Tag Archives: author interview

Interview with YA Fantasty Author Shami Stovall: ‘I define success by the reaction people have when they finish a novel’

Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

Website: https://sastovallauthor.com/

Blog: https://sastovallauthor.com/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@GameOverStation/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAStovall/

KNIGHTMARE ARCANIST BOOK BLURB

In a world populated by mythical creatures, those who bond with them are known as arcanists—their magic stemming from the connection they forged. Phoenix arcanists gain flames and healing, unicorn arcanists speak with horses and manipulate poison, or even basilisk arcanists who control flesh and stone.

But those wishing to bond must first prove themselves.

Gravedigger Volke Savan, desperate to leave his tiny home island and impress the most beautiful girl he’s ever known, breaks every tradition of the bonding ceremony just to become an arcanist. But when the only creature who will bond with him has a sinister requirement, Volke is put to the ultimate test of worth.

A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QMKVFJM

Q: Thank you for this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing background?

Thank you for having me!

My writing started when I began playing Dungeons & Dragons for the first time. If you’re the Dungeon Master (the person running the game) you have to make up the story. People thought my stories were so fun and engaging that they encouraged me to write novels.

At first, I wrote them for only my friends. I figured it wouldn’t go anywhere, but the more my friends read, the more they encouraged me to branch out. Soon I had an agent, and I was publishing with a full blown publishing house!

Life is crazy. Sometimes you just have to let it take you where it wants. That’s why I’m here to showcase my novel, Knightmare Arcanist!

Q: What fact about yourself that would really surprise people?

My father’s family is from Spain.

You see, I have the complexion of mayonnaise, and a bizarre first name, so people assume my family is from Scandinavia or something, but most of my family is Spanish.

Q: How do you define success in regards to writing and publishing books? 

I define success by the reaction people have when they finish a novel. If they liked it, they’ll let you know. If they thought it was okay, they’ll likely not say anything. And if they hate, they’ll also let you know! So, in my experience, I’m successful whenever someone gushes over my story or characters.

Q: Can you tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

My new book, Knightmare Arcanist, is about a gravedigger who just became an adult. He wants to wield magic (who doesn’t?) and be just like his hero, Gregory Ruma. But before he can become an arcanist, he has a pass a trial of worth.

I wrote the novel because I had a ton of great ideas for it. I thought, “What if it turns out Gregory Ruma was evil? And only the main character knew it?” – It created a lot of interesting scenarios in my head.

Q: When you are not writing, how do you relax?

I play video games or Dungeons & Dragons.

Q: Please tell us why we should read your book?

  • Because you want a good story.
  • Because you like action and/or adventure.
  • Because you like mythical creatures (phoenixes, dragons, unicorns, etc.)
  • Because you enjoy stories similar to “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Percy Jackson.”
  • Because my fortune teller advised you do it.

Q: What kind of advice would you give other authors just getting their feet wet?

Keep at it! Writing takes a lot of hard work and practice. And make sure to have beta readers and a writer’s group! Very helpful as well.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interviews

Interview with Michael Houtz, Author of Dark Spiral Down

After a career in medicine, Mike Houtz succumbed to the call to hang up his stethoscope and pursue his other passion as a writer of fast-paced thrillers. A rabid fan of authors such as Clancy, Mark Greaney, Vince Flynn, and Brad Thor, Mike loves series writing with strong characters, fast pacing and international locations, all of which explode into action in his debut novel, a 2017 Zebulon Award winner. When not at the keyboard, he can be found on the firing range, traveling for research across the globe, or trying out the latest dry-fly pattern on a Gold Medal trout stream.

He lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

His latest book is the thriller/international/action novel, Dark Spiral Down.

Website: www.mikehoutz.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/michaelhoutz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.mikehoutz/

https://www.facebook.com/mike.houtz.77

 

Q: Welcome! Can you tell us a little bit about your writing background?

Wonderful to join you. Well, it’s a short story! Actually, my earliest memories of writing goes back to grade school. Somewhere in a box in the basement, I have a writeup from an early grade-school teacher asking where I’d come up with such a wild story on a prompt she gave the class. Most of the kids offered a three or four sentence response. Mine was nearly four pages. I dabbled here and there until my mid-twenties. I halted those desires for my medical career. I’ve been purposefully writing, after I took an early retirement, for three or four years now. I’m not ever winning any literary awards, but that same vivid imagination never left me. I’m trying to become the writer my imagination deserves.

Q: What fact about yourself that would really surprise people?

I’m a picture of contrasts. I suppose folks who don’t know me would form an opinion on my personality based on my practicing medicine and writing—cerebral endeavors largely populated by people of culture enjoying wine tastings. I ended my martial arts career undefeated in 5 years of combat competition. I have National titles in wrestling and represented our country in the sport. I’m a slightly polished knuckle dragger.

Q: How do you define success in regards to writing and publishing books? 

This is the most important question I’ve seen in all my interviews. Bravo. I tackled this subject on the first day I considered writing as a career. I also pose this very subject to every new writer I interact with. My answer, and everyone should have their own, started as a bucket list item. I wanted to check off that line stating I’d traditionally published a book. One. On day number two, I changed my mind. My current definition is I want to entertain and create emotional responses in readers. Nothing is more satisfying to me than when someone tells me in an excited voice about something in the story that shocked them or created an adrenalin rush for them. That’s my success.

Q: Can you tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

How many pages do I get?

The protagonist, Cole Haufner, is a twenty-six-year old professional mixed martial arts superstar. Considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport’s history he holds a unique attitude with his career—he HATES fighting. Growing up in a Shaolin temple in Southeast China, he carries a serene spirit and calm outward persona. Planning to attend medical school, his plans abruptly change when his newborn son suffers a congenital heart condition and requires extensive medical care. He turns to the one skill that can provide for his son—the employment of his renowned martial arts skill. At the peak of his success in the octagon, tragedy strikes and he’s left alone in the world save for his brother, an American Delta Force operator who goes missing on a mission. Cole follows a clue back to his childhood home and becomes embroiled in a desperate fight between the remnants of his brother’s Delta unit and North Korean commandos hell bent on acquiring a stolen device capable of changing the world or destroying it depending on who manages to escape with this invention.

A few years ago, I retired early from a career in medicine. No surprise, my first writing effort started with a medical thriller. I felt, and still do, the story has a strong premise and has the potential to do well. Somewhere around that same time, I read an appalling account of a child whisked away from his father to South America by his ex-wife. The courts in that part of the world were manipulated by the new boyfriend, an attorney, and the father struggled mightily against unsympathetic ears. From all accounts on subsequent research, I discovered the dad was a good guy with no history of violence, and he’d been a loving father to his son. His journey for the return of his son spanned years. Imagine dropping off your child with a spouse for visitation and never seeing them again. Having two sons around the same age, the account really hit me hard. I imagined someone rescuing the boy and bringing him back to the only home he’d known. I woke up one morning, shoved the medical thriller in a drawer, and let the anger and sympathy pour out into the novel. From that spark, my own personal life mission changed too.

Q: When you are not writing, how do you relax?

With my two sons, I don’t know how to relax. When not writing, I’m shuttling my kids to practices or traveling for their competitions, getting in a workout, or working with my German Shepard, Saber. Sometimes I can sneak in time at the shooting range or hit a Colorado stream for native trout. It’s a fast and furious life, but I’m grateful for all of it.

Q: Please tell us why we should read your book?

If for no other reason, you’re joining a growing group of people providing support to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children network. My mission is to bring light to the horrible crime committed upon children by an adult unlawfully removing them from their home and taking them to a country that does not recognize our laws on child custody. Every book sold supports that effort both financially as well as creating awareness.

Plus, if you’re anything like me, seeing a character employ a really nasty skill set in these horrible situations is very satisfying. When the courts fail, Cole begins his brand of justice.

Q: What kind of advice would you give other authors just getting their feet wet?

First, answer question three. How will you “know” when you’re successful. Everyone will have a different answer. Why are you spending hours, day in and day out, for years, writing? Is it a fun hobby or are you shooting for Bestseller status. Your answer will likely change over time, but you should have an initial idea.

Secondly, any timeline you’re giving yourself just double it. There are so many different factors to publishing out of your control. The industry moves like a glacier. I had one of the fastest turnarounds I’m aware of from the first sentence to book release, and it took nearly three years. If you’re a relatively unknown, prepare for a long haul.

Finally, the difference between published authors and those who don’t reach that mark is those published writers never quit. Take all the “no” responses and collect all the rejections into a nice big ball, because you will get them, and vow to shove it up their rear ends. Never surrender to other people’s failures projected onto you.

About the Book:

COLE HAUFNER is a reluctant superstar in the professional mixed martial arts world. After his latest fight, his wife and child perish in a car crash. His grief deepens when his brother, BUTCH, a Delta Force operator, is absent from the funeral and reported missing by two furtive strangers who show up unannounced at the burial. Despairing, and acting on a tip, Cole travels to his childhood home in southeast China, looking for his brother.

Butch and his teammate, HAMMER, are the sole American survivors of a gun battle between their unit and North Korean commandos, both sides fighting over possession of a stolen suitcase containing a miniaturized fusion device that could either provide unlimited clean energy or be converted to an undetectable bomb seven times more powerful than a nuclear explosion. Leading the North Koreans is the sociopath, Commander PARK. Pressed into helping the Koreans is a disgraced former CIA operative, BARRETT JENNINGS.

Cole meets with the uncle who raised him, MASTER LI, and is warned to stop his search for Butch. Barrett discovers Cole’s identity (with the help of a genius computer hacker, LILLY), which opens a twenty-year-old wound when Barrett was blamed for the disappearance of Cole’s father, along with the man’s invention. Barrett enlists the 14K organized crime syndicate to help capture Cole. Hammer, separated from Butch during the fight for the device, thwarts the gang’s attempt to kidnap Cole, and the two then set off to find Butch and the device. All parties converge on the city library where Butch, now disguised as a monk, is attempting to communicate with the Pentagon. Barrett and Park capture Butch, while the 14K gang nabs Cole.

Danger mounts as Chinese authorities begin investigating foul play within their borders. Cole fights his way free of the gang and reunites with Hammer.  Both men find Barrett’s apartment and discover Lilly (the man’s stepdaughter), who divulges Barrett’s identity and plan. Cole clashes with Hammer, who is willing to sacrifice Butch in order to recover the fusion device. Lilly offers her help in exchange for her and Barrett’s rescue from Park’s grip. Meanwhile, Barrett discovers the true nature of the case the North Koreans are pursuing and, sensing he and Lilly are to be assassinated by Park once he has the device, frees Butch. Butch, trusting Barrett was sent to rescue him, leads the turncoat to the site where he hid the device. Barrett, hoping to make a quick fortune selling it, shoots Butch before escaping with the case.

Cole, along with Hammer and Lilly, arrives at the location of Butch and finds him gravely wounded. Butch fingers Barrett for shooting him and for stealing the case. Cole wants only to save his brother but Butch makes him promise to kill Barrett and recover their dad’s invention. The revelation that the device is his father’s scientific discovery propels Cole forward to fulfill his brother’s mission. Cole is forced to abandon Butch at a hospital. Cole pursues Barrett to a remote dock where the ex-CIA man is planning to escape China by boat. With the Chinese military now actively looking for Cole, Cole confronts Barrett and Park sparking a gunfight. Barrett kills Park. As Barrett turns the gun on Cole, Hammer kills Barrett. Cole, Hammer and Lilly escape via the boat, and the fusion device is safely returned.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

https://amzn.to/2UpXJmK

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interviews

The Writing Life with Jonathan Raab, Author of ‘Flight of the Blue Falcon’

jonathanJonathan Raab is the author of Flight of the Blue Falcon, a military novel about the Afghanistan War, based on his time in the United States Army. He is also the author of the upcoming The Hillbilly Moonshine Massacre, a novel about UFOs, conspiracy theories, militarized police, and what it means to come home. He is also the editor in chief of Muzzleland Press, a horror and weird fiction small press. He lives in Golden, Colorado with his wife Jess and their dog Egon.

What’s inside the mind of a military fiction author?

That depends on what type of book it is. This is a novel, and my intention was to write something that was funny, tragic, true, and accessible for people who hadn’t been in the military. I had to be careful not to be too cynical—but I also wanted to tell a true war story, as impossible as that may be.

What is so great about being an author?

Um, you get to spend long hours alone, you’re wracked with self-doubt and anxiety, and then people criticize the work you’ve poured your heart and soul into. But sometimes there’s a small royalty check which helps buy beer, so I got that going for me.

When do you hate it?

When people learn I’m a writer and then tell me they don’t have time to read, or that reading is boring. Great. Thanks for sharing, guys.

What is a regular writing day like for you? Be honest!

Coffee + butt in seat + turning off social media and avoiding distractions. And more coffee.

Do you think authors have big egos? Do you? How do you know?

All authors have to have some sort of ego—otherwise, why would we think anyone cared about what we have to say? I try to avoid the “misunderstood genius” line of thinking. I do think I’m pretty good, but I try to stay humble and hungry, so that my writing improves, and I’m not colossally disappointed when I don’t sell a million books. Although, maybe someday…

flightHow do you handle negative reviews?

If my book’s not for you, it’s not for you. I shrug it off and drive on.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

I don’t bring it up first thing. If the conversation goes in that direction, sure. Otherwise it seems like I’m begging for attention. Most people say “neat” and that’s the end of it.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

When I’m working on a project, I keep a regular writing schedule (five days a week). Right now, I’m pretty exhausted from writing back-to-back novels and constantly editing other people’s work, so I’ve allowed myself a couple of weeks off.

Any writing quirks?

Yes. My first drafts tend to be somewhat stream-of-consciousness. I’m not a perfectionist the first round. It helps me get through that all-important first draft.

Have you worked on your novel intoxicated? What was the result?

I’ve… imbibed a few while writing, sure. One or two drinks loosens you up. Any more than that and the quality suffers. The idea of the tortured artist or writer being an alcoholic because it helps their work is a total myth, and I get angry when people claim otherwise. Imagine how much better your favorite drunk writer could have been if they kept clean during the writing process.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

Writing is somewhat of a selfish pursuit. It’s about working out your own issues, telling your own stories. If people don’t take me seriously and I never published again, I’d still keep writing. I’d still keep plugging away. Someone will appreciate it, somewhere. I hope.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

I hear that. It’s a compulsion. It’s fun, sure, but it can also be excruciating. You write because you have to write, otherwise you can get depressed.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

Clearly not. Although money helps!

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

Don’t let the blue falcons get you down.

////////////////////////////////////

Title: Flight of the Blue Falcon

Genre: Fiction – Adult

Author: Jonathan Raab

Website: http://www.warwriterscampaign.org

Publisher: War Writers’ Campaign, Inc.

Watch the Trailer

Purchase on Amazon

About the Book:

FLIGHT OF THE BLUE FALCON

By

JONATHAN RAAB

“Jonathan Raab is not only a genuine advocate for veteran causes, he is a preacher of their tales; both fiction and nonfiction. His writing will immerse you into a combat environment that parallels the imagination of those who have never had the pleasure.”

—Derek J. Porter, author of Conquering Mental Fatigues: PTSD & Hypervigilance Disorder

“Jonathan Raab uses his experience to illustrate the raw world of the common soldier. His masterful use of edgy humor and intellectual commentary creates a space for discussing the military culture.”

—Nate Brookshire, co-author, Hidden Wounds: A Soldiers Burden

In FLIGHT OF THE BLUE FALCON (War Writers’ Campaign; July 2015; PRICE), a chewed-up Army National Guard unit heads to a forgotten war in Afghanistan where three men find themselves thrust into the heart of absurdity: the post-modern American war machine. The inexperienced Private Rench, the jaded veteran Staff Sergeant Halderman, and the idealistic Lieutenant Gracie join a platoon of misfit citizen-soldiers and experience a series of alienating and bizarre events.

Private Rench is young, inexperienced, and from a poor, rural, broken home. He’s adrift in life. The early signs of alcoholism and potential substance abuse are beginning to rear their ugly heads. He wants to do right by the Army, but doesn’t quite know who he is yet.

Staff Sergeant Halderman has one previous combat tour under his belt. He got out, realized his life was going nowhere, so re-enlisted to serve with the men he knew, and to lead the inexperienced guys into combat. He is manifesting the early signs of post traumatic stress, but is too focused on the upcoming mission to deal with it. He sees the Army for what it is—a big, screwed up machine that doesn’t always do the right thing—but he doesn’t think all that highly of himself, either.

Second Lieutenant Gracie is fresh, young, excited to be in the Army, and trying to adjust to the new to the military and his life as an officer. Although he faces a steep learning curve, he is adaptable and has a good, upbeat attitude. As he tries to forge his own path, he nonetheless turns to the experienced NCOs in his unit for guidance and support. He must continually make tough decisions that have no “right” or textbook answers. Yet these decisions are catalysts enabling him to grow in maturity, experience, and wisdom.

Preparation for combat is surreal: Rench is force-fed cookies by his drill sergeants. Halderman’s “training” is to pick up garbage in the blistering heat of the California desert for four days straight. Gracie contends with a battalion commander obsessed with latrine graffiti.

Once they reach Afghanistan, things really get weird.

FLIGHT OF THE BLUE FALCON is the story of three men who volunteer to serve their country. It’s about what it means to be a soldier, to fight, to know true camaraderie—and to return home.

This is a war story. This is their story.

Only the most unbelievable parts are true.

1 Comment

Filed under Author Interviews

Interview with Stephanie Macniel, author of Parker

ABOUT PARKER


ParkerTitle: Parker
Genre: Young Adult
Author: Stephanie Macneil
Publisher: iUniverse
EBook: 226 pages
Release Date: November 20, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-47596-038-9

The secret came out a few years ago: Parker Knight is gay. Now Parker is sixteen, and everyone has either embraced it, does not care, or has forgotten—everyone except for Dylan Baker. He is determined to make Parker’s life miserable. Parker really thought killing himself would make everything better. If he was dead, he would not have to get kicked around by Dylan and his friends anymore. He would be free. Now, after a failed suicide attempt, Parker just wants to get through the last few months of tenth grade and stay as far away from Dylan as possible. What’s worse is Parker is secretly in love with his best friend, Liam Eriksson. But luckily, Liam doesn’t know this. Parker does not want to risk losing the friendship by telling him his true feelings. But as a tragedy overshadows his already complicated life, Parker soon discovers that the truth has a habit of surfacing in unexpected ways. Parker is the poignant story of one boy’s struggle for acceptance as he reaches out for hope, life, forgiveness and Liam.

iUniverse

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about? 

Parker is the story of a 16-year-old boy being bullied at school by an old friend Dylan because he’s gay. He faces torment and hate every day and that eventually led to attempting suicide. Parker is deeply in love with his best Liam, but must keep it a secret so he doesn’t lose him. Parker is a coming of age about a boy who learns to be strong.

How did you come up with the idea? 

I didn’t intend to write Parker, it just sort of happened one night at 2 in the morning. But I wrote down the first thought that Parker ever said in my head to me, which is still the first line of the book, and then I just took it from there.

What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book? 

Not a lot of research had to be done. I think the only thing I did research was about comas. I’ve been the introverted, scared kid who doesn’t feel like they belong or fit in anywhere. That was the easy part.

Can you give us a short excerpt?

This excerpt comes from when the Knights and Liam visit Parker’s grandparents in Kelowna. Parker is feeling overwhelmed by not being out as gay to his grandparents, and continuing to hide his feelings from Liam.

 

When I walk back into the room, Liam is sitting on the bed. I sit down beside him. “I’m sorry about before,” he says.

I look down at the floor. “I’m sorry, too.”

“It’s just that we don’t really talk about it.”

“What’s there to talk about?”

“I don’t know. You never talk about anyone you like, or stuff like that.”

“That’s because there is no one.”

“Okay, well if you ever want to, you can.”

I want to. I love you. I dream about you when I’m awake and sleeping. I watch you from the corner of my eye. I need you. When you’re gone, I miss you. I want to touch you. I want you to touch me. You’re the only one. I can’t breathe around you. I can’t speak around you. I can’t think around you. You captivate me. You thrill me. You fascinate me. Love me back. Don’t leave me. You make me feel alive when I’m dying. You save me.

I don’t say any of these things.

“Okay, thanks.”

I hate lying to him. I want to tell him it’s him and it’s been him forever. But I want him to feel the same way, and that is a dead dream. I might as well save myself the humiliation and awkwardness and hope that I just get over him.

“I’m gonna take a shower,” he says, standing up and grabbing his bag.

“Okay.”

 

ABOUT STEPHANIE MACNEIL

 

Stephanie Macneil was born in Ottawa, Ontario, but now lives in Edmonton, Alberta. Her goal is to become a screenwriter. Parker is her first book.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interviews

Interview with Jermaine Gadson, Author of Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy

Jermaine Gadson headshotJermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area.  While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel. 

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University.  He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.  

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe. 

Visit Pastor Gadson online at www.JermaineGadson.com.

Thank you for this interview, Jermaine. Can you tell us what your latest book, Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy, is all about?

Yes, Tactics, Trends, and Traits, of the Enemy is about equipping people with the knowledge and wisdom to overcome various struggles in life that are a direct result of spiritual adversity. This book takes the spookiness out of spiritual warfare by exposing the Enemy’s strategies that present themselves in struggles that people face every day, that they may not be aware of as demonic attacks.

How did you come up with the idea?

The idea for the book came from reflecting on my own life and some of the experiences that I have had, thinking about questions and concerns that I have encountered in providing pastoral counseling to others, as well as gleaning from a Bible study series that I taught at my church.

What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

Most of the research for the book came from studying the Bible, and looking at various stories, passages, and illustrations that dealt with the various topics that are dealt with in the book.  A person who is interested in the Bible or who enjoys Bible study material will enjoy this book.  Those who are familiar with the Bible, as well as those who are not as familiar, will be challenged to look at certain passages of Scripture in a new way.  The material in this book is not what you would find in a typical Sunday school lesson. You will be inspired, encouraged, enlightened, and even surprised by what you will find.

If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

One valuable message that a reader can come away with is the understanding that knowledge is power.  People are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. The more we know about the Enemy and his strategies, the better we are equipped to identify his tactics, and ultimate defeat him.

Can you give us a short excerpt?Tactics, Trends and Traits of the Enemy Cover

As human beings, we are not just flesh and blood. We are spirit beings also. Our lives are shaped and impacted by the reality and intertwining of two realms: the spirit and the natural. The natural realm is the one that we are the most familiar with. However, our lack of familiarity with the spirit realm does not negate its existence, nor render powerless its influence in our lives. The spirit realm is just as real and impactful as the natural, and even more so. For everything that you see and experience in the natural, there is something that corresponds to it in the spirit.

With that being said, we have to understand that we have an enemy: a real enemy, a spiritual enemy. This enemy is an adversary against God, humanity, and everything that God has created. His name is Satan. He and his army of countless devils will stop at nothing to destroy God’s great creation, namely the human race.

In this book, I am sharing insights that I have gained from my study of the Bible, personal experiences as a believer, and nearly ten years of experience as a pastor and fifteen years as a minister. God’s people are being destroyed from a lack of knowledge. It is not God’s will for His people to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. It is God’s will that His people be equipped to stand strong and boldly against the Enemy and his devilish schemes. The purpose of this book is to equip the body of Christ to be prepared to recognize demonic tactics and attacks, resist the Devil and his forces, and stand firm in the victory that is already ours in Jesus Christ.

In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

This is my first book, and it is self-published.  Self-publishing is hard work, but if you are willing to do the work to get your message out it won’t seem so bad.  Trying to get published by a traditional publisher has different dynamics, and may be more difficult for some than for others, depending on the topic, genre, publisher, and current market.

What’s a typical day like for you?

A typical day includes getting my family ready to leave home in the morning, spending time in prayer and devotion, writing, blogging and posting for my social media sites, preparing the media presentation and message for Sunday service, run errands or attend to business affairs, picking my daughter up from school, preparing and eating dinner with my family, enjoying some downtime or playtime with my daughter, debrief the day with my wife, and finally, get ready for the next day.

What’s next for you?

Next, I plan to work on a curriculum to accompany the book.  I am also preparing to write a second book to be released later this year or next year.

Thank you so much for this interview, Jermaine.  We wish you much success!

Thank you, so much for this interview. I appreciate it!

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interviews

Interview with RL Keller, Author of Man’s Rejection of God: Who’s Responsible?

Rich Keller

Richard Louis Keller was born in Newark, NJ in 1955 and grew up in Middletown Township (NJ). He graduated from Montclair State College in 1978 with a degree in Broadcasting. Rich gave his life to Christ in 1979. Since his conversion he has spent time ministering for the Lord in various capacities. God gave Rich the gift of communication. He uses that gift by writing a daily devotional blog and has had two other books published.

Visit Rich online at www.breadoflifemin.net and his blog at www.minidevos.blogspot.com

 

Q: Thank you for this interview, Rich. Can you tell us what your latest book, Man’s Rejection of God: Who’s Responsible?, is all about?

A:  It’s a book that has a little bit of everything in it.  I define various groups, such as atheists and agnostics; delve into the cult of personality and the psychology of minimalism and individualism; it compares the three main world religions to Christianity and much more in an effort to determine whose fault it is that people reject God.  Since Christians believe man has been given a free will, we can’t take all the blame; however, the inconsistency with which we live our faith provides a convenient excuse for non-believers to turn away from God.  In the end, I call all Christians to take a hard look at themselves in the mirror to determine how much like Jesus they really are.  We must assess and continually reassess our walk with God so that we become less of a reason for others to walk away.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A:   I see Christians all around me struggling with their faith.  This is my way of allowing God to use me to encourage and edify them so that they can re-energize their walk with Christ and be everything God intended them to be.  In all my books I attempt to educate believers in areas where they may be lacking, show them how much they are loved by God and give them something important to think about in the process.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A:  I get an idea of what I want to write and fill in the blanks as I go.  What I mean by that is that I add quotes, scripture verses, and background information as I am writing the text of the book.  Any research I might have done in the past has been saved on thumb drives so I can draw from it as I go along.  I use the Internet to access just about any research tool I might need, from online dictionaries, encyclopedias, bible text or any other historical information. Before I know it the book is complete. Man's Rejection of God Cover

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A:  I wish my readers to realize that our walk with Christ isn’t meant to be a struggle, but rather an exciting adventure.  If we can step back and take a look at who God truly is and who we are in light of that, we may just get the jump-start we need to revitalize a sagging relationship.  And that’s what this walk with God is, a personal relationship with a living God.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: [From Chapter 11 – Consequences; p.113, par.2 thru p.114, par.2.]

There was a purpose for each event in history that has taken place just as there is a reason for what takes place now. I don’t pretend to know the mind of God in all matters; I just know that things happen in life and we don’t know all the details. There are facts that are unknown to us. All we know is what the history books tell us and the media spoon feeds us. I do know this though: it’s a messy, bloody world we live in. Things that are wrong are made to seem right and vice versa. Sins are committed against God every day and the ultimate consequence of those sins is death unless a blood sacrifice is made on behalf of the offender. That blood sacrifice was made when Jesus Christ willingly shed His own blood to cleanse all of mankind of their sins. It must be understood that forgiveness isn’t freely doled out to everyone arbitrarily; we must ask for forgiveness in faith believing to be cleansed.

There is no doubt that Christ was a lightning rod for controversy during His life and still is today? Could it be because His teachings contradicted the teachings of the religious leaders of His day? When you deal with people you are dealing with egos, control and power. Jesus was stripping some of that away from the religious leaders and they took exception to it; so much so that they wanted Him dead. That seems like an extreme way to rid themselves of their perceived problem. They didn’t think about the consequences that would result from Christ’s death. Christ knew exactly what the consequences were as a result of His obedience to God’s plan. They spelled death for Him. The disobedience of all mankind was to be removed by the obedience of one man. Man’s disobedience resulted in millions of sins down through the ages past and present. The weight of these sins must have been enormous. I feel heaviness from the weight of conviction for one sin that I haven’t sought forgiveness for; can you imagine the heaviness Christ felt when He hung on the cross?

The life that we choose to live on this earth is essentially what we make it. We can take a good path or a bad path. We can skate along the fine line that differentiates legal from illegal, right and wrong. We can live Godly lives or follow the path to who knows where. Each decision we make in this life comes with consequences.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A:  I had my book self-published, which means I paid Westbow Press to publish the book for me.  It is my hope that I will someday be picked up as a contract author for a publishing house such as Thomas Nelson or Zondervan.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A:  I rise in the morning, have breakfast, tend to the dogs, write my daily devotional for my Bread of Life Blog, post an entry on my Author Blog, then either touch up a teaching, write on my new book, design marketing items, change up the home page on my ministry website, or numerous other things that need to be tended to.  I’m at the laptop much of the day.  I might take the dogs for a walk if the weather permits or watch a documentary on an important event in American History.  In between all that I eat lunch and make sure I’m not forgetting anything.

Q: What’s next for you?

A:   I have book signings coming up in NJ at all three Jesus Book & Gift Stores in May.  Consult my website’s Scheduled Events page for details.  I am putting together a speaking tour for the churches of New Jersey for 2014-15 and have just begun writing my 4th book tentatively titled Stark Raving Obedience.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Rich.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for the opportunity, I appreciate it very much.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interviews

Interview & Giveaway with Donna McDine, Author of ‘A Sandy Grave’

Donna McDine Headshot

Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books ~ The Golden Pathway.

Her stories, articles, and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna’s 2013 releases of Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony and the 2014 release of A Sandy Grave will be joined by an additional book to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Dee and Deb, Off They Go. She writes, moms and is a personal assistant from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Children’s Literature Network, and Family Reading Partnership.

Visit Donna online at www.donnamcdine.com or her blog at www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com

Connect & Socialize with Donna!

TWITTER * FACEBOOK

About the Book:A Sandy Grave cover

Title: A Sandy Grave
Author: Donna M. McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 24
Language: English
Genre: Tween chapterbook
Format: Paperback, hardcover & eBook

The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had–especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?

amazon

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Can you tell us what your book is about?

While three young girlfriends are vacationing with their families they discover a dead washed up whale on the beach. The realization that poachers often times attempt to steal whales’ teeth, sets a mystery into motion.

Why did you write your book?

While reading the newspaper I came across a story about a dead washed up whale on a California beach and what the authorities had to do to protect the whale before being able to bury it.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

The trio of girlfriends is a curious bunch and enjoy their friendship immensely. They often times tease each other, but respect and love is apparent in their friendships.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I typically start with a story outline and character profiles and then the plot evolves during my writing process.

Your book is set at the beach. Can you tell us why you chose this setting in particular?

The topic of poachers and the Endangered Species Act and the Mammal Protection Act are directly related to the beach and ocean.

Open the book to any page.  What is happening?

After discovering the washed up whale and hearing what the authorities were doing to protect the whale, the main character, Leah, immediately gets a creepy feeling about two filthy men, looking on from a sand dune.

Is it hard to get a children’s book published?

In my experience, the road to publication with any genre is not an easy path. We often hear write what you love, but it’s important to study the markets to learn what publishers are interested in and make your best attempt in creating a manuscript that adheres to their guidelines.

Is it hard to promote a children’s book and where do you start?

An author wears many hats and promoter is one of them. Even before one’s book is published it is imperative you market yourself and your writing on at least a weekly if not daily basis. I’m not saying, you should be jumping up and down and saying hey look at me. I feel it’s more important to become involved with online and in-person writer’s groups and become an active member of discussions and not just tooting your own horn. Visit libraries and schools through author visits, with a combination of volunteer opportunities and select events profiling you and your books.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

If I feel a block I often times go out for a walk, meditate, or make a hot cup of tea and read the paper or the book I’m currently reading.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

Visit with my parents and father-in-law and have a nice leisurely chat without having the world intrude.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Memorial Day. It’s a time of renewal of our gardens and everything green. The weather is usually at a terrific temperature for getting that first barbeque off to a great start with friends and family.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

The Barnes and Noble café at our local mall or Panera.

What do you like the most about being an author?

Engaging with students in lively conversation during school or library visits. Since children are becoming more and more visual with all the technology around them, I find that starting off with a brief introduction and then the showing of my latest book video trailer gets the conversation going faster.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Fiction writers need to conduct their research so that their stories are accurate. For instance, if your story is based around a particular sport, you need to make sure anything involving the sport is accurate.

Donna McDine is giving you a chance to win a $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card.

Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card
• This giveaway begins March 3 and ends on April 25, 2014.
• Winner will be contacted via email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 Comment

Filed under Author Interviews