BookSliced Author Talks BookSliced helps you find free ebooks and discover discounts. en BookSliced Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:49:01 EST Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:49:01 EST BookSliced 30 <![CDATA[Kathryn Meyer Griffith: Why I Became An Author]]> 2016 update: I found a way to make my writing more profitable in 2012 because I started self-publishing. As one successful Indie writer recently said to me: Just get the books out there nothing else matters, except presumably good books, I'd add. The rest will come. And now I have all my 24 novels self-published and out everywhere and Iím discovering it does come. It only took me 45 years.

About Kathryn Meyer Griffith

I've been married to Russell for thirty-eight years; have a son and two grandchildren and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois. We have a quirky cat, Sasha, and the three of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I've been an artist, and a folk/classic rock singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I'll probably write stories until the day I die or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *Finalist* for her horror novel The Last Vampire.

2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *Finalist* for her thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

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<![CDATA[Alva v.H: About My Writing Process]]> I've always had a good talent for writing. One of those things that comes natural for some people. Some people are natural born athletes. I was born a writer. Although my deepest regret is not following up on this when I was younger. If I did then at this stage I'd probably be concluding my McKenzie Files science fiction series, which I plan to run into thirty books. A lot of you are probably saying to yourselves wow. Thirty books in a series? That's quite ambitious. Especially at my age, 56. But I think that I can get the job done.

About Alva v.H

A well-travelled cat, proficient in 4 languages and an avid art lover & nature admirer, who doesn't really enjoy crowds, and would rather cuddle with a loved one in front of a fireplace instead of going out to a party. A true romantic, sunsets make her tear and full moons make her dance. Drawn to everything which is aesthetically inclined, art & design expressions are literally food for her soul. Riding or just taking a walk in the meadow right after it has rained is a celebration of the senses she just adores, anytime, anywhere. In her spare time, she practices Yoga, meditates, tries on new sorts of Praline creations, polishes on her watercolour skills and swings, which gently throws her back into alignment with the little girl in her putting an instant 'sunshine smile' on her face!

]]> Wed, 10 Aug 2016 14:34:41 EDT <![CDATA[Barry K Nelson: First Time Author Journey]]> I've always had a good talent for writing. One of those things that comes natural for some people. Some people are natural born athletes. I was born a writer. Although my deepest regret is not following up on this when I was younger. If I did then at this stage I'd probably be concluding my McKenzie Files science fiction series, which I plan to run into thirty books. A lot of you are probably saying to yourselves wow. Thirty books in a series? That's quite ambitious. Especially at my age, 56. But I think that I can get the job done.

About Barry K Nelson

As with any first time author I received my share of rejections until I was fortunate to land my first publishing contract with an indie publishing house in California called Leucrota Press. Leucrota closed it's doors in 2011 and I was forced to find a new home for McKenzie Files, which I did in the form of Penumbra Publishing in Tennessee. From there my series grew to three books. McKenzie Files Book One, The McKenzie Files Book 2: Assassination Anxiety and The McKenzie Files, Book 3: Obliteration. I'm currently working on the fourth installment titled, Maximum Deevor. Named after the main villain in this story. I'm hoping that my readers will stay with my series to see Colin, Diane, and Kelly through twenty six more books to come.

]]> Wed, 18 May 2016 05:52:54 EDT
<![CDATA[Erik Therme: Books That Inspired]]> I'm often asked if my debut novel, Mortom, was inspired by other works. The short answer is yes: Stephen King's Salem's Lot and the brilliant A Simple Plan (Scott Smith) both factor into the finished project. But what most people don't know is the biggest influence didn't come from another author . . . but rather a cartoon dog.

When I completed the first draft of Mortom (many, many, many years ago) it was fairly obvious I had 'borrowed' heavily from Salem's Lot. Both stories had creepy buildings, bad guys with supernatural powers, and protagonists revisiting small towns they had known as children. My story was mediocre at best, and after some indifferent tinkering, I shelved it away.

Years passed, but the story never fully left my mind. When I discovered the novel A Simple Plan, I realized why Mortom didn't work: my characters were absolutely and utterly uninteresting. The protagonist in A Simple Plan was so flawed he was borderline evil, and his wife—in many ways—was almost worse . . . but they felt real, and because of that I rooted for them. I dove back into my story, fleshed out my characters, and dropped the supernatural element. It was a much stronger read, but there was still something missing that I couldn't put my finger on. The manuscript returned to hard drive hibernation, and I moved onto other projects.

Enter Scooby-Doo.

It was a Friday night, and my daughter and I had rented Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers. For those not familiar with this video treasure: Shaggy and Scooby travel to a plantation to claim an inheritance from a recently deceased uncle. When they arrive they find a letter promising hidden treasure . . . if they can decipher a series of clues.

When I tucked my daughter into bed that night, I was still thinking about the movie. The idea of a real-life game of 'follow the clues' was so intriguing that I began mentally cataloging distant relatives, wondering if any were rich and/or eccentric, and all at once it hit me: the chances of anything like that happening to me were one in a billion.

But it could happen in Mortom.

I already had a great backdrop (dilapidated small town), a cast of colorful characters (fresh off the assembly line), and a storyline just waiting to be tweaked. But most importantly, I now had the twist I had been searching for.

An hour later I had a handful of notes. The next day I had an outline, and two months later I had a revised draft. Mortom had been reborn into the world . . . all thanks to a cartoon dog.

About Erik Therme

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, (inadvertently) harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. None of these have come close to the thrill of releasing his debut novel, Mortom.

When he's not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his oldest daughter's volleyball team, or chilling on the PS3 with his 11-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa--one of only 7 places in the world the UNESCO has certified as a "City of Literature."

]]> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 07:24:03 EDT
<![CDATA[Shaun Jeffrey: Casting the Movie of My Book]]> Authors are often asked who would be their dream cast if a movie of their book was made. I'm in the enviable position that I don't have to make up a dream cast as my book The Kult really has been filmed. It may only be an independent production, and the actors will not be people you'll of heard of (yet), but I think it's still a major achievement having a film of ones work made. Lots of books are optioned, which basically means someone secures the rights for a period of time to make the film, but most never go beyond this stage to actual shooting, so I'd never expected mine to really progress, but then back in 2010, shooting began.

It's been a long road since then, and the film hasn't yet been released, but it's been an eye opening adventure that saw me travelling from the UK to California to see some of the filming. And I have to say that seeing your work come to life, meeting characters that you've created, and hearing them speak words you've written is one of the most surreal things I've ever experienced.

Now of course I didn't get to choose the cast, and to be honest, most of them didn't fit the image I had in my head when I was writing, but once I saw them in action, they brought the characters to life and went to show that it's not necessarily about someone's appearance as much as it is about the character themselves.

The other thing that I had to accept was that there were going to be changes to the story. These have to be made for a number of reasons, including length (fitting a 300 page book into an hour and a half means there have to be concessions), budget and also location. The book was set in the UK, but it was filmed in the US. In the UK, the police aren't armed with guns, and as the lead character is a police officer, this meant there had to be changes to account for this (it's always been quite amusing when people in the US question how the police in the UK protect themselves if they're not armed, to which I answer that they don't have to carry guns as the crooks over here generally aren't armed either. If there is a crime committed with weapons, a specialised firearms unit is called in).

So when it comes to having your book turned into a film, there will be changes. Some you'll agree with, others you won't, but if you want to see your baby brought to life, you just have to accept this.

Now my only dream is actually seeing the film released in one form or another.

About Shaun Jeffrey

Shaun Jeffrey was brought up in a house in a cemetery, so it was only natural for his prose to stray towards the dark side when he started writing. Among his writing credits are five novels, Killers, The Kult, Deadfall, Fangtooth, and Evilution. He has also had short stories published in Surreal Magazine, Dark Discoveries, Shadowed Realms, and Cemetery Dance, along with two collections published, The Mutilation Machination and Voyeurs of Death. His novel, The Kult, has been filmed by Gharial Productions and is currently in post production.

]]> Sat, 11 May 2013 09:00:00 EDT
<![CDATA[Curtis Edmonds: About My Writing Process]]> There's a great line in Tom Wolfe's classic The Right Stuff, about the early days of the space program, where he talks about how test pilots who would fly high-performance jet aircraft on the heels of a mortal hangover. Wolfe quotes them as saying, "I don't advise it, you understand, but it can be done."

I wasn't mortally hung over when I wrote Rain on Your Wedding Day, but I was mortally exhausted. I have twin girls who were two years old when the book was written. My wife and I both work full-time and have long commutes, and then when you add to that the pressures of taking care of small children, it depletes your physical and mental energy. I had the time to write the book in the hour or so between the time when the children finally got to sleep and the time I went to sleep, but I didn't really have the ability to write the book the way that I wanted to?the way that the story deserved to be written.

What I did was to split up the disparate mental activities that go into writing. As I write this piece, for example, I am doing three separate things at once. I am composing the text in my head, tapping it out on my keyboard, and reading what I've typed to check for errors. You can do all three things in your head at the same time without even thinking about it too much.

Unfortunately, I couldn't write Rain on Your Wedding Day that way. I only had two large swaths of free time available to write. During my morning commute, I had the alertness to write, but not the ability to type what I had written. During the evening, I had access to the computer to type, but I didn't have the mental energy needed to compose. So I split up the tasks. I did most of my composing?the mental work needed to put the plot together and set up scenes and write dialogue?in the car on the way to work. Then, when I had time to sit down in front of the keyboard, I worked on typing the words I had imagined earlier in the day. Once I had the words in an electronic format, I then went back and edited them, and then worked on rewriting. I also logged my word count every day on a spreadsheet to help keep me motivated and focused.

This is not the usual way that you write a novel, and I don't pretend that it's the best way. But it worked for me, and I was able to get my novel completed and edited and ready for publication that way. I don't advise it, you understand, but it can be done. (If, as Tom Wolfe would say, you have the right stuff.)

About Curtis Edmonds

Curtis Edmonds is the author of Rain on Your Wedding Day. His short fiction and book reviews are collected at his website,

]]> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 08:44:16 EDT
<![CDATA[Sophia Moore: Books That Inspired]]> Every author takes inspiration from different types of books, but I'd guess that my inspiration for Public Attraction is especially unusual: Fifty Shades of Grey, Bared to You, and Pride and Prejudice.

I know that EL James and Sylvia Day have their critics, but they obviously mean a lot to their readers. Everything else aside, they took contemporary romance to a new level. Their writing ditched gauzy censored love for contemporary realism, or as real as a 20-something billionaire can be, anyway. I owe them a lot for helping me see the possibilities. In Public Attraction, my movie star lead Paul Thatcher has a lot in common with wounded heroes like Christian Grey or Gabriel Emerson. And Emma, a girl who's scared to live her life, is an equally vulnerable heroine.

But I was also inspired by Pride and Prejudice. For me, romance isn't just about sex. It's about the characters. The friendship between Emma and Jessie, the two female leads, reminds me of the nuanced companionship in Jane Austen's work. My love of her books is driven by the vivid, flawed people they are about. I would never compare myself to Jane, but I love her so much that she has to be an inspiration! Hopefully, I can make that clearer in future books that still have some hot scenes.

That may seem like a lot for a girl who's written a sexy, fun romance with a little kink. But inspiration comes from a lot of places, and hopefully it helps you inspire others, too!

About Sophia Moore

Sophia Moore is the pseudonymous author of the Public Attraction Trilogy. While she can't tell you more about herself, she's happy to connect with readers online and explore new ideas. She likes crushed red peppers, dark eyes, driving in fall, and mysteries.

]]> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 08:38:27 EDT
<![CDATA[Cindy Blackburn: Books That Inspired]]> What three books inspired me to start the Cue Ball Mysteries and write Playing With Poison? Finally, an easy question! Here's my answer: Sue Grafton's A is for Alibi, Joan Hess's Malice in Maggody, and Janet Evanovich's One for the Money.

The first book in Sue Grafton's series got me hooked on mysteries decades ago. Prior to that, I was young and foolish and read only "serious" fiction. You know, all those supposedly edifying classics English teachers assign to unwitting students? I do love the classics, and I always loved reading. But what I didn't realize until I picked up A is for Alibi is how fun reading can be. So thanks, Sue, for helping me see the light. Ms. Grafton also turned me on to books written in the first person. Way cool!

Years later I found Joan Hess just by luck. I was searching the stacks of my local library for a new author and found myself in H, and saw all the books by this Joan Hess person. By then I was a mystery addict, so the little skull and crossbones tag the library had put on the spine clued me in that these were mysteries. I read Malice in Maggody in one sitting. I never laughed so hard in my life! Who knew mysteries could be so to-die-for funny? I wiped the tears (of laughter) from my eyes and got the idea, way, way back in my head somewhere, that I would love to make people laugh, too. Thanks, Joan.

Spring forward another decade or so. I was having a glass of wine with a good friend and fellow mystery aficionado. And she told me about Janet Evanovich. And maybe it was the wine we were drinking, but she said something like, "You should read the Stephanie Plum books, Cindy. And then you should try writing something funny like that." One for the Money rocked my world. The self-effacing humor and the fast-paced lunacy of life in Trenton (I grew up in New Jersey) inspired me. Add in another glass or two of vino with my girlfriend, and I pulled out the lap top.

I love mysteries, and I love to laugh. And once I find something I like, I want more and more of a good thing. These three series—the Kinsey Malone series, the Maggody series, and the Stephanie Plum series are what got me started writing a mystery series of my very own. See, I told you that was an easy question!

About Cindy Blackburn

Cindy Blackburn has a confession to make-she does not play pool. It's that whole eye-hand coordination thing. What Cindy does do well is school. So when she's not writing silly stories she's teaching serious history. European history is her favorite subject, and the ancient stuff is best of all. The deader the better! A native Vermonter who hates cold weather, Cindy divides her time between the south and the north. During the school year you'll find her in South Carolina, but come summer she'll be on the porch of her lakeside shack in Vermont. Cindy has a fat cat named Betty and a cute husband named John. Both are extremely lovable. When Cindy isn't writing or grading papers, she likes to take long walks or paddle her kayak around the lake. Her favorite travel destinations are all in Europe, her favorite TV show is NCIS, her favorite color is orange. Cindy dislikes vacuuming, traffic, and lima beans.

]]> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 07:56:45 EST
<![CDATA[Jackie Pilossoph: About My Writing Process]]> What happens when you find yourself dating again after divorce?

Lots of disappointing dinners, so many moments of laughing with your friends about dates gone bad, frustration beyond belief, and hopelessness, thinking the last of the good guys are taken. Until that heart stopping moment when you finally meet someone. He makes you weak in the knees, he brings warmth back into your jaded heart, and he makes you realize that regardless of what happens, you now know your post marriage life is going to be okay. In fact, it's going to be more than okay. It's going to be wonderful!

I wrote Free Gift With Purchase when I found myself back in the dating scene at 41 years old. When I began going out on dates, the tears I'd cried over my failed marriage were replaced with laughter, because I felt like if I didn't laugh, I'd just cry more! Some of the dates I went on were absolutely unbelievably horrific, so I decided to start writing down the stories.

So many nights, I'd get home from a really bad date, and at 10pm., I'd get on my computer (at my kitchen table) and start writing about it. I wanted to capture the moments while they were happening, because I knew the writing would be better, more compelling, more honest and more alive especially when I met the man who is "Preston" in the book.

This man took my breath away every time we were in the same room, and if he'd so much as hold my hand, my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. I felt like it was important to share this experience with other women, not just divorced women, but all women. The "Preston" storyline, and all the other storylines in Free Gift With Purchase are not only entertaining, but they're uplifting, inspirational, heartwarming and truly hilarious.

Free Gift With Purchase isn't just a story about relationships, though. The book is about people trying to figure out their lives after the life they thought they'd have forever slips away. It's about recovery and acceptance and self love. It's about figuring out what makes you happy, and then having the courage and the belief in yourself to go out and get it.

If you buy into the fact that it's not solely a man who will make your life complete, but rather the whole life "package," meaning career, kids, family, friends, fun, gratitude and self love, you might just end up with a Free Gift With Purchase!

About Jackie Pilossoph

Jackie Pilossoph is the author of Free Gift With Purchase and two other romantic comedy novels. She is also a newspaper reporter and columnist for the Pioneer Press and 22nd Century Media. Pilossoph holds a masters degree in journalism from Boston University. She lives in Chicago with her family, and is working on her next novel.

]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:04:47 EST
<![CDATA[Matt Tomerlin: Casting the Movie of My Book]]> The heroine, Katherine Lindsay would require a young, fearless actress who is able to effectively portray the character's emotional journey and evolution. At the end of the story, Katherine is barely recognizable from the timid girl in the first chapter. A daring, versatile actress like Emilia Clarke, who currently plays Daenerys on Game of Thrones, would be best. Another great choice would be Lyndsy Fonseca, who is demonstrating a lot of range on Nikita.

Several readers have told me they picture Daniel Craig as Captain Jonathan Griffith, and I can't argue with that one. Griffith is commanding, charming, deadly, and sometimes vulnerable. I think Craig has effectively conveyed all of these qualities in his various roles.

Ray Stevenson, who played the villain on the latest season of Dexter, would be ideal for the sadistic quartermaster, Edward Livingston (as long as he wouldn't mind shaving his head bald). I'd love to see Josh Hutcherson as young deckhand Nathan Adams, who is basically the Jim Hawkins of this tale. For Douglas Thatcher, the tortured surgeon who is being held against his will, I can't think of anyone better than Timothy Spall, who played Wormtail in the Harry Potter movies. As I wrote the beautiful Spanish strumpet, Annabelle (whose role is much larger in the sequel, The Devil's Tide), I pictured a young Salma Hayek. Sandra Echeverría convincingly played the daughter of Hayek's character in Savages, so she would be great.

I'm sure there are plenty of actors I haven't thought of who could sink their teeth into these characters, but that's my dream cast.

About Matt Tomerlin

Matt Tomerlin was born in 1979 in sunny Southern California. He has written two novels, The Devil's Fire and The Devil's Tide both part of a pirate adventure series. He is currently working on "The Devil's Horizon". Tomerlin currently resides in Murrieta, California.

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<![CDATA[Steve Haberman: Books That Inspired]]> From time to time, I'm asked which authors have influenced my writing. I invariably reply none have. I make no conscious decision to imitate for why would a reader buy a second rate copy, when he could get the real thing? However, there are writers who I enjoy reading, and I enjoy for two reasons. First, they were there; they served in intelligence agencies and therefore probably know the workings of the spy world and the human heart better than most. Secondly, because they were there, they're interested in conveying (my assumption, I admit) what that world's like. They're not crowd pleasers. They're not primarily businessmen, interested in making a buck. They seem to be interested in only one thing, the truth. And they're damn good at conveying that through atmosphere, dialogue, tension, the loneliness and fear. Nothing James Bondish about them.

Witness, for instance, John le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. From the moment I read the opening lines to that gritty novel---"The American handed Leamas another cup of coffee and said, 'Why don't you go back and sleep? We can ring you if he shows up.'"?I was hooked. So engrossed that I missed my flight out of Heathrow Airport. "The best spy story I have read," according to Graham Greene.

He should know; he, like le Carre, served in MI6, the British CIA. And he used that experience to write novel after novel that rings true. Like The Human Factor, filled with violence, true, but of a psychological sort, about conflicting loyalties of an aging English civil servant bureaucrat/spy.

Who might be the American equivalent of the two above, equal in terms of experience and grace of language? My vote goes to Charles McCarry, who for years before turning to writing, was an intelligence officer under deep cover in among other places, Europe. "The streets, even this broad main thoroughfare, were virtually empty at this hour and the city was so quiet that he could hear the bike's tires humming on the pavement." Who else, but someone who had been in East Berlin during the Cold War, could include that atmospheric detail, as this ex-spy did in Christopher's Ghosts.

John le Carre, Graham Greene, Charles McCarry, you can't go wrong.

About Steve Haberman

A University of Texas graduate, Steve Haberman pursued legal studies at UCLA before embarking on a career as a legal assistant. Stock market investments made travel abroad possible, and he has since visited Europe extensively, including London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, as well as Milan. Many of these feature as settings in his two ebook novels. Murder Without Pity, a murder mystery, occurs in Paris. The Killing Ploy is set partially in several continental capitals. He is presently planning another three month trip abroad for research on a sequel to The Killing Ploy, which will also use foreign locales.

]]> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 09:01:37 EST
<![CDATA[Hallee Bridgeman: About My Writing Process]]> I have found over the years that I tend to write in layers. I have all of these action scenes in my head that drive the story, and I have to get to each one of them. So, I write action -- "she walks into the room, does this action thing that drives the story, and leaves the room."

Chapter after chapter is almost entirely action. I cannot stop the forward momentum of getting from one scene to the other. I just write and write, creating the first layer.

When I reach the end, I have to set it aside. My head is full of all of the details - scenes, emotions, thoughts - and I have a hard time seeing what is really there and what I know should be there. This is where my husband comes in.

My husband is a brilliant writer, but as good of a writer as he may be, he is even a better editor. I hand him this action packed story, and he goes through it and makes notes. "How does she feel about armed assasins breaking into her home?"

In a way, this annoys me. My mind says, "How do you think she feels?" But, as a reader, I understand that I still need to give the reader that information. The reader needs to feel through me, see through me, understand motivations and characterization through me. I cannot assume the reader is just going to "know" like I do.

It is very easy for me to write that first-draft, action driven story. I know exactly what happens next and how to plot it out and get there. It is extremely hard for me to go back through and flesh out every scene with thoughts, feelings, descriptions, and setting, mainly because I can see it and feel it already and I don't necessarily see where the holes are.

When I finish the second layer, I hand it over to my husband and he'll line-edit it, picking apart the passive voice, fleshing out a lot of male point-of-view that I might not get right, and telling me what works plot-wise and what doesn't. He gives it back to me and I put the final, third layer, finishing touches on it.

The end result is a wonderful story, driven by action but full of the kinds of things that keep a reader turning the page. The best part about it is that it was created with this wonderful rhythm and teamwork my husband and I have developed over the years. As a romance writer and a romantic at heart, I love that we are able to work together like this.

He is currently in the first editing phase of the book I recently finished (Song of Revelation, which will be released in December) while I'm currently writing scene after scene of the novella Greater than Rubies that will take place after Sapphire Ice, Book 1 of the Jewel Trilogy but before Emerald Fire, Book 2 of the Jewel Trilogy.

About Hallee Bridgeman

Hallee Bridgeman lives with her husband and their three children in small town Kentucky. When she's not writing Christian romance novels, she blogs about all things cooking and homemaking at Hallee the Homemaker. You can reach Hallee at hallee ( at )

]]> Mon, 19 Nov 2012 09:00:17 EST
<![CDATA[Gerald Hansen: About My Writing Process]]> A few years ago, my mom and dad won the Irish lottery. After they bought a house and two cars, there wasn't much money left. Some members of my mother's family seemed to have difficulty realizing the money wasn't limitless. They weren't very kind.

I sat down to capture this story in my first draft of An Embarrassment of Riches. After two years of writing, I realized it wasn't exciting enough for fiction. I was too close to the people, and the real story had no arc, as is usual for real life events. So I ripped it up and began anew. I spiced things up. I threw in drugs, teen pregnancy, petrol bomb attacks, and a little girl who would stoop to any depths to procure the perfect Holy Communion Gown. And I added a backstory involving 'my mother' and the IRA.

'My mother,' because this character certainly wasn't my real mother any more. I reimagined everyone involved in the feud over the lottery win. Someone who was a bit mean became downright nasty, someone who had more than one boyfriend dissolved into the town slut, those who drank socially became violent alcoholic thugs. And thus An Embarrassment of Riches was born.

Since it was released, it's been a 2010 ABNA Semifinalist, comedian Colin Quinn's second favorite book of all time ("A masterpiece," he said), and, finally, when the sequel, Hand In The Till, was released last year, a massive bestseller. Thanks, in part, to excellent sites like BookSliced. I can't thank the ebook industry enough for all their hard work getting writers' works into readers' hands. Hand In The Till is now on sale for 99 cents but, don't worry, although the same characters are featured, the books can be read in any order.

The third, Fleeing The Jurisdiction, continues the feud between the Barnetts and the Floods, and just came out a few weeks ago. Colin Quinn will be helping me with the reading at the launch party in NYC this Sunday, and for that I can't believe my good luck.

How do I write? The trick is totally divorcing myself from reality and letting my new creations write the story themselves. I now know these fictional characters so well, or at least my subconscious must, that all I need to do now is put them in situations (in Hand In The Till, for example, with someone accidentally stealing cans of vegetables with explosives inside, and a young girl's dream to see Miley Cyrus in concert), and they seem to write the chapters themselves. Especially when I'm in the shower, so that I have to run half-naked to my desk to write their thoughts down!

Needless to say, my mother loves me, but as for her family, they don't seem to understand that "the family" in the books isn't them, although some have reached out tentatively to me, for which I'm grateful. There's work I must do to make that come true. Perhaps another book will do it.

About Gerald Hansen

Gerald Hansen lived for years in his mother's hometown of Derry, Northern Ireland and attended Dublin City University. As a Navy brat, he grew up in California, Thailand, London, Iceland and Germany. His debut novel, An Embarrassment of Riches was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel semifinalist in 2010, Hand In The Till came out in 2011, and Fleeing The Jurisdiction in 2012. Gerald now lives in New York City.

]]> Wed, 14 Nov 2012 08:44:23 EST
<![CDATA[RP Dahlke: About My Writing Process]]> Sailing on the deep blue ocean had always been a dream of mine. I'd done a Barefoot Cruise on a four masted schooner when I was young and single and came to the conclusion that I was destined to be a sailor. Luckily, I married a man who liked to sail, and we bought a 27 ft. water ballasted sailboat for the San Francisco bay. There's a saying, that if you can successfully navigate the bay of San Francisco, you can sail anywhere. True, but it took me a couple of years before I could effectively scoot across the bay without hyperventilating. There were all those tides and currents, not to mention crossing the channel where international freighters hourly pressed for homeport.

But after numerous sailing classes, a couple of charters with bigger boats, and a West Marine workshop on cruising, my husband and I bought a 47 ft Hylas, rechristened her, "Paloma Blanca", and took off for balmier climes.

I have a picture of me, wearing my foulies and gloves, nose red from the cold, holding a sign that says, "Welcome to tropical Mexico!" The Pacific coastline along Baja Mexico is not the tropics. It's a long, dry passage with few ports for refuge should the wind turn against you. And Ensenada, the first port of call into Mexico, is a dusty little port town where Mexican fishing fleets come in to deposit fish and get their boats repaired. It also has the best fish tacos I've ever had anywhere?probably because it was deep fried in lard, and a reasonable marina for repairs.

It got warmer after we got to Cabo San Lucas, then crossed over to Matzatlan and points south. We did the Pacific coast as far as we dared, and still be able to get back to our Hurricane Hole in San Carlos by May. We eventually spent most of our winters in the Sea of Cortez, noodling along the coast and anchoring in the lee of some small island or port. It was, as all sailors will tell you, 90% humdrum, and 10% terror. We had long, lazy days of warm weather, kayaking over clear blue water, potlucks on the beach, and dinghy rides through kaleidoscope phosphorescent waves. We also had stormy night passages with little to no sleep, torn sails, broken rigging, barbeques lost overboard, and harrowing estuary entries. There is a saying, "Go before you can't leave your doctor." Which makes a lot of sense, because sailing is strenuous work, tough on the mind and body. Still, I can honestly say I had the time of my life and wouldn't exchange those years for anything. And while I was there, I started a journal, taking notes for the romantic suspense I completed in 2011, A Dangerous Harbor (story based in Ensenada). Ensenada is, as most California sailors know, first port of call into Baja, Mexico after San Diego. Most of the town is clustered around the harbor where working marinas like Baja Naval still service American boaters.

I found this sleepy little town to be fascinating, full of endless stories, with a culture that was, and still is, struggling to gain a foothold in the 21st Century. The irony is that I started this book ten years ago, based on a local news story, which at the time was staggering in its brutality. This story is no longer unique as the Mexican Cartels daily murder with impunity. But, just as the cartels are not all that is Mexico, this story isn't all about them, it's about what happens when you try to run away from your problems and it's about Americans, the ones passing through and the ones stuck in A Dangerous Harbor.

I'm now working on the sequel, Hurricane Hole (based in the Sea of Cortez).

About RP Dahlke

RP Dahlke writes mysteries with humor and family dynamics taken from her own life experiences... yes, my dad, just like Noah Bains, was crabby. I was raised on a farm where my dad ran his crop dusting business near Modesto, California. I returned there to raise my two children, then married a man who loved sailing as much as I did, and we enjoyed many years aboard our Hylas 47 in Mexico. We now live in S.E. Arizona where I write mystery and promote authors of mystery with a colorful weekly fan newseltter.

Fans of mystery and those who just like to catch up with me can contact me at: rp (at)

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<![CDATA[Giacomo Giammatteo: What's On My Kindle]]> The last book I downloaded was To The Grave by Steve Robinson. This book appealed to me on several fronts: it was a mystery and it was about genealogy. I have always been fascinated with genealogy, and I'm even more interested because my daughter owns a genealogy business, Roots in the Boot, that does research for people of Italian heritage. I haven't started reading the book yet, but it's near the top of my TBR list, and I have to say I'm eager to get into it.

As to how I chose it...
I'm a diehard digital reader now, but I resisted switching until the first iPad came out. Even then I had no intentions of reading books on it, but after trying a few out I got hooked. Reading ebooks has made a big difference in how I read, but it's made a far bigger difference in how I discover new books and new authors.

In the old days, when I went to the bookstore, I would wander through the mystery or fantasy aisles, or even the history aisles, depending on the mood I was in. My routine was to browse until a cover caught my eye, or maybe a book with a catchy title. Once a book found its way into my hands, I would read the jacket cover and, if I was still interested, I'd read the first chapter or so. If I managed to get 10 or 15 pages into it, the book usually went in the basket to buy.

What has changed?
Digital books have changed my selection process, and I have to say it's for the better. Let's say I'm looking for a good mystery book, or even something more specific—a hard-boiled mystery. I type that into the search bar and hit return to get the list, then—and here's the key—I move over to the right, to the sort bar, and click, "sort by avg. customer review."

To The Grave was fourth on the list, with fantastic reviews.

Interpreting the results...
This process sorts the results with the highest rated books at the top. What you get isn't purely top rated, but it's close. Amazon massages the results with their algorithms, and, from what I can tell, it's a combination of the number of reviews combined with the highest ratings. So a book with 200 reviews that averages 4.3 stars will be ahead of a book with 40 reviews that averages 4.6, but it might only take a few more 5-star reviews for that other one to overtake it.

The reason I search like this is because, for me, this is the easiest and most sensible way to shop. I can skim the top 50 books and surely find some good buys. Otherwise I might have to look through a thousand books to find the same high quality. As an example, To The Grave, is #2,435 in the Kindle store when sorted by sales.

What next?
Once a book passes the review test, then the best part of digital comes into play—downloading a sample. Samples give you about 10% of the book, which is more than enough for me to decide if I like the author's style.

If you follow this method, you might still be fooled. Maybe you like the voice and style, but the plot falls apart, or there is a crappy ending. That's where reading reviews comes into play, but interpreting reviews is a post all by itself.

Shopping for books this way isn't as much fun as going to the bookstore, but I used to buy a lot of books I ended up not reading. Now I don't.

For full disclosure, my book, Murder Takes Time, comes in at #1 in hard-boiled mysteries, #2 in mafia fiction, #4 in crime drama, and #14 in mystery and thriller, when sorted by "average customer review," so there is a reason why I like readers to shop this way.

About Giacomo Giammatteo

Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of Murder Takes Time and A Bullet For Carlos. He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 41 loving "friends."

]]> Tue, 06 Nov 2012 08:35:57 EST
<![CDATA[Richard Due: About My Writing Process]]> I began writing The Dragondain eight years ago, which may seem like a strangely long time ago for a second book in series that debuted as an ebook last year. But I can explain. You see, I write the books in the Moon Realm series two at a time. After I get the barest framework into my mind, I write just a sentence or two for what will become each chapter on a piece of paper. I really like when the books are this small. It's very easy for me to hold it all in my little brain, and see how everything is connected. As soon as it feels like there's some solidity to it all, I expand the sentences to one or two paragraphs. I spend the most time here, playing with things: trying things on, throwing things out, adding characters, cutting characters. It's daunting, knowing that whatever I write during this time will shape everything that happens for the next two books, so I stay with it until I'm insanely happy. The instant I reach that state of happy madness, I expand those paragraphs into two-page chapter treatments (that all happens on my laptop).

And just like that: I knew EXACTLY how the first two books would go.

After I'd drafted the first two books, I didn't touch them again for six months. But then life stepped in and stretched that out a little longer. When I finally got back to it, I made many passes on both books before ever showing them to my first editor. Getting back that first big edit from my editor is always a study in red pen. We hand the thing back and forth until it's ready for a read-aloud. It took us about a year to get to the point where I started sending out chapters to my second editor.

Now, I'd been thinking about going through the traditional agent/publisher route at this point, meaning I figured a third editor would be assigned to me before it reached print. But after I decided to form Gibbering Gnome Press, I knew that wouldn't happen. So my first editor and I went through a third series of passes, just on The Moon Coin, followed by my second editor, followed by one very final pass. Imagine, write, repeat.

About Richard Due

Richard Due (pronounced "Dewey") first imagined the Moon Realm while telling bedtime tales to his children. He makes his home in Southern Maryland, where he and his wife have owned and operated Second Looks Books since 1991. The Moon Coin is the first novel in the Moon Realm series. Visit for more information.

]]> Thu, 01 Nov 2012 09:09:40 EDT
<![CDATA[Jesse V. Coffey: About My Writing Process]]> I used to have an apartment within a ten minute walk from my mom's house. At the end of her street was the local cemetery. Every time I walked past it, I would look in, and I started noticing little details about the place. In fact, every cemetery I've ever set foot in seems to follow a sort of universal layout -- so very much like a small city. And if you go in, you'll see it too. There's the section that is full of the mausoleums and statues that reminded me of downtown Anywhere, with its City Hall, municipal buildings, and the business setting. Then, you have the suburban areas and all of the headstones would be laid out that way. One area will be the affluent section of town, another will be the middle class section, and of course, one section will be the poorer section. And the roadways that run through each.

I thought, what a great place to set a story. In a cemetery that's really a "neighborhood" for the spirits that dwell within. I found my erstwhile hero in Robert Isaac Porter, nicknamed Rip, and started finding all manner of incidents and accidents to put him in the middle of, and turn them upside down. I wanted to find every phrase or comment that we make that included the words of "death" or "dying" and flip them on their ear. So instead of someone asleep being "dead to the world," they became "alive to the world." No one died; they "birthed." Because if you think of it, death to us is a birth on the other side. They die here on this plane, they birth in Heaven (or wherever your beliefs take you after this life). I have a character who literally loses his head when he's upset; and his wife quite literally falls to pieces when she's upset. I have a character who has a severe crush on another, who doesn't even know he's to speak.

And once I had my jokes and settings, I sat down to write.

Finding your plot can be just as easy as taking a routine thing and asking yourself, "what can I do to shake that up?" What can you do with a simple "guy meets girl" story by adding a twist to it and turning it on its ear? It doesn't have to be horror or fantasy or science fiction; it can be a romance between two characters but with that twist. It can be a crime "whodunit" story. If you look at every novel on the best seller list, you'll find the plots start with something mundane and normal and then get that twist of the bizarre, the different, the strange. As a writer, we're always looking for something that will set our work apart, will catch the eye of the reader. And the best way to do that is to find something that's universal and add that twist.

Give a try and see if that doesn't help your plot. I'm betting it will. I'm even betting that I'll be reading your work someday.

About Jesse V. Coffey

Jesse V Coffey lives and writes in Lexington, KY. She is the author of Salt of the Earth, which is being offered as a free read to celebrate Halloween -- 10/30/12 to 10/31/12. She is also the author of A Wager of Blood, a paranormal thriller written as J. W. Coffey. A cross genre, indie author, she writes under both names, with a total of four books released so far. Ms. Coffey has three columns for an online newsite,, writing as the Lexington Literature Examiner, Lexington Writing Examiner, and National Indie Romance Novel Examiner. She is also the on air hostess for the radio show Edin Road Radio, which broadcasts live on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 PM Eastern, and is available in podcast format through iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

Ms. Coffey will be releasing her fifth novel, The Savior, in December of 2012. A sixth, Wilde Mountain Time, is due to be released in 2013 by Ravenheart Press.

]]> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 11:53:08 EDT