Category Archives: Guest Blogs and Interviews

Author Interview with Victorine E. Lieske

Today we are talking with New York Times Best Selling Author Victorine E. Lieske about her latest book Accidentally Married. Victorine has written several novels and short stories, and is a self-published superstar.


Accidentally-Married-500x300

Good morning. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview.

Hi Jerry! I’m thrilled to do this interview with you.

You and I first met just prior to your initial release, Not What she Seems. I believe you helped me critique my first story on a website called Critique Circle. You were far gentler than many that critiqued my story, but you were right on the money with your advice. For new writers who have yet to take that first big step, how important is that kind of honest, blood-and-guts critique process?

I’m so happy you asked this question, because I feel strongly that the gritty critique process is essential to finding success in the book selling world. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it’s often painful. But you come out of it a much better writer, and your books are a million times better. I highly recommend Critique Circle for those who haven’t found a local critique group. It’s free, and the system over there works really well. And, like anything, you get out of it what you put into it. If you’re not very active over there, you won’t get as much out of it, so I’d tell anyone thinking of joining in to jump in with both feet. You learn just as much, if not more, from giving out critiques as you do from getting them.

Your first book, Not What She Seems, was an absolute hit. It landed on the New York Times best seller list, and for good reason. It was a very good book. How has being on this prestigious list changed your world?

You know, I was so surprised when the book hit the NYT’s best seller list. It hadn’t been that long since the New York Times had started tracking eBook sales, and the indie world was a buzz about it. The biggest disappointment was the small print at the bottom of the list that had said they wouldn’t count self-published books. So, when I found out it had made it, I was truly shocked. It really hasn’t changed much about me, it’s just really fun to be able to put on my books. Plus, people take my advice a little more seriously. That’s pretty much all that’s changed.

You’ve since published a young-adult, science-fiction/romance story called The Overtaking and a couple short stories based in that world. Has your trip through Science Fiction been well received by your fans?

I really love The Overtaking. It sits close to my heart. Unfortunately, my fans aren’t as in love with the idea of a world being taken over by another race, and the love affair that happens between two members of the opposite races as I am. 🙂 I have sold a few, and gained a few solid fans of the work, but it doesn’t sell nearly as well as my other novels. (Which I also love, and are dear to my heart. Whew, can’t have favorites, you know. They are like children!)

A few joint ventures later, and you have two new novels — Accidentally Married and Reluctantly Married. I’m not sure what genre these officially fall in. I like to call them Family-Friendly Romance books. They are romance novels, but not in the smutty way most people think. I, personally, really appreciate the kind of romance you generate in your stories. These seem to be going back to your roots, much more reminiscent of Not What She Seems. Is this the genre you are most comfortable with?

Thank you for saying they are Family-Friendly. I love romance, without the bedroom scenes, and I love being able to write whatever I like and share my passion for the sweet romance genre. I would put Accidentally Married and Reluctantly Married firmly in the Romantic Comedy genre. They really do read like a fun, lighthearted Rom-Com movie you’d go see with your girlfriends. (Or wife, if you’re a guy.) When I was writing Accidentally Married, my main goal was to make my writer’s group laugh when I read my chapter out loud. My favorite moment was when I had all the ladies in the room laughing so hard they were searching in their purses for tissues. That was great fun.

Accidentally Married focuses on the plight of a woman who shows up for a supposed job interview and ends up in a family situation that is over her head. What things led up to this idea in your mind?

I actually came up with the title before I wrote the book. The title came into my mind, and I thought, “How fun would it be to think of a plot in which the characters think they are faking a wedding for their family, but their family finds out about it and turns it into a real wedding.” It was great fun to form a plot around the title, and come up with crazy characters to fit the book.

When writing these kinds of romance stories, what is the number one thing you have to keep in mind as you are going through the writing process?

I always want to have plenty of attraction and tension in each scene. I also want my readers to laugh, so I try to find things that will bring on a giggle. But the whole thing can’t be funny, I like to put some serious bits in as well, to bring in some emotion. I try to put all of that into the book to make it a good read for my fans.

When you get to the end of the story, is there an overall theme that you want your readers to walk away with?

I don’t think too much about themes. My main goal is to have my readers walk away sighing because the characters professed their love, and the ending needs to have that satisfying “Ah,” moment. Yeah, it’s probably a girl thing. If there ends up to be a theme, it usually is by accident.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Before I let you go, I like to wind up on a lighter note. Humor me for just a moment: If you were an automobile — anything from a semi-truck to a moped — what kind of motorized vehicle would you be?

What an interesting question! Well, I’d have to say I’d be a Hybrid. I’m cheating, because I have a Ford Fusion Hybrid and I love that car. I love it for silly reasons. I keep my key in my purse and my car unlocks when I touch the handle, and it starts just by pushing a button. I love that I don’t have to dig my keys out of my purse. Plus, I can never leave my purse anywhere because my car won’t run without the key nearby. Silly, I know.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.


 

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For more information on Victorine E. Lieske, you can check out the links below.

 

Author Interview With Sarah Lonelodge

Book CoverToday we are talking with Sarah Lonelodge about her latest book To The Everlasting. Sarah is a new author, but her writing has struck a chord with hundreds of people already, and I see her future as someone to watch.


Hello. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview.

Hello. Thanks for having me.
 
I understand that you are a relatively new author. Everyone has their own memories of being “newly published”, from terror to joy. How would you describe the process of publishing your first book?
It was an amazing whirlwind of excitement and fear because it all happened so fast. I submitted my manuscript to Karen at Books-A-Daisy Publishing, and we went through a few rounds of editing over as many weeks. That was exciting. The fear came in when I realized that people would actually be able to read this really intimate thing that I wrote and that some of them may not like it or understand it. That really hit me the day it was published, but overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Continue reading Author Interview With Sarah Lonelodge

VIDEO Interview With Judi Coltman

Today we have a VIDEO interview with none other than Judi Coltman. Judi is the author of a humor book as well as two mystery/thrillers. Often compared to Erma Bombeck, Coltman sees the humor in the absurdity of everyday life and then tells anyone who will listen, as we will probably see today.


coverIf you signed up to receive Judi Coltman’s latest novel, hold your breath and check out the name below:

  • Carolyn Smith Sellers

This person will be receiving instructions to get their copy of Judi’s latest novel via email.

 

If you want to win free copies, register here and mark the “Interview with…” checkbox for the interview you wish to enter.
10806186_10203844346487922_2779643462051745412_nFor more information on Judi Coltman, you can check out the links below.

 


Next week’s Interview: Sarah Lonelodge.

If you want to win one of her amazing novels, put your name in the hat, now.

Cover image from Flickr

Author Interview With Bruce Fottler

PaladinEbookCover-smToday we are talking with Bruce Fottler about his latest book Paladin’s Odyssey. Bruce has written several five-star-rated novels including Dover Park and Chasing Redemption.


 

Good morning, Bruce. It’s good to talk with you today.

Thanks! I really appreciate this opportunity and your willingness to host these interviews.

In your latest book, Paladin’s Odyssey, you venture into a post-apocalyptic world where your main character has to help rebuild the fabric of society while hiding his own sins. I know that several events in my own life have led to some of my best plot mechanics. What events in your own life led you to build this character?

Not so much events in my own life — I can’t say I’ve ever been through an apocalyptic event — but of those from history, particularly in the Bible. As a kid, I was taught about all the “heroes” of the Bible in Sunday School. They often took on a superhero-like persona, which looking back I feel was an unfortunate portrayal. In reality, most were ordinary people with many of the same problems and personalities that we have. They found themselves thrust into extraordinary circumstances, stumbling, rising, overcoming while wrestling with their own weaknesses.

So true. I think we do people a disservice by not being as real about their flaws as their accomplishments. So, if the world of your story is a bit dark, how do you see the future of this world?

That’s a difficult one to answer. If some sort of global cataclysm doesn’t change our current track, as it did in Paladin’s Odyssey, I tend to think that our future could follow what’s in my novel “Chasing Redemption.” In that backdrop, the American economy eventually collapsed, taking the rest of the world down with it. A new, more global-centric economy rose from the financial chaos and there was a golden age of prosperity. Business drove the priorities, probably far more so than they do today.

I’m actually quite curious. Can you tell me how plot and overall story come into being?

It was something that I thought about every time I saw a movie with an apocalyptic event, and there have been quite a few of these made over the years. I would often ponder on their premises, finding most of them to be a bit too far-fetched or just plain cheesy. Hey, I can enjoy a good zombie flick, or some great CG mass-destruction eye-candy, but most of these movies left me yearning for a more plausible premise.

Then I remembered the Spanish Flu of 1918. It killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, which was a staggering number for that era, especially since World War I was still raging. Yet the world seemed to shrug it off and move on. That got me wondering – if something similar happened today, how would it play out? Would our world be able to handle it, particularly since we seem primed to panic over something much smaller?

You know the media has been reporting a tough flu season, and the current vaccines aren’t really effective. I hear that this sounds familiar to you. How so?

[laughs] It’s spooky. I saw this news story a couple of weeks ago. It was kinda freaky, as though the backdrop of Paladin’s Odyssey was starting to unfold in front of my eyes, right down to the month and year. I seriously doubt that it’ll lead to extremes like martial law by March, but if for some bizarre reason it does, it’ll be tragic that I can’t change professions to make a fortune predicting the stock market before it goes away.

Some people write for a paycheck, while others do it for the love of the craft or to fulfill a promise to a loved one. Can you tell me what drives you to get up and write?

While I can certainly use the paycheck, I’ve found that writing is far more fulfilling than what I used to do. My former professional life somewhat resembled the movie “Office Space.” I always had to be on top of those TPS cover-sheets while protecting my stapler. Nah, it actually wasn’t that bad, but I always wondered if the screenplay writer spent some time at the company I worked for.

Also, I dabbled in writing/directing/producing film shorts.

That’s awesome.

Nothing spectacular or I’d be in Hollywood right now, but I was always wrestling with all the frustrating limitations in that medium. Budget, equipment, and technological shortcomings always restricted the story. Writing, on the other hand, is like directing a movie with limitless resources.

They say your main character is a reflection of some aspect of ourselves. For example, Brodie Wade is the timid, scared part of me that would rather read a book than go out to a social situation. Is Joseph Paladin some aspect of your personality?

I like to think that Joesph Paladin represents an identity that many of us would be tempted to take on so people would think better of us. Walter Johnson took on his identity and ended up crafting a new, heroic reputation with it. It allowed him to leave behind a narcissistic life in which he perpetrated some questionable acts.

How far did you have to “reach” to get us from our comfortable homes and lives to establish this new vision of the world?

When facing the collapse of almost everything, my main character said it best: [opens Paladin’s Odyssey]

“I was consumed by the thought that I couldn’t survive in a world without convenience. I knew nothing of being a survivalist and never watched those outdoor reality shows on television. The closest relevant experience I had was a couple of years I spent as a Cub Scout. I was nothing more than a spoiled, middle-class kid raised in the suburbs. I needed my car, my electricity, well stocked grocery stores, drive through service, and my data-phone. There was little doubt it was all slipping away. I sat and wondered when the electricity would finally go out.”

Things get pretty grim before it gets better.

And finally… I like to end with one question that’s a bit out there. If you were a clown, what would your face paint look like?

Clowns? Um… all I can picture is that creepy “Pennywise” from Stephen King’s “It.” I suppose if you’re going to freak people out, you might as well go the distance and leave a scar.

[Laughter]

Well, thank you for being with me today. I appreciate your time, and I look forward to finishing your book.

No problem. Thank you for having me on your blog.


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BruceFottlerPressPic2014For more information on Bruce Fottler, you can check out the links below.

 


Next week’s Interview: A video Interview with Judi Coltman. If you want to win one of her amazing novels, put your name in the hat, now.

Author Interview With Cliff Ball

tribulation1800Today, I’m speaking with Cliff Ball, an indie author in Texas. Today we will be talking about Times of Tribulation, his latest book.

Good Morning. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

Good morning, Jerry.

As a writer, we have to put ourselves onto paper. Then it comes time to publish, and we find that our works encounter criticisms. How do you deal with those criticisms? Do you ever take it personally?

Continue reading Author Interview With Cliff Ball

Guest Blog: J.A. Beard

Please welcome our guest blogger, J. A. Beard. His new book, The Emerald City, is now out at Amazon.com. Take it away, J. A.!


I don’t believe in the paranormal or supernatural. I don’t believe in ghosts, sorcery, psychic abilities, or any magic other than the magic of compound interest. If Tinkerbell were to fly into a room with me, she’d probably be instantly struck dead by the sheer power of my disbelief. That’s me, J.A. Beard, fairy killer.

Despite all that, I love paranormal and fantasy fiction. Most of my writing centers on those genres. In fact, I actually love them more than I did when I was younger and actually believed somewhat in the supernatural. It was, ironically, also a time when my favorite genres were contemporary thrillers and hard science fiction. Although my current range of genres is extraordinary broad and includes everything from romance to historical fiction, paranormal and fantasy books are still easily my favorites. Why would a fairy killer be so into stories centered on the unreal?

It’s not, as I’ve had some people assume, because I have some strong yearning for “wonder” that’s lacking in my skeptical daily life. I spend my days involved in research science. To me, there’s nothing more wondrous than studying the beautiful complexity in nature.

My interests in science and history are key to my enjoyment of fantasy and paranormal fiction. For me, verisimilitude is an important trait in any story, perhaps the most important. The basic rules of nature and general expectations of how people would or should react in a given situation are vital to helping preserve my suspension of disbelief. Built into that for many stories, though, are certain limitations, such as the implicit agreement not to violate the laws of physics. Sure, science fiction can get away with a lot, but there are still some fundamental limits at the margin. Granted, these limitations still allow for an almost limitless number of story variations.

Once magic is introduced into the story, though, there are absolutely no limits. Anything can be part of a story. The almost limitless becomes the infinite. That’s a very appealing idea to me, both as a reader and a writer.

It even appeals to my rational and scientific sides. Every story can become a sort of psycho-social experiment. Human behavior and history are both shaped by the fundamental limitations of reality. The ways our societies are organized are based around certain expectations on what we believe is reasonably possible.

So, I love the injection of the infinite into a story. I love everything from a subtle change that changes the atmosphere of a small town to a fundamental shift in the nature of reality that changes an entire world. Every paranormal or fantasy story is a sort of thought experiment on the nature of human existence and society. I love it, even if I am a fairy killer.


J.A. Beard likes to describe himself as a restless soul married to an equally restless soul. His two children are too young yet to discuss whether or not they are restless souls, but he’s betting on it. He likes to call himself the Pie Master, yet is too cowardly to prove his skills in an actual baking competition. So, really, he’s merely a Potential Pie Master. To the best of his knowledge, he’s not killed any fairies.

He blogs at riftwatcher.blogspot.com and is on Twitter as @jabeard_rf.

Free eBook Friday : Not What She Seems

Today, I am so very excited to tell you about Not What She Seems, by Victorine E. Lieske. Victorine has painted a very lovely picture with Seven Ashton, a billionaire who is seeking to leave his wealth behind and find a simpler way of life, if even for two weeks.

Emily is a drifter, riding along with con a man named Richard. It was the best she could do to provide for her son, Connor. She would do anything for him.

By chance or fate or whatever you may call it, Seven encounters Emily. She wants to just put the encounter behind her, but Richard has other plans. He notices that Steven shows some interest in her, and hopes to use that to turn a quick and tidy profit off of such a wealthy man.

At first, Emily doesn’t want to, but Steven is rather handsome. And friendly. The more she gets to know him, the more she really does like him. She decides that she wants out of the whole mess. She’s done with Steven. Done with the fraud. Done with Richard.

After all, what would Seven think of her if he knew the truth? What if he discovered Richard’s plan? How could she leave Richard, get out from under Seven’s watchful gaze, and take Connor with her safely? The odds seem insurmountable.

As a reader, I really enjoyed this book. Victorine paints a very believable picture, and all of the characters in the book are perfectly created.  The book mixes light romance themes in believable, thrilling, interesting scenes that keep the pages turning.

A 5-star read that reminds you that everyone has something to hide.


Victorine E. Lieske is also the author of The Overtaking. Get either book today for free.

Simply write the following on my <<Facebook Wall>>:

Hey Jerry! I’d like to win Not What She Seems, by Victorine E. Lieske for today’s Free eBook Friday.

I’ll have Random.ORG pick one lucky winner to receive the ebook. If you win, you can choose which book you want to read.

Fee eBook Friday: The Kinshield Legacy

Today, I have a great book to present to you, from a great author, K.C. May.  The book is The Kinshield Legacy, and was a great surprise.

The first book I read from K.C. was The Venom of Vipers, a modern sci-fi/romance/thriller. It was a fun, character-driven, look at the definition of what is a person. I’ve read several other authors that have tried to switch from modern times to a more fantasy feel. Most of the time, they excel in one genre, with a much weaker result in the other.  But K.C.’s works were very entertaining and in-depth in both worlds.

In this story, Gavin Kinshield, a great warrior and mercenary, is plagued by the fact that there is a prophecy about his family line; the person to complete the runes and retrieve the gems would be the king. As more and more of the runes are solved, people begin to notice, and Gavin must hide his identity. He considers himself a disgrace to his ancestor, the great Rondor Kinshield. He doesn’t want to be king, but the runes burn into his mind and nearly drive him crazy, an obsession that must be tamed and a riddle that must be solved.

As the kingdom falls apart, the discussion around the new king grows to the point that Gavin has a hard time keeping his secret. He’s ashamed of his lifestyle as it contrasts with his family name. As reputable jobs become more and more sparse, thievery and illegal gains threaten to become his only source of provision. From adventure to adventure, we see Gavin gathering up a band of supporters from the unlikeliest of places.

The book does wrap up the main plot line, but intentionally opens the grand palace double doors into the next book of the saga, The Wayfarer King. I will be picking p the next book to keep up with Gavin’s adventures.

The story is rich and full of characters that come to life. I was pleasantly surprised as I read through this book at how well K.C. created such a vibrant world. I thought that Venom of Vipers was an incredible book, but this one came before Venom. And yet both books were so well done. K.C. has spanned the gap between both genres with grace and style, as only she can.

If you like fantasy/adventure stories, you can’t go wrong with The Kinshield Legacy.  It is a surprising adventure that pulled me in so deep that I couldn’t put the book down. I read through it in one sitting, hours on end. If you buy any books this year, this book should be at the top of your list.

 


EDIT: The links didn’t show up. Here they are.
Author web site: http://www.kcmay.com
Author blog: http://fantasyauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kcmay.author
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GASciFiAuthor




If you would like to win a copy of The Kinshield Legacy, just post on <<my facebook page>>:

Hey Jerry! I would like to put my name in to win The Kinshield Legacy, today’s Free eBook Friday book.

At the end of the day, I will pick one name and send them a free copy of K.C.’s masterpiece. Get your name in early!

Blog Tour: Coral Russell

Today, I’m happy to host Coral Russell, author of Amador Lockdown. Take it away, Coral!


I have had strange experiences in my life that has led me to believe that there is ‘something’ beyond this life. One of the most memorable experiences was with my husband. We bought a one hundred year old house. It was 2400 square feet. The upstairs and downstairs consisted of a wide room at least thirty feet long with two ceiling fans. The foyer of the house was done in oak and had three flights of stairs. My husband worked during the day and I worked part-time at night and would get home about 11pm.

Our house was on the corner and for weeks now I had driven up to a house ablaze with light. My husband had turned every single light in the house on and there were many windows so you could see it from a couple of blocks away. I begged him to think of the electricity and please turn off the lights. Surely he didn’t need every light in the house on when it got dark.

He mumbled something or other and I still came home to find the house all lit up. It was welcoming, but I dreaded receiving the electric bill.

One night we were watching TV downstairs. The TV was in front of a big picture window at one end of the big room downstairs. We had a loveseat in front of the TV and to our left was the foyer. I’m not sure when we became aware of footsteps overhead, but they were at least twenty to twenty-five feet behind where we were sitting. My husband and I both turned and looked up. The footsteps were walking straight down the middle of the room and the ceiling fan directly behind us shook a little as they passed.

Then the footsteps proceeded down the stairs. The staircase was old and every step creaked loudly. As the footsteps continued down the three flights of stairs, my husband and I leaned forward and looked into the foyer fully expecting to see a person enter the foyer. The footsteps stopped. Only there was no one there.

For the first time my husband and I looked at each other. We had been speechless this entire time. Then my husband jumped up, turned to me and said, “See, that’s the same #$%* that’s been going on every night in this house!”

I never asked him to turn off the lights again.



Coral Russell reads/reviews Indie authors on alchemyofscrawl.wordpress.com

Check out her Stalker Package to connect.

She has written The DIY Guide to Social Media Marketing and eBook Publishing, Playing with Fire, Twelve Worlds, Peace on the Peninsula, and Amador Lockdown.

 

Author Interview with Craig Hansen

This morning, I have an interview with Craig Hansen, author of Most Likely.

Becky Howard is a teen under pressure. Pressure from her best friend not to breathe a word about the abuse she’s suffering by her mother. Pressure from her sister to understand her marital difficulties. Pressure from her boyfriend to get more physical than she’s ready for. And pressure from the rumors about her boyfriend that are eroding her trust in him. As she prepares for the biggest track meet of her life, Becky’s about to learn that sometimes growing up is about more than having sex, and that clinging to ideals might not be as helpful as learning to expect whatever is MOST LIKELY.

So, when you sit down to write, can you tell us a little about how you go about it? What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

I’m completely a night owl. I am no good with early morning activities of any sort. I do my best writing between 11 PM and 3 AM. I’m also pretty good in the afternoon.

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

I’m probably a bit old-fashioned in this sense, but whenever I start a project, I grab a college-ruled spiral notebook and a pen and start brainstorming. Sometimes I’ll transfer these notes later on into a Word document, and sometimes I won’t. But I love having that spiral notebook close at hand whenever I need to reference something.

What do you draw inspiration from?

Each story is different, in that sense. MOST LIKELY came about when I was in college 20 years ago. I was reading a lot of coming of age novels at the time, but I was frustrated that so many of them were obsessed with sex as the defining event of growing up. I felt that was pretty narrow and wrote MOST LIKELY with the idea that there’s a lot more to growing up than sex. My next project is a series of novels about a teenage girl who starts fires with her mind. Part of the inspiration came decades ago, after reading FIRESTARTER by Stephen King and wondering what it would be like if Charlie had been a hormonal teenage girl. Also, it’s my subtle little way to do something that’s part paranormal suspense, part superhero, but something still uniquely all my own. The other short novel I’m working on, which for now I’m calling IDEA WAREHOUSE, came from a smart-aleck response I had when I was asked where I get my ideas from. I said, “From a warehouse in New Jersey.” That was the start of it, and then the short novel grew from that basic seed. So, there’s no one way I come up with ideas. Each novel has its own unique origin.

Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

When I’m working on a first-draft, I use a freeware word processor called FocusWriter. It allows me to set a daily word-count goal. I usually set it at 3,000 or 4,000 and try like crazy to meet or exceed that every day I’m actively writing.

What work that you’ve done speaks the most to you?

Whatever I’m working on at the moment. If I’m not feeling like my current project is the best thing I’ve ever written, that’s a red flag for me. Currently, I’m working on a short novel that acts as sort of a prequel to my next big novel, EMBER. It’s kind of like my tribute to THE BODY, by Stephen King… only with a female cast instead of four boys.

How do you come up with your cover art?

I worked closely with Glendon Haddix of Streetlight Graphics on the cover of MOST LIKELY. He’s a really generous guy with his time, and he presented me with well over a dozen options, maybe even two dozen. Then I posted some of my favorites on Kindleboards and asked for feedback. Some of the covers were more track-oriented, but then we decided to go for the heart of the novel, which is Becky’s emotional journey. Some of the covers we evaluated had girls who looked completely devastated and depressed, or extremely prayerful. The one we ended up with captured the best balance… she seems a bit down, but not defeated. And Glendon’s logo design work was brilliant, because it visually tips people off that there are some spiritual elements to the novel. Even though it’s not overwhelming, I do think people like a clue when a novel has some spiritual content.

Do you participate an any social media outlets like facebook?

Frequently. I took the advice of many of the smart independent authors who’ve blazed trails before me. I’m on both Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Craig-Hansen-Author/136888346383154) and Twitter (@craigahansen), and I have a home base Web site (http://www.craig-hansen.com/) where my blog resides. A lot of writers get overwhelmed by social media and wish they didn’t have to put so much time into it. I’ve worked it out where I put in a couple hours each day, six days a week, and then stop. Social media a great marketing tool, and a great way to connect with fans, readers, other writers and so forth, but the writing has to come first.

Do you own an ebook reading device?

I do! No offense to Nook owners, but I absolutely love my Kindle. It’s a third-generation Kindle with WiFi only and it’s what brought me into the world of eBooks. Both my wife and I own one. I’ve given some thought to a Nook Color, because it’s a great machine and I really like PubIt. But even if I do add a Nook Color in the future, I’ll always own a Kindle.

Were any real-life people the inspirations behind any of your characters?

No one directly inspired any of my characters. I’m not the type of writer who does that. My characters are usually a mixture of different qualities of several different people I’ve met or known. In MOST LIKELY, however, I did name one of the incidental characters after an old childhood friend from my high school years, as a tribute to that friendship.

Who was the most difficult character to write?

The owner of Heroes and Zeros was a challenge. I have known several of these sorts of “grumpy old men” who actually are really decent guys once you get to know them, over the years. I wanted to make him abrasive at first, so that when his character comes full circle and turns out to be this nice guy, it’s not necessarily expected. But I had a hard time getting the tone just right, and only really became satisfied with how I handled Leo Palmer in the final pass-through.

Do you have any new projects in the works?

I have the Ember series, which is my most important fiction project at the moment. The first full-length novel is about half finished right now. I had to set it aside to get MOST LIKELY to market. And right now, I’m doing a prequel short novel that I’ll release before EMBER, so that there’s a $0.99 introduction to the series. I have no idea at this point how many books I’ll add to the EMBER series, but if readers embrace it, I have many story ideas, a lot of ways to torment poor Ember Cole.

I also have a standalone short novel I want to put out as a $0.99 read, when I get the chance. It’s a pure psychological suspense novel, and not aimed at young adults but older readers. It’s a fun, frenetic thrill ride.

Outside of fiction, I have some theological books I’m working on that will explore topics related to Messianic theology. I’m a Messianic rabbi in training and hope to launch my own congregation soon, so those books will tie into that. The first of these is called DATING THE MESSIAH, which will be a researched piece where I explore when Jesus was born, when he died, how old he was at the time of His death and resurrection, why we’ve come to believe what we believe about that, and whether there might be valid alternate theories on the topic. I do have an opinion on it, and it’s not the traditional view, but I don’t want to say much more about it until the book’s ready for release.

My theology books will be featured more on my religious blog, MessianicMusings.com, rather than on my author blog, Craig-Hansen.com, since I expect I’ll be dealing with a significantly different audience for those.

Wow.. that’s cool. I think I’ve visited your website many times in the past. I didn’t realize that you were the author of that. It’s a great website, as well. Anyway, back to the interview… I like to end with a non-writing question: If you could take a trip anywhere, where would you go?

It may sound cliche for a guy who’s going into the ministry field, but I would very much like to visit Israel someday. Beyond that, my ancestors come from Ireland, so I’d enjoy a tour of Ireland, Scotland and London. Inside the US, I’m moving this fall to one of the areas I’ve always wanted to visit: the Pacific Northwest. Oregon, specifically. After spending most of my life living in Midwest flatlands and enduring long, ultra-cold, deep-snow winters, I’m very much looking forward to going where I’ll be close to mountains, the ocean and milder weather patterns throughout the year.

Thank you for your time today, Craig.

If you would like more information on Most Likely, you can view the Amazon link below.