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Author Interview The Raygin War

Author Interview

Have you been writing for a long time?

 

I started to write my first book in 2013. Prior to that all my writing was work related and involved nuclear training and disaster scenarios.

 

What inspired you to start a writing career?

 

As a young boy I read thousands of comic books. I always felt it would be fun to create characters and worlds to entertain others much like the authors were entertaining me. As an adult I love to tell stories to my friends and family. I mix just enough truth to the tale I am telling so the listener doesn’t know if what I said is real or made up. It’s fun. I wanted to bring a similar experience to the readers of today.

 

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series?

 

My latest book, The Raygin War, is a futuristic sci-fi about an alien invasion of human occupied space. I wrote the book as a stand alone, but its something I designed so I could easily turn into a series. A series is nice because each book usually ends the mini story. The big storyline can live on forever or at least until the author’s imagination runs dry.

 

How does your book stand out from others?

 

I served in the U.S. Navy for eight years and even during difficult times it seems like a sense of humor made the task at hand a little more bearable. I see The Raygin War as a mix of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and Orson Scott Cards Formic War series with a sprinkling of humor added to the dialog.

 

Are any of your characters based on real-life people?

 

Yes, Mac, the main character has bits and pieces of real life people I met while serving in the Navy. While I was stationed on the USS Iwo Jima there was a Gunnery Sergeant that had the respect of about 800 marines. While working shore patrol in civilian clothes all I had to say to the marines starting to get themselves into trouble while on liberty was, “You don’t want me to give your name to the Gunney, do you?” That was all it took. He was a nice guy with a reputation. If you did right by him, he’d give his life for you, cross him and he’d put you in (excuse the language but it’s the way everyone talked) a world of shit.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

 

Use beta readers and an editor for your book. If you can’t do that then read your book out loud to find problem areas – you will still miss things but it will help. Go to http://inkandquills.com/2015/11/27/clutter-words-to-cut-from-your-writing/ and read an article by Kaitlin Hillerich – it’s a tip given to me by a senior editor of a literary agency to remove clutter from my writing.

About the Book

Title: The Raygin War

Author: Larry Gerovac

Genre: Science-Fiction

The Raygin War is a futuristic sci-fi story about an alien race that evolved from Carrion beetles. 25 years after first contact the aliens return with a fleet to invade human space. To stop the invasion the military puts all its hope into a single person. He’s an old school soldier who started his career as a ground pounder in the Sniper Corps. Mac has been involved in about every conflict the military has participated in. His skill as a sniper earned him the respect of every soldier who ever worked with him. He is a self taught killer. On the battlefield he has no equal. Whether it was killing the opponent in hand-to-hand combat, killing them with a weapon, or just plain old out maneuvering them Mac was the best the military had ever seen. When the Raygin war starts Mac is forced into a leadership role he wanted nothing to do with. Will Mac’s experience and talent be enough to neutralize the alien invasion? All is not what it seems. Read the Raygin War to see if the human race will survive and remain free.

 

Author Bio

Larry Gerovac was born in the shadows of the steel mills, oil refineries, and railroadyards of the Midwestern United States. He is a Navy Veteran and a first generation American. He writes in the genre of Science, Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror.

 

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Author Interview Amelia, The Merballs and The Emerald Cannon

Have you been writing for a long time? 

Yes, mainly for fun initially.  I wrote my first novel when I was eleven.  I’m not sure what happened to that book, it disappeared at some point!  Since then I’ve wrote a few other books, but as a hobby and not with any intention to publish them.  Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures has been my first adventure in the publishing world!

 

What inspired you to start a writing career? 

I just kept having ideas and eventually decided to start developing these ideas into books.  With Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures, I really felt inspired to write an exciting series that would connect children to space in a fun and engaging way.  Uglesnoo¾the friendly alien from Pluto¾ just popped into my head one day.  From that start I added Amelia and the quest that takes him and Amelia on tremendous adventures throughout the whole solar system!

 

 

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series? 

Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon, is the third book in Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures; a series of ten books for children, set in outer space.  Although it’s the third book, it can be read as a stand-alone, as there is information in the first chapter with brief reminders of the quest and what has happened in the previous books.  Readers will learn from all the books that Uglesnoo’s sister is very sick. The only thing that can cure her is a repelling crystal from the planet Neptune. In order to get the crystal, Amelia and Uglesnoo need to obtain many items from various different planets, the Moon and even the boiling hot Sun!

 

How does your book stand out from others? 

Every book is set on a different planet, or moon and Sun.  I like to mix a few facts about the planet within the fantasy.  In Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon, kids will learn a few facts about Mercury.  Then there is the challenge, which is different on each planet.  For example, on Mercury they have to get five pairs of flying shoes, which is not an easy task.  Every adventure has tests and lots of problem-solving for both Amelia and Uglesnoo.

 

Are any of your characters based on real-life people? 

Uglesnoo ¾my main alien character from Pluto ¾and most of the aliens are entirely imaginary.  But Amelia, the young heroine in my series was initially inspired by both of my daughters. She has my eldest daughter’s ability to think quickly and solve puzzles. Then I gave her my youngest daughter’s strong sense of adventure and curiosity about the universe. I also added other traits to Amelia. She has many fears which she needs to conquer in order for her and Uglesnoo to get the repelling crystal; the one thing that can save Uglesnoo’s sister and the reason behind the whole space adventures quest.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Write as much as you can.  Put your work away for a while.  Review and edit.  Do this multiple times.  I’d also really recommend having a professional editor review your work, before you decide to go down the publishing route.  It really highlights your strengths and weaknesses as a writer and shows you what you need to work on.  Persevere, be tenacious and open to constructive criticism.  But most of all enjoy the process, because you are putting something unique and creative out into the world! 

 

About the Book

Title: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Author: Evonne Blanchard

Genre: Children’s Books

Amelia and Uglesnoo land on Mercury.  They meet the Merballs, the friendly aliens that live there.  All goes well, until an asteroid hits their planet. Amelia and Uglesnoo find themselves in deep trouble. How will they convince the Merballs of their innocence? And how will they manage to collect the flying shoes, escape Mercury and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?

 

Author Bio

Evonne Blanchard was born and raised in England. She met her husband, an American whilst they were both volunteering at a children’s orphanage in Guatemala.  The writer lives north of Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and their two daughters, Lydia and Gwendolyn.  Other additions to the household include a crazy puppy called Bailey, a lovely cat called Arthur, and lots of fish!

The author has been fascinated by space ever since she was a little girl, mesmerized by clips of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon. As a teenager, War of the Worlds, by H.G Wells became one of her favorite books and she adores the movie Mars Attacks.

When it came to creating her own aliens, the author decided on the warm and fuzzy type, rather than the war-like Martians. Uglesnoo, her main alien character is from Pluto. He’s very friendly and nice but a little crazy too! This was the beginning of Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures, starring Amelia and her alien friend Uglesnoo, from Pluto in a series of ten exciting space adventures for children, ages 5-10.

Uglesnoo’s sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  To obtain the crystal Amelia and Uglesnoo must travel to the Moon, Sun and all the planets in the solar system.

Evonne’s favorite planet -or to be more accurate dwarf planet- is Pluto, because it has a blue sky and glaciers just like Earth! She was not happy when Pluto was downgraded. Uglesnoo, her alien creation from Pluto is still mad at the decision.  “Pluto is the most important place in the solar system.  It’s where everyone goes for their vacation!” He agrees with Alan Stern, a leading NASA scientist, “This definition (of Pluto as a dwarf planet) stinks…!”

The author is currently working on the fourth book in the series, Amelia, the Snapperjacks and the Molten Maze.  This book is set on the Sun.  How will Amelia and Uglesnoo manage to land on the boiling hot Sun, trade with the aliens, find the jars of Snapperjack honey and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?  Find out… in Amelia’s next amazing space adventure!

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Curious about the series? Click here to find out more:

https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/the-series

 

Links

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Barnes & Noble

 

Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Buy on Amazon

 

Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Buy on Amazon

 

Website: https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/

 

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Author Interview Memoirs of a Road Warrior

Author Interview

Have you been writing for a long time?

I have been writing for about two and half years; soon after retiring from sales. I have written one book and many short stories.

What inspired you to start a writing career?

I took a creative writing course about three years ago.

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series?

If my book is successful then there may be 2 prequels.

How does your book stand out from others?

It is a humorous book about business in the 1980’s. It tells you how not to run a business.

Are any of the characters based on real-life people?

Yes but I can’t say whom.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

My advise to aspiring authors would be to get published by a good publisher so that company will provide the marketing and promotion for you.

About the Book

Title: Memoirs of a Road Warrior

Author: Fred Klein

Genre: Humor

Andrew Livingston, a young, naive college graduate gets a job as a sales engineer for a crazy company. Set in New York in the corporate raider 1980’s this humorous book is a recounting of all the strange history of a high-tech company with an eccentric CEO.

This character gathers together a strange assortment of employees who endeavor to manufacture and sell their products to an equally strange collection of customers. The book tells of their amusing conflicts and experiences throughout the decades.

Follow the company’s encounters with Chinese agents, horse trailers, rocket fuel disasters, con-men, bedbugs, and airplane crashes. Learn how not to run a business!

 

Author Bio

Fred Klein is a new author of his humorous novel MEMOIRS OF A ROAD WARRIOR. He was a sales engineer for 30 years selling scientific instruments throughout North America. He is a private pilot, a drummer in a band, and presently lives with his wife in California. Fred is not a natural comedian but funny things always see to happen around him.

 

 

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Book Review and Author Interview The Immortal Seeds

Imortal Seeds eBook CoverTitle: The Immortal Seeds: A Tribute to Golden Treasures

Author: Sambath Meas

Genre: Family Memoir

This is a story about a father’s dream of escaping a war-torn country in search of stability and freedom, so that his children can live and thrive.

 

Sarin Meas, who was born and grew up in a remote village in Trangel, Kampong Chhnang, drifts from one place to another in search of a purpose, and a better life. In Pailin, a small town in western Cambodia known for its richness of gemstones, he meets a poor and uneducated girl whose daily life, from dusk until dawn, is strained by hard work: selling fruits and vegetables at the local market, along with cooking, doing laundry and cleaning up after strangers and relatives whom her aunt has taken in. If she doesn’t do her chores correctly and one of them tells on her, her aunt, a woman whose mood changes like a person suffering from a split personality, hurls foul language at her and beats her with any heavy object in sight. Sarin realizes that this young woman, whom everyone calls Thach, will die if she continues to live like this. So he marries her out of compassion. His compassion turns into love. Sarin and Thach form a family.

Tragically, after fifteen years of peaceful existence and independence from France, Cambodia gets sucked into the war of idealism between the world’s super powers—America, China, and the Soviet Union—by way of the Vietnam War. Cambodian leaders and people take sides. The Khmer Republic (backed by the United States) and the Khmer Rouge (backed by China, the Soviet Union and Vietnam) fight each other acrimoniously. After five years of battle, the relentless Khmer Rouge soldiers emerge victorious. Sarin has an opportunity to escape to Thailand with his family, but chooses to remain behind out of fear of the unknown. Soon he realizes the victors don’t know how to manage the country. Fear, paranoia and revenge turn them and their supporters into a killing machine.  Sarin, through cleverness and luck, helps his family navigate the horror of communism. When a second opportunity arrives, like thousands of other surviving Cambodians, he takes the chance to venture to the unknown—to find freedom, opportunity, and a better life for his family.

The Immortal Seeds: A Tribute to Golden Treasures is not only about the continuing of a family’s life cycle; it is also about a father’s idea—a purpose—that gets passed on to his daughter. In turn she hopes to pass it on to people not only within her community but also around the world.

“King Grandfather would like to wish that your memoir The Immortal Seeds will become successful.”

—Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia

The Immortal Seeds is a story of war, love, and the unbreakable bonds of family. Touchingly told, Sambath pays homage to her family across the generations, and shares how they helped the Meases to survive the war and thrive in peace.”

—Loung Ung, author of First They Killed My Father and Lucky Child

The Immortal Seeds exhibits a memoir’s emphasis on highly personalized, if not fully contextualized, experiences.”

—The Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia’s Newspaper

So, where do I begin? The Immortal Seeds is part memoir, part family history, set against the backdrop of a political regime that is far from democratic. The communist Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia was something I’d only vaguely heard and read about in the past, but this book was a real eye-opener for me.

The author’s research is incredible, and the setting is described in a very detailed, plausible way, that makes it easy for the reader to imagine themselves being there. The strength portrayed by the people showcased in this book is phenomenal, and an inspiration to everyone.

 

Author Interview

1. Have you been writing for a long time? 

I have been writing for 13 years now.

2. What inspired you to start a writing career? 

My writing stems from me wanting to learn more about my family history, especially about my father who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He and I experienced a hostile relationship. It was so combative and toxic that we could not bear to be in the same room. He was a miserable person and he was making me miserable, too. My mother was forced to be in the middle of it all. I was sick of our fights and his soul-crushing sarcasm.  I wanted our relationship to change. But first thing first: I changed myself. I started to read self-help books. They changed my life. I became a more understanding person and wanted to find out what was wrong with my father. I started to talk to him, to ask him about his pasts, as I was reading about refugees like him who suffer from post-traumatic and sudden death syndromes. I knew we fled a war-torn country, but I never knew the details of my parents suffering and what they went through to provide for me and my sister. I asked him and my mother about it. My mother had buried it so deep that she forgot about it. As for my father, he refused to tell me. I finally manipulated him into telling me about his pasts by relaying what journalists and orphans who survived the “killing fields” of Cambodia were saying about this dark period of our history. He was mad. He thought those people either did not remember or manipulated their stories to fit their biased or ignorant narratives. He finally opened up and when he did, he would not stop. This was when I started to record my family history, research, and interview my family, friends, and relatives.

3. Is this book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series? 

It’s going to be a trilogy: the first book is about my family’s pasts; the second is going to be about me growing up in Uptown, Chicago; and the third book is going to be about my struggle to find success and happiness against all odds.

4. Which character did you enjoy writing about the most? 

I enjoy writing about my father and mother, because I learn how much they have changed as human beings.

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

If you want to write, do it! Don’t let fear and procrastination get in the way. Just dive into it. You’ll learn a lot along the way. The end product will make it all worth it.

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Author Interview Everything Under The Sun

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Author Interview

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

 I don’t have a favorite – I have several! Anne Rice and Neil Gaiman I have admired for many years. I love Rice’s deep, descriptive style and Gaiman’s unique ideas. But I also love Paullina Simons and Cormac McCarthy – there are just so many! And, of course, there’s J.K. Rowling, but I don’t really have to name her, do I? Isn’t she everybody’s favorite by default? 😊

 

Which do you prefer: ebook, hardback or paperback?

 Definitely paperback, hands down. I have a Kindle and it’s just not the same. Hardbacks can’t be held comfortably (yes, I bend the spines! I’m totally guilty!). I can’t imagine a world without physical books. It’s depressing to imagine, actually.

 

What is your favorite type of food?

 Mexican!

 

Who is your favorite book boyfriend?

Shura. 😉

 

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

Of course, I love to read. I also love the outdoors (hiking, swimming, biking, tennis, etc.), and binge-watching television series’.

 

Is there one book that has had an impact on not only your writing, but on you personally?

 That would be THE VAMPIRE ARMAND by Anne Rice. It’s a book that I’ve read four or five times and the one that really inspired me to try to become a published author.

 

If the Earth suddenly became uninhabitable, would you rather live under the sea or in space?

 In space! I’m obsessed with the Universe. Besides, the thought of living in the ocean sort of terrifies me.

 

What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

 Playing in the wooded creek at my grandparents’ house in Greer’s Ferry, Arkansas.

About the Book

Title: Everything Under The Sun

Author: Jessica Redmerski

Genre: YA/NA Crossover; Dystopian

Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

 

 

Author Bio

Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television and film by actor and model William Levy.

She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.

 

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Author Interview My Name is Nelson

Author Interview

Have you been writing for a long time?

Basically, no.  I’m still relatively new at this, and rife with eager enthusiasm.   I’ve published two other novels under a different name in a different genre, however.  I wanted to try my hand at a lighthearted, page-turning thriller, and consequently, “Dylan Fairchild” was born this year.

What inspired you to start a writing career?

I felt like I would be really, really good at it.

Is this book a stand-alone, or is it the first part of a series?

This is a standalone book, but thanks to the epilogue, we’re very well-positioned for a sequel.

Which character did you enjoy writing about the most?

It’s definitely hard to choose, because I’m extremely proud of all the characters.  The socially dysfunctional mad scientist, the dejected, hard-drinking exotic dancer, the physics prodigy and her navy officer partner, the “jagoff” of a boss, the clever First Lady, the F.B.I. agents, the fighter pilots, the small-town sheriff…                                                          

The book is dedicated to all the men and women who work so hard to defend our nation, so there’s quite a few characters in law enforcement and the military.  Ultimately, if I had to choose one or two characters, I really enjoyed writing the repartee between National Security Advisor Chet Addington and President MacIntyre.  And Chet Addington gave us the book’s provocative subtitle!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

There’s approximately five million books for sale in the Amazon Kindle Store.  If you think the world needs yet another book, make sure you’re extremely passionate about it.

About the Book

Title: My Name is Nelson

Author: Dylan Fairchild

Genre: Thriller

President Andrew MacIntyre was having a pretty good first year in the Oval Office.  Suddenly, during what should have been a peaceful Christmas season, he’s facing one of the worst national security crises in American history.  And it’s being masterminded out of a sleazy, New Mexico strip joint?  What the hell?

Is this a political thriller?  Or is it science fiction?  A zany comedy?  Perhaps it’s a love story.  Whatever it is, it’s a riveting page-turner with a little sex appeal, and a lot of laughs.  If “Doctor Strangelove” can find the humor in nuclear war, then surely there’s a little bit of laughter lurking in unmanned aviation, as well as some serious, heartfelt moments.

It’s little wonder White House National Security Advisor Chet Addington* said this was, “Pretty much the best novel ever.”**

* Absolutely, positively, not a real person

** He’s been known to be wrong about stuff

 

Author Bio

Dylan Fairchild is the pen name of a Virginia-based indie author.  He usually lurks in a different genre.

“My Name is Nelson” is the author’s first thriller.  It’s a genre-busting blend of humor, action, political-military intrigue, romance, and science fiction.  “The Indie View” awarded it “five-plus” stars and said “in terms of sheer storytelling mastery, it’s one of the best books we’ve seen in a while.”  The book is dedicated to “all the men and women who work so tirelessly to protect our nation.”

The author can be found on Goodreads.com, and he is happy to reply to any questions, comments, or witty ridicule of his photo.

Goodreads

 

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Author Interview Stolen Obsession

Author Interview

The story behind the story. What was the inspiration for STOLEN OBSESSION?

After I completed a work of non-fiction for family and friends in 2009 and enjoyed the experience, I challenged myself to write a romance novel. It seemed like an exhilarating idea and I thought it would be easy. How tough was telling a story?

Looking back, eight years later, the inspiration for writing fiction was my burning desire to delve into another creative outlet I hadn’t tried. I expected writing would come as naturally as painting and photography had for me, but I was wrong. Of all the projects I’ve ever undertaken, writing has been the most time-consuming and difficult. It took me two years to write a first draft—the only work of fiction I’d ever written. Editing it to perfection seems comical today when so much was wrong with the original manuscript. It’s true that first drafts are supposed to stink like mine had. I didn’t know what genre fiction was, let alone what genre I had written. Time spent honing my craft made STOLEN OBSESSION a project I’m proud of.   

Having said that, my personal experience with the sheep industry helped me to create a believable protagonist with the goal of a rural lifestyle, yet write her as the stronger, more outgoing person I wish I had been in my late twenties. It’s given me a “do-over.”

 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing STOLEN OBSESSION?

The toughest part of writing this novel was learning the craft. Most frustrating was reading best-selling authors who don’t follow the same writing rules as new authors. My reading choices were books from well-known authors. Trying to emulate them in my work was a huge mistake. Agent critiques through online sources continually dinged me for my creative hyperbole and leading the reader with telling the story versus showing character interaction. It was hard to know which author to read because of the bad habits I had picked up in my writing. Until I understood that debut authors “should” follow certain rules, but not necessarily, and edits and critiques were all subjective, I struggled. So much depends on author voice and how compelling the story is written with the reader in mind.

Being afraid to read other authors’ works for fear of plagiarizing was another huge stumbling block I had to overcome. A writer can’t write without reading. Only reading creates an atmosphere for a writer’s words to flow onto the paper. In my case, being a stickler for details and perfection prolonged the release of my first book in the Annalisse Series. I’m one of those constant manuscript editors that critique groups and writing mentors warn debut authors about. I doubt I’ll ever break the habit, but it gives me something else to work on for the remainder of the series.

 

What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

Simply, that we take so much for granted when things go well. Excellent health and happy circumstances need a reality check once in a while. Be thankful every day for those around you—family, friends, and colleagues. In STOLEN OBSESSION, Annalisse experiences a great deal of personal loss. She transforms herself into a more thoughtful person by the end of the novel.

 

Describe your background.

I grew up in an era where a college education wasn’t the be-all-to-end-all. My family couldn’t afford a college degree for my sister and I, and attending a junior college had no appeal for me. I wanted to become a professional artist and felt that a college degree wouldn’t help me achieve my goals. It may have, but I had tired of schooling.

I went to work out of high school as a receptionist, which forced a very shy girl to interact with the general public. I was afraid to try anything new, including driving. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was twenty years old! At the time, I lived with my grandmother. (She’d had a tough time adjusting after my grandfather passed away.) She’d drive me back and forth to work. Shyness was the hardest bridge to cross until I’d worked for several years and gradually built my confidence.

In 1978, I met my future husband on a blind date, set up by my boss’s son. I worked at the Modesto airport for a fixed base operator, and Gregg Bell was in pilot training at our satellite office in Tracy, CA. I was the city girl who loved animals and Gregg had sheep. He lived on acreage and exposed me to the calming rural atmosphere I knew suited me and my art.

Constantly drawing and painting his sheep in the quiet of his little ranchette, put the desire to break away from just any job—to working as a full-time artist on the front burner. I had a business opportunity in the early 1980’s after marrying Gregg, when he suggested I create sheep related stationery and sell it in a catalog. While working full time in Pleasanton, CA, I put drawings onto paper in the office breakroom during lunch. The business even allowed me to ship my products via UPS from their establishment. I studied how to start a sideline mail-order business while I worked.

My husband was climbing the management ladder at the state’s major utility and finally landed a good position in the San Joaquin Valley. A place where I could work for myself full-time. My catalog venture, Ewephoric, became a reality in 1985.

We’ve raised several different breeds of sheep along the way and were heavily involved in helping families and 4Her’s learn how to raise sheep. We grew our flock numbers to 120 head when we made our move to East Texas in 2012. We now raise purebred Horned Dorset sheep exclusively where I use my photography and nature artwork as models on over 200 products. Occasionally, I write articles for animal husbandry magazines regarding sheep health. In many circles, I’m know as, “The Sheep Lady.” Although, my husband still calls me, “The Mail Order Queen.” I love mail order! Both buying and selling.

 

Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

I try to write something every day. Whether it’s in a current work in progress or notes in a word document for future installments in the Annalisse Series. First thing in the morning, I open a book and read. Even if it’s only for a half-hour, I read. Reading keeps my mind untied and unleashes more cohesiveness to my writing.

My first manuscript drafts were done without an outline. This created too many plot lines and plot holes. By the 5th draft of STOLEN OBESSION, my editor recommended an outline before I wrote the next draft. She asked to approve it before the draft. I’m task regimented anyway, and using the outline method made better sense for a writer like myself. The second installment in the Annalisse Series, SPENT IDENTITY, was outlined before work began.

If I have days where the words won’t spill onto the manuscript, I put writing aside and pick up a book. Once I’ve read a few chapters, I can get back to my own work in progress.

 

What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

The complete Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon is strewn across the table of my reading room just off the bedroom. I’m a voracious reader of Karen Rose romantic suspense and those who write in a similar third-person like myself. Before I started the fiction-writing journey, I used to read Nora Roberts romance and a few others like James Patterson, but find it harder to read them these days. I don’t want to pick up the earlier bad habits in my writing, and it still infuriates me how often they write outside the lines for the rest of us!

I’m currently about to dive into, NO EXIT, by Taylor Adams and, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, BY Karin Slaughter.

 

Which authors inspire you?

I’m amazed by Diana Gabaldon’s power to write compelling characters and bring a reader into their minds. I purchase every Karen Rose book as it comes out because she has the uncanny ability to write a wide variety of characters without making them sound the same. Her dialog is excellent and villains admirable.

 

What have you learned from the experience?

I’ve found its okay to write sloppy sentences, move on, and go back to fix them later. Boggy manuscript drafts and editor criticism are part of the process for a good novel. Challenging yourself to work on something completely out of the box is invigorating to the soul!

 

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Just because the process is hard, don’t give up. I’ve found anything that comes easily won’t be worth a damn in the end. It’s the hard stuff, doing the hard things, that makes the journey worthwhile.

Think about something else other than writing when you’re blocked—take a break. Don’t force it when words don’t come. Go outside. Take a walk in nature. Marvel at what’s around you. Take a journal with you and watch people interact with each other. Record their mannerisms and quirks. Use this in your writing and you’ll see an immediate improvement.

 

What are you working on now?

The second book in the Annalisse Series is currently out of outline form and underway. SPENT IDENTITY finds Annalisse in the middle of saving the family farm when a stranger is found dead in one of their barns. Then Annalisse’s aunt, the only living relative with the farm, disappears.

 

 

 

About the Book

Title: Stolen Obsession

Author: Marlene M. Bell

Genre: Romantic Suspense

PEOPLE DIE, BUT LEGENDS LIVE ON.

Manhattan antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury dreams of a quiet life on the family farm among the sheep she loves, when her best friend is murdered. The police assume robbery is the motive because her friend’s expensive bracelet is missing. But the 500-year-old artifact is rumored to carry an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family—and Annalisse believes her friend is the latest victim.

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a necklace matching the stolen bracelet at a gallery opening. Convinced the necklace is part of the deadly collection, Annalisse begs the gallery’s owner to destroy the piece, but her pleas are ignored— despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.

Desperate to keep the gallery owner safe, Annalisse reluctantly enlists the owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.

Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. As time lapses, the killer switches mode and closes in on the man who’s meant for Annalisse with the lifestyle she wants most.

But when it’s her turn as the hunted, will she choose to save Alec and his mother, or sacrifice everything to save herself?

 

Author Bio

Marlene M Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living and Sheep Industry News. Ewephoric, her mail order venture, began in 1985 out of a desire for realistic sheep stationery. A color catalog of non-fiction books and sheep-related gifts may be requested at www.marlenembell.com or www.texassheep.com.

Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in East Texas with their 50 head of Horned Dorset sheep, a lovable Maremma guard dog named, Tia, and 3 spoiled cats who rule the household.

 

Links

Book Trailer

Author Website

Stolen Obsession Book Page From Website

TWITTER:  @ewephoric

FACEBOOK: fb.me/marlenembell

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