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Catching up with Author Glenn Starkey (@GStarkeybooks)

I’m so pleased to have been given the opportunity to catch up with a familiar face on our site, the brilliant and very talented author Glenn Starkey. I know Glenn’s been very busy with a new release and another due out later this winter. I would like to thank him for taking some of his time to chat with us, it is always appreciated!

Welcome back Glenn!

Glenn Starkey (1)

 

I understand you’re pursuing a different genre…tell us a bit about your new release?

MR. CHARON is my first Young Adult paranormal novel of the six books I’ve written. It’s the story of five teenage boys whose fates become entwined in the dying town of Thornton, Texas during the summer of 1962. Their home lives are disturbingly different. Eddie has an abusive father, while Andy is the child of a single mother with debts too high for money alone to pay. They decide to right what they consider wrong in their lives.

A long forgotten Ouija board in a deserted barn becomes their answer. Together, they call upon a spirit but never expected the appearance of Mr. Charon, a demon who comes to haunt their small town with the help of his pets. Terror is unleashed and although Eddie and Andy are to blame, their friends agree to help.

With Mr. Charon released, somehow the boys must find a way to send him back to Hell and end the horror. Good and evil collide as they fight not only for their own lives, but also for the souls of the entire community. When all hope seems lost, help is found in a deputy sheriff, an Indian shaman, and their fathers. Too late, the five boys have learned that where demons roam, no one is safe.

I’m also very proud of the cover artwork by Patti Roberts of Paradox Book Cover Designs. In the short time MR. CHARON has been out, the cover has received numerous compliments.

Mr. Charon - Glenn Starkey

 

What inspired you to change genres?

A new publishing company asked me to write a YA novel as part of their startup line. I balked at first. I’d never written a YA work, but in time I grew interested in the challenge. My belief is that if I’m to be a true writer, I must be able to tackle a variety of genres. Unfortunately, the company had operational issues so I withdrew the completed work from them.

What challenges do you find (if any) writing YA?

I had never written a YA book and needed to educate myself about the genre, age groups comprising the readers, then decide which group I wished to target. My experience is in hard-hitting thrillers and action adventure novels with equally tough characters that mark the books as “mature content.” I had dozens of questions and the same number of self-doubts. But after a long talk with my young grandson, ideas formed and the pieces of the puzzle began to fit.

Upon completing MR. CHARON, I was fortunate to have a high school English Literature teacher use the novel as a graded semester project for her senior ‘gifted and talented’ level students. They reviewed every aspect of the book—its characters, storyline, my writing style, and so forth. They were at liberty to say anything they wished as long as it was done in a professional manner. That was a wonderful experience for me to obtain such great feedback, and upon the project’s conclusion, I held a Q & A session with them. I hope to do that again one day.

Do you think you will write in this genre again?

“Never say Never.” It depends upon finding the right story within me. While I may prefer other genres, I learned that the innocence of youth in my YA characters held a certain writing appeal. Adult characters must think with maturity and age appropriate intents, while children and teenagers may say or do most anything and it’s accepted as their youth, lack of experience and maturity. But as with all of my novels, I must have confidence in the storyline before embarking upon the long journey of writing it.

What does your average work/writing day look like?

Since retirement from the security world, there are not enough hours in the day for all I want to do, much less what I need to or must do. I may be an author, but I’m also a husband and grandfather with their responsibilities. The coordinated calendars (with their beeping alarms) in my computer, iPad, and iPhone, keep me on track.

Mornings (with coffee in hand) are primarily for emails, social media, and reviewing scheduled activities—followed (with more coffee) by research for my writing projects. Three days a week I try to be in the gym at noon. After a short afternoon break, I catch up on all the honey-do’s that I forgot. More reading after dinner, watch a few programs on the History Channel, write notes about my current projects, and around 9 P.M. I’m in my office to write. Between 2 or 3 A.M., I wake up Willie, my Labradoodle who shadows me everywhere, and retire for four or five hours of sleep. I’m up at 7 or 7:30 A.M. and start over again. Tuesdays are dedicated solely to my volunteer work at two elementary schools where I mentor students with their reading skills—and every Thursday afternoon, I pick up my grandson from school so we can share some quality time. My days involve a lot of juggling!

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a writer and how do you overcome them?

Proper time management is always a killer. Overcoming self-doubts about my writing is another stumbling block. I’m critical of my work, often overly critical. And as if developing a story, writing it, editing and more editing are not enough then comes the marketing. I’m not good at ringing my own bell and shouting, “Buy my book. It’s the best!” Another minefield to walk through is the good and bad people/companies that offer publicity and marketing plans. Even the major houses expect you to aggressively hawk your work, so, the challenges are never ending.

How to overcome these? Perseverance and self-discipline. You take one thing at a time. Forget about marketing until you have a completed work. Writing and editing a book is the biggest mountain to climb. Pay attention to what other authors do to market their work. Learn from their mistakes. Don’t live on social media all day or night. It takes away from your writing. The list goes on, and I could probably write a thesis on the challenges confronting an author.

What message do you hope your readers walk away with after reading your books?

A reader once told me they appreciated the themes of deep family loyalty and love, strength and hope to overcome the adversities of evil, and the tests of honor and personal faith in God that my characters undergo. I do not intentionally set out to have blatant messages in my novels, but find that one or all are present upon completion of a project. One reader said, “…it made me pause and think…” It was then I knew the long hours of writing were worthwhile.

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

In two months I believe my historical fiction BLACK SUN will be released. It’s a novel I have worked on for years.

Black Sun Ebook Cover JGS 10262015

Set in Mexico during the Revolution of 1910, a young man working in the mines is accused of a murder he didn’t commit and is forced to flee into the Sierra Madre Mountains. There he must survive and grow into manhood through a turbulent decade that erupted into the bloodiest revolution of the twentieth century. He’s swept into a maelstrom of tragedy as revolutionaries, led by his mentor and friend Pancho Villa, battle the forces of a corrupt dictator. BLACK SUN is based on actual events.

I’m proud of this novel for several reasons. First, I used my grandfather as the model for the protagonist. Next, my son, Jake Starkey, designed a wonderful cover after I obtained permission to use Diego Rivera’s famous mural art “Liberation of the Peon.” Art is one of my many passions and I take great pride in every book cover. Jake also designed two other covers for me: SOLOMON’S MEN and YEAR OF THE RAM.

My novels are available through every major online bookseller; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks in Apple iTunes, and more. I appreciate reviews and welcome emails from all. Feel free to contact me through my website, “Follow Me” on Twitter, or stop by and click a “Like” on my Facebook page.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my writings with your readers.

Glenn Starkey
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Starkey/e/B005ILFI12/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1452369870&sr=1-2-ent

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Glenn+Starkey?_requestid=311133

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Glenn+Starkey

 

Solomon's Men

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Amazon_Moon_Cover

 

http://GlennStarkey.net

http://www.Twitter.com/GStarkeyBooks

http://www.Facebook.com/GlennStarkeyAuthor

http://www.Facebook.com/Glenn.Starkey.7

 

 To learn more about Glenn, please check out his links, not to mention his wonderful work!

 

For previous posts about Glenn please check here: https://igniteyourcreativity.wordpress.com/?s=glenn+starkey

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Books to Curl Up With ~ Author Eri Nelson ( @Dearharts )

BooksToCurlUpWith

“I am so not a role model…
Beyond the world of normal dwells those who see all things differently.”

~Eri Nelson

The Hidden Witch (All About The Sauce Series) (Volume 1):  http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Witch-All-About-Sauce

cover

From the unorthodox author Eri Nelson arrives a humorous twist to a witchy succubus whose hunger sparks more than desires, but troubles from the council. The first in the ‘All About The Sauce Series’ comes ‘The Hidden Witch’.

Unlike any other murder mystery our far from heroine type realizes she is wanted for a murder that she mostly likely could have committed. Although, she doubts her hunger could have drove her to it. Well at least not again…

Join Eri and her unusual telling of a tale in this fictional paranormal of a murder mystery that will hopefully have you giggling all the way through it.

 

Praise for The Hidden Witch (All About The Sauce Series) (Volume 1)

Five Star Review: “Eri’s unique writing style had me riding the waves of delight with her kooky and colorful characters. I loved this hungry little witch and her quirky mother whose butterfly hair and flamboyant attire added so much flavor to the story. Eri’s clever sentence structuring created a clean visual for my mind’s eye, and I was in awe of it. The story itself—awesome!! Saucy on the run—was she guilty? If not, who would set her up? I had to unravel the mystery!! I highly recommend this “saucy” tale to all who enjoy reading out of the box!!”

About the author:

eri“I am so not a role model… Beyond the world of normal dwells those who see all things differently.” -Eri Nelson Owner & Operator of EAN LLC

Eri Nelson is a nontraditional indie author who manages all areas of her fiction, fantasy, paranormal, action, adventure and sometimes-erotic writing. Eri handles all the groundwork of her books, even the editing. Because of this Eri strives to improve her abilities along with trying to explain to readers her far from traditional sentence structures. However, she will openly admit that typos follow her.

Join Eri and her shadowy side of writing as she takes you along to explore new desire hunger filled worlds where your mind can share in the heat of the read.  You can find her on www.dearharts.com, which holds all of Eri’s social media outlets as well as info about all of her work.

Interview with Author Sass Cadeaux

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing brilliant author and amazing woman, Sass Cadeaux. Welcome Sass, thank you for agreeing to this interview ~we can’t wait to learn more about you and your wonderful work.

Sass Bio Pic

Tell us a little about yourself. When did your interest in writing begin?

Like most writers, my love for the craft began at a very young age. I am the youngest of a large family, which meant that most privileges, like watching TV or going somewhere fun, was reserved for the older children.

I was twelve when I saw my first bookmobile and fell in love with all the incredible adventures. For the longest time, I used to say I was going to be a librarian and drive around the world sharing books with children whose families could not afford to buy them.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series? You have written five books in your COTS series; tell us a little about the series and the inspiration behind it. 

The COTS Series is a fantasy romance series where supernaturals of all kinds walk among humans. A group of enforcers entitled, “The Coalition of the Supernatural” ensure that all beings, including humans, follow the laws. The adventure begins in Canada and tours throughout America, and around the globe.

COTS revised

What is the most important thing for you when writing your novels, the characters or the plot?

To me, they are both equally important. Without a good plot, the story would feel more like a textbook rather than an escape from reality, and without realistic and relatable characters, the readers would not have the intimate connection that helps make the adventure truly memorable.

 Do you outline/plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea leads you? Has your process changed from when you first started?

The first thing I do is outline the premise. However, I am puppet and in little time, the characters take hold of the strings and tell me where the story will go. 

Do you ever get writer’s block?  If you do, how do you get through it?

Yes, I have experienced writer’s block. It usually happens when I have deadlines to meet. If anyone knows a way to avoid it, please let me know!

One of the ways I deal with writer’s block is by opening my slush file and diving into a story I have not touched in years.  The slush file holds stories for my eyes only. Those stories helped me through the hard times, and they still do.   

What genre are your books and what draws you to this particular genre?

I gravitate towards fantasy, although I have written thriller and romance. What I love about fantasy is how the most unrealistic situation becomes believable, and, if only for a few hundred pages, the stress and pressures of real life seem to melt away.  

 What books and/or authors have most influenced your life?

As a child, Nancy Drew was my inspiration. I also had a crush on the Hardy Boys.  As a teen to my early twenties, on the day a Steven King novel was released, I was the first in line to buy it. Then a friend lent me her Dean Koontz novel and I was hooked! To this day, I love his work. He is one incredible author. 

Secrets

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

The COTS Series is in the process of being transferred and will be available on Amazon.

The Secrets of Albion Falls — The Secrets Series — Volume One, is currently available on Amazon.  

What’s Hidden Within — Volume Two, is nearly complete.

You can reach me online through the following links.

BLOG ~ http://sasscadeaux.blogspot.ca/

AMAZON PAGE ~ http://tinyurl.com/mh9bvpd

EMAIL~ Sass@sasscadeaux.com

FACEBOOK ~ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Sass-Cadeaux/207969792549241

TUMBLR ~ http://sasscadeaux.tumblr.com/

TWITTER ~ http://twitter.com/_sasscadeaux

WEBSITE~http://www.sasscadeaux.com/

Thank you for this opportunity Belinda.

 To learn more about Sass, please check out her links, not to mention her fantastic work!

Interview with Author Glenn Starkey

I’m so pleased to have been given the opportunity to interview the brilliant and very talented author Glenn Starkey. I know Glenn’s been very busy and I would like to thank him for taking some of his time to chat with us ~we can’t wait to learn more about his writing and life. 

Welcome Glenn!

Glenn Starkey -1-2

Tell us a little about yourself. When did your interest in writing begin?

I’m a native Texan, spent six years in the Marine Corps, did a tour in Vietnam, was a Texas police officer for seven years, retired as a Security Manager from a global oil corporation, and recently finished a six-month Security Director assignment for a major Gulf Coast port. Writing has always been such a part of me that it evolved without any true realization of a beginning. If I were forced to choose when my serious writing began, it would probably be with my letters from Vietnam to my aunt. She used to say they were ‘mini-novels.’

Solomon's Men

Where do you find inspiration?

I do not go in search of inspiration, it finds me. I always wanted to be an artist, painting with oils, so visualization is important. A picture or scene will stick in my mind. If the idea is strong enough, I’ll see more pictures, and when I least expect, the pictures form an entire story. Depending upon my mood, sometimes a song will create a mental image. Other times, looking at art works will spark a story within me. My life experiences (both good and bad), travels, and interface with a spectrum of people all come into play as well.

What authors have most influenced your writing and life?

In youth I always loved the writings of Poe, Burroughs, Wells, Doyle, and Howard. When I began writing novels, I realized Nicholas Guild, Robert McCammon, and David Morrell unknowingly had a great impact upon how I wrote. Each of these authors is different from the next in the novels they write, but it is the manner in which they weave their stories that makes them unique to me. I enjoy a good David Morrel novel for its action entertainment. Robert McCammon, in my opinion, masterfully wrote a novel titled “The Wolf’s Hour” which served a mentorship for me on the craft of writing. Yet it is Nicholas Guild, author of “The Assyrian” and other great works, who most influenced my overall thought processes with his style and depth of writing. He has been a true mentor in many arenas. And, I’m proud to say that we have become friends and correspond frequently about writing. He has graciously provided his thoughts on my various works and edited my latest novel “Amazon Moon” which I hope will be published later this year.

Year_of the_Ram

What tools/methods do you employ when writing a novel? ( i.e. do you outline or are you a “pantser”? Do you work chronologically or a scene at a time, typing or longhand etc.) How has this changed from when you started out?

In my early years, I began with outlines and quickly learned that didn’t work for me. While images of the entire story dance through my mind, I begin making brief notes upon paper, circle them, and draw lines to connect each circle. Pretty soon I discover I have the majority of the story established – then I begin writing those scenes and weave them into a novel. Often I will sit and stare at my computer monitor and see the story unfold before me as if it were a movie. Sometimes I cannot type and keep pace with the images, but if the story has presented itself strongly to me, I don’t worry about losing it. The story will be there the next day.

What is the best advice you have received with regards to writing? What is the best advice you could offer a new writer?

I’ve had my share of good and bad advice from many good and bad authors, but my advice to a new writer is simple:

(1) Read all genres, especially classical works. Pay attention to the writing styles employed by those authors.

(2) Be yourself. Develop your own writing ‘voice.’ Don’t attempt to copy another author.

(3) Stop buying every “How to Write” book that’s out on the market. You will only grow more confused and poor.

(4) Write, write, and write more. Then edit, edit, and do more editing. When you proofread, read it aloud because your ears will tell you when a mistake has been made. Words are like music which must flow smoothly.

(5) Everything you write is NOT great. Everything you write is NOT junk.

(6) If people review your work, accept what they say and learn from it. Don’t argue with a reviewer. You wanted an opinion and received it. (Most importantly, just because your girlfriend, spouse or mother likes your book doesn’t mean it is destined to be a New York Times Bestseller.)

(7) Remember that writing is a business, not a hobby or a game! You climbed the mountain and now have a finished product – but marketing has to be equally well planned and developed.

(8) And above all, forget that rat race of counting how many stars you receive in reviews. Pay attention to what the reviewer (not trolls) have to say about your book. So you got “3 Stars” in a review…so what? The essence of the review is what a reader felt from your book. (bear in mind, every reader has different taste and you are not going to please everyone…)

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What is the most memorable response you have had about your writing and has it changed the way you write?

I’ve been fortunate to have a few memorable responses. One reader wrote to me and said, “It was as if I was right there, in the book, feeling everything about it.” Another reader wrote, “I began reading your book one evening and couldn’t stop. I was late to work the next morning and sleepy all day, but started reading again once I got home.” Those kind remarks didn’t change my writing, but made me realize that properly intertwining action with dialogue, along with imploring the human senses, were key ingredients to a page turner.

Which one of your characters (if any) would you invite to stay with you for a few months? Do you think you’d get along or would they be the house guest from hell?

Oh, my… I’m not sure if I’d allow any of my male protagonists to stay with me. They’d probably drink all my Jack Daniels, grill all my steaks in the freezer, and my wife might want to run-away with one of them.  And I surely wouldn’t bring any of my female characters home because I’d be in divorce court the next day or my wife would just shoot me!

Amazon_Moon_Cover

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

My novel “Amazon Moon” should be out later this year and I am also working on converting my published novel “Year of the Ram” into ebook format. Recently, I found one of my formerly lost manuscripts, “Dragon’s Breath”and will be working on it. This will definitely be a busy summer, but I’m excited about these new prospects. As for finding me online, that’s quite easy. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and have a website. I encourage everyone to write to me with any questions or discussions they may have. JGStarkey@aol.com

http://GlennStarkey.net

https://www.Amazon.com/author/glennstarkey

http://www.Twitter.com/GStarkeyBooks

http://www.Facebook.com/GlennStarkeyAuthor

http://www.Facebook.com/Glenn.Starkey.7

Thank you for this opportunity to be your guest. I truly appreciate all you do.

Glenn Starkey,  Author

Solomon’s Men” Book Trailer Video

 To learn more about Glenn, please check out his links, not to mention his wonderful work!

Interview with Indie Author Micheal Rivers

If you are familiar with the online Indie Author scene you have no doubt heard of Paranormal Thriller Author, Micheal Rivers. Micheal was kind enough to take a few minutes to share with us a bit about himself and his brilliant work. Welcome Micheal!

Author Micheal Rivers

Tell us a little about yourself. When did your interest in writing begin?

I was born in small town on the inner coast of North Carolina called Ahoskie. At the time, I believe the population was about six thousand and still trying to grow like so many towns of its size. At seventeen, I entered the Marine Corps during Vietnam and life rolled on from there with a lot of travel and seeing lands I thought only existed in a book somebody wrote. I am married to a fascinating woman and we are currently preparing a move to South Dakota. I love to fish and hunt so it is a little slice of heaven to me. We have six sons, one grandchild and another due in July. My interest in writing has been with me for as long as I can remember and I hope it never goes away. I love to watch the stories develop and where they will take me next

You have five books out, three fictions and two non-fictions. If you could possibly choose, which one was your favorite to write?

I enjoyed writing all of them and I hate to choose just one, but I guess I would have to say Ghosts of the North Carolina Shores because it revolves around my life as a North Carolinian. There is so much personal history there for me. The spirit of the founding of the United States as well as the actual amount of factual history is astounding. Anything from wars to famous men who shaped our lives can be found here. It is a land that the stars seem to shine just for you in a perfect blue-black sky.

Ghosts of the North Carolina ShoresWhat is the most important thing for you when writing your novels the characters or the plot?

Both are equally important to me. A tale cannot begin or end without characters. The story just happens like the Karma in your life. I believe a famous poet once wrote that a man is the master of his ship. That being said he decides his own fate. Hence, you have a story, good or bad. When I combine characteristics to create a character I sometimes laugh out loud at his or her actions. I almost have a tendency to want to see the bad guy get smacked for his behavior toward others. Sometimes people will get so engrossed in the story that they write to you and tell you they hated the story because the bad guy was a jerk. Mission accomplished, the reader gave a great review and never realized how much she actually became involved in the story in the book.

The Black Witch

What does your writing routine look like? How has this routine changed from when you first started?

My writing routine is a story in itself. I write inside my head regardless of what I am doing because I am always on the prowl for some quirk someone has or maybe an unusual look about him, such as the way he or she is built or their manner of speech. A million things to decipher and possibly use in the future are always present. My routine has always been the same. I never know when I am going to sit down and deliver a story of some kind. Not all will go into a book at the time. But, it’s like anything in life; its time will come sooner than later. Has the routine changed, I dare say not.

Verliege (1)

What is the most memorable response you have had about your writing?

I received a five-star review of one of my books from a highly qualified reviewer. Her words were very humbling and I had no idea my writing had that kind of effect on her intellect. She gave me the kind of review I will hold forever in my memory. She knows who she is and thank you will never be enough.

Appalachia Mountain Folklore

.Which one of your characters (if any) would you invite to a party?

You are kidding, right? Hanging out with those people could get a guy arrested, or dead, take your pick. Seeing any of those people in one room mingling with your guest would cause a nervous breakdown. Except for one and he would be glad to give everybody advice while you listen to his life’s story. On the paranormal end of the party, I expect it would be very interesting..

Moonlight on the Nantahala

.What books and/or authors have most influenced your life?

Pick one. Almost all of any notoriety has had something special for someone to hang on to. Currently my favorite author in the Indie world is Glenn Starkey, a gentleman by all respects. He writes page-turners and I am ready for his next book. From the big six I have several. The classics are always at the top of the list with Voltaire, Poe, Dumas, Ellison, Faulkner, and Hemingway. These guys had style that is lost forever.

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

I have six books in the works at this time. One of them is out of my genre and for those who like a little history and adventure you may like this one. It will be a pleasant surprise to those who have read my work, not a single ghost in the story anywhere. The other five most likely be some more paranormal with more than a subtle twist to help you sleep with the lights on more often. The book entitled ‘Scratch” is based on a haunted house that has recently burned down much to some people’s satisfaction.

Thank you Belinda, I’ve enjoyed the chance to chat with you and your readers.

For those who wish to contact me online or by email just send your hellos or questions to:

Website:  http://michealrivers.com/
Email: contact@michealrivers.com
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Micheal-Rivers/e/B004JRJYWK
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichealRivers.Author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/894765.Micheal_Rivers

I know you’ve been very busy and I thank you Micheal for taking a few moments to chat! To learn more about Micheal, please check out his links, not to mention his wonderful work!

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