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Interview with Author ML Sparrow

norestforthewicked26award copy 200x300Please welcome author ML Sparrow to our blog today! We're so happy to have her visit. 🙂

HFP: I see you write in multiple genres. Do you have a favorite to genre to write in?

MLS: I am a hopeless romantic, so all of my books have varying degrees of romance! I just love writingrelationships between people and how they develop.

HFP: What is your favorite genre to read? Who is your favorite author?

MLS: That’s a hard question, because I read all different genres, from YA to the classics and everything in between. I can honestly say that I don’t have a favorite genre, I do have several favorite authors though, two of which have books coming out soon which I’m very excited about: Cherise Sinclair, Nalini Singh and Kresley Cole. I’m also a huge fan of V.E. Schwab, though I’ve only just discovered her work and haven’t read everything yet!

You can find out more about the books I love it this fun interview I did with Ryan Lieske –  https://ryanlieske.blog/2017/08/21/la-legado-vivo-with-m-l-sparrow/

M L SPARROW - RED DAYS - - altered 03-10-17 -- award added 200x300HFP: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why that place?

MLS: Oh, there is so many places I want to visit in the world. I’ve done my fair share of travelling and have visited France, Mexico, Japan, Thailand and Sri Lanka, but the place I’m dying to visit at the moment is Australia. I’ve always dreamed of backpacking around Australia and I’m sure I’ll get there one day!

HFP: What do you enjoy most about living in England?

MLS: I’m actually living and working in Tokyo right now, though I’ll soon be moving to Hong Kong, which I’m actually quite sad about since I love Tokyo, but the thing I miss most about living in England would obviously be my family and friends, but I also loved how green it is and being able to take walks in the woods with my doggies. J

HFP: If you could only choose one character from all the characters you’ve created to meet in real life, who would you choose and why?

Ghetto - Ebook Small-200x300MLS: That’s a hard one, because whilst Sin from Ghetto is my favorite character that I’ve written so far, I think I’d actually want to meet Sunny (also from Ghetto) or Anthony (from No Rest for the Wicked). Anthony would be fun to meet not only because he’s so charming, but also because he’s a wizard and I’d love to see some cool tricks and maybe get him to put one of those handy self-cleaning enchantments on my apartment! Then I’d want to meet Sunny, again for purely selfish reasons, because she’s a tech genius and she could sort out all the little glitches and hook the DVD player up to the TV for me!

HFP: Which of your characters is most like you and why?

MLS: I like to think I put a bit of myself into all my characters, but I’d have to say Chloe, from Player, the first book in my What Happens on Campus Series, is most like me. Not in appearances, the only thing we have in common there is that we’re both brunettes and burn easily, but in attitude and likes and dislikes. I wrote Player when I also had the dream to attend university in America, so I guess Chloe is a version of me and a projection of my dream. Unfortunately, that dream didn’t go anywhere for me, but as one door shuts another opens and if I’d gone to university I wouldn’t be living in Japan right now.

HFP: Inquiring minds want to know, what is your favorite free book promotion tip? (I love graphic teasers!)

MLS: I love graphic teasers too, I also love working with bloggers, whether it’s an interview, guest post, or review. Building relationships with bloggers can also be really fun and you can learn a lot, as well as being helpful to promoting your book.

EBOOK Player, What Happens on Campus #1 200x300HFP: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

MLS: Just keep writing. Sometimes it’ll seem as if you’re going no where, but if you truly love writing, just keep doing it! Becoming an established author is a marathon, not a sprint, you have to build up a readership and a name for yourself.

HFP: Okay, here’s a fun one! If you could be any superhero who would you be and why? (Personally, I love Batgirl because of all those gadgets. LOL)

MLS: Eeek. I have to say I don’t really know any superheroes beyond the Avengers movies, so I’m going to go for Black Widow, because she has awesome skills and I love how kick-ass she is and how she handles herself in a team full of men!

HFP: And another fun question! Coffee or chocolate and why that choice?

Chocolate definitely. Chocolate is so yummy and coffee is yuck! I’ve never liked coffee, though I do drink it very occasionally if I was up too late writing the night before!

Author Bio: 

M L Sparrow is currently the author of four full length novels, two novellas and a slew of short stories published in various anthologies. Her novella, Red Days, was a winner in the Book Excellence Awards, Current Events category. Another novella, A Tangled Web, was a finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and in the 2017 Readers' Favorite Awards.

She will write pretty much anything that pops into her head, no matter the genre, and enjoys keeping her readers guessing as to what she will write next, though you can pretty much guarantee that there will be some degree of romance! 

As well as writing, she enjoys travelling and is currently living in Tokyo. Her travels are a constant source of inspiration and she has an endless supply of ideas for future novels…

Thank you so much for allowing us to interview you! 

 

Interview with Finn Qualtrough by Isobelle Cate

Me: Hello Finn.  Thank you for agreeing to this interview.

 

Finn: My pleasure, Isobelle. It’s good to have a chance to get to know your readers….more intimately.

 

I clear my throat before smiling: How is Eirene?

 

Finn (grins): Still a beautiful distraction. She left with Deanna to set up the network for the Haven Foundation. She’s creating a network between Deanna’s foundation and her own charity, Kinds Come Home.

 

Me: Eirene is the computer expert of the team?

 

Finn: Yes she is. Graeme as well, who’s more of our Head of Security. Eirene did what we Cynn Cruor found hard to do. Find Dac Valerian.

 

Me: Is that how you met?

 

Finn (chuckling): In a manner of speaking.  I was chasing after several of Dac's followers or transfuges and found her instead. They were running after her after she decked them. (Finn laughs).

 

Me: And Dac's followers?

 

Finn grins with satisfaction and pride: Dead. All dead, with Eirene's help.  That woman can really kick and is very handy with a baton and the balisong, the Philippine butterfly knife.

 

Me: Has the Cynn Cruor has been fighting Dac Valerian for a long time?

 

Finn: Yes, the former Gnaeus Valerius Dacronius.  He was one of Caesar's greatest generals and wanted recognition for his campaigns but the Cynn Cruor code forbade it.

 

Me: Why doesn't the Cynn Cruor —

 

Finn: I know what you're going to ask, Isobelle. Why don't we want to be recognized, for people to know who we are?

 

I nod.

 

Finn: Let me ask you…what would happen if the world knew of our existence?  A race of hybrids with vamp, were, and human blood infused with immortality. Stress on immortality.

 

Me: Uh…people would want to be like you. They won’t age.

 

Finn: Spot on. And what would happen if Dac and the Scatha Cruor showed themselves for who they were – evil personified?

 

I nod, exhaling: No innocent will be safe.

 

Finn:  It’s easier for us to fight a war without people knowing what we are doing. The less people know, the lesser the casualties.

 

Me: How long will this war last?

 

Finn (shrugs): As long as it takes.

 

Me: You live in the edge of day and night. Doesn’t it make you wish that you could walk in the sun?

 

Finn: Centuries ago, I was able to walk in the sun. My parents couldn’t. They often stayed indoors when the sun was hottest. It was lonely playing by myself around our estate near Pluscarden. I may have taken the sun for granted then.  It didn’t matter to me as long as I had my parents with me. I already knew that I was Cynn Cruor, that I would someday leave my home to train and be a warrior just like my father. (His voice tightens) When I lost my parents during one of the wars with the Scatha Cruor, the sun disappeared from my life. Until Eirene. So you see, whether that fireball in the sky is there or not, I care not. The Cynn Cruor can still walk in the sun but we have to be careful. When the skies are overcast, before Dawn claims the horizon and when Dusk puts it to bed, we can walk. It’s uncomfortable but we can if we must.

 

Me: Eirene is mortal.

 

Finn: She is now immortal. As long as I’m alive, so is she.

 

Me: Has she ever missed the sun? Has she asked you to do so?

 

Finn (smiles at a memory): Eirene wanted to go back to Platt Field’s Park where we first met.  Winter had arrived and there was frost on the ground. The sun was probably at the ten o’clock.  The sky was clear and blue up to probably Angels 70, altitude 70,000 feet. It was painful, but beautiful.

 

I gasp: Why did you do that?

 

Finn: Because I love her.

 

Me: She’s very lucky to have you.

 

Eirene: Yes, I am. Hello, Isobelle. (She gives me a hug.) Finn been talking how strong he is?

 

I laugh: No. We were talking about Dac and how you found him.

 

Eirene (shakes her head ruefully): The Cynn still can’t get over it. Unfortunately, we’ve lost him again.

 

Me: Any idea how to find him again?

 

Finn:  We’re still working on it. In the meantime, I’d like to take my mate for R&R.

 

I redden: Okaaaayyy. Some other time then. I’ll see myself out.

 

Finn: Come back anytime you wish, Isobelle. You are always welcome here.

 

Eirene (grins): I’m echoing that.

 

Me: Thanks and I will. I’m interviewing all of you remember?

 

Eirene (with a twinkle in her eye): Who knows?  A Cynn Cruor might fall for you one day.

 

I stare at her, my mouth agape before I laugh: Only in my dreams.

 

Eirene (winks): Uh huh.

 

Me: I’m going! I’m going!

 

Laughter follows me as I leave the library.

 

Blurb of Rapture at Midnight:

 

There is an on-going war between two breeds of immortal warriors who carry human, vampire, and werewolf blood, the Cynn Cruor and the Scatha Cruor. The Cynn Cruor want to live in harmony with the human race. The Scatha Cruor wants to enslave them. Finn Qualtrough, a Cynn Cruor warrior is on a mission to find Dac Valerian, the leader of the Scatha Cruor responsible for the deaths of many, including his parents. When he pursues three Scatha warriors who can lead him to Dac, he happens upon a woman who awakens a desire within Quinn to claim her as his own.

 

She is the very essence of his immortal life.

 

Eirene Spence is an insomniac and a computer genius who loves walking in the park at midnight. She stumbles upon the Scatha Cruor and is almost killed until a handsome stranger rescues her. His touch ignites a hunger inside her that only he can satisfy.

 

He is her soul.

 

By some twist of fate, one of Eirene’s clients is Dac Valerian. She is able to tell Finn and the rest of the Cynn Cruor where Dac is hiding. Now Dac wants her dead.

 

Will Finn be able to keep Eirene alive and at the same time fulfill his mission? Will Eirene’s wish to be part of Finn’s life come true knowing that he is destined for someone else?

 

Buy links for Rapture at Midnight:

 

Amazon US http://amzn.to/1chcEQo

 

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/13ZDhsU

 

Other Books by Isobelle:

 

Book title: Forever at Midnight

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Blurb:

 

Roarke catches a glimpse of Deanna in Dac Valerian’s club. He is unable to believe that Deanna is alive when he buried her himself nearly five hundred years before. He searches for her in the streets of Manchester just to prove that he hasn’t lost his mind.  But when Deanna turns up on the street facing the Cynn Cruor’s headquarters, Roarke needs to know why she hid herself from him.

 

Knowing that her secret can only destroy whatever feelings Roarke has left for her, Deanna remains silent until circumstances force her to reveal everything.

 

Hearts are broken on both sides but Roarke and Deanna have to work together if they are to find a way of ending Dac and the Scatha Cruor’s power once and for all. Desire rises and passions are rekindled.

 

Will their pursuit of Dac lead to another chance at happiness?

 

Or will it forever tear them apart?

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon US http://amzn.to/18Y4QPi

 

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1baJ7VI

 

Other books by Isobelle:

 

Book title: Love in Her Dreams

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Blurb:

 

Alec and Tamsyn know they are meant to be together though they have never met. And yet their passion for each other consumes them when they dream.
 

Alec knows that Tamsyn is the woman for him, but finding her at the moment is an impossibility. Or is it?
 

After resigning from her job, Tamsyn takes a break in Scotland when she feels the presence of the man who haunts her dreams. He is tangibly near and in Edinburgh. The sex they have in her sleeping moments becomes more real. But how can she find him in the streets of Edinburgh when the only thing she remembers is his touch, his scent, his passion?

 

Buy Links:

 

Secret Cravings Publishing:  http://bit.ly/15zacRg

 

Amazon US:     http://amzn.to/18wDtOY

 

Amazon UK:    http://amzn.to/15cFFKe

 

Book Title:  Lakam

 

Genre: Historical Fiction:

 

Blurb:

 

The year is 1607. The Spanish have landed on the shores of the Philippines to pacify the natives, convert them to Christianity, and mine the islands for its gold.

 

Headstrong and loyal, Lakam, a Babaylan, refuses to submit to Spanish imperial authority and convert to Christianity. With her village destroyed and her people killed, she seeks refuge in the Cave of Rituals in the jungle vastness of the sacred mountains, but she is caught, raped and tortured. On the eve of her execution, she regains her freedom with the help of her jailer, Joaquin Santiago, who refuses to see her killed. Now a remontada (outlaw), Lakam realizes the old ways will cease to exist unless she finds a way for it to continue in the ruined ashes of the world she knows.

 

Buy links:

 

Amazon US http://amzn.to/1dUfj19

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1dhi0fy

Amazon AU http://bit.ly/1jbCJUq

 

About Isobelle:

 

Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks. Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist. Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations: the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins. Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend.

 

Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.

 

Follow Isobelle:

 

Blog: http://isobellecate.beaucoupllc.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorIsobelleCate?ref=hl#

 

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/isobellecate

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Isobelle_Cate

 

Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191925.Isobelle_Cate

 

 

 

Interview with Mike Faricy

Today we have author Mike Faricy in the hot seat! Mike writes crime fiction with a touch of romance, and as someone's who's read one of Mike's books, I can attest to the fact that they are very entertaining! His main character Dev Haskell is a little slow on the uptake when it comes to the ladies, but it's still way fun to read!! So, without further ado, here's he is, and welcome Mike!

 

1. What is your favorite thing about writing quirky characters, other than the fact that they’re quirky of course?

 

I think one of the favorite things about writing quirky characters is the reactions to there quirkiness. I have them do things like sitting in the best restaurant and there is a crystal bowl with hot lemon water to wash your fingers. My quirky guy will take the bowl and sip out of it like it’s a sake cup. The other people at the table, usually a woman he would be trying to impress, are speechless for starters. But then what? That’s where the fun begins, does she leave the table, drink from her bowl so he doesn’t feel bad? Or when he does something so obviously stupid, self absorbed or both and he remains clueless. Of course just like real life, sometimes the best response is something like just saying, ‘Really’.

 

2. If you could change one thing on your path to being published what would it be, and why that one thing?

 

I think the one thing I would change is the time I spent trying to play the traditional publishing game. I wasted years, literally. I think I wrote six different books, all stand alone works in my crime-fiction genre. I dutifully sent out query letters with a self-addressed-stamped-envelope so I could receive my rejections in a timely manner. I couldn’t get anyone to show the least bit of interest. Usually the rejections were on a preprinted 4 x 5 card just stuffed into my self-addressed envelope with not so much as a set of initials penned on it. Then one day I received one of my query letters, it was returned to me unopened. I’d sent it to one of the big six (I think it’s down to four today) New York publishers. My envelope was stamped across the front in purple ink ‘Return to Sender’ and on the back of the unopened envelope was a hand written note that said ‘This does not fit our needs at this time’. It dawned on me that Mike Faricy, from St. Paul, Minnesota didn’t have a snowballs chance with these guys, at least until or unless I committed some heinous crime. The big difference now is there’s a side gate into the publishing playground. It’s called electronic publishing and Amazon. That returned envelope experience keeps me focused, hustling and convinced with hard work I can by-pass anything the traditional world could do for me. I just wish that query letter had been returned on my first book instead of my sixth.

 

3. What do you love most about Ireland?

 

Just about everything, until you get into the politics, but you could say the same thing about the US. The people are fantastic. We go out in an evening, and you have to understand that the pubs are like everyone’s living room here. When I’m in the US we have people over for dinner 3-4 nights a week. That’s not the case here, so we go to the pub on a night and you’ll run into some folks you’ve never seen before, you’ll never see them again and it’s an absolutely fantastic night. Good ‘craic’ as they say here. Then there’s the weather, I spoke with my daughter back in Minnesota, she’s at home with 4 little ones because school is closed for the fourth day in the past twenty. The temp is minus twenty-five with a wind chill of minus thirty. Oh, and they’ve about two feet of snow on the ground. It’s forecast to be colder tomorrow by ten degrees. I’m just back from a four mile walk in forty degree weather with a view of the Dublin Mountains. Gee, let me think…

 

4. What is your favorite food?

 

Fortunately or maybe unfortunately I never met a food I didn’t like. When I was a kid my mom was always trying new things to eat and we kids were her guinea pigs. Not a complaint, she worked her way through Julia Childs Mastering the Art of French Cooking and then on to all sorts of great food. We always had homemade cookies and treats. And of course being kids we wanted store bought cookies. I love foods with sauces, meats, even vegetables. Like I said, I never met a food I didn’t like. Living in Ireland half of every year it’s the rare table that doesn’t have a potato dish of some sort. Did I mention bakery goods? Yeah, that’s why my wife has me walking four to five miles a day.

 

5. Which character has been your favorite to write about?

 

No question, it’s the chief protagonist in my series with Dev Haskell. If I go back and read my stand alone books, before I began the Dev Haskell series I can see him developing. He’s a bit of a wise guy, a back slapper and he likes the ladies. He usually doesn’t carry a gun, maybe drinks too much on occasion. He’s the sort of guy that women would think ‘With a little work I can fix him’ then they usually throw up their hands and by the end of the book they say, “Please don’t call me again, ever.” He’d be a great, fun get-away weekend, but you’d want to go pretty far away, like out of state. And, you wouldn’t tell your girlfriends about it for a few years. The crimes he solves are local sorts of things. The sorts of situations Dev’s clients find themselves in are due to their own bad decisions. But then, bad decisions make for interesting tales.

 

6. If you could meet one of your male characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?

 

Well it would either have to be Dev Haskell or his office mate, a lawyer named Louie Laufen. They’re the sort of guys we’re all curious about but we wisely like to keep at a distance. You know how we all did sort of crazy things as teens and maybe into the early twenties. Then you sort of mature, decide because of work, a significant other, maybe family or just common sense you just shouldn’t do whatever you used to do. I’m not even mentioning law enforcement here. Well, Dev and Louie never grew up in that sense. They’re still doing the crazy stuff. They’re in sleazy bars, attracted to the wrong sorts of women, at least Dev is. Fine dining to those two guys might be going into a McDonald’s instead of the drive-thru window. The perfect date for Dev? Don’t even go there…

 

7. If you could meet one of your female lead characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?

 

Just like the guys, two individuals come immediately to mind, and they’re opposites. Heidi Bauer is a long term friend of Dev Haskell’s. A friend with benefits you might say, although frankly she usually gets more benefit than Dev. Heidi is very smart, she’s a financial brain and is always doing business deals beyond Dev’s comprehension. She’s on the cutting edge of fashion which usually, but not always is a good idea. Her hair is a different color just about every other week and she dates and dumps a lot of different guys, all of whom Dev dislikes. She’s been a good friend to Dev and on more than one occasion has bailed him out, literally and figuratively. The other woman would be Swindle Lawless who constantly reinvents her self as a model, a born again preacher, a dancer. She has this incredible knack to always bring herself down to the lowest, most base common denominator. And then she reinvents herself again of course with the same results.

 

8. What piece of advice did you receive as newbie writer that was the most helpful?

 

I think the best advice was to just keep working at it. I mentioned before that I had six books that had been rejected by the traditional publishing world. What that allowed me to do was to self-publish with six books right out of the starting gate. I had them edited, formatted and suddenly I was out there. The amazing thing with the self publishing folks is that everyone is more than willing to give you tips, contacts and ideas of what may or may not work. The industry is changing so quickly that quite often what worked just 90 days ago is no longer unique. Still, one thing doesn’t change. The always constant key is to get the best possible work out there and then the next one, and the next one always striving to improve.

 

9. What is your favorite free promotions tip?

 

You have to work it, and that means not working it to the point where you become a pain. In very short order you see a couple dozen notifications and then suddenly the same person is posting on your Facebook page and you’re supposed to just share and add stars or something. That can be a real turn off for people. Be careful on free promotions not to over-kill and at the same time realize that if it’s free, quite a few folks are going to be on there promoting as well.

 

10. What is your favorite paid for promotions tip?

 

 

Again be careful and know your audience. Sometimes what looks like a great idea can cost a lot of money with a very minimal return. I write crime-fiction, it probably does not make a lot of sense that I would pay promo for readers who are into sci-fi zombies. The other thing is look at the bottom line. If your paid promo is performing 95% better than any other promo and you’re still not seeing any sales increase, the bottom line is your promo is not performing. Move on. Keep an open mind about your options and remember that the publishing/promo world is constantly changing. Its business.

 

Thanks again, Mike, great answers! 🙂

 

Interview with John Steiner

Please welcome John Steiner to In the Hot Seat Today! He has some very interesting answers to our questions. 🙂

 

 

1. Please tell our readers what you new book that's going to be out 
in April with Melange Books Squad IV Barer of the Ghost Nations 
is about?

John: Barer of the Ghost Nation is centered on Wanniukaga, a sole 
survivor of a Mississippi Valley American Indian civilization. His 
people were decimated by European diseases that spread faster 
than the arriving Europeans themselves. Next came European 
vampires, called Night Walkers by the Squad V pacification unit, 
who finished off the last of his people. In one of these raids he 
had been injured and vampire blood contaminated the wound. Because of this he has lived on in modern day
St. Louis' innermost city blocks, where a new urban decay has long since set in. The
events of the past four hundred years were so traumatic that he has multiple
personality disorder, which he considers carrying the ghosts of his people. Also
part of the story are two homeless teens and a Squad V operator who is a former Navy
Seal with a severe apathetic streak and a propensity for off-the-books rogue ops.

2. What is your favorite thing to study with regards to military tactics
and strategy and why that particular thing?

In more recent years I became enamored by the concept of small unit and covert
operations end of warfare. This idea that squad sized and fire team sized missions
highly specialized in specific assaults or rescues would outperform the major
battalion or division scale campaigns. Granted, this only when the target objective
is of comparative size, such as taking out communications stations, rescuing
hostages or what is commonly referred to as "Snatch'n'Grab" captures of high value
target individuals.

In the larger scale war was always seen as a crude and messy process where chaos is
the rule. But like Kung Fu or boxing there's a "sweet science" to combat as well.
Covert ops, particularly as it applied to vampire pacification, is where game theory
and intelligence work meets with the high intensity of close quarters battle and the
art of self defense. Yes, an enemy could be so much stronger and faster that it's
surreal, however one can always transform the battle space so those advantages count
for nothing. For fiction a battle lacking in firearms had carried with it a certain
personal feel that picking off enemies from hundreds of meters away with a rifle or
many miles away with artillery and aircraft. I believe this is part of why
historical fiction and many fantasy stories tend to be a frequently visited well for
today's writers.

3. You mentioned in one post on Goodreads that you haven't read much in
the last twenty years because you didn't want other authors works to
influence your own too much. That being the case what does inspire you to
write?

Strangely enough, current events in the news or ground breaking scientific research.
George Carlin's formula for comedy was to tell a true story with one exaggeration. I
realized that the best science fiction writers were doing much of the same thing. In
the first "Squad V" novel I could tell the story of counterterrorism and covert ops
while letting the reader understand the enemy, so long as that enemy had sharp teeth
and was vulnerable to sunlight. The second book, "Snowflake Girl" was a way to tell
the story for victims of sexual assault and how they cope when the justice system
and society at large has victimized them again. "Barer of the Ghost Nation" is the
real story of how American Indian culture is caught in the conundrum of preserving
their ancient traditions while finding their way as a people in the society of their
conquerors.

4. Please share your top 3 favorite authors with our readers and tell us a
bit about why they are your favorites.

Probably at the top of my list is Michael Crichton. He could slow-walk you through
real science and history in such a way that at some point you're unsure where the
line crossing into fiction was stepped over. James P. Hogan in the "Giants of
Ganymede" was able to wrap up a scientific debate between two characters into its
own intense adventure in order to explain a dead human astronaut in a space suit
from 50,000 years ago. Then there's the author I believe any science fiction writer
should have in their short list, Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke doesn't just show you what
technology or science will be in the future, but paints the living standards of the
future and how people interact in this yet-to-come world. Many people credit Star
Trek for setting the goals of technologists, but I believe it's really Clarke who
gave us the eyes to look up with.

5. Your books often mix the paranormal and other genres you don't often
find together in one book. What are your two favorite genres to write in
when putting together a story?

My favorite two are spaceflight with the futuristic civilization that comes with it
or aliens we might discover along the way, and stories that involve nature with all
the bizarre biological phenomena that conceivably could arise if nature suddenly
responded to a human caused crisis. A yin and yang of our highest aspirations and
more dire of warnings that the universe can offer.

6. What person has most influenced your writing and why that person in
particular?

It's hard to point to any one person, though many in my life gave inspiration or
encouragement. However, what pushed me hardest into writing was the wish that the
world was more and better than today. Science fiction that I'd seen as a child and
teenager was mostly unsatisfying, and very few books offered the kinds of stories I
was drawn to.

7. Does your work as a math and chemistry tutor ever give you ideas for
stories? If so, which stories were spawned from these experiences?

Mostly the chemistry and biology. Sometimes a chemical compound or metabolic pathway
might sprout an idea in regards to how a form of life might do things differently,
or how a human character might use something scientifically explainable yet think it
a form of magic. Also, sometimes you encounter people who bring a unique personality
or say something witty that you decide should be immortalized. And outside of that
you get a wider sense of people, which is a must for devising new characters,
particularly those with experiences and mindsets differing greatly from oneself.

8. If you could do one thing different on your road to publication what
would it be and why that one thing?

Sh'yeah! Abandon the agent hunt until getting picked up by an independent publisher
like Melange Books. I still have that envelop filled with literary agent rejection
letters for books like Squad V. I'd love to write an epic saga that takes hundreds
of pages to fully tell the tale, but in publishing that represents a huge investment
on the part of your publisher. If I'd laid a foundation earlier on with shorter
books like Squad V and the short stories in my other published work, "Tampered
Tales" it would easier to catch the eye of agents and larger publishing houses who
can absorb such risks more easily.

9. Please share your top 3 favorite free promotions tips.

I think the best one is the most personable, where you talk to people directly about
your stories or other subjects that make them ask if you write. Hearing an author in
person instills into potential fans what voice you might use in your work, and how
certain lines of dialogue would sound when spoken. To date I've only done one book
signing at the college I work for, but I also talk to students and staff about my
work when they ask. There are people who bought Squad V who then approach me to talk
about the story and how I came up with it.

The second is visual impact. What does the cover do to draw attention to itself.
Tampered Tales especially had an impact people tell me seized their interest. The
seeming random collection of objects around a medieval tomb and long-burning candles
enraptured their focus. Why is there a pressure suit glove, a cavalry officer's hat,
sunglasses, a quill, pistol, pouch of magical ingredients and some alien contraption
on that table? The cover had to invite attention held hold back enough to incite a
sense of mystery.

The third, for which I haven't yet gotten answers to my inquiries, ties back to the
first via radio advertising. I'd planned for a script to pitch Squad V as if it were
a vampire extermination service, "Are you tired of Victor Night Walker romancing
your underage daughter? If vampires re your problem Squad V has the answer. WARNING:
Squad V uses flamethrowers, incendiary grenades and excessive profanity. Squad V is
not responsible for fire or smoke damage incurred during combat operations. All
infected tissue is pacified and sterilized, guaranteed. Thank you."

And then announced where the novel can be purchased after the satirical legal
disclaimer.

10. Do you have a favorite paid promotions tip? If so, what is it and why
is it your favorite.

At my level of income paid promotions were tough to decide on. Simply buying the
domain for Walking Other Worlds [walkingotherworlds].com and hiring a website
designer was a huge bit out of what I earn in a year. But I don't regret doing so,
because it allows me to present the aforementioned visual impression and a chance to
offer smaller works of fiction as a sort of free sampler of my work. Some of those
are short fiction about aliens worlds based on dreams I had, which is why the I came
up with the website name.