Halloween Edition: Writer Interview: L.M. Durand


Lauriane is originally from the Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean. She attended college in Paris, France and worked there for a few years before moving to Los Angeles, CA to be with her now husband. It was there that she completed her MBA. She now has a very corporate  job and has worked with the same company for the past five years. A little over two years ago, Lauriane gave birth to an amazing little boy and a deep desire to become a role model for him burned deep inside her. So, with the encouragement of her incredible husband she decided to pursue her dreams of being a writer, and everything has blossomed from there. She has a real passion for reading but admits that even though she is French and English is her second language, she hasn’t read a book in French in over fifteen years, and feels more comfortable writing in English, and so she does.


1. What are you working on right now?

I just completed the first draft of my manuscript. I’m in the process of revising it at the moment, but I’m taking my time because I want this book to be the best it can be. It’s a Young Adult Fantasy fiction.

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

The story is about a young witch chosen to save a magical land ravaged by war. Magic, as they know it, is on the verge of being destroyed by a powerful and greedy wizard. She has no choice but to accept her destiny, but nothing will come easy to her. Fortunately, love will find her in an unexpected form of a stubborn savior. They need to succeed where many failed before and the clock is ticking.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I’m a daydreamer and I’ve always loved making up stories in my head. One day, I decided I needed to share them. I was introduced to Fantasy close to twenty years ago when I started to read Terry Goodkind’s series Sword of Truth. I absolutely loved it and couldn’t put the book down. From there, I kept on reading and thought I would try other things. I read just about any genre, but Fantasy is still my favourite. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and more recently read books, such as Games of Thrones, Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner or The Fifth Wave, but would also read thrillers, romance, and non-fiction.

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

This is so funny! – (Confession: I had to look up what Jaffa cakes were and they looked delicious!). I don’t have a must-have, per say. I only need my computer.

5. What is your favourite book?

This is a difficult question because you’re asking me to pick a star in the sky. I’m not sure I can do this, but if I had to select one, it would be The Alchemist from Paolo Coehlo. This is probably the book that resonated with me the most, because I felt that this story was about my life. I ended up finding my husband, who was right next to me all these years (I met him when I was eleven).

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire most, and why?

I admire all people who worked against the odds to make their dream happen and who still believed despite all the obstacles. In the writing world, most writers faced it at one point or another. I admire Stephanie Meyer because even though she did not have a writing background she still wrote a great series. The odds weren’t in her favor but she still succeeded. I also admire J.K. Rowling for her ability to turn one of the darkest moments of her life into an incredible story. These are just a couple examples, but there are so many more I admire. I believe that each author can teach us something.

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

French is my native language. I also learned Spanish and German, but I’m kind of rusty now. I speak Creole from my island if that counts. 🙂 I love hiking and often use that moment to empty my mind and create more stories. My brain does not have a pause button. I always need to stimulate my mind. Sometimes, that can be an annoying habit… LOL

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

As a matter of fact, I do.

Blog: www.lmdurand.com

Twitter: (@loryannhd)

Facebook:  (facebook.com/lmdurandpage)

9. What are your writing plans for 2017?

My hope is to publish my book next year and start working on the sequel. I also have a few more ideas that I’m working on. This book has been an eye-opener for me so I know what to do for my next book.

10. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

I’m sure I would love them, but never had a chance to try them. ☺
To follow Lauriane and more of her work, please follow the links below:

Blog: www.lmdurand.com

Twitter: (@loryannhd)

Facebook:  (facebook.com/lmdurandpage)

It was a pleasure to interview Lauriane, an extremely talented and creative writer, and she’s French too. How cool is that?






Writer Interview: Gary Haynes

Gary Haynes

Gary is not only a talented writer, but also a commercial litigator. He grew up in Plymouth, Devon and has moved about since. A hard worker, Gary made it into Warwick University where he studied law and did his postgraduate studies in Chester, at the College of Law. He doesn’t have pets because he’s allergic to animal hair, but he does have three beautiful children who he cherishes, two sons and a daughter. He is a foreign film lover and a huge fan or opera. When I asked for an example of other work he’s done, he told me he used to work in a graveyard! Yikes!


1. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a standalone thriller based in two time periods, the last days of WW2 in Berlin and modern-day America and Europe. The challenge is in drawing the threads together into a coherent whole and not repeating important aspects of the story in both strands.

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

It’s about a lawyer whose daughter goes missing in Central Park and his journey to find her. He teams up with an FBI agent, who isn’t what she seems, and unravels a decades-old mystery in the process. There’s action and suspense, and more than a few twists and turns. I’ve finished the first couple of drafts and it should be in good enough shape to submit to my publisher in a couple of months.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

This is a difficult one to answer without sounding a little pretentious. In the last analysis, I write because I feel compelled to do so. It’s not about money. It’s about being creative. But it’s also deeply therapeutic, and when I’m writing my mind clears of everything else.
I find my inspiration in many places. I’m interested in international relations and watch a lot of foreign news channels, which gives me ideas for my political thrillers. But inspiration can come from anywhere. The kernel of an idea for my latest thriller came from a paragraph I read in a nonfiction book on European esotericism!

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

Tea. I drink far too much. I can forget to eat as long as I’m tanked up on tea.

5. What is your favourite book?

Tough question as there are so many I’ve enjoyed over the years. My favourite books are thrillers, nonfiction military history and literary novels. If I had to choose one, it would be The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan, which won the Man Booker Prize of 2014. It’s a book about love and war, man’s inhumanity to man and the endearing hope inherent in the human spirit.

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire most, and why?

I’d have to say Cormac McCarthy. He writes extraordinary westerns and literary thrillers. His early writing career was difficult but he ploughed on and has written some of his best work, including No Country For Old Men and The Road, in his seventies, a time when many people are putting their feet up. I admire, hugely, people who do great things in later life.

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

I have many annoying habits, the worst of which is probably shouting at the TV when I disagree with what is being said. I enjoy boxing, although these days it’s just the training. I read, of course, love foreign films, especially French and South American, and I’m utterly in awe of Richard Wagner’s operas. To be honest I’m a simple person. What I enjoy most is spending time with friends and family.

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

Yes, I’m active on social media, especially Twitter. If people would like to connect with me they can do so via these platforms:

* http://garyhaynes.weebly.com * http://twitter.com/GaryHaynesNovel * http://www.facebook.com/garyhanesauthor * http://www.amazon.com/author/garyhaynesbooks * http://www.goodreads.com/GaryHaynes

9. What are your writing plans for the remainder of 2015?

I’m writing the third Tom Dupree thriller and planning a novel I’ve been thinking about for a few years, a hybrid novel, encompassing literary, thriller and historical elements.

10. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

To be honest, if you offered me one over a cup of tea I‘d gladly accept, but I can’t remember the last time I ate one. But if a writer is going to have a weakness I’d say tea and Jaffa cakes are pretty innocuous ones.

To follow Gary and his work please use the links below:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/garyhanesauthor
Twitter: @GaryHaynesNovel
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/garyhaynesbooks
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/GaryHaynes

Gary is a talented writer and it was great fun interviewing him. And he’s the first I’ve interviewed who worked in a graveyard. True what they say – you never know who you might meet.
Thanks Gary!

Writer Interview: Ivy Kaller


Ivy Kaller

When bubbly and out-going Ivy Kaller moved to Maui, she found herself in search of a writing group. When she couldn’t find one she created her own with the intention of receiving honest feedback for her work and in return offering honest feedback to her members. Now, six years on the group, The Collective Underground, has more than seventy members, who enjoy the support so much they keep going back! But Ivy says she couldn’t have done it without the beautiful Marina Galvan, who has been there from the start.


1.What are you working on right now?

Right now I am trying to get a head shot on the rooster that’s been waking me up at 4am every morning.
Marina Galvan and I just finished writing our book “Method Writing With The Collective Underground”. It’s about the writing process I’m teaching, and right now I’m working on expanding that process for my next book. Also The Collective Underground has mushroomed out to 70 students here on Maui, along with requests to participate from the mainland U.S.
So I am brainstorming ways to let everyone be involved who wants to be involved.

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

The process is called Method Writing. It is like Method acting, but for the writer. A creative process generating words grounded in the human truth of the moment. I have established an experimental writing studio on Maui where I facilitate 20 students a day in this process. Using exercises that get you out of your head and into your gut.
I am also one of my students, so to speak.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I write because every day brings a new carnival of emotions and human drama to town. A delicious panoply of tears, and lust, and death, and laughter, complete with dirty fingernails and sweaty underthings. If I don’t write it down it becomes vague memory and empty candy wrappers in the wind.
I write because I have to show up regarding my classes. That’s why I teach so I can learn and keep writing. My inspiration comes from my students, and the process.
I thoroughly enjoy the work.

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

I had to look up Jaffa cakes to see what your writing must-have is, and now I want one.
I enjoy writing with coffee, or wine, depending on the time of day. But really there is no must have. I write in bed, on the couch, out back at a bar, on the plane with drinks, or not, and never with food.
I dictate juicy phrases to my phone while I’m driving. And I am tempted to do so while having sex. I honestly can’t think of any time that I am NOT writing. So I guess the only requirement is that I have air to breath.

5. What is your favourite book?

I have many favourite books, but right now there are two that speak to me, and mostly that’s because they are written from the deep voice that I crave. They are The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon by Tom Spanbauer. And The Chronology Of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch.

I’m sure I’ll have some new favourite books next week.

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire most, and why?

I love Charles Bukowski. He’s the first one who comes to me although there are many more. He lived life on his own terms. A hard drinker, hard living kind of guy. Rough, raw, and feels like a no holds barred fistfight on every page.
That’s a guy who bashed his own brains out every night and smeared the mess of it on paper for everyone to see.

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

I laugh. I laugh at everything, and everyone. I am laughing at you right now. I think you’re funny. I think funerals are funny. And I don’t just politely giggle, I laugh out loud. My neighbours think there is a constant party at my house, but it’s usually just me laughing.
I get nasty looks from the people at the next table at the restaurant and my husband has to threaten to take their eyes out with a fork to get them to chill.
And I think that’s funny.

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

You didn’t ask about my psychic powers but I guess we’ll leave that for another interview.
My blog and website are one and the same http://www.thecollectiveunderground.com
I’m also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – both under Ivy Kaller or The Collective Underground

9. What are your writing plans for 2015?

I plan to gather material; exercises, and examples, for my second edition of “Method Writing with the Collective Underground” while continuing deep exploration and reckless experimentation at my writers’ studio, and with my students.

10. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

I’ve never had Jaffa cakes but please describe one to me so I can taste it for myself and can give you my honest opinion.

To follow Ivy and her work please use the links below:

Website: http://www.thecollectiveunderground.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Collective-Underground/122558911256729
Twitter: https://twitter.com/isiswickett
Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ivy-kaller/7/a87/482

It was awesome interviewing Ivy. She has such a bubbly personality and has created a writing group to be proud of. Thanks Ivy!


Writer Interview: Rebekah Lynn Pierce (second interview)

Rebekah Pierce #6094 - pictage.comFP#7

Rebekah Lynn Pierce

Wife. Mother. Writer. Former College English Teacher. Professional Developmental Editor. Motivational Speaker. Playwright. Business Woman. Baker. Any one of these titles would describe Rebekah. A resident of Richmond, VA, this extraordinary woman finds time to fit in all of her passions, and kindly found time to fit in another interview with myself, to fill us in on what she’s been up to.


1. Tell us about your new book, The Secret Life of Lucy Bosman.

The Secret Life of Lucy Bosman is the story of a widow, former slave and mulatto woman named Lucy who has come to Richmond, Virginia from Tennessee in the spring of 1860 to claim a building her deceased husband has left her. Fearing that the law will not let her claim the property, as it is not safe nor legal in some states for colored people and even women of all hues to own property, she decides to let people believe she is white. They do not ask her, so she lets them “assume.”
In trying to keep her secret, Lucy soon discovers that it may be revealed because of the intense interest in her by the wealthy and charming horse breeder, Thomas Parker, and the looming Civil War. She has also found herself falling for Samuel Frees, a free colored man and blacksmith who has discovered Lucy’s true identity, but will not betray her to the people of Richmond.
What motivates Lucy to keep pushing forward is the desire to create/recreate her own identity. She is a woman – a woman of color – in an era where any drop of “black blood” – and even your gender – makes you a non-citizen of America. She starts a successful business in the building she now owns – a bakery. For the first time in her life, Lucy feels a sense of accomplishment, but it is teetering on the heels of her secret – that is a Negro, not a white woman. And with that truth comes the reality that she and many others cannot ignore the Civil War. It is a threat to everything, including her life.
The story has been receiving a lot of praise and support from readers. I am so grateful because this was a challenging story to tell for many reasons, one being, would this story be something 21st Century artists would want to read; you know, another Civil War story (i.e., another slave story). This story is so much more than that.

2. As a woman of colour, how easy do you find it to be a career woman? Do you find people treat you differently? Do you relate to Lucy Bosman, the lead in your story, at all?

I find that people treat you differently as a woman in business, period. They either try to walk on eggshells around you or avoid you all together. They don’t want to pay you on time or pay the requested fee for the service. But on the other hand, I do find that there are people who want to work with a woman because they feel we are understandable, compassionate and will get the job done.
My color does come into play, but only if I let it. It is quite sad to me that people still believe that women cannot run a successful business or do the work that men do even in the 21st Century. That is my connection to Lucy. We are both business women, determined to provide for ourselves and our families, and to “be.” In other words, in both of our worlds, women – especially women of color – are seen as less than. I am not less than anyone or anything, and Lucy is trying to create a mindset and an environment where that is true for her as well.

3. What is your next project?

My next project is a theatrical production of The Secret Life of Lucy Bosman. I was approached by a producer to create a play based on the book, which is quite challenging for me because although I am also a playwright, I just never saw this book as a “play.” A movie, yes, but a play? So, I have had to rethink my attitude on the roads a book can travel and the audiences it can entertain.
After I write the play, then I am going to focus on my next book; it’s a fantasy adventure tale which features a female pirate who disguises herself as a man after the death of her family to become one of the greatest pirates of the Caribbean seas. I am playing around with a title, but for now it’s called Captain Jack! I am so excited about writing this story. It has been on my mind/radar for almost six years now.

4. You have a passion for history and mystery. Do you see yourself ever jumping to another genre and perhaps writing a children’s book or a comedy?

I feel that writers should not limit themselves to one genre. You become a better and stronger writer if you experiment with other art forms. I write historical fiction and mystery/suspense, sometimes blending the two. But as I said earlier, my next book will be fantasy adventure. In addition, I am also a playwright. My plays are dramas focusing on such issues as child molestation, mental illness, marriage and family in the 21st Century and two historic dramas set in the 1970s and the 1800s/2000s. So, couple that with my academic writing and journalism pieces, I have a home in several genres.

5. What advice would you give to fellow writers, who may be new to the craft, or may still be on the journey of finding publication or representation?

If you are new to the craft of writing in general, my advice is to learn the craft. Take classes where you can and read the works of authors you like. You become a better writer and reader, and even speaker, by enhancing your vocabulary and imagination, and that comes from reading a variety of genres/topics. The second thing I want to share is that every writer should have a team; that team should consist of an editor, a proofreader, a book cover designer, website designer, a publishing expert, and a marketing expert. The team can help you prepare for publication and or finding representation.

6. If you weren’t in the field of writing and editing, what would you like to have a career as? (Ruler of the world is mine, so you can’t have that one. I am looking for a Second-In-Command if you’re interested though….)

Funny. I’d love to own a café slash bakery. As you know, I love to bake. I’d hire my brother to be my chef to prepare lunch and dinner dishes, my brother-in-law to be the barista because he makes the bomb coffee, my husband to be the business manager and my sister to manage the books. Ha! As you can see, I have thought this out.

7. What are your plans for 2015?

My plans for 2015 involve loving and taking care of myself, taking the kids on an awesome vacation, continuing to provide resources and support for my clients at http://www.ThePierceAgencyLLC.com, publish my fantasy adventure novel, promote The Secret Life of Lucy Bosman, and to just enjoy each day, one at a time.

8. People may not know this, but you also founded The Pierce Agency. Can you tell us about it?

The Pierce Agency (www.ThePierceAgencyLLC.com) is a literary and publishing services agency. We work with aspiring and emerging writers and playwrights to help them prepare their works for publication and/or production. We are the team I spoke of earlier. We provide editorial services, proofreading, book interior design, book cover design, website development, brand management (including social media) and much more. Check out our website to learn more.

9. Somehow in your spare time, you find time to bake and run a home-based shop called Buffy’s Goodies. How do you find the time to bake and what is your speciality?

Well, I only bake now on requests because the agency, my own writing and teaching has taken up my time. Yes, I teach Literature and Composition.  So, I definitely bake for my kids and the holidays. But if folks ask me for a sweet treat, I will provide. My specialties are pies (sweet potato and apple) and cupcakes, of course. Any kind!

10. Last time we interviewed, I asked if you loved or hated Jaffa Cakes, to which you asked for a recipe and I sent you one. Have you had chance to bake them, if so what did you think? And if you did bake some, I’m assuming mine got lost in the post…?

Ha! Sadly, I have not had the time, but don’t you worry, I will get to them. I am determined to try me some Jaffa Cakes. Or….someone could always bake me some and send them to me across the pond.  Hint, hint.

To follow Rebekah and her work please see the links below.

New Release: The Secret Life of Lucy Bosman (Now available at http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Life-Lucy-Bosman-ebook/dp/B00R58NPDE)

Website: http://www.rebekahpierce.synthasite.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorrebekahlynnpierce (author page) Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rebekahpierce

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191171.Rebekah_L_Pierce

About.me: http://about.me/rebekah.l.pierce

WordPress Blog: http://www.rebekahpierce.wordpress.com

The chance to interview Rebekah again was one I couldn’t pass up. She’s a fabulous woman and so inspiring. I was fortunate enough to read her new book The Secret Life Of Lucy Bosman myself recently and have posted a review which can be found here:



Book Review: The Secret Life Of Lucy Bosman

TSLOLB Cover - Final

The Secret Life Of Lucy Bosman by Rebekah L. Pierce

The Secret Life of Lucy Bosman has truly opened my eyes to a world and time I knew very little of. The struggles and treatment of coloured people that Rebekah describes is heart-breaking and I’m manly enough to admit, bought a tear to my eye. The way the writer has described the setting for the story is beautiful, and that, combined with Lucy Bosman’s flashbacks, transports you into a world of prejudice and heartbreak, but also bravery, courage, faith and compassion.
I know in America there is Black History Month, something I didn’t get in the UK during my school education. Much research has gone into this down to the simplest detail such as fashion and speech and I have learnt so much through this book that I struggled to put it down. It is elegantly written and there are no pointless characters. Every character has a purpose, and represents a different person of society, giving you a well-rounded and unbiased story. I loved characters and hated others, yet somehow managed to find compassion for them too. I was surprised by certain events in the book and even by some characters, particularly Mr Tom Parker, who surely surprised me in the end. It is not just a story about discrimination and a suppressed society, but also about friendship, love, fear and dreams.
I am normally a person who says “Give me a story with dragons, wizards, mutants and superheroes any day.” Yet, just like she did with Murder On Second Street: The Jackson Ward Murders, Rebekah has managed to sway me again.
I recommend this book no matter what your favourite genre. I guarantee, you will love it!


Writer Interview: Christmas Edition: DJ Priddle

DJ Priddle

DJ Priddle is a book-lover and movie-fan, and of course, a writer. Yet he is so much more than a writer. The man is multi-talented. He’s lead singer of a rock band, writes press releases and even presents on his local radio show. Somehow, in the midst of all that, he finds time to be a husband to his beautiful wife, father to his three lovely daughters, and manages to keep his coffee addiction topped up. He’s even found time to finish his second novel; the sequel to The Honey Trap, which will be out at the end of January.

Despite a crazy schedule, the talented man found time to interview for me. Hope you enjoy it!


1. What are you working on right now?

Right now I have just finished the manuscript for my second book, “Blood Runs Deep.” Due out at the end of January from Percy Publishing.

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

It’s a follow on from my first novel, “The Honey Trap,” following the life of a very troubled ex-police detective, who spent five years in Belmarsh prison for taking backhanders and becoming involved with prostitutes. Both novels are about how he deals with the world around him. Life after prison has been tough for him, and he is now working as a Private Investigator of sorts, but he soon realizes that his criminal past is still very much a part of his life. In this next book, he has to deal with past events head on as he is thrown into a case searching for the son of a wealthy businessman, while trying to fend off the assistance from a determined young journalist and with an old flame thrown in for good measure.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Most of my current inspiration comes from the millions of books that I have read and the billions of films that I have seen. I have also got into a really bad habit of watching thousands of hours of documentaries, searching for anything that I can use as content. Even the smallest details can be over emphasized and expanded to make interesting plotlines. As for why I write, I think that it goes back to having always been creative in some way or another. It was not that I always wanted to write, I just did. Since I was young, I’ve always enjoyed creative writing. Throughout school I wrote short stories and enjoyed studying English Literature and the Greek Classics. I had two English teachers at high school who were a huge inspiration to me and their passion for the classic writings of Sophocles, Homer, Harper Lee and Shakespeare meant that I really engaged with them. I was inspired by the way that the characters interacted with each other. The main storyline always felt merely like a top layer of a much more complex idea, to me, and that is what I wished to create in my own writing. As I got older, I continued to write, but never completed anything. I realised that I did not know how to write a story to the end. I did not have the focus or the attention span to see it through. So, I had to retrain my brain and learn the craft of ‘long-distance’ writing.

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

Coffee between the hours of 8am and 6pm and whiskey thereafter. No seriously, I do drink a hell of a lot of coffee whilst I write, but depending on where I am in the text I have to force myself to take breaks. When my mind is getting bogged down with worrying about my own plot holes, I tend to sit and watch a film that I know is completely different. Suddenly, something will snap in my mind, and I’ll be able to return to writing again.

5. What is your favourite book?

Of all time? I’m not sure if I have a favourite. I have different answers for different reasons.

The Republic by Plato would be my most pretentious answer. I’m a fan of Ancient Greek writings and philosophy although I would not consider it a bedtime read.

I love Terry Pratchett, so a more sensible answer would be one of his. Probably the later books, maybe something about Commander Vimes?

John Grisham and Richard North Patterson for my slightly more intelligent moments. I love the American law style books and actually would say that this is what I read most. My favourites are Private Screening by North Patterson and The Street Lawyer by Grisham.

Then there are the standards by which all others are judged. It’s a cliché I’m afraid, but I love Dan Brown. To keep slightly controversial I’ll say that my favourite was Digital Fortress.

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire most, and why?

I have no idea. I don’t really know a lot about other authors. I remember seeing a program recently about Terry Pratchett’s battle with Alzheimer’s so I would have to say him. The struggle to continue doing something that you have always done, because of something out of your control, must be heart breaking for him and his family. I’m not sure that I could be as strong as he has been.

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

I’m the lead singer of a rock band. No really, I am. My wife and I run a wedding and function band, and I’m the front man. I travel the country in an old transit van and perform on stage. When I am not doing that, I write press releases for an independent PR company and I present a show on local radio. I live with my wife and three daughters, which mean that my spare time is filled very quickly with DIY, day’s out and dad duties, so that’s hobbies out of the question. As for party tricks, I think my band has played at every party that I’ve ever been to. Family weddings and birthday’s mean that I have to work. So I’ve never made time to learn a party trick. I’ve never really needed one.

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

I’m a bit rubbish when it comes to blogging. I have a twitter account, that I keep updated when I’m not rushed off my feet. @djpriddle and I also have a facebook page facebook.com/djpriddle. I will be getting a website in the New Year, but so far I have not sorted one out.

9. What are your writing plans for 2015?

I will be writing the third and fourth instalments of the Jonas Brock books. Book three is already planned and plotted and it promises to be a good one, full of good old fashioned sex and violence, so I will start that in March or April. Before that I will be taking a little break to work on an interesting project. My Great Grandfather wrote a war memoir of the 1914-18 war, so I want to edit it up and see if I can get it published on behalf of my family.

10. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

I live in a house with three children. If we buy Jaffa cakes, they last around about three minutes. I have to be very quick and tough if I want one, wrestling the children to the floor in a desperate struggle to be the first to open the packet. So, I will answer that as; love them but never get to have one.

To follow DJ Priddle and his work, see the details below:

Twitter: @djpriddle
Facebook: facebook.com/djpriddle

I’d like to take the time to thank DJ Priddle for completing this interview at short notice so I had something to post for my Christmas Edition. And what an edition it was.

Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year 🙂

Dj Priddle

Writer Interview: Kristopher Norris

                                                     Kristopher Norris


Kristopher Norris was a military brat and lived in England, Europe and Germany and got to experience many amazing things at a tender age. Now he resides just outside Omaha, NE. He is father to a beautiful young daughter. Kristopher is a big fan of the paranormal, particularly vampires, which started when he first watched The Lost Boys with Kiefer Sutherland.  Kristopher started off as a ghost writer and after many years has now taken the brave leap to self-publishing his own stories, an admiring quality in itself.  He loves to read and write horror, paranormal, fantasy, high fantasy and thrillers, and as just completed his debut novel, the first of a series of book he titles  The Chronicles of Vincent Black, Vampire Assassin.



1. What are you working on right now?

Another ulcer?… besides that… My main focus the past few months has been marketing Blackjack, book one of The Chronicles of Vincent Black, Vampire Assassin. With that has been a lot of work outside of writing; blog updates, which I’ve been slacking on; tweets and status updates, a year ago I didn’t even know what a tweet was. The guilds to self-publishing weren’t lying when they said it’s a different game.  

Outside of the business end of things, I’ve been working on Double Down, Vincent’s second novel and a completely separate story line; a yet to be named urban paranormal, new city, new characters, new lore, new world.

2. Can you tell us a little something about it?

I could. In fact, it would make for a rather dull interview if I didn’t. Without giving too much of either story away… I’m really happy with Vincent’s journey. He went through a lot in Blackjack; found out a good deal about himself and the people he works with….plus, you know, learning vampires are real would send anyone for a loop. Double Down opens up with Vinny back in his own city of Las Vegas. It’ll be great! He’s more confident in his abilities, he’s on his home turf, but I promise he’ll still blunder about some. He is still learning… the baby among immortals. The werewolves play a much larger role in the second book. We see a lot of the secondary characters come to the fore ground. Personally, I’m very excited. Tarja, the beautiful vampire, is nearly a constant part of the story. She has always been one of my favorite characters to write.  


The unnamed project is another urban paranormal. This one is based around a half-demon who works for the church as an investigator. It’s still very much in its early formation but I’ll still pretty excited about it. I’ve already fallen in love with one of the supporting characters. If the story doesn’t take hold, I might have to transfer her into Vincent’s world. I have every confidence it’ll hold up to the writing process.

3. Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I try to take my inspiration from everywhere. Hell, I was inspired while reading through these interview questions. A scene smacked me in the head just a few moments ago and I had to jot it down so I could get back to the interview. You and one of my fans clicked a light on upstairs.

Vincent and Carmen are going to have fun with this one!! Sorry, got excited there for a moment. But, like I said, I find inspiration everywhere.

I guess you’ll have to read the books to find out which…and, trust me, you’ll know it when you read it!

4. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have?

Hehe…. Sorry, still thinking about the last question. Yes, I do. A big bowl of M&M’s: half peanutbutter half peanut….

Sadly we don’t have Jaffa cakes state side (or at least not that I’ve seen) I asked a fan to send me some but I got the impression that they wouldn’t survive from the shop to the post office.  

5. What is your favourite book?

That’s not an easy one… wow, umm… yes… that one. The one with the pages and the story and the characters and the shenanigans…you know that one!

No, honestly I love too many to pick a favorite. However my favorite series are easy, Both by Jim Butcher: The Dresden Files and Codex Alera. If you haven’t.,.,, you should… go now. I’ll wait…

…done yet?…

 …Weren’t they great!?

6. Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire the most, and why?

I don’t know. I don’t try to dive into personal aspects of people’s lives. I admire anyone who takes a chance and lives a dream. Even if they fall, or even if it’s short lived, they tried damn it and that’s more glorious than any bank account could muster.

I admire all the helpful authors I’ve had the good grace to meet along my way. Coming from ghost writing to self-published was scary.  But, I quickly learned that I was not alone. I’ve found a ton of support from other indie guy and ladies. It’s been wonderful. Sorry, a little off topic but those are the writers and authors I respect and admire the most.   

7. Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

I have a horrible habit to type the way I speak… and, to use a lot of “…” oh well…thankfully I keep it at bay when I’m writing. Text and emails….forget about it.

8. Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?








Twitter @V_BlackBooks



9. And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

I’m trying to get some!   


Kristopher is the first male writer Ive been able to interview, and what a great interview it is. He shares the same genre passions as me, and I cant wait to get my hands on a copy of BlackJack. For more information on Kristopher and to follow his work, follow the links above.


Thanks again Kris!

Writer interview: Rebekah L. Pierce

     Rebekah Lynn Pierce


Rebekah Lynn Pierce is an extraordinary woman.  Originally from California she now resides in Richmond, VA with her husband of fourteen years and her two children, aged eleven and three. But she is not just a wife and mother; she is a veteran, a former college English teacher, professional developmental editor, motivational speaker and of course author. Rebekah writes everything from books to plays and films to life workbooks. She is an intelligent woman with three degrees under her belt: an Associates, Bachelors and Masters. She has been writing and teaching for more than thirteen years and likes her work to focus on contemporary women and their search  for purpose and identity. Rebekah has also written and directed several fully-length and short plays. And as if her life is not busy enough, she even has a little home-based shop called Buffy’s Goodies where she sells delicious self-baked goods! What a woman!

And as busy as this acomplished woman is, she was kind enough to take time out to do an interview with me.




1.What are you working on right now, and can you tell us a little something about it?

I just re-released my historical fiction novel, Murder on Second Street: The Jackson Ward Murders. It’s a murder mystery set in the historic African American neighborhood, Jackson Ward (referred to in History books as “The Black Wall Street of America” in the early 20th Century) in Richmond, VA, 29 days before the infamous fall of the stock market crash – October 29, 1929. It features a rare character – an African American WWI veteran named Sy Sanford. He’s been hired by the Negro businessmen and women in the community to solve the murders of working class Negro women in the Ward. So, I am knee-deep in marketing this book to historical fiction readers, book clubs, bloggers, etc. I am also working on the completion of my new mystery novel series, Sex, Lies & Shoeboxes featuring the African American female protagonist, Bobbie Vale. This work is a traditional “gum-shoe” mystery novel set in the mid- 1990s in my hometown of Stockton, CA.  2. Can you tell us a little something about it? 

My name is Rebekah Lynn Pierce, and I am a veteran, author, playwright, motivational speaker and former college English teacher. I have three degrees: an Associates, Bachelors and Masters. I’ve been married for 14 years and have two children: 11 and 3 (don’t ask!); we live in Richmond, VA, but I am originally from California. I love to read mysteries, the classics and other great works of fiction. Writing is a HUGE part of my life; it’s my greatest gift. I am a storyteller across genres meaning I write novels, plays, films, short stories, etc. It’s important to me that no matter what I write, it empowers and inspires the reader in some way to be the best they can be and to live their life on purpose. I believe that we all have a purpose and a calling on our lives; we just have to accept what that is and not compare it to others – not try to live someone else’s dreams. 

2.Tell us, why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

 I write because it’s what I’ve been called to do; it’s my gift. Writing for me is like breathing. I cannot live without out it – it’s an extension of who I am. I draw my inspiration from the world around me. I call myself a socially conscious writer in that I write about issues that affect the lives of women and children, especially in my dramas and in my nonfiction work. I released a life workbook a few months ago for modern working women called Kryptonite Killed Superwoman: Turning in the Cape for an Authentic, Purpose-Driven Life. It speaks to the pull modern women feel to be everything to everyone, and how in doing so, we are dying physically, spiritually, emotionally and financially. I am NOT Superwoman. Claiming so means I have no time to stop, regroup/reflect/embrace the present moment and take care of myself. Women today must remove the cape. 

With regards to my novels, there is always a deep element of pain and joy in my characters. They are real in that people can identify with some aspect of that character’s persona or life events. I am an observer-participant, meaning I am inspired by what I observe happening in my surroundings and I participate in it by writing about it. I used to tell my students that it’s called “entering the conversation.” Whenever you write a response to what is happening in the world, you are entering that particular conversation about that topic. And that’s what I feel writers/artists ultimately are created to do. 


3. When I write, I require Jaffa cakes (and lots of them), do you have a writing must-have? 

No, I really do not require a must-have, although I am a little old fashioned in that I write by hand first on notepads and such. There’s something about the feel of the transfer of energy from hand to paper. It invigorates me and, in some strange way, it keeps me connected to my muse. I am, after all, just a conduit for the muse and the message it wishes to deliver to the readers.


4.What is your favourite book?

I have a lot of favorite books. For the classics, it would be Native Son, by Richard Wright. The depth of the writing style and energy in that story is so profound and haunting.  Llove to teach this novel because it is a clear example of the change from a social inattention and fear of change to social responsibility and accountability. We are our brother’s keeper, essentially. For current contemporary literature, I so loved Wench, by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. The novel chronicles the lives of four slave women – mistresses to their masters. One summer changes their lives when they have to decide between escaping North to freedom or staying behind to protect their children and, for one, stay with her master, whom she loves. He is all she has ever known. It is powerful reading! I love how Perkins shows you the dichotomy of the lives of these four slave women and the wives of their masters. These women were all pitted against one another for the protection and safety of a man, and that is ultimately the story of slave women and white women of that era. But in terms of mystery/suspense novels, it’s Agatha Christie’s, And Then There Were None, Alexander McCall Smiths’ “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series and the “Stephanie Plum” series by Janet Evanovich. Did I mention Ernest J. Gaines’, A Lesson Before Dying? Oh, my! You should have never asked me this question. Don’t get me started on plays, either!

5.Which author’s career, alive or passed on, do you admire the most, and why?

I think I’ve mentioned most above. But again, I am a huge fan of and grew up reading Agatha Christie, Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys, Harlequin Romances and Louie Lamar westerns. Now, I am deeply influenced in terms of narration and POV by Alexander McCall Smith’s “No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series. With regards to humor and gum shoe detective stories, I absolutely love the style of Janet Evanovich. And for classic mystery/detective, it has to be Walter Mosley’s “Easy Rawlins” series. Of course, for the classics, the period I most identify with and generally love to teach/read, it’s the modernist period. Some of those authors are Hemingway, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, John Steinbeck, etc. The use of imagery and language is powerful as well as the themes of their words: social justice, the loss of faith, redemption, and more. 


6.Tell us something about yourself…an annoying habit or party trick perhaps? Can you speak a foreign language or have a hobby?

Well, I do not speak a foreign language, per se. I can speak a little bit of French, but not enough to make it on the streets of Paris, France. I am a baker. I have a little home-based shop called Buffy’s Goodies (www.buffysgoodies.yolasite.com). My specialty is red velvet and dark fudge chocolate chip cupcakes; I make a MEAN sweet potato and apple pie. And, honey, my chocolate chip cookies will put you in rehab. J On a serious note, I am also a professional developmental editor.

7.Do you have a blog, website or social networking account people can go to if they wish to learn more about you or your work?

Oh my goodness! Absolutely! I am on the following social media sites:

Website: www.rebekahpierce.synthasite.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorrebekahlynnpierce (author page) and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Murder-on-Second-Street/124154814274796 (Murder on Second Street book page)

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rebekahpierce

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191171.Rebekah_L_Pierce  About.me: http://about.me/rebekah.l.pierce 

WordPress Blog: http://www.rebekahpierce.wordpress.com 

Amazon.com: Murder on Second Street: The Jackson Ward Murders http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E3XWN82 

8.And now, for the most important question of all: Jaffa cakes – love them or hate them?

What in the name of sweet baby Jesus is Jaffa cakes? I love cake, though. Can I get the recipe? Did I tell you I’m a baker?


I’d like to say a big thank you to Rebekah for such a fantastic interview and for taking the time from her busy day to do this lovely addition to my blog.Image