Category Archives: Guest Blogs and Interviews

Interview with Consuelo Saah Baehr

Hello, Consuelo. Welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me today. Consuelo is author of a book title Daughters.

So, can you tell us a little bit about your current book before we begin?

The book is Historical Romance, and the title is Daughters. It is an unforgettable novel about courage, love and hope; and about two worlds – one ancient, one modern – and the extraordinary women who bridge them.

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.
Someone once asked what made me choose to be a writer. Choose? Most writers don’t have a choice. The writing monkey has been on my back since I was ten years old attending St. Mildred’s Academy, a boarding school for girls. In that sparse library I found a novel about an orphan who discovers her mother is a famous actress. I realized that writing gave you complete power to recreate the world and began writing immediately. After college I wrote advertising copy for many years, married, had three children, and began sending out short pieces while three toddlers ran around the house. An essay in The New York Times Op-Ed page brought me to the attention of editors and I received a book contract the following week. Four novels followed as well as screenplays, a one-woman show and several television scripts.

What is the first book that you can remember having a true impact on you?
As stated above, it was a book titled “Chum” that I found in the library of my convent boarding school and probably not particularly well written. But the idea that you could have complete control over the details of a life was a revelation that appealed strongly.

What is one quirky thing about yourself…something that no one outside of your friends and family might know.
I do not like to leave my house. I did a blog recently of trying to go on a visit and it took me three days to actually leave. It isn’t a pathological disorder that I know of. Am I in denial?

Hmmm… probably. (laugh) So, what is your current project about?
When I began re-issuing my backlist print books for the Kindle, I realized that I had stumbled on the most liberating development to come along for writers in my lifetime: I had the ability to publish anything I wrote without going through the agony of traditional print publishing.
I found three half-finished novels in my files and ideas for a couple more. I am working on a book titled Faith and Hope about two women from opposite ends of the social scale who end up struggling against each other in the world of turn of the century Wall Street.

Oh. That sounds interesting. How did the plot and overall story for that project come into being?
I have always been interested in the “robber baron” period of American economic history. When I read that J.P. Morgan sat and played solitaire while the leading bankers ironed out a plan to save the banking system during the panic of 1907, I want to know more.
Wall Street was totally chaotic in the beginning with stocks hawked on the streets outside the exchanges. That whole period appeals to me.

Do you have any other projects on the burner somewhere (that you can talk about)?
As I said, I found several books in the files. Tough As Nails is a humorous thriller with a middle-aged woman as the P.I.

Here comes the fast ball… Quick! without thinking what are the first five words that come to mind?
Noble, Sandy, Terrific, Done, Fabulous

Now, what do you think those five words say about your personality?
Perhaps I feel noble to try this cutting edge technology as a vehicle for my writing. I began on a manual Royal with a missing letter. Sandy might mean gritty. Gritty might mean that it requires putting yourself out there and selling a brand. Terrific might mean that this is a terrific development just when I thought my writing life was stalled. Done? I don’t know what that means because I’m just getting started. Fabulous? Diving into the ether of the digital world and awaiting the serendipitous results is nothing short of fabulous.

Do you have any pets? Can you tell us about them?
When my kids were still at home we had a cat named Fred. I fed and took care of that cat even though I was not a big fan of cats. When he died, I kept him on a pillow in front of the wood stove for a couple of days hoping he would revive. So I guess you can say I fell in love with Fred. I have no pets now.

If the world were to one day have your name as a household name (aside from your writing career) what would you want to be known for?
Making people laugh in recognition of a shared absurdity about daily life.

Thank you for taking the time to interview with me today.

Interview with Christopher Truscott

Today, we have Christopher Truscott with us. He is the author of Stumbling Forward, a dark drama/comedy about American Politics in the 21st century.

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?

I really enjoy telling a story. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be glad to take a lot of money for this, but I write because it’s something I enjoy doing. It provides additional meaning to my days and I do love the good feedback I get from my very small group of fans.

What is the first book that you can remember having a true impact on you?

Easily Tom Sawyer. It’s not a deep story, but it was the first “chapter book” my mom read to me as a kid, so it’s always had a special place in my heart. On a broader level, I’d say The Great Gatsby and anything by Hemingway were influential—especially since they’re the only writers I didn’t Cliffs Note in high school and college.

What is one quirky thing about yourself… something that no one outside of your friends and family might know?

I don’t sleep much, but I have a lot of energy. That’s diminished a little as I’ve gotten older, but it’s still a skill (gift?) that I have.

What is your current project about?

Currently I’m writing the first draft of the fourth book in what will end as a five-part series. It won’t be published until the spring of 2012. The second (A Referendum on Conscience) and the third (Picking a Fight) will both be published this year. They’re in the editing process. Like Stumbling Forward, my first novel, they provide a behind-the-scenes view at life in American politics.

How did the plot and overall story for that project come into being?

Stumbling Forward was something that was inspired by my experiences as a reporter covering politics and then later as a campaign staffer who specializes in communications. I enjoyed doing it so much—and liked my characters so much—that I spun it into a series.

What really surprised me was watching the story take on a life of its own. I started writing Stumbling Forward knowing how the story would start and end. It was the stuff in the middle that caught me off guard, especially how the characters developed. My favorite character, for instance, was originally slated to play a very minor role. Then I got to her first real scene (Chapter 3) and liked her so much that she became a star—and continues as the central character in the four books that will follow.

Do you have any other projects on the burner somewhere (that you can talk about)?

I have an outline for a short Christmas-themed novel that I’d really like to publish in late 2011, though it’ll probably be a Thanksgiving 2012 release. It’s about a guy who doesn’t realize how good he has it—and how important he is to the people around him—until he sees what life would’ve been like had he made different choices along the way.

Quick!… without thinking, what are the first five words that come to mind?

Wow, OK … I’m not sure. That’s five!

What do you think those five words say about your personality?

They say I wasn’t thinking quickly on my feet this evening!

Do you have any pets? Can you tell us about them?

I have two tuxedo cats—Boo! and Benny. They’re both very active, especially Boo!, who’s 9 years old. Benny, who’s 3, is much more laid back—at least compared to Boo!

Thank you for taking the time to answer these interview questions. Before I let you go, I have one more question. If the world were to one day have your name as a household name (aside from your writing career) what would you want to be known for?

I really feel I should say something profound here, but if I were to become famous more people would probably hear a lot about my cats! I talk about them too much and post way too many pictures of them to Facebook and Twitter.

Interview with John G. Hartness

Hello, John. Why don’t you introduce yourself to everyone.

I’m John G. Hartness, author of The Chosen and Hard Day’s Knight. I write contemporary fantasy with a Kevin Smith twist and a shot of whiskey, as I like to describe it.

Welcome. 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?
I’ve written since I was a little kid, and always loved to tell stories, read stories and write stories. I write because I have to have some type of creative outlet, and writing is cheaper than producing theatre! I told myself when I was very young that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. Fortunately, I’ve learned that growing up is optional, but I’m still going to make my best effort at being a writer.

What is the first book that you can remember having a true impact on you?
There’s not one specific book that I remember, but the characterizations and the sharp-witted dialogue (for the time) in the old Trixie Belden mystery books is something that’s stuck with me for years

What is one quirky thing about yourself… something that no one outside of your friends and family might know?
That’s hard, because I live so much of my life out in public on the internet, but I guess most folks wouldn’t know that I never learned to swim, and didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was eleven.

What is your current project about?
Back in Black (and Blue) is the sequel to Hard Day’s Knight and it will be coming out hopefully in March or April of this year. It will be a stand-alone case file for Jimmy and Greg, but will have characters that will tie back to the first book.

How did the plot and overall story for that project come into being?
I drink a lot. Seriously, the impetus for this novel was a serious of very tragic events nationwide last fall that I was very touched by, and wanted to write something about. I’m still not 100% sure that I have the words, but this book is my way of dealing with it. Once folks read the book it will become apparent what I’m talking about, and if not, there will be author’s notes. 🙂

Do you have any other projects on the burner somewhere (that you can talk about)?
I’m just in the beginning stages of a post-apocalyptic trilogy that sees a group of teenagers deal with the destruction of all technology and the return of magic to the world. The series will be called Return to Eden (tentatively), and I hope the first book will be ready either late this year or early 2012.

Quick!… without thinking, what are the first five words that come to mind?
I can’t print those and keep this PG-13. 🙂 The first clean ones are Black, Fairy, Razor, Card and Sneeze.

What do you think those five words say about your personality? That I need to clean my office. And that I have a potty mouth.

Thank you for keeping it PG-13. 🙂 Do you have any pets? Can you tell us about them?
I have two cats, Puck and Glinda. Puck is a long-haired black and white fat boy, and Glinda is a grey, black and brown short-haired princess. All our pets are always given names from theatre because my wife and I have both spent most of our adult lives working in the theatre world.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these interview questions. Before I let you go, I have one more question. If the world were to one day have your name as a household name (aside from your writing career) what would you want to be known for?
The longevity of my marriage.

Awesome. 🙂 Thank you again for visiting with us.

Interview with Dawn Judd

This morning, I would like to post my interview with Dawn Judd, author of Reining In and Phantom Rising.

You can download her books at Amazon:

Welcome, Dawn.

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?
Both really.  I love to write and have been doing it all my life, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to sell any books.  I’d love to make enough money to make a career out of it.

What is the first book that you can remember having a true impact on you?
Probably A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle.  I read it when I was probably 8 or 9 and it really got me thinking.  To this day, it is still one of my favorite books.  Whenever I hear the word mitochondria, I think of Charles Wallace.

What is one quirky thing about yourself… something that no one outside of your friends and family might know?
I love Beethoven.  I can listen to him for hours.

What is your current project about?
I am working on a project with my daughters and a group of friends.  It is a series, with a common theme, but each book is written by a different author.

How did the plot and overall story for that project come into being?
The group wanted to do a project together, but we weren’t sure where to start.  After brainstorming for several weeks, we finally decided to go with an idea one of the authors was working on.  His WIP will be the first book, and we will all go from there.  It’s been a very different experience, but I’m excited about it.

Do you have any other projects on the burner somewhere (that you can talk about)?
I’m working on several.  I have most of the plot for the third book in the Network Series.  Now I just have to write it.  I’m also working on a new series, but that one is still top secret.  I’ve started several projects that haven’t been completed yet and am anxious to get to them.  One being my NaNoWriMo project from 2009.  Once I stopped working on it, I buried it.  I had a good start on it, so I’d like to pull it back out and rework it.

Quick!… without thinking, what are the first five words that come to mind?
Smoke, apple, water, fire, phone.

What do you think those five words say about your personality?
I let my surroundings influence my thoughts too much.  (Not that there’s a fire here.  But I do smell smoke, which makes me think of fire. LOL)

Do you have any pets? Can you tell us about them?
I have a cat.  No, actually, my kids have a cat.  I said no.  I got outvoted.  She’s an obnoxious bitey thing that tortures me daily. I plot her demise every day, but have failed so far in my attempts to rid myself of her.   MY pets are the seven goldfish I’ve had for the past 11 years.  They’re like family to me.  The cat thinks they are lunch.

Lunch?? (laugh) That’s awesome. Before I let you go, I have one more question. If the world were to one day have your name as a household name (aside from your writing career) what would you want to be known for?
Making other peopel famous.  I try anyway.

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

Interview with Laura Lond

Today, I’ll post the interview with Laura Lond. She is the author of My Sparkling Misfortune.

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?
When I have a story inside that wants out, I’ve got no option. I have to write it down. It simply won’t leave me alone. As to writing for love vs. writing for money, I think it can be a fair combination. I love to write; I want to do what I love, full time, and be able to support myself and my family through it.

What is the first book that you can remember having a true impact on you?
Oliver Twist. There was something special about that boy who went through all kinds of horrid things and yet managed to keep a good heart. One of my own books is inspired by Oliver’s story.

What is one quirky thing about yourself… something that no one outside of your friends and family might know?
I hate speaking on the phone. I’d rather send a hundred emails than make one phone call.

What is your current project about?
I am writing a sequel to My Sparkling Misfortune, a humorous fantasy featuring a villain as the protagonist. In the first book, Lord Arkus wants to capture an evil spirit who’d serve him, but he messes up and gets a good spirit instead. Book 2 continues the story of his misadventures.

How did the plot and overall story for that project come into being?
I knew Lord Arkus’ tale was not over, there had to be a sequel. Many readers asked for one, too, but I did not “see” it. Vague ideas just wouldn’t take shape. I then turned to a friend of mine, a talented writer Vladimir Imakaev. He immediately grasped the concept, saw my vision of the story and the characters. Our brainstorming together helped greatly.

Do you have any other projects on the burner somewhere (that you can talk about)?
I have a half-finished novel I need to get back to, The Silvery Castle. It’s another fantasy story, about a young warrior who got in the way of a powerful wizard.

Quick!… without thinking, what are the first five words that come to mind?
… Mind goes blank, LOL! Okay, let’s see. Books, books, books, books, and books, how about that?

What do you think those five words say about your personality?
I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. I am a writer and there is no cure.

Do you have any pets? Can you tell us about them?
I have three cats, all of them former strays. The first one was a birthday gift from my husband, during our first year of marriage. He’d asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I said I wanted a cat. So he took me to an animal shelter and we got one, an orange tabby who was scared of everything and spent about two weeks hiding under the bed. He is named Beanie, after Mr. Bean. Our second cat Charlie just showed up at our door, and we took him it. We thought two was the limit, my husband had actually said, “No more cats” – and that was fine with me. But some time later I volunteered at another shelter, and there was this huge twenty-pounder, all muscle, named Nixon. I did not say a word about liking him; it was actually my husband who came to pick me up, saw him and said, “Let’s adopt Nixon.” 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to answer these interview questions. Before I let you go, I have one more question. If the world were to one day have your name as a household name (aside from your writing career) what would you want to be known for?
Honestly, I’ve never had such ambitions. Why would I want to be known, especially aside from my writing? I am a very private person.

Thank you again for taking the time to interview with me.

You can view and buy her ebook here:
My Sparkling Misfortune

Writer Interviews

Okay, so I’m looking around and I notice that several people want to know about other writers in the writing world. I happen to be in contact with alot of independent authors, and I thought that it might be an interesting spin. For the next couple of months, I think it might be interesting to hear what other authors find interesting.

Submission Guidelines:
If you are an author and want to be interviewed, please email me at jhanel (at) gmail [dot] com. Please note that we won’t host interviews for erotica or anything that may be offensive to a PG-13 audience. While I will do my best to post interviews and email you back when your interview is posted, I reserve the right to skip any interviews at my discretion. Your subject should read “Interview responses”. First tell me your name (or pen name), the genre and title of your book and a brief synopsis of it. An amazon link would be nice, but not mandatory.

Next, answer the following interview questions, keeping in mind that I would be asking these questions in-person. Please write in the style that you would normally answer in-person:

1. 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?

2. What is the first book that you can remember having a true impact on you?

3. What is one quirky thing about yourself… something that no one outside of your friends and family might know?

4.  What is your current project about?

5. How did the plot and overall story for that project come into being?

6. Do you have any other projects on the burner somewhere (that you can talk about)?

7. Quick!… without thinking, what are the first five words that come to mind?

8. What do you think those five words say about your personality?

9. Do you have any pets? Can you tell us about them?

10. Thank you for taking the time to answer these interview questions. Before I let you go, I have one more question. If the world were to one day have your name as a household name (aside from your writing career) what would you want to be known for?