with their characters, that created the tension, the will they/won’t they, gut twisting element of the story and what ultimately made the final pay off all the sweeter.

I sat and read Bed Rep in one sitting, as there was absolutely no way I could have gone to sleep not knowing if these two could get their act together.

The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

The secret of Ella and MichaElla and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.
Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now its summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home.
Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.
Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.

In need of a little steamy contemporary romance to help dampen the withdraw symptoms following my re-read of Easy and having devoured Abbi Glines entire back catalogue, I came across The Secret of Ella and Micha. Priced at just 77p, I couldn’t resist and I immediately set about feeding my addiction.

After eight months, a make-over and a semester of university, Ella know that it is time to head home and face the music for her unexplained departure from her old life. But the preppy good girl façade she has created quickly crumbles in the face of Micha, the boy she tried to leave behind along with her emo eyeliner.

Micha is absolutely swoon worthy. Not only is he gorgeous, clever and talented but also he maintains absolute faith in Ella, even when she had none. Loving the girl he has known his whole life and the woman she has become. I adored Micha’s, honest account of his love, frustration and determination and this book was all the better for allowing us to get to know both characters intimately, through the dual first person narrative.

I loved this book so much that I immediately downloaded, The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, in the hope that it would help to sustain me until the publication of The Forever of Ella and Micha.

Devoured by Emily Snow

young couple huggingSienna Jensen had no plans to return home when she graduated college last spring—after all, her dreams lie in California. But when she discovers her grandmother’s Nashville home has been foreclosed, and the new owner has started the eviction process, Sienna has no other choice but go back to Music City. And she comes face to face with the flawed, gorgeous man she never thought she’d see again. The man who now holds the deed to her grandma’s estate.
When millionaire rock star Lucas Wolfe finds the outspoken redhead glaring at him from across a courtroom, he’s both infuriated and intrigued. He still can’t get the night Sienna almost spent with him out of his mind, and the chemistry between them is as undeniable as it was two years ago. He craves Sienna more than ever. And just like everything Lucas hungers for, he’s determined to have her.
Now, Lucas will do whatever it takes to lure Sienna into his bed, even if that means making a deal with her: ten days with him, playing by his rules, and he’ll hand over the deed to her grandmother’s home. Though she agrees to the arrangement, Sienna is conflicted. Because of her duty to her family. Because of promises she’s made to herself and a past that still haunts her. And as Lucas’s game of seduction continues, and Sienna is introduced to his dark, erotic world and even darker background, she realizes that at any moment, she could be devoured.

I have to confess that what first drew me to this book was the cover, which happens to use the same cover models as my favorite contemporary read of 2012, Easyby Tammara Webber.

I know, I know I’m soooo shallow. It was the synopsis however, that held my attention and had me clicking “buy it”.

Devoured was an amazingly quick read, I found myself racing through the pages to discover just how successful Sienna was at resisting Lucas’ “Dark needs” and how far Lucas would go to prevent Sienna slip through his fingers a second time.

Coming to the end, I found myself desperate to learn more about Lucus and Sienna’s relationship. I immediately downloaded and read the prequel novella All Over You, a dual, first person point of view of that first fateful meeting.

I can’t wait to devour the conclusion of Lucas and Sienna’s story when Consumed it is released on the 15th of January.

Other self/Indy-published contemporary romances I have enjoyed include:
Chasing McCree by J. C. Isabella,
Cross My Heart by Katie Klein ,
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye.( an Adult novella)
The Wild Ones by M. Leighton

Happy reading!

Post by Caroline

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Self Published Sunday: Interview with Liam McCann

This week we are delighted to welcome local author, Liam McCann to Self Published Sunday.

Liam was born in Guildford in 1973. He attended Hurstpierpoint College and Staffordshire University, gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sports Physiology and Psychology. Growing up, he excelled on the sports field, becoming county champion in three of the athletics field events and swimming to a national standard. He won a British University medal in 1993. Instead of finding work in the sports industry, Liam formed a rock band that toured Europe. The group’s highlight came in 2001 when they played to five thousand people. Liam is currently working on his fifth action / thriller novel. He also writes for Artists’ & Photographers’ Press (AAPPL) and works as a freelance copy-editor for the Daily Telegraph.What do you do when you are not writing?
Not much! I write for most of the day. The rest of the time I devote to research. I also play in a band so if I have no pressing writing commitments, I learn and record new songs.

What inspired you to become a writer?
I’d put off getting a proper job for a long time. I’d tried to make a living from playing music but it ended up being part-time. So I had a decision to make and ended up killing more time by writing a book. It didn’t get published but I realised immediately that writing was what I wanted to do, so I carried on. I was lucky enough to get the next book published (The Olympics Facts, Figures & Fun), so I was up and running.
I helped the publisher write another five sports books before I took the plunge with another novel. Although I’ve now had 20 books published, I also edit / proofread other people’s work, and sub-edit for the Daily Telegraph.

What was your inspiration for The Battle of Boxhill?
I met a film producer at a party and he suggested I write a book like Finding Nemo but set in the bird world. I’d never written a children’s adventure story before but when a producer says they’d like to turn the story into an animated film, you agree immediately. I had to undertake quite a bit of research so the characters were believable (birds do have quite distinct personalities) but after about six months I was reasonably happy with the results. The production team made a few recommendations and then we were ready to publish.

Tell us about your book?
The Battle of Boxhill is a children’s adventure set in the bird world. Ryker’s eggs are stolen by a greedy gamekeeper who wants to sell them to a local zoo. The young peregrine falcon pushes thoughts of personal safety to one side and embarks on a journey of discovery. He must unite the oppressed birds in the forest so that they will rise up and help save his family from the evil gamekeeper and his enforcer, Dillon, a raven with a mean streak and foul temper. But Ryker is young and inexperienced in the ways of the world and he doesn’t know who to trust.

What research did you do for this book?
I didn’t know a great deal about the birds living on Box Hill so I contacted a local ornithologist and the owner of an animal sanctuary to get an idea about the personalities of the birds. They suggested using ravens and cuckoos as the villains. Peregrine falcon eggs are extremely valuable and are often – forgive the terrible joke – poached so I decided to use falcons as the heroes.

Are any elements of your book based on real life experiences/people?
Several of the human characters are based on real people, and the setting is real. Box Hill is in central Surrey and it is home to a family of falcons. A number of other locations also feature. Having lived in the area all my life, it is great to be able to write about places from my childhood.

What are you currently working on?
I’ve just started work on a fifth sci-fi thriller featuring hero Ed Sampson. I’ve self-published the first four books in the series and will now spend six months writing the latest instalment. I hope that they will eventually be picked up by a conventional publisher, although they do sell online via word-of-mouth.

What is your writing process?
I start each day at around 9am and write until midday. Then I take a short lunch-break to review what I’ve done that morning. I then spend another four hours writing in the afternoon before reading through the day’s work at the end. I find that the routine and discipline help you achieve a lot more. It’s important to have structure, just as you do in a normal job. Otherwise it’d be very easy to become lazy.
I write on a laptop in the living room, which means I had to learn to type.

Do you use anything to sustain you during the writing process? Coffee? Chocolate? Music?
No. I just need peace and quiet because it helps me concentrate.

What prompted you to self-publish the Ed Sampson novels?
I’ve had 13 books published conventionally but they were all commissioned – and non-fiction – and I wanted to try getting the sci-fi series out there. It’s incredibly difficult for a relatively unknown author to get their fiction published and I’d been trying for several years before I decided to do it myself.
Publishing the books was relatively easy because I was in control of the look and feel of each, but the biggest problem of not having a publisher backing you is exposure. You have to work doubly hard to get your work in front of the widest possible audience, which is what I’m doing now.

Can you tell us about the challenges in writing and publishing your first novel?
I don’t find the writing process that hard. As soon as I’ve written the first few lines I know I’ll be happy working on the book for the next few months. The editing is much harder because, if you’re doing it yourself, you have to be brutal. It’s surprising how much you can cut without altering the feel of the book so you need to be harsh with yourself. Having got the book into shape, designing the cover is a lot of fun. The greatest challenge then is getting your book out to an audience who will buy it. Publishing the books with Amazon guarantees you a worldwide platform but you still need to direct people to the books, not easy when you consider how many people are now publishing their own stuff. The only ways to rise above the crowd are to use social media to promote the books and to get lots of good reviews.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
I don’t have any trouble with writer’s block. The first line of a chapter can sometimes cause a few problems but I find writing something, anything, always helps me get up and running for the day. If I don’t feel particularly inspired, I’ll crack on with some research instead.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep your discipline. It’s a huge undertaking to write a book. If it hasn’t been commissioned it’s a big risk and there’ll be no money up front. You’ll have to devote several months to the writing process, so you’ll need to get into a routine and maintain your discipline. Only then will you see results.

Why did you choose to write children’s fiction?
I wouldn’t normally have chosen to write in this genre because I spend more time on the sci-fi thrillers, but when a film producer asks you to write a children’s book, you agree immediately!

How did you choose the genre you write in? What inspired you to write it?
The children’s genre was chosen for me when I agreed to write the book for the producer.

How did you get interested in children’s fiction?
I had to do a bit of research but I’d always read a lot when I was growing up and thought I’d be able to construct a solid children’s story.

What books have inspired you?
I was a fan of Willard Price and Clive Cussler when I was growing up. I also love reading Bill Bryson, particularly A Short History of Nearly Everything.

What was your favourite book as a child/teenager?
Anything by Clive Cussler. It’s a shame that his powers as a story-teller are on the wane as his books used to be so good. Now they’re not in the same class as they were 20 years ago.

What are you currently reading?
I find it difficult to read too much when I’m writing, but I do get through the odd biography. I’ve just finished Open by Andre Agassi. It was extremely good.

What was the last book you recommended to a friend?
Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything. It’s a fabulous book, beautifully written. It should be compulsory reading for every teenager.

What/Who inspired you as a reader?
I don’t know that anyone or anything inspired me as a reader. I’ve always loved books and read hundreds growing up.

Just for fun

Paper, Audio or eBook?

If The Battle of Boxhill was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)
I have been asked the question by the production team. I’d like Daniel Radcliffe to play the part of Ryker. I’d also like Dexter Fletcher, Ewan McGregor, Samantha Janus and Ross Kemp to play parts.

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?
I’d like to write some of the music myself, although I probably wouldn’t be allowed. Animated films often end up with an Elton John soundtrack and he usually does a pretty good job. I might like to rock it up a bit though. The team behind the classical music in the Indiana Jones or Back to the Future films would also be top of the wish-list.

Tea or Coffee?
I don’t drink either.

Slippers or barefoot?

Shower or Bath?

Marmite: Love it? Hate it?
Hate it!

Email or postcard?

Ryker, a young peregrine falcon, is being given a hunting lesson by his father when they notice a flock of ravens attacking their family by the chalk cliffs they call home. They race back to help but Ryker is knocked unconscious in the battle. When he wakes, he realises his parents and partner are missing. As if this wasn’t bad enough, he finds his unborn chicks are no longer in their nest! Ryker pushes thoughts of personal safety to one side and embarks on a journey of discovery. He must unite the oppressed birds in the forest so that they will rise up and help save his family from the evil gamekeeper and his enforcer, Dillon, a raven with a mean streak and foul temper. But Ryker is young and inexperienced in the ways of the world and he doesn’t yet know who to trust… The Battle of Boxhill is an engaging children’s story that will appeal to readers of all ages and adults too. Packed with drama, suspense and wonderful characters, it will delight, surprise and enthral in equal measure.

To find out more about Liam and his work you can visit his Website (here), his Facebook page (here) or follow him on Twitter.
The Battle of Boxhill is available now from

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Self Published Sunday: Excerpt from The Caretakers

Following on from last weeks interview( read it here), Adrian Chamberlin returns with an excerpt from his book,The Caretakers.

As a Cambridge College celebrates a midwinter feast, four uninvited strangers uncover a devastating secret. A secret that must never be revealed…for the love of humanity.
Andy Hughes – a man with a dark past and an even darker future. His search for a missing student will lead him to a confrontation with an evil beyond human imagining…
Rob Benson – a van driver who discovers a dead wild boar in the back of his Transit. A boar that just won’t stay dead…
Jennifer Callaby – Andy’s estranged girlfriend, who discovers the shocking truth of The Caretakers – and the sacred task that they perform…
Jason Franklin – a prisoner who holds the key to the fates of them all, and may well be their only salvation – if he doesn’t destroy them first…
A disturbing thriller that questions the nature of evil and the price to be paid for the continued survival of the human race – a price that for some is too great to pay…
THE CARETAKERS – a Master’s Degree in terror.

Extract from Chapter Three of The Caretakers.

She blinked. She’d seen something out of the corner of her eye, a brief movement outside the tiny chapel. Something red…and green.
The doors opened. A woman’s head peered out…and then sharply withdrew as her eyes met Emma’s.

She let out a strangled cry. There was no mistake. The red hair – as wild and unkempt as her own – was a sodden mass that flicked droplets of sea water on the dark oak doors before disappearing into the stone confines of the chapel.

Emma could smell the salt tang of the ocean waves that had killed her sister. The aroma of putrefying flesh and intestinal gases as the body was dragged from the harbour two years ago now filled the cold silent court.

Her head swam with the memory and she felt the frozen ground beneath her feet tilt violently. She sank to her knees and vomited.
She stared at the vomit steaming on the fresh snow for a long time. Anything rather than look to the chapel entrance.

I have to know.

She climbed to her feet and looked around her. The court was still devoid of human life.

But what about the chapel? Human life in there? It couldn’t be. Stacey Robertson was dead. Whatever had disappeared into the chapel, it was not her sister. Someone was playing a sick joke.

Just like the voices I heard earlier? The voice of Stacey on my mobile? That’s no joke, Em.

She had to know. She had to find out. Stepping over the rapidly cooling vomit and onto the grass of the lawns, she made her way to the chapel.

The doors weren’t closed, but they had been pulled to. She put a shaking hand on the knob and pulled it towards her. The droplets of sea water had run down the timber, forming small shining crystals of salt.

The doors swung open on rusty hinges. She stepped in and her glasses steamed up. She took them off and wiped the lenses on her jeans. The musty smell of old, damp stone filled her nostrils. She couldn’t detect any aroma of seawater now.

Sunlight coming through the open door provided the only illumination, not enough to completely banish the darkness. She replaced her glasses but could only just make out the pews and the altar. The carved image of Christ loomed over the silver eagle on the lectern, His agonised expression hidden by the shadows. She shivered. That sculpture gave her the creeps.

The building was tiny, an apology for a chapel. It had none of the grandeur or ornate decoration that other Cambridge College chapels boasted – the Fellowship didn’t even have a chaplain amongst its numbers – but it had something unique. A wooden carved representation of the Passion that was unlike any other she had seen.

Christ’s legs were folded at the waist, the knees pointed to the left. A wickedly blunt nail entered the right ankle and came out of the left behind it, pinning both to the wood. Two more nails shattered the wrists, not the palms, the fingers clenched inwards like claws, the fingernails penetrating the palms and drawing fresh blood. His head was slumped on His right shoulder, the crown of thorns penetrating the skin.

She walked slowly towards the altar, her mouth dry. The snow on her trainers melted, soaking into the faded, threadbare carpet that led between the cracked and chipped pews. The winter sun rose higher, and Christ’s face was reclaimed from the darkness.

The expression wasn’t one of beatific sacrifice – it was an all too human representation of physical agony. The flesh coloured paint was unnervingly close to the real hue of tortured human skin, right down to the mottled blue and purple patches of the bruising meted out during the buffeting. His piercing blue eyes were wide and staring, the shining pupils dilated. The mouth was open in a silent scream, the thin lips curled and the yellowed teeth broken. The fresh blood trickling from the nail and flagellation wounds were a vivid scarlet in the glare of the December sun.

She heard the sound of dripping water. She frowned, and cocked her head.

There it was again. A steady drip-drip-drip, of liquid falling on stone. She thought of the seawater falling from Stacey’s red hair and put her hand to her mouth.

This wasn’t seawater. The coppery aroma was unmistakeably that of blood. Blood dripping from physical wounds and falling to the stone flags.

Emma let out a strangled cry as she saw the source. Around the nails pinning Christ’s wrists to the cross something glistened and squirmed. Fresh blood, running from the gaping wounds to the ends of the trembling fingers before falling to the floor.

The head of Christ then raised itself from the shoulder. Thorns from His crown were pulled free from the taut muscles in the arm with a wet sucking sound. The emaciated chest rose and fell, shuddering breaths taken and exhaled. Breath that misted in the cold air of the chapel.

The head turned to face the intruder. Emma was frozen solid, immobile, under the gaze of the figure that was no longer made of painted, carved wood. The terrifying expression fixed her to the floor as surely as the nails held the flesh of Christ to the cross.
His eyes had changed. The piercing blue irises were now scarlet: blood-red irises that encircled the rapidly shrinking pupils, constricting them, as though squeezing them out of existence. The lips moved slightly. More mist rose into the air to accompany the barely audible words.

“Confess your faith…”

There was no trace of agony or fear in Christ’s expression now. The lips were twisted into a mocking smile as Emma opened her mouth to scream.

“Confess your faith unto him who said All Souls are mine…”

The words were louder now, clearly audible. Calm, confident and commanding, accompanied with mocking laughter.

“All Souls are mine…and ALL SOULS IS MINE!”

The laughter at the thing’s own joke increased in volume, echoing around the stone walls of the small chapel and drowning the scream that tore from Emma Robertson’s lips.

It wasn’t just the blasphemous words, nor the animated carving of a leader sent to free mankind from death and evil. It was because the words were delivered in a woman’s voice. A young woman’s voice that was painfully familiar.

Stacey’s voice.

Emma’s scream finally drowned the laughter of the abomination on the cross. Blotted out everything. She was oblivious to the closing of the chapel doors behind her.

She was oblivious to the slow, measured footsteps of the man who walked towards her with outstretched arms.

Adrian Chamberlin is a horror writer from the United Kingdom. He has had a catalogue of short stories published in anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, and his first novel The Caretakers was launched at the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas, in 2011 to considerable critical acclaim.
He is a founding member of Dark Continents Publishing, a co-operative formed by six dark fiction writers who decided to take control of their writing destinies and self-publish their works through a co-operative model for mutual gain and benefit. Since its launch, Dark Continents Publishing has now become a respected small press publisher with writers from all over the world – including South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as the United Kingdom and North America – releasing critically acclaimed novels, novellas, and anthologies.

The Caretakers is avaliable to buy from, and Barns and Noble.

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Self Published Sunday: Interview with Adrian Chamberlin

This week we are delighted to welcome horror writer Adrian Chamberlin .

Adrian Chamberlin is a horror writer from the United Kingdom. He has had a catalogue of short stories published in anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, and his first novel The Caretakers was launched at the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas, in 2011 to considerable critical acclaim.
He is a founding member of Dark Continents Publishing, a co-operative formed by six dark fiction writers who decided to take control of their writing destinies and self-publish their works through a co-operative model for mutual gain and benefit. Since its launch, Dark Continents Publishing has now become a respected small press publisher with writers from all over the world – including South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as the United Kingdom and North America – releasing critically acclaimed novels, novellas, and anthologies

What was your inspiration for The Caretakers?
The Caretakers was inspired by the Porterhouse Blue novels of Tom Sharpe and the song “El Presidente” by the band Drugstore (more on that later).

I wanted to write a fast-paced supernatural thriller in a similar setting. Oxford and Cambridge colleges are a real gift for the dark fiction writer: medieval settings and ancient rituals mingle with cutting edge technology, and so the shadow of the past looms large over modern city life. I spent a long time in Cambridge and soaked up a lot of the history and mythology, so I had fun incorporating real-life events into the book, such as the 1799 meteorite strike in Impington and the miraculous reappearance of a missing lady known as Elizabeth Woodcock.

Tell us about your book?
It questions the very nature of evil: the secret brotherhood is committing horrifying acts out of a mistaken belief that they are safeguarding the future of humanity. The good guys aren’t your typical white-hats, either; Andy Hughes is an ex-con with a violent past that he’s never been able to escape, and is prone to bursts of rage that threaten to destroy him and those around him. Rob Benson is a stoner, a guy in his early thirties who’s never really grown up and wants to hold on to his student days – there’s a lot of me in him, although I’ve never driven under the influence of booze or weed…

It’s also a very British horror novel. Many UK writers have looked to the US for publication, as the British market is very limited and focussed on a specific type of horror novel; the current trend in modern UK dark fiction is focused on urban horror, and although city-based, The Caretakers doesn’t really fit in that category. The trouble with the American market is while it is more inclusive, and open to the zombie and vampire sub-genres that are so sneered at in the UK, the editors tend to “Americanize” the dialogue and spelling to make it more suitable to their home market.

This novel has received some great reviews, with comparisons made to the works of Adam Nevill, Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell (Horrorzine), and is “the sort of book I wish Phil Rickman would write.” (Jim McLeod, Ginger Nuts of Horror). It’s steeped in ancient tradition and history – the events take place on midwinter’s eve, and the prologue is set before Boudicca’s defeat at the hands of the Roman occupiers – and the mythology behind the Green Man makes a strong contribution to the story, as I added my own interpretation of this mysterious figure’s origins.

Despite the ancient rituals and mythology, the threat posed is one of cosmic horror: Andraste is not the Celtic Goddess of war Boudicca sacrificed to; it is something far more real…and terrifying.

What research did you do for this book?
Regarding the history of Cambridge and the legends of the Green Man, I used the library. I’d originally started the novel way back in the late 1990s, before the internet became what it is today, so back then there was no substitute for background reading in libraries. I also worked delivering office furniture to many of the colleges, which gave me invaluable experience in soaking up the atmosphere and asking questions from people the tourists never get to meet…

Are any elements of your book based on real life experiences/people?
Elizabeth Woodcock was a real person, and her story is a fascinating one (Check it out here).
I juggled around with her past to make her crucial to the events of All Souls College’s past, and I’m pleased with the result. Andy Hughes is based on a person I met in another driving job, and Rob Benson is…well, pretty much me when I was in my early thirties. Jasper the dog was real as well, and is sadly missed.

What are you currently working on?
Fairlight is a Lovecraftian thriller that explores the world of teenage self-harming and takes it one step further by asking: what would happen if self-harming created portals through which demonic creatures could enter this world? I’m also co-writing a zombie apocalypse thriller with American author David Youngquist; he writes the events on the American side and I contribute the scenes of the same zombie outbreak on the British shores, and eventually his characters come to the UK to help defeat a new kind of zombie menace…and it’s all set for a pulse-pounding climax in the town of Glastonbury and the slopes of Glastonbury Tor.

What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a pen. I had a love of reading fiction from a very early age, particularly science fiction, horror, and historical tales, and I wanted to create my own versions. I grew up in the golden age of pulp horror, so was heavily influenced by James Herbert and Guy N Smith. My first story was “The Octopus Rises From The Deep” in my primary school years, with a mutant cephalopod that goes on the rampage after eating a missing Russian nuclear missile! We had to illustrate our own stories as well, and I discovered my limitation as an artist…I knew then I’d stick to words.

What is your writing process?
I don’t have a set routine as such, neither do I stick to a daily word count. I work full-time, so my writing time is limited to lunchbreaks and evenings at home. I’ll just get behind the keyboard and let my fingers do the typing and see what comes out. Some evenings I’ll get anything from 1,000 to 3,000 words done. I used to plan everything out to the very last detail, but now I just have an idea and roll with it. It means more work on redrafting and revision, but the journey is a much more fascinating one because the creative mind is free, not tied to a synopsis.

Do you use anything to sustain you during the writing process? Coffee? Chocolate? Music?
Music, definitely. I have BBC 6 Music as background, but if I want some mood music to help create atmosphere I’ll put on Massive Attack’s Mezzanine or a creepy film soundtrack (Jerry Goldsmith’s Omen III: The Final Conflict, George Fenton’s The Company of Wolves, and Tangerine Dream’s Sorcerer work wonders). Coffee and chocolate help the energy and concentration levels!

What prompted you to self publish The Caretakers?
I hadn’t planned to. I was sending the manuscript out to various publishers and steeling myself for the inevitable rejections while working on Fairlight. However, David Youngquist, Tracie McBride, John Prescott, Serenity J Banks and Sylvia Shults created their own publishing firm, Dark Continents Publishing, and invited me on board. One of the major sticking points with publishers in regard to The Caretakers was its length: 150,000 words exceed the maximum 100 – 120,000 word limit that most publishers insist on. Not only was it a chance to work with people I respected and had made friendships with, it made more sense than going completely solo. They agreed to keep the “Britishisms” in place, as one of our aims is ensuring the works produced reflect the atmosphere and settings of the country of origin, which made me very happy.

Can you tell us about the challenges in writing and publishing your first novel?
The challenges were ensuring the cover art and editing were of a professional standard. I asked Sharon Ring, a professional freelance agent and editor, to edit the manuscript and she did a terrific job, pointing out continuity errors I’d made in the narrative as well as basic spelling/grammar issues. She told me afterwards that the novel was a real pleasure to work on, and several times she was immersed in the story so much she found herself reading it rather than editing! Always a good sign when you’ve made an editor enjoy their task.

I approached Bristol-based fantasy artist Jethro Lentle for the cover art. I gave him a basic idea of what I wanted including, and then let him supply his own interpretation. The result is different to what I expected, but a beautiful piece of work which captures the dark atmosphere of the setting perfectly. Since then, we’ve commissioned him to produce several more pieces, and his art graces the covers of Snareville, Campfire Chillers, and the forthcoming Resurrection Child.

So the early work in production was rather easy: the contacts were in place, and they came through with outstanding results. The hardest thing, though, is getting readership. I didn’t send ARCS out to reviewers prior to publication; neither did I seek “blurbs” from established authors (I was too scared to!). I’m not sure that’s really harmed the book, as the reviews have been extremely favourable and word of mouth is spreading. However, like most first-time writers, I struggle with the self-publicity that is essential to the novel’s success; I refuse to spam constantly on social media.

The other problem is getting bookshops to take copies. One of the biggest headaches all of us in Dark Continents have experienced is bookshops that take copies…and then don’t pay their bills. Every single bookshop in the UK has been either slow in paying or refused to answer emails, phone calls, and invoices. At least with eBooks you don’t have that problem.

Do you ever experience writers block? How do you overcome it?
Never. If anything, I have far more ideas than the time to put them into practice. On the rare occasions that I’ve been stumped for a story idea, I check the calls for themed anthology submission on Ralan and Duotrope; when I see an imaginatively titled project it sparks off more ideas. The best example of this was A.J. French’s Monk Punk from Static Press, and anthology that created a new sub-genre: speculative fiction featuring monks, from the Western and Eastern tradition. Just seeing that kicked off an idea for a Lovecraftian story that featured an ex-monk from a modern day Brotherhood in England who believes he’s escaped his past, until the day he almost runs over his mentor in a van…

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Treat all advice with extreme caution. There are so many writers out there who blab on about “show, don’t tell”, “write what you know”, and so forth. There are NO hard and fast rules, only guidelines; what works for one writer (and accepting editor) may not work for another. You have no idea if that advice will work for you until you try all options…and believe me, in anthology acceptances, luck plays a big role. So too, I’m afraid to say, does networking and “who you know”. I don’t play that game, because I don’t like the politics in the small press scene. So many writers kissing arse and stabbing people in the back in the hope of getting in the good books of an editor. Don’t do it; don’t get involved in the politics and petty squabbles.
The only advice I would give is to ensure that the work you send out to the world – be it a short story submission, a self-published eBook, an agent query/submission package – is the best it can possibly be. You may be pleased with what you’ve produced, but don’t rush it. Put it in the drawer for a couple of months and work on something else; when you come back to it with fresh eyes you’ll see the errors and flaws that weren’t apparent before.

What do you do when you are not writing?
Most of my spare time is taken up with work for Dark Continents Publishing. I edit and proofread manuscripts, and format all the eBooks for them. Any time left over is spent sleeping! I used to do a lot of archery; sadly, I haven’t picked the bow up in almost two years.

What books have inspired you?
Every book I’ve read – regardless of genre – has taught me something or inspired me in some way. Each novel offers a different perspective on the world, seeing it through someone else’s eyes and ears. The most inspirational books for me are the ones that bring the past to life – I’m a big fan of historical fiction – and the works of Bernard Cornwell are among my favourites, so much so that he inspired me to create my own series character in the form of Shadrach, a mercenary in the English Civil Wars who has another mission: battling Lovecraftian Elder Gods. The first instalment, Shadrach Besieged, will be published in the novella collection Dreaming In Darkness early next year.

What was your favourite book as a child/teenager?
As a child I devoured the pulp horror of the 1970s and 1980s, in particular the “nature gone amok” stories. I loved monsters – still do – and one of the appeals was not so much the guts ‘n’ gore but how mankind responds to this threat.
Peter Benchley’s Jaws was my first introduction to this world, which I read when I was eight years old. Then came James Herbert’s The Rats and Guy N Smith’s Night of the Crabs. Even now, I find the stories I write focus more on supernatural entities and monsters rather than ghosts and serial killers. When I read Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu I never looked back; this was my introduction to the Mythos and showed me a new way of creating monsters.

What are you currently reading?
The Moonlight Killer by Suzanne Robb. This is a departure for Ms Robb, who’s made her name with zombie apocalypse thrillers such as Z-Boat and Contaminated; this novel is a murder-mystery with lycanthropic themes and comedy. Great fun.

What was the last book you recommended to a friend?
So many, I can’t remember! I keep raving about Robert McCammon’s The Wolf’s Hour to everyone, twenty-three years since its first publication. A brilliant World War II thriller with a werewolf as its protagonist, it contains page-turning excitement with brilliant flashback scenes to how Michael Gallatin became a lycanthrope and how he struggled to come to terms with it. Quite simply the best werewolf novel I’ve ever read, and a masterclass in historical horror-thriller writing.

Paper, Audio or eBook?
I don’t have much time for audio books, but I can see why they’re popular. As to eBook or paper…really, I have no preference, as long as the price is right. When a publisher is charging more than the hardback price for an eBook that you don’t really own you know something’s wrong.

I read more paper books than eBooks because I can pick them up in charity shops for a couple of pounds, and then return them when I’m finished. But eBooks are invaluable for reading new upcoming authors who I wouldn’t have known about otherwise; G.R Yeates’s First World War-based The Vetala Cycle is one of the best works of the last two years, with its mixture of historical setting, military background, and supernatural terror. The books are critically acclaimed and sell well; they wouldn’t exist were it not for the eBook revolution, and prove to the detractors that quality fiction really can come from self-publishing.

Just for Fun

If The Caretakers was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)
Ah! Every writer dreams of their novel hitting the silver screen, and like them I have my own wish-list of actors. I’d like Sean Connery as John Franklin, the evil Head Porter, but most of all I would love to have David Warner play David Searles, the troubled Master of All Souls College. He would portray the perfect combination of magisterial gravitas and vulnerability that makes the troubled Master.

As long as Rob Benson isn’t played by Danny Dyer, and Andy Hughes isn’t played by Ross Kemp, I’m happy.

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?
I’ve already got one! I created a wish-list of music I’d like to appear in the movie; I originally compiled a series of tracks that inspired me to write certain scenes or explore various themes, so tracks from the Manic Street Preachers (“Everything Must Go”, “Yourself”, “To Repel Ghosts”) are on it, as well as Faith No More’s “We Care A Lot” ( “it’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it” is a line that fits well with the duties the caretakers are compelled to perform); and Drugstore “El Presidente”. That song in particular inspired the cosmic horror of the novel, as well as the inclusion of the Green Man. I’m sure it’s not what the band had in mind when they wrote it!

Tea or Coffee?
What, no booze? *Sulks* Okay, then: coffee in the morning, tea in the day, and coffee in the evening. Then booze.

Slippers or barefoot?
Barefoot. Always hated slippers.

Shower or Bath?
Shower. I can’t remember the last time I took a bath. (Cue lots of “Ergh! Chamberlin, you smell!” comments…)

Marmite: Love it? Hate it?
Hate is not strong enough a word for that “substance”. It’s veritable shit from Satan’s own arse.

Email or postcard?
Postcard! I get enough bloody emails as it is…

Thanks for having me!

As a Cambridge College celebrates a midwinter feast, four uninvited strangers uncover a devastating secret. A secret that must never be revealed…for the love of humanity.
Andy Hughes – a man with a dark past and an even darker future. His search for a missing student will lead him to a confrontation with an evil beyond human imagining…
Rob Benson – a van driver who discovers a dead wild boar in the back of his Transit. A boar that just won’t stay dead…
Jennifer Callaby – Andy’s estranged girlfriend, who discovers the shocking truth of The Caretakers – and the sacred task that they perform…
Jason Franklin – a prisoner who holds the key to the fates of them all, and may well be their only salvation – if he doesn’t destroy them first…
A disturbing thriller that questions the nature of evil and the price to be paid for the continued survival of the human race – a price that for some is too great to pay…
THE CARETAKERS – a Master’s Degree in terror.

To find out more about Adrian and his work you can visit Dark Continents Publishing’s website (here) or visit his personal website (here)

Caretakers is avaliable to buy from, and Barns and Noble. Come back next week to read an excerpt from The Caretakers!

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Self Published Sunday: Interview with author Michael Faricy

Mike Faricy writes suspenseful crime tales populated by unforgettable, whacky characters. His books are filled with the sort of oddballs and flakes we’re all curious about but wisely prefer to keep at a distance. No one in his books will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or government coups. The situations his characters find themselves in are largely due to their own bad decisions, but then bad decisions make for interesting tales. Mike lives with his wife in St. Paul, Minnesota and Dublin, Ireland. He’s worked in a bank, in sales, run a business or two and if none of that offends you he also plays the bagpipes.

Hi Mike, thanks for joining us. Can you tell us about your latest book?

Thanks for having me it’s a pleasure to finally be able to sit down with you. My latest book is entitled Bombshell. It’s a crime fiction tale, the fourth in a series I write featuring Dev Haskell, Private Investigator. The story takes place in the world of roller derby. Dev becomes the envy of every guy with a heartbeat when he’s hired to provide security for a visiting women’s roller derby team. He envisions himself standing guard in the shower room, but before he knows what’s happened he’s suddenly under arrest and found guilty before he’s even been charged. He has an attorney who drinks too much, a beautiful friend with a bad attitude, a feisty team of females ready to kill him – and no answers. It’s vintage, fast paced Dev Haskell action, crime fiction with a sense of humor and even some romance.

What/who inspired you as a reader?

I love page turners. I love the sort of books where you want to put the coffee on around ten at night just so you can stay up and finish the final ninety pages. An awful lot of authors have inspired me. Like a lot of crime fiction readers, I don’t just read books here and there. I land on an author and then seem to consume everything they’ve written. Certainly Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen and Michael Connelly when it comes to sheer enjoyable, page turning tales. I would have to include William Kent Krueger and John Sanford for a bit of local Minnesota flavor. I really liked Robert B. Parker and Ed McBain for their tight, dialogue driven, fast paced tales. Both Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride write great tales with the occasional crazy something thrown in.

What research did you do for Bombshell?

I mentioned Bombshell is set in the word of roller derby. Not only did I do some research on the sport itself, just getting the terminology down, the positions, how the teams are organized and things of that nature. I got really interested in the players persona, the uniforms, the names of teams and team members. I registered the various skaters names I use in Bombshell on the official Roller Derby web site. The cover shot was taken by Wendy Doscher-Smith, a photographer out of Miami. The model on the cover is actually a real roller derby star by the name of Pinky Gomez who skates for Miami’s Vice City Rollers.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on another Dev Haskell tale titled Tutti Frutti. With any luck it should be out right around the first of the year. I’ve got two more Dev tales following on the heels of Tutti Frutti. I’ve also done a novella entitled Irish Dukes in the Fight Card series. These are a series of 1950’s noir boxing novellas written by different authors under the pseudonym Jack Tunney. They are all set in the 1950’s and the protagonist has to have come from St. Vincent’s Home for Boy in Chicago where he learned life’s lessons in the boxing ring under the guidance of Father Tim. It was a change of pace, a lot of fun and an honor to be asked to join the team of distinguished contributors. I enjoyed it so much I’ve got a couple of proposal ideas for another novella in the series.

What is your writing process?

It’s pretty simple, I sit down in front of the keyboard and start tapping keys. I don’t work from an outline or a rough draft. I just start typing so no one is more surprised than me at the end of any given day to see what plot turns and twists have developed. I usually write approximately ten pages a day, the following day I read yesterday’s work out loud and do some light editing. Yeah I know, amazing there might be any editing needed. Anyway, that process, the editing, may take about two and a half hours, when I’ve finished I’m pretty well back in the flow of the tale and create another ten pages. I begin editing first thing in the morning. I break for maybe thirty minutes for lunch. I usually do not take phone calls, run errands or go for walks. In the off hours I’m subconsciously going over a variety of plot turns and twists. Since I live in both St. Paul and Dublin this probably makes me the dullest guy in two towns.

What prompted you to self publish Bombshell?

All my books are self published. I used to mail fifty or sixty query letters out, groveling to publishers in the hopes they might consider my book. You rarely if ever send a manuscript or even three chapters. What you do send is a one page letter in a very specific format. The letter is three paragraphs, the first two detail your soon to be award winning book. The third paragraph is a sentence or two describing your wonderful self, you enclose a self addressed stamped envelope with your query letter so publishers don’t have to spend money to tell you no. Like I said, I used to send fifty to sixty query letters out promoting my latest work of genius, as a result I think I led the league in rejections. One day I had one of my query letters returned to me, I had addressed it to one of the big six publishers in New York. Across the front of the envelope in purple ink was stamped Return to Sender. On the back of my unopened envelope was a hand written note that read ‘This does not fit our needs at this time’. They never even opened the envelope. A dim light went on inside my thick skull, Mike Faricy from St. Paul, Minnesota doesn’t have a snowballs chance with these guys. Fortunately today there is another option that is not only more viable it’s more profitable, self publishing. I haven’t looked back. That said, if that New York publisher who returned my unopened envelope ever phoned I’d crawl across a busy street to sit down and at least talk with them.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yeah, start writing. Do a short story, a novel, an article, but start writing. While you’re doing that develop some thick skin and find people who will give you honest feedback. Do not go to friends and family and put them on the spot by asking them to read whatever you wrote. You’ll get replies like, ‘Great”, “Go for it”, “A best seller!”. You can tell yourself that. What you need are people to say it drags here, this doesn’t make sense, I don’t like this. You may not have to follow their suggestions, in fact you don’t have to at all, but you do have to listen. Constantly work to get the best possible work out there, I see typos all the time in NY Times best sellers. I strive to do better than that, a lot better. The beauty of self publishing and e-books is when you are made aware of a problem you can usually fix it, right now. The real key is to not have any problems to begin with.

What was your favorite book as a child?

As a kid my two favorite books were Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel and George the Pig. I especially liked George because he didn’t share his birthday cake with his friends. He ate the whole thing himself, if I recall it had pink frosting, lots of pink frosting and on the last page he exploded.

Just for fun paper, audio or e-book?

Good points to all although the vast majority of reading I do today is e-book. It’s just too convenient, I can download a book at midnight. I can adjust type size. If I travel my Kindle has upwards of 1500 books on it and is virtually weightless. I can easily gift an e-book to a friend or fan in seconds, anywhere in the world. I must have close to 1500 books on my shelves at home, but I rarely take one off the shelf to read, that said I still love to see them there. As for audio, my problem is when listening to an audio book I get so involved in the book I miss my exit when driving, or end up late for an appointment because I lost track of time, so I really have to closely monitor myself.

Dysfunctional. bumbling, crazy babe-magnet Dev Haskell, P.I., becomes the envy of every guy with a heartbeat when he’s hired to watch over a team of gorgeous English roller derby stars. Though he’d rather be standing guard in the shower room, he suddenly finds himself under arrest and found guilty before he’s even charged. He’s got an attorney who drinks too much, a beautiful woman with a bad attitude, a feisty team of females ready to kill him – and no answers. Bombshell is another fast-paced, engrossing suspense thriller from Minnesota’s master of the bizarre, Mike Faricy

Thanks so much for letting me join you today. Bombshell, along with all my books are available on Amazon, please check them out. I’m on face book at both Mike Faricy and Mike Faricy Books. Don’t miss the Dev Haskell page on face book, there’s a lot of fun things popping up there. You can follow me on twitter, @mikefaricybooks. Please visit my website at or feel free to email me at [email protected] Please pick up a copy of Bombshell here enjoy the read and don’t forget to tell 2-300 of your closest friends.
Many thanks and all the best,

Michael Faricy

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