Author Interview – Don Foxe #Author #books @don_foxe

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author Don Foxe who will be sharing his thoughts on reading and writing, and details of his book series, Sapce Fleet Sagas.

 Don on Writing

Where do you get your ideas?   Combination of history, my life, and current events.

What motivates you to write?      Joy. It’s fun seeing what happens.

How many hours a week do you spend writing?  

This is a bit tricky, because now that I have published works, I find a lot of my time is spent writing for marketing, not just in production of the next story or collection — still, I average two hours/day on fiction alone, so fourteen to fifteen hours/week.

Best thing about writing?

Again, for me, because of how I write, its seeing where the characters take the storyline.

Your biggest writing distractions?          

I own a health club that is BUSY! Sixty to seventy hours a week with that tends to be a bit distracting from everything else.

What are your favorite books or sites you go to for writing tips / advice?

  • Creative Penn
  • Alliance of Independent Authors
  • Books Go Social
  • GrammarBook.com
  • Writing Forward
  • Quickanddirtytips.com

How long does it take you to write a book?   

Four to six weeks to flesh out the original story, and five to six months to rewrite so it’s worth publishing.

Have you ever cut anything from your book and why? 

Good Lord, Woman! Who doesn’t cut stuff from their books? In my case my wife forces me to cut science-crap down to a couple of paragraphs from the pages I start with. I love the techie stuff, but I realize the average person goes to sleep. The other thing I have to be careful with is the erotic . . . my novels are adult, but I cut out the vivid descriptions. I do keep them, however, in case I decide to release an erotic sci-fi thriller under another name.

Least favorite thing about writing?

Writing — nothing. I enjoy it all. Marketing, however, sucks. I’m actually quite good at marketing, but the number of mistakes you have to make in order to move forward is daunting.

What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?

Mostly, pride. The books have received high reviews, professional and readers ratings, and the haiku exchanges are fun and inspirational, so people close to me think it’s cool I can pull it all off.

Most important thing a writer should spend money on?

Their spouse. No, only kidding . . . actually, not kidding. You best spend time and money on people you love first. Be VERY CAREFUL about spending money on publishing agents. My first experience cost me a lot, and I learned a lot. DO YOUR RESEARCH if you need a publisher. What I did learn was all you really need is an editor. Pay for a professional edit, and everything else relative to writing-publishing can be done very cheaply.

How do you measure your success as a writer?    

Reviews. Real reviews, not just the ones I pay for to boost getting reviews.

What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting the writing journey again?

#1 — have someone you trust to tell you the truth read your book.

#2 — spend the damn time making it a book, and not just a story. If you don’t want to sweat rewrites, consider another hobby.

#3 — hire an editor, and listen to them! But DO NOT RELY on them. You should have done your own substantial edits before sending a draft to a professional.

#4 — develop a taste for alcohol — I don’t drink, but I understand now why so many “great” writers are alcoholics and drug addicted . . . only kidding . . . again . . . maybe.

As a reader

What is your favorite genre(s)? Tell us more about why you love them?

Urban fantasy. Jim Butcher. Benjamin Jacka. Kat Richardson. Faith Hunter. Kevin Hearne. The genre allows for development of characters by placing them in unimaginable situations. It draws on history, fantasy, myth, and suspense. Because the stories are contemporary, it is easy to empathize and easier to accept the supernatural aspects.

Have you ever skipped something important to stay at home and read a book? Details.

The weekend of July 20 – 22, 2007. A family wedding at a resort planned. Friday night reception dinner. Saturday, early afternoon wedding. After that, we get free time to enjoy the mini-vacation. Only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows is released July 21st and I, of course, will receive my early-ordered book, and, yes, I am sad to say I felt “too ill” to go with my wife to the wedding. Two things — first, I assume my wife will never read this, even if it gets printed; second – second marriage for the bride and I didn’t like her much anyway . . . and I’m not sure she knows how to read, so I’m pretty safe there.

Favorite book hero and / or villain and why? 

Harry Dresden. Kind of a loser, but with heart. Hero because it gets forced on him. Old world chivalry. He uses magic, but it’s usually thought out, until all hell breaks out and it’s whatever happens happens (like real life).

I honestly cannot think of a villain that stays with me. I think I feel a character coming into my near future.

Your most influential book(s)?      

Call of the Wild / Jack London. I read it when I was four (yep) actually four. I hated it, could not leave it, cried, and hoped, and discovered the magic reading created. More than fifty years later and I donate and do fundraisers for animal recovery and adoption, have never visited Alaska (don’t plan to), and will stop and confront anyone abusing an animal. A neighbor’s pitbull was loose and I watched him put the dog on the sidewalk and place a knee across its neck. I got off my bike, and had to be the funniest looking person ever — you can’t walk tough when your bike shoes have clips, okay! Regardless, he got the message, and he’s been very nice to that dog since.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far?

This is going to be a cop-out. I’m reading the eighth book in a series I really enjoyed up until number seven. At that point it seemed the writer was getting a bit tired of his own characters, but I gave him a pass, expecting a bounce-back with the next book. Usually I read a book in a couple of hours, especially one I’m already invested in via a series . . . not so much this time. I’ve had it for two weeks and I haven’t gotten half-way through. So I won’t tell the name or series, just sad he either does not realize what is occurring, or more sad, he doesn’t care.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) what book would it be and why?

The Gothenburg Bible – because a signed original would make me rich, and I have no problem professing my desire for ultimate wealth, nor having the mercenary nature necessary to sell something “priceless.”

About the book

You are living in your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?

With an entire galaxy to choose from, I’m living on a small ranch north of Barcelona, Spain. Following the Pandemic, the world’s population is less than half. Ocean Creep has drowned many famous seaports, but Spain took great effort to preserve as much of Barcelona as possible. The city is art. Being able to still walk the downtown, visit museums and galleries, and enjoy the architecture is a short ride away.

On the ranch I have my horses. Just a few so I can ride the surrounding countryside, with invited friends, or, my favorite, alone.

It is sad that so many have perished. It is sometimes frightening when the rule of law is not always enforceable. The Earth appreciates the reprieve, and flourishes.

You are your most recent protagonist. What do you like doing for fun? What do you hate doing and why?

Daniel Cooper – metahuman via reengineering with an expanded lifetime – and I enjoy now what I loved as a kid — climbing. As a toddler climbing porch railings, to a child in the trees, to an adolescent learning to climb and repel in the southern Appalachian Mountains. When I need relief – recharging – escape, any mountainside will do. The more I need to concentrate on the next handhold, the more fun the experience of reaching the top.

Deciding life and death is the most hated part of command because, well, someone will die. Deciding someone will die is even more difficult to live with than killing.

About Don Foxe

Don Foxe lives in the scenic southern town of Bluffton, SC with his wife, Sarah. They own Beach City Health and Fitness on Hilton Head Island, SC, consistently rated the best island lifestyle location in the United States. (www.beachcityfitness.com)

Don’s eclectic professional life includes teaching dance fitness (Zumba – Body Jam); presenter of sales and marketing workshops (several awards in both); peer-review for science-based exercise papers (Member of the American College of Sports Medicine); martial arts group training sessions for fitness and self-confidence (Lifetime Awards from US Martial Arts and World Martial Arts Associations), and writer.

He is a member of the Academy of American Poets and Southern Independent Book Sellers. His attention to detail comes from his passion for poetry, especially the Japanese Haiku form. His background in science-based research is evident in his fiction, as commented on by several professional reviews by Readers Favorite, OnlineBookClub, and BookViral.

Don’s guest blogs appear on sci-fi sites like SFFWorld and writing/publishing powerhouses such as The Creative Penn.

Space Fleet Sagas by Don Foxe

Space Fleet Sagas have been described as the next great Space Opera series by BookViral. The sweeping mythology of a future Earth’s introduction to the galaxy, and the trials and tribulations both in space and at home thatensue following first contact.

The plots cross genres, as political mysteries are solved with lots of action and adventure by humans, aliens, and genetically altered protagonists.

Both collections of haiku poetry reached the top one percent on Amazon literature / poetry charts, and both reached #1 on the Amazon Top 100 for Japanese Poetry / Haiku.

You can also follow Don on his social media sites!

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email me at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com

Author interview – John R Moore @Embrellon1

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author John R Moore who will be sharing his thoughts on reading and writing, and details of his new book, Bloodlines.

John on Writing

Where do you get your ideas? I actually get my ideas from a love of history, mythology, and things I am or have studied. The book series that ended with The Sorcerer Queen came from a love of Arthurian legends, as well as stories that I read and studied while attending classes on mythology. The current book that is due for release I used some historical references that I found doing research for books about a year ago, revisited the research and outlined a series of books that I wanted to write.

What motivates you to write? The motivation to write started out of boredom. Literally. I found myself suffering from a debilitating back injury, and sitting around my house with nothing to do was unhealthy. As a lark, I decided to see if I could write a story, that story then became a book. I found a publisher, who wanted the book, but wanted to gut it so much that I refused the book deal. I then saw an article about indie publishing. I did some research; and here we are today, eight books later.

How many hours a week do you spend writing? On average, I spend anywhere from thirty to sixty hours a week writing and editing my books.

Best thing about writing? The best thing about writing is I actually get to enjoy the book I am writing. I write as much for myself as for readers to enjoy. I am a bookworm, have my own collection of all-time favorite books in print, and I have read every book in my collection at least once, and some of them as high as ten times.

Have you ever cut anything form your book and why? Yes, I was writing my second book and without thinking, wrote three chapters of the next book into the story, I had to cut it, and rewrite the chapters. I also had some parts of a story that I wrote in and upon editing, realized it didn’t fit the story, I cut it from the story but saved the material for another book.

Biggest writing distractions? That would probably be living life. As writers, we tend to get caught up in what we are writing, and when you are on a good writing jag, you want to finish what you are doing. Life has a way of intervening at the most inopportune times and usually right in the middle of that good writing jag.

How do you measure your success as a writer? I write for the love of writing, and as long as I am able to write good stories, that are entertaining, then I would say I am successful.

What advice would you give yourself if you were starting the writing journey again? I would tell myself to write my book, set it up for pre-order, and build a social media following to support the book. I would also look for resources for reviews, blogs, and other related items, and get everything I could done prior to the books release.

As a reader

What is your favorite genre(s)? Tell us more about why you love them? My absolute favorite genre is sci-fi/fantasy, followed by fantasy fiction. I love the sci-fi/fantasy genre because the first book I owned was, “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It took me to a world of fantasy, and sword fights, as well as to worlds I had only imagined or watched on movies. After that I owned a copy of Anne McCaffrey’s “Dragon Riders of Pern” a three book hardback that captivated my imagination. After that I got into Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Barbarian”, and I was stuck for life.

Have you ever skipped something important to stay home and read a book? Yes, I did that a couple of times when I was in high school. I ditched a chemistry test to stay home and read “The White Dragon” and a few months later, I stayed home and read “Solomon Kane” to keep from doing a book report in English. I didn’t do that when I was working, I had a family to support.

What is your favorite book quote? “Once more into the breech” from Henry V by William Shakespeare. It reminds me never to give up.

Favorite book hero and /or villain and why? My all-time favorite book hero is John Carter, Warlord of Mars. I know it sounds dated, but he embodies all of the classic traits of a hero. I have read many, many books in my lifetime. From fiction to the classics, and without a doubt, he is the true hero archetype. My favorite villain though is from a completely different set of books, it is actually Thoth-Amon from the Robert E. Howard Conan series. He embodies evil so well.

My most influential book(s)? There have been so many books in my lifetime, I have been reading for over forty years. The book that influenced me the most I guess would have to be the John Carter series. I own copies of the complete series, next to that would have to be Tolkien’s tales of middle earth that include the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I also have copies of those as well.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far? I just started “Darganau: A Dragons Autobiography” and it is a fun read, told from the point of view of the dragon.

If you could have a signed copy of a book, by an author, (living or dead) who would it be and why? If I could have any book signed by the author, I would want to have a signed copy of “A Princess of Mars”. The reason is that Edgar Rice Burroughs is the father and architect of the Genre. The others followed after, Tolkien, Howard, McCaffrey, etc…, but Burroughs not only wrote of John Carter on Mars, but he also wrote of Tarzan and many, many other books and stories that I don’t believe would have the Genre where it is today, if he hadn’t written “A Princess of Mars” in 1912.

About the book

You are living in your latest novel, where are you living and what is it like?

I would be living in Helena, Montana. It is a beautiful place with mountain vistas in the background, open prairies, and teems with wildlife. It is a quiet and peaceful place, where a person can sit and think, and let their imagination run wild.

You are your most recent Protagonist, what do you like doing for fun, and what do you hate doing and why?

If I were the protagonist in my latest book, I would go on hikes in the mountains around Helena, Montana and look for obscure buried Native American artifacts. What I would hate doing, is the dishes simply because I have other more pressing things I would like to get too. Like Archeology.

Bloodlines by John R Moore

Bloodlines, Available on pre-order. Due for release on July 1, 2017

Set in modern day Helena, Montana. This story is about Tamara Jenkins, a direct bloodline descendant of the most powerful Sorcerer in history; Semiramis, Sorcerer Queen of Assyria, who defeated Zohak, the Dragon Witch King of Scythia. She is the leader of a group of Sorcerers who fight today against the dark forces that attack our world.

You can also follow John on his blog! http:/www.embrellon1.wixsite.com/embrellon

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email me at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com

Author Interview – Robert J Hamilton @RjRevelations

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author Robert J Hamilton who will be sharing his thoughts on reading and writing, and details of his new book, REVELATIONS The cost of Foresight.

 Robert On Writing

I grew up watching Star Trek – The Next Generation, and that cemented my love for science fiction. It led me to see other shows like the Stargate series, Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda and the Mass Effect series – a game from Bioware. All those help inspire ideas to make my own new worlds and characters.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If you have a story to tell, take the plunge, and share it with the world. The best thing I learned from my editor was to showmy story, not tell it. Editors are invaluable.

What motivates you to write?

I think it’s a lot of fun, especially after a hard days work. Sometimes I want to escape the realities of this life, and get involved in the story of my character’s lives.

Best thing about writing?

Best thing would be creating new worlds and the people that live in it. It certainly cures boredom.

Least favourite thing about writing?

Re-reading. When I get to edit something – something that adds a little extra detail here or improve on that sentence there, I don’t mind that aspect. But I must have read over my first book more than two or three dozen times as I am somewhat of a perfectionist. My editor told me that eventually, you just have to ‘let it go’.

What is your favourite genre(s)?

Science Fiction. To me, it is one of those few genres, including fantasy, that can take you to places so truly unique, and far out of this world. I like stepping into an author’s mind, seeing what they alone imagined and created.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) What book would it be?

Arthur C Clarke’s, ‘A Fall of Moondust’. It was that book I read back in 1998/99 for an assignment I had to do in school that got me into writing a story of my own – which, more than fifteen years later, turned out to be my first book of the Revelation series. I only started writing it for a hobby, as creating my own story was a lot of fun.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far?

I am reading Mass Effect Andromeda – Nexus Uprising. It’s a prequel to the events that transpired in the latest Mass Effect game, and my verdict so far? Well I read the first 120 pages before I had to get ready for my night job. I would have read more, otherwise. I’m loving it.

About your book…

You are living in the your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?

I am currently living in an underground city on the dwarf planet of Sedna. It’s dusty, it’s smelly, I hate it. Just last night, one of the environmental control systems in a small wing of the community failed as well as the backup generators. So, that section of the city had to be sealed off – condemning two thousand people to freeze to death. Lucky it wasn’t me.

REVELATIONS by Robert J Hamilton

Accept the future, or fix the past?

Captain John Russell returns to the Milky Way in order to resume his mission to stop the fanatical Dawn of Revelations cult from unleashing the apocalypse upon the Earth. However, he soon discovers that he has arrived centuries too late.

Knowing he is the last hope to save billions of lives, John risks everything to return to his own time and finish the war before it even begins. But John has another challenge to face—the possibility that one of his crew may be secretly working for the enemy. . .

You can also follow Robert on his blog! http://rh8127.wixsite.com/scifi-revelations

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email me at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com

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Neven Carr Author Interview – Get Forgotten! #Thriller @nevencarr

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author Neven Carr, who will be sharing her thoughts on reading and writing, and details of her book Forgotten.

 Neven On Writing

I find the creating process of writing very cathartic, energising. It is also a lot cheaper than spending money on therapy, retail or alcohol! I love existing in my own world for a while, toying with character’s lives, setting them up in impossible situations.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Read, read, read, every day! Write, write, write, every day! Develop a routine and stick with it. Put some distance; okay a lot of distance, between the writing and the editing process.

In addition, accept criticism as a positive thing – it took me a while to accept that, but once I did, it became my strongest writing tool.

What is your least favourite thing about writing? 

Editing, re-editing and re-re-editing.

Yes! Yes! It is highly necessary but I find it so time-consuming and so laborious. Enough said on that, thank you very much. Next question please!

What is your favourite genre(s)? 

I am a strong mystery/thriller/suspense buff. I enjoy solving puzzles, thus I love searching for clues that will help me discover the true culprit.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) What book would it be?

Okay, I am going to be greedy here and go for the entire The Lord of the Rings series. I know they are not mystery/thrillers but they are by far one of the best pieces of literature of our time. Wow! Tolkien had an imagination like no other.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far? 

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker. I am finding it very different to other thrillers. It reads as if it is a true story. Very difficult to put down.

About your book…

You are living in the your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like? 

I currently live in my caravan with my dog, Boomerang, in a small town called Nankari Bay. It was nice and quiet here until all these dead bodies began appearing at an apartment complex up the road. It is time for Boomie and me to move on.

You are your most recent protagonist, What do you like doing for fun?

I like to eat pink musk sticks. They have to be pink, they just do. They calm me, help me think better, take away the bad things, well… most of the time. Failing that, there’s always good old retail therapy!

Hate doing? Cleaning, especially blood stains. Why? Do I really need to answer that???

Forgotten by Neven Carr

Murder, revenge and family betrayal, this complex, fast-paced mystery thriller from down under, has more twists than a rollercoaster! The exotic locations and gripping action scenes are guaranteed to keep you turning the pages!

Forgotten is available on Amazon!  

You can also follow Neven on her blog! nevencarr.wordpress.com

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email me at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com

Author Interview – Cassandra Parker

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author Cassandra Parker, who will be sharing her thoughts on reading and writing, and details of her new book Harley & Me.

 c_usersburgettdocumentscreative-workspublishedcassandra-parkerharley-memariCassandra On Writing

I have always been an avid reader. I am here to write, to learn, to be creative, and to have fun. I write because that is who I am. I see inspiration in everything such as the falling of a leaf, a child’s laughter, etc. I write because I can remember and to keep those memories alive. I remember my mother’s voice calling to me to come in for lunch on a hot summer day. I remember the smell of fresh mowed grass in the early morning. I remember how cool the lawn felt with dew drops glistening from each green blade. I write for pleasure. I write because I must.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

To read, read, read. Study the genres you love to read. Write what you love to read. Never give up. Even if everyone tells you being a writer is hard and you will not make it, look these naysayers in the eye and tell them, “I am a writer. No one can take that away from me. I will always write no matter what.”
Practice the craft. Study it, look at how a story is “shown” and not “told.” Find time to write 1 page a day, everyday. At the end of a year you will have finished a book. Never believe what you have written is too good for editing. Edit brutally, but also learn, and know when to stop. Edit to tighten the story but do not edit so much you lose the heart of it.

What is your favourite genre(s)?

I love romance in all its multitude of forms. Romance is wistful, poignant, and classic. It makes the heart beat faster; it brings a twinkle to the eyes, a tear drop, and a smile. Romance is love, joy, pain, and loss. It is endearing and lasts throughout time for all eternity.

I love SF because it takes place in worlds different than our own.

I love dystopian novels because it explores our humanity and our struggle to remain human.

Have you ever skipped something important to stay at home and read a book? 

Yes, I have. I was so engrossed in the story The Haunting by Shirley Jackson I completely forgot I was scheduled to work.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) What book would it be?

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. It was one of the books that drew me into a whole different world and created a love for books and ultimately for writing.

Are you a one book at a time reader, or do you jump between many?

I read one book at a time so I can savor the story. I become so completely immersed in the tale I lose track of time, location, etc.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far?

I’m currently reading Girl on a Train. It is a hard read for me because it is not in one of my favorite genres.

About your book…

You are living in the your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?

I am living in 1975-1977 Lima, Ohio. It is a small city with a branch of the Ohio State University and WOSL Radio has just started broadcasting. Gas is being rationed, the Vietnam War ended a few years previously and jobs are hard to find.

 You are your most recent protagonist, What do you like doing for fun?

Riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, searching for aliens and playing pranks. Because I am a rebel looking for my soul mate.

Harley & Me by Cassandra Parker

When Mari met Harley little did she know he was her soul mate; the love of her life. This is a love story full of joy, laughter, heartbreak, and loss. The journey of Mari and Harley is wistful and endearing.

c_usersburgettdocumentscreative-workspublishedcassandra-parkerharley-me51y35rzf1hl
Available on Amazon

You can also follow Cassandra on her blog! CassandraParker.wordress.com.

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (5 STAR) #Bookreview

Arguably one of the best fantasy books I have read in a long while Blood Song (A Raven’s Shadow Novel) lived up to its mighty 5/5 on Amazon with a whopping 2000+ people providing feedback.

I actually bought it on Audiable rather than a book, and wasn’t disappointed. Sometimes you have to get along with the narator, and in this case I thought they did a great job.

Without going into detail, it follows the life of  Vaelin Al Sorna. It begins with his father abandoning him to a mysterious order devoted to battle following his mother death, and then follows his journey to adulthood and beyond. There are plenty of battles, mystery, and travel as you would expect form an epic fantasy. There is also a smidgen of magic or mysticism, but not a lot. I think for me the quality of the writing and the genuine attachment I formed with the characters was a stand out and kept me riveted.

If you love a good chunky fantasy fiction with plenty of action and a strong character, then this is the book for you.

See it on Amazon : Blood Song (A Raven’s Shadow Novel) by Anthony Ryan