Author Interviews/Info

Saurimonde Authors Scarlett Amaris and Melissa St. Hilaire

Two very interesting and very talented women. I really enjoyed their interview answers, they are very inspiring! :)

Scarlett Amaris

First how are you doing today?

All right. I've been up all night working on numerous projects which are all coming into land at once. I've been researching 17th century witchcraft and poisoning scandals within the courts of France, and then switching gears and re-working parts of a cosmic horror script which is a adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE that I co-wrote with director Richard Stanley. We also have another feature length documentary called L'AUTRE MONDE (THE OTHERWORLD), which is a mindwrenching visual odyssey chronicling some of the mystery hotspots in the south of France that will premiere in July at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, so we're in the final stages of getting it finished in time. Trying to catch all the balls in the air right now is a little like walking, talking, and chewing gum at the same time, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

How are your book/books doing right now in comparison to what you hoped?

The response has been shockingly good for which I am very, very grateful. I read a review of SAURIMONDE on Amazon this morning which brought tears to my eyes, partially because it was beautifully written, and the reviewer picked up on some of the esoteric meaning layered within the novel. Some people have taken issue SAURIMONDE because the story is very graphic in places, mainly with the sex and violence, and it delves into taboo territories where most fear to tread.

Most important thing about being a writer?

Writing. Writer's write, and there's no other way around it. There's never any perfect time to write. You'll never find the perfect pen, or have the perfect desk. Someone or something will always want your attention, but despite these things you have to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and write everyday, even if it's just a sentence or two. Even if it's just the remnants of a dream, or the vaguest outline of description, it all adds up. Personally, I scribble on everything. I wrote the beginning of the book I'm working on now called DEMON PRIEST while waiting for someone at the station who's train was delayed.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Images. Emotional moments in time I cannot readily express into words. I have a game I love to play in the morning where I go for long walks in the nearby forests. There are extremely old trees, and ancient Celtic ruins, and rocks with carvings in them from another epoch. Some of these places are beautiful, some are extremely powerful, while others are downright sinister. Each of them evokes a different set of emotions and I like to play at putting words and images together when I get back to try and regain the same sensations again.

I also adore people watching. Just watching body language and interaction, strange quirks and fashions. I love to name the people I'm watching and create stories about their lives, but mainly this is done for self entertainment.

A lot of my inspiration comes from real life as well. I love adventure and haven't lived anything resembling a normal life. I've lived in numerous countries and studied first hand the mythology and folklore of other cultures, especially in the pagan religions.

How do you cope if you get a bad review?

Try not to read them.  It's just a fact of life not everyone is going to like what you do. I don't mind criticism and it comes with the territory. It's a part of the creative venture and putting yourself out there commercially. 

Occupational hazards of being a writer?

Nail biting. Intense periods of being trapped in one's head, then coming up for air and realizing you have to connect with the 21st century again. Being prone to sporadic flights of extreme fancy. And how could I forget the big one – too much caffeine. I couldn't write without coffee. It would be an impossibility.

What book or film character would you say you were most like?

That's a double-edged sword of a question. I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer it.

What makes you laugh?

Dry wit and devastating one-liners. The same thing with inappropriate or awkward situations. You know when you're stuck in an elevator and it's kind of stuffy and everyone is shifting from foot to foot? The elevator is creeping along and everyone refuses to make eye contact. I'm that person quietly giggling in the corner whom all the other people on the elevator think is quite mad. I also love old Italian horror films dubbed into English.

Which has been the hardest to write?

Book wise? Scene wise? Script wise? It's never easy for me to write. I am not one of those prolific write-like-a-never-ending-gushing-fount kind of a writers.  I would say my style is more  a slow and steady trickle. Nothing flashy, but it gets the job done.

Any hints as to what lies ahead for your characters?

That remains to be seen. Melissa St. Hilaire, my co-writer on SAURIMONDE, and I have talked about the next book featuring more of the wise woman Elazki's back story. I would love for there to eventually be seven books in the series. But right now I'm working on DEMON PRIEST, which is an erotic and imaginative re-telling of the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery, and Melissa is working on KALEIDOSCOPE MOON, her new witch series.

Favorite character?

Saurimonde of course. She's the beautiful hero / anti-hero at the same time. Circumstances have dealt her some very rough cards and she's lost her power. Through the most horrific sort of way she manages to regain it. I enjoy characters who are morally complex and end up being a lot tougher than they seem at first.

Least favorite?

Mariel. I created her knowing exactly what terrible thing was going to happen to her. In fact I based her off of someone in real life, but in the course of writing the story I made the character more sympathetic than the real life person actually is.

Which character would you like to meet in real life?

Sordel for sure. C'mon, who wouldn't want to meet a tall, dark, and handsome man like that? I took his name from a 13th century troubadour who's poems I rather fancy.

Interview question you want to answer but no one has ever asked?

Do you want that in large or small denominations?

Your favorite authors?

Algernon Blackwood, Anais Nin, Clark Ashton Smith, Shirley Jackson, Maurice Magre, Peter Straub, George R.R. Martin, J.G. Ballard, Ray Bradbury, Michael Moorcock, just to name a few. In the paranormal romance category I've read some Laurell K. Hamilton (the Merry Gentry series) which I thought was a lot of fun.
 
Favorite book right now?

I just finished A SWORD OF STORMS 2: BLOOD AND GOLD of the GAME OF THRONES series and really enjoyed. George R.R. Martin is a master of description. In most of his characters there's no clear cut good and evil, it exists as two sides of the same coin. Also he takes risks and has no qualms about killing off his characters. He strays from the tried and tested formula and I find his stories human, heroic, and highly, highly readable.

What genres of books do you read?

Fantasy, paranormal romance, erotica, science fiction, horror. I also read a lot of history, pseudo-history, and magical grimoires.

How do you feel about your fan base?

They're very eclectic to say the least and I love them for it.

Did you ever dream you would become an author?

Honestly, I never really thought about it. For a while I thought I would be a painter or an adventurer. My grandfather wrote some poetry, but there are no other writers in my family. I've always been a fanatical reader though, so I guess it makes some sort of sense in that context.

Best thing about your author journey so far?
 
Spreading my literary wings so to speak and pushing myself beyond where I thought I could go. It's one thing to know a structure and have some ideas floating around in ones head, but it's quite another thing to put these elements together is a way which naturally flows.

If there was one thing you wish you could explain to readers about the way writing a book works (as in not written to upset the reader) what would it be?

That you have to be willing to allow the writing to take you anywhere. As your story comes along it will grow legs, meaning characters will begin to take on new nuances and the story will become it's own entity. Many times  it will take turns you didn't see coming that deviate wildly from the path of the structure. Take a chance and wander these paths and don't worry about getting lost. Don't worry about getting stuck either. When writing SAURIMONDE I often had to remind myself of a line from a poem in J.R.R. Tolkien's  THE LORD OF THE RINGS: Not all those who wander are lost.

 

Random questions -

Do you have any weird quirks you'd like to share with the public? :)

I spend almost every warm night in summer up in the ruins of a ancient castle I live in the shadow of, staring at the moon, and listening to the owls call back and forth to each other across the valley. I love traveling and seeing new places. I love to immerse myself the threads of an esoteric mystery. I'm also a big advocate of naturism and refuse to believe the human body is ugly or shameful in any context.

Favorite color?

Dark, deep red

Favorite food?

I'm obsessed with finding the perfect goat cheese salad.

Do you collect anything? Or have any specific interests?

I don't really collect anything, except maybe books. Sadly, I'm such a gypsy that everything I own can be packed into three suitcases and I've lived this way for a very long time now.

Best memory as an adult?

I don't think I've lived that one yet.

Is there a person, alive or dead, you dream about meeting if you could?

Writer-wise, Anais Nin. She was so fascinating and courageous for her time. I adore her writing, and I can relate to her darkness and struggle in trying to love life everyday, but not always being able to.

Historically, I would love to meet some of the medieval women whom I have spent years researching; Saurimonde, Esclarmonde d'Alion, Loba the she-wolf of Cabaret. They were all fierce and beautiful women whose names have never left us and whose legends still resonate strongly today.
 
Scarlett Amaris:
Twitter: @scarlettamaris
Saurimonde:
 
Readers can buy Saurimonde in paperback from Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Saurimonde-Scarlett-Amaris/dp/1484132300 
 
 
 
 
Melissa St. Hilaire
 


First how are you doing today?
I recently returned from an inspiring, whirlwind tour of the California coastline from LA to Mendocino so I'm feeling pretty fantastic, albeit a little exhausted and sunburned. I've got about five different projects in the works, including a screen adaptation of Amy Wallace's Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda and a witch series called Kaleidoscope Moon, among others, so I wicked needed the break but now I've got to get my head out of the clouds and get back to work.
How are your book/books doing right now in comparison to what you hoped?
Well, on one hand I'm happy if even just one person reads our book and it moves them, on the other hand I'd love for even more readers to get to experience Saurimonde. Regardless, the reviews we've received thus far have been very favorable, which makes my heart sing.
Most important thing about being a writer?
For me, writing is like breathing - I couldn't live without doing it. So, I guess the most important thing about being a writer is actually being a writer, and having the confidence and opportunity to live the dream, which actually took me a long time to get to despite having known most of my life that I wanted to be a writer. For years I was crippled by fear and insecurity, but then I experienced a traumatic, life-changing event that made me realize life is short and only you can make your dreams come true so I then grabbed up the reins and pushed ahead publishing my first book, In The Now, a deeply personal and candid memoir about my childhood and college years. Scarlett Amaris, my co-writer on Saurimonde, read In The Now and immediately realized I'd be the perfect person to help her tell Saurimonde's story. At the time I was stuck on a project and welcomed the fun distraction of writing paranormal romance and soon fell in love with the story. It's a dream come true to finally have it published.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think I get most of my inspiration from nature, be it the quiet majesty of redwoods or the roaring of the ocean pounding the shore. However, I live in Los Angeles - a concrete jungle - so I don't often get the chance to be in nature, but I grew up between a cornfield and a forest so I crave it. Driving along the coast this past week, we took a detour through redwoods in Northern California. They're so tall and old; it felt amazing to stand amongst them. If you listen long enough, they'll tell you their tales... I find inspiration in music and art, too, so if I can't get to nature I lose myself in a playlist while surfing the internet for paintings and photography that move me. Also, I love to people watch. All growing up, my Mum and I would ride the T from Riverside to Boston and, to entertain ourselves on the journey, we would point out fellow passengers making up whole complicated back stories. We still do this. Just last week we were in a diner somewhere near the coast concocting wild tales. Sometimes, though, inspiration will hit me out of nowhere. A couple weekends ago I was cleaning the kitchen when an idea I had been mulling over for months suddenly collided into a fully formed short story in my brain, so I grabbed up the nearest notebook and wrote 9,000+ words about a possessed ovary while sitting on my kitchen floor.
How do you cope if you get a bad review?
To be honest, I haven't gotten a bad review (yet) but I suppose I would initially feel hurt but then tell myself to let it go.
Occupational hazards of being a writer?

Probably a combination of being super moody when the words aren't flowing and the loss of social graces after being isolated awhile working on a project.
What book or film character would you say you were most like?
Probably Lewis Carroll's Alice because I grew up in a pretty sheltered rural town in Massachusetts then followed my dreams to Los Angeles like naive Alice following the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole to the strange and fantastical Wonderland.
What makes you laugh?
Everything. I laugh a lot, especially at really inappropriate times like when people hurt themselves or during horror flicks when someone gets slashed. I just can't help myself. When I'm feeling down and need a pick-me-up, I search "Schadenfreude" on YouTube - hours of entertainment!
Which has been the hardest to write?
I've been juggling a few different writing projects lately, one of which is called Medicated and it's about a truly frightening experience I had after having an allergic reaction to a prescription medicine wherein I completely lost my mind and hallucinated off and on for a couple of months. That book has definitely been the hardest thing I have ever tried to write. Revisiting that time in my life is emotionally draining and embarrassing. I frequently have to stop, bury it in my desk, and work on fun stuff like fantasy or sci-fi to shed the bad memories and feelings.
Any hints as to what lies ahead for your characters?
More magic, more mayhem, more bad decisions, and more accidental happiness.
Favorite character?

Sordel from Saurimonde. He's the perfect anti-hero and sexy to boot. I kind of have a crush on him.
Least favorite? 
Gilles, the villain; he's a man you love to hate.
Which character would you like to meet in real life?
Elazki, so she can teach me her magical secrets.
Interview question you want to answer but no one has ever asked?
Since this is my first interview ever, I'd have to say "all of them." However, I recently heard a question that someone else asked during a different kind of interview that I liked: If you were on a train seated with three other writers from history, with whom would you like to share your booth? My answer would be: Shakespeare, Kerouac, and Tolkien.
Your favorite authors?
The previous question answers that a little but there are many more: William Shakespeare, Jack Kerouac, J. R. R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Philip K. Dick, S. P. Somtow (aka Somtow Sucharitkul), George R. R. Martin, Chuck Palahniuk, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Carrie Fisher, and Charlaine Harris, to name a few.
Favorite book right now?
My all time favorite book is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass followed closely by Kerouac's On the Road, Dick's Valis, and Somtow's Utopia Hunters.

What genres of books do you read?
I'm all over the map genre-wise, but I mostly prefer fantasy and sci-fi.

How do you feel about your fan base?
Do I have a fan base? Seriously, I'm a fan of anyone who is a fan of my words.
Did you ever dream you would become an author?
Since the moment I could read and write.
Best thing about your author journey so far?
Having a reader tell me my words moved them to write their own story.

If there was one thing you wish you could explain to readers about the way writing a book works (as in not written to upset the reader) what would it be?
Hmmm... Often people have remarked that I shouldn't write more than one book at a time, but the way my mind works, I have to tell several stories concurrently, thus each individual book takes much longer to write, but I've tried working on one project at a time and it drove me bonkers. I also can't read one book at a time; I have to read like five, so sometimes it takes me forever to get through a single book.
 
Random questions -

Do you have any weird quirks you'd like to share with the public? :)
I think my weirdest quirk right now might be my obsession with the TV show Ancient Aliens. My dad read Erich von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods when I was a kid, so I always saw it lying around the house, but it wasn't until a couple years ago that I finally picked it up and read it myself after marathoning several episodes of Ancient Aliens on the History Channel. The whole concept of ancient astronauts fascinates me. Recently I met Giorgio Tsoukalos at Monsterpalooza and I'm such a big fan that I was nervously shaking like a leaf in the wind the whole time!
Favorite color?
I prefer black, but I also bead necklaces and design graphics so I'm open to any and all colors like chartreuse and purple or burgundy and turquoise.
Favorite food?
Pizza, hands down.
Do you collect anything? Or have any specific interests?
I'm a collector, so a big yes. I have a collection of everything from Star Wars figures to Barbies, vintage rhinestone necklaces to antique cameras, and books - lots and lots of books.
Best memory as an adult?

The day I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my future husband and drove from Boston to New York City in the dead of night to be with him on Valentine's Day.
Is there a person, alive or dead, you dream about meeting if you could?
William Shakespeare. My freshman year at Boston College I tested out of the basic English class requirement so I was allowed to take any English class I wanted. I chose a class entirely devoted to the writings of Shakespeare and loved every minute of it. There's a lot of strange humor in Shakespeare's works with which I connect. I'd love to be able to have a chance to sit with him and get to know him, what made him tick, who was he really, what inspired him... Also, Shatner. I'd love to meet William Shatner.
 
 
 
 
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1.  First how are you doing today?
I am doing great!  The kids are playing quietly, yay, and I’m sitting down with a cup of coffee.  Thanks for asking!

2.  How are your book/books doing right now in comparison to what you hoped?
I knew when I decided to publish that it would be a long and sometimes slow road to get where I wanted to be.  Owning a business helped me to understand that realization before I began this journey.  At this time, I don’t make enough through sales to pay my bills but hopefully that will change soon.  As an Indie Author all of the promotion falls on my shoulders, I spend hours a day promoting myself.

3.  Most important thing about being a writer?
The most important thing about being a writer…is for me to remember that writing is a job.  If I want to put fresh material out there for my fans then I need to treat my writing as a job.  I spend anywhere from 6-8 hours a day writing.  Of course now that the kids are on summer break, it’s more like 5-6 hours a day.  The other thing, for me, is to connect with my fans.

4.  Where do you get your inspiration from?
When I wrote Forgiven I took my own experiences and used them to create that fictional story.  Devada was inspired by a discussion I had with a friend about a dream I had.  In my dream the two of us were ninjas and were supposed to save the world from demons.

5.  How do you cope if you get a bad review?
I know that we all have different tastes when it comes to books, not everyone will like what I write, and that’s okay.  If they took the time to read it and write their opinion down for someone else then I say thank you for taking the time to read it and for sharing your thoughts.

6.  Occupational hazards of being a writer?
Hum…Headaches from staring at the computer screen for hours, backaches from sitting for hours, and I have found that I snack a lot more than I should.

7.  What book or film character would you say you were most like?
I like to think I’m like Sydney Bristow from Alias, that girl was amazing, but in reality I’m probably more like Smallville’s Lana Lang before she married Lex.

8.  What makes you laugh?
My kids.  They are absolutely a joy to be around.  When I’m not writing or promoting I’m hanging out with the kids.

9.  Which has been the hardest to write?
Devada was a tough one to write.  In the beginning Raum was supposed to be a demon but as I got half-way into the story he changed his mind, he no longer wanted to be a demon but something else altogether so here I am erasing the whole manuscript and starting over.  I was completely frustrated because at the time that I erased my manuscript, I had already set up a deadline with my editor and cover artists.  I had only four months to get this project completed and to the appointed people.  Talk about major amounts of coffee and several late nights of writing.

10.  Any hints as to what lies ahead for your characters?
I am currently working with Teresa Fuentez on the third novel in our Royal Blood series.  Expect to see a lot more action in this one than the first two.

I am also working on a WIP featuring a rock star.  This one is a ton of fun to write.  Ryder is a rock star not searching for love because who has time for love when you’re always on the road touring?  But when his current tour ends and he travels home for vacation he runs into his high school girlfriend.  This one has some suspense thrown in too.

Then to all of my Raum fans, you guys can expect some surprises in book two of my Angels & Demons series.

11.  Favorite character?
Craig from Healing Summer by Elizabeth Seckman.

12.  Least favorite?
Mr. Bishop from Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine.

13.  Which character would you like to meet in real life?
Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy. He was swoon worthy ;)

14.  Interview question you want to answer but no one has ever asked?
Um…I can’t think of one.  I’m sure there is something I want to share with everyone but at the moment I’m completely lost as to what it would be.

15.  Your favorite authors?
This one is easy!  I love PC and Kristin Cast, amazing authors and ladies, LJ Smith, Kristine Cheney, Gracen Miller, Janice Grove, Thomas Pryce, Elizabeth Seckman, and Alexandrea Weis are a few.

16.  Favorite book right now?
Right now my favorite book is Healing Summer by Elizabeth Seckman.

17.  What genres of books do you read?
I read a lot of YA/Paranormal, I also like Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, and Christian Fiction.

18.  How do you feel about your fan base?
I have met some fabulous people through my Facebook page.  I try to connect with everyone personally.  When I’m home writing or promoting I always leave my Facbook chat on as well as my Yahoo Messenger for the fans that like to chat with me.  My fans are a part of my family!

19.  Did you ever dream you would become an author?
I’ve always wanted to be an author.  I’ve written many stories growing up but I never shared them with anyone for fear of not being good enough.  Even after I was married, my husband never knew that I wrote stories.  It wasn’t until my BFF, Teresa Fuentez, convinced me write a series with her that I had the courage to take that leap and publish my books.

20.  Best thing about your author journey so far?
The best thing about this journey is that I have met some wonderful people along the way.  I have found that in the Indie world, authors and blogger stick together.  We are one huge family and take care of one another in any way that we can.

21.  If there was one thing you wish you could explain to readers about the way writing a book works (as in not written to upset the reader) what would it be?
I hear a lot about whether or not an author should use death, depression, cutting, and even rape in their novels.  As an author I try to find that balance, how much is too much.  These things are not added to ruffle the reader’s feathers, these things are added to give background or understanding.  For instance I wouldn’t choose to write about rape simple to glorify rape.  That would simply be added as a background for understanding why the character is feeling the way she does.  Then as a reader you get to watch her grow and overcome her fears.  And it is always the author’s hope that the story will relate to someone that has been in those shoes, or is currently in those shoes, and that their story can help comfort that individual in some way.

 

 Random questions -
22.  Do you have any weird quirks you'd like to share with the public? :)
Nothing weird, I love to sing and dance.  I’m terrible at both, lol.

23.  Favorite color?
Purple

24.  Favorite food?
Chinese

25.  Do you collect anything? Or have any specific interests?
I collect books and DVDs.  Some of my interests include concerts, cook outs...really just anything fun that will allow me to spend time with friends and family.

26.  Best memory as an adult?
My best memories from my adulthood most definitely have to be my wedding day and the birth of all of my children.

27.  Is there a person, alive or dead, you dream about meeting if you could?
Elvis for sure and Johnny Depp.






Twitter: @TichBrewster



 


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First how are you doing today? Kristi, I’m doing great.

 

How are your book/books doing right now in comparison to what you hoped? They’re doing good, all though I’m still holding out for my spot on the New York Times Best Seller’s list and my movie deal. (lol).

 

Most important thing about being a writer? To never lose your passion. If writing is what one wants to do, then they have to have a passion and must never lose it.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from? I get inspiration from everything. I have been inspired from something as small as a crack in the sidewalk. It’s funny sometimes where I get an idea from that leads to the creation of a story and characters.

 

How do you cope if you get a bad review? I make sure I have an alibi, a roll of duct tape, rope, and a shovel. *laughs* Just kidding, but I handle it about as good as anyone else. It totally blows to get a bad review. It’s like hearing someone talk bad about one of your kids almost but I have to shake it off. Not everyone is going to be a fan and sometimes a good critique-even if it is a negative one, can be a learning experience. I just shake them off for the most part and try not to feel like it’s a personal attack.

 

Occupational hazards of being a writer? There is not much money in writing unless you’re lucky enough to be JK Rowling, Stephen King, or James Patterson. Not everyone is going to be instantly adored by the masses worldwide. Another occupational hazard is sometimes more than not, writers can be their own worst critics and many great stories never get published because we can be our own worst enemy sometimes. Outrageous expectations is another big one hazard. Having outrageous expectations can lead to exaggerated egos and a loss of one’s publisher and agents. Many good authors who either was on the road to success or had great potential have bit the bullet because of their egos brought on by outrageous expectations.

 

What book or film character would you say you were most like? Oh wow, that is a toughie. I would love to say that my creativity is much like Ronald Dahl’s Willy Wonka mixed with wit that would make the ladies from Steel Magnolias want to give me a club membership. Basically if Dolly Parton wrote Paranormal Romance that would pretty much be me. Sort of.

 

What makes you laugh? I have a pretty warped sense of humor mixed with down home southern wit so I find something to giggle about most days. I love comedy it ranges from Jerry Clower to Robin Williams to the ever cynical styling of George Carlin to my eight year old son.

 

Which has been the hardest to write? I find that the hardest things to write about are real life because real life is so complex and there are no characters to make up or direct. There are no fantasy realms to play in and I don’t really like to write in first-person point of view.

 

Any hints as to what lies ahead for your characters? Well there will be more stories that involve the Wahpeton family from my book Cursed Awakening coming soon and I have at least two more vampire themed stories that will be finished by the end of summer. So I guess you’ll have to stay tuned.

 

Favorite character? Wow Kristi, that is kinda hard since I am a very avid reader-have been since I was a young child. I guess I would have to say my favorite character from classic literature is Pip from Great Expectations. The journey Pip goes on is extraordinary and just when you think he can’t possibly have it any worse, he gets rewarded at the end. My favorite character from my own books is a Cajun vampire by the name of Dashell “Dash” Baptiste. He’s my favorite smart ass with a heart of gold.

 

Least favorite?  The Inner Goddess from The Fifty Shades of Grey

 

Which character would you like to meet in real life? Oh wow, who wouldn’t I want to meet, but to keep things current I would have to say Acheron or Simi from The Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

 

Interview question you want to answer but no one has ever asked? Hmm…there are so many directions to go here Kristi. I guess the big one is why I write Paranormal Romance. Most people assume because I read so many books that is what has pointed me in that direction but it’s the furthest thing from the truth. I have always written stories of fantasy since I was a young child. I also had a great love of horror movies too since my mom was an avid and rabid horror movie buff. The first romance novels I ever read were historical romances that came around the time I was in high school. I still preferred Sci-Fi and classical lit though at that time.


Your favorite authors? I have so many. I mean they literally range from Ronald Dahl and Laura Engalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott to Sherrilyn Kenyon, Denyse Bridger, Kayden McCleod, Kerrilyn Sparks, Christine Feehan, and Lyndsay Sands and that is giving you just off the top of my head.


Favorite book right now? Right now I am reading Terry Spear’s Highland Wolf series which is great and Shannon K. Butcher’s The Sentinals series which is pretty different from the usual paranormal romances I read. I usually stay with vampire themed novels but more and more I’m discovering great authors both who have hit the mass market and Indie authors like Denyse Bridger, Brigit Aine, and Kayden McLeod who are writing some really great stories that are going to lead them to the big time soon.


What genres of books do you read? I pretty much read anything. I love a great autobiography/biography, cookbooks, self-help, historical fiction, Sci-Fi/ Horror,-basically anything that catches my interest except for political and war novels. I’m really not into war novels-blame it on War and Peace.


How do you feel about your fan base? I always want to increase the number! One can NEVER have enough fans! Readers that love you are one of the most important gifts and blessings any writer can have.

 

Did you ever dream you would become an author? I always had dreams but I was so afraid to take the chance until about four years ago when I finally took stock of my life and decided to just throw my arms out wide and jump! Now I wonder-“Why didn’t I jump a long time ago?”

 

Best thing about your author journey so far? The people like you Kristi that I have met. Authors like Denyse Bridger who have not only befriended me but have shared their journey and have mentored me along my own path here have been some of the greatest experiences so far.


If there was one thing you wish you could explain to readers about the way writing a book works (as in not written to upset the reader) what would it be? I would have to ask, “Have you ever been to a psych ward?” Seriously, for me and maybe it is just my genre or my style of writing, but it’s kinda crazy! I sometimes feel like Dr. Frankenstein when I create my characters as I breathe life to them onto the page. However, writing a book is A LOT OF HARD WORK! Not every story is going to be a winner winner that’s going to include a chicken dinner. Sometimes I can write over three hundred pages and what seemed like a great story in my head has my publisher asking, “Are you high Clairee?” So there’s a lot of editing and going back to the old drawing board that usually resembles the Addams Family’s house.

 

Random questions -

Do you have any weird quirks you'd like to share with the public? :)  I fly my freak flag pretty often so I have a lot of weird quirks. However, if we’re talking about weird quirks about writing I am not sure what is considered “weird”. I usually write during the night because well that’s when my creativity seems to flow better and when I finish a book or story I seem to revert to a lot of 80s hair band music to kick back before the edits start.

 

Favorite color? Green

 

Favorite food? My momow’s Fried Green Maters and okra and just about anything Italian or Mexican.

 

Do you collect anything? Or have any specific interests? Aside from books, I collect a lot of weird stuff. I like macabre art. I like to craft-although me and the glue gun are not on speaking terms. Anything pretty much unique and odd, I’m a shoo in for. I find that although a lot of my interests are mature, I am still a kid at heart. I still will read Manga and watch Anime as well as cartoons. I will jump up and down on my bed with my 8 year old and pull pranks on my 17 year old daughter who I think is considering different mental health options for me, but I can’t be sure. I’m just me and I am wacky when I am at my best.

 

Best memory as an adult? Wow, there are too many. My wedding day-which was a total Murphy’s Law kind of shin-dig, my children, but as a writer my best memory is seeing Cursed Awakening published.

 

Is there a person, alive or dead, you dream about meeting if you could? I would love to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon or Anne Rice and who wouldn’t want to meet the woman who gave us Jo March, Louisa Mae Alcott?



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First how are you doing today?

I’m doing wonderful! Hopefully you are, too!

 

How are your book/books doing right now in comparison to what you hoped?

They are doing as expected! Great reviews are coming in, I’m getting exposure, and I’ve had a few people tell me that they have seen the “Courage to Live” tagline / quote so often they can’t forget it! So that’s a plus! (“It takes Courage to Live, yes, but it takes true bravery to stand your ground in a world aligned against you.”)

 

Most important thing about being a writer?

The most important thing(s) about being a writer is(are) commitment and creativity. Without the former a writer will never be able to finish his or her project, especially when doubts or Writer’s Block TEMPORARILY comes in. Without the latter, a work may appear cliché and not get the exposure it deserves.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Music is the biggest source of my motivation. The main inspiration for this novel was a song called Firewalk by the band Beseech. One line in the chorus just invoked a feeling, an idea, and I could feel the gears in my head turning the minute I heard it. It’s hard to describe. I was actually listening to the song for the first time while I was in the college library, ‘studying’ for a business final. Instead of studying I was able to get the first five pages written and even pass the exam with flying colors. Who would have known that a simple idea I was doing just to pass the time and that was originally meant to be a short, SHORT story - a novella, even – would end up being an ambitious work spanning years that finally released on May 29, 2013? Not I, for one! J

 

How do you cope if you get a bad review?

It’s going to happen. Cannot please everyone. There’s a different between a bad review, though, and a hostile bad review, and I would hope that IF it were to happen, it would the constructive former and not the harsh latter.

 

Occupational hazards of being a writer?

Socialization tends to decline…internet browsing tends to increase…ad they SAY coffee expenses go through the roof, but I wouldn’t know since I have a beverage diet or typically water only J

 

What book or film character would you say you were most like?

 

What makes you laugh?

Anything Seth Rogen or The Lonely Island … good ol comedy movies … and seeing some things in the world that just never, ever change.

 

Which has been the hardest to write?

When it comes to novels, I think the hardest one to write has been one of my future projects. I started on it and finished about 300 pages before putting it aside because I had the WONDERFUL idea that became Empyreal Illusions / Awakening the Fire. I’ve since gotten two more novel idea, The Lioness (my WIP) and one other I shall unveil in due time, and after those two I plan to review and rewrite those 300 pages and continue. It has been the hardest to write because the scope of it is much bigger than anything I’ve done before and I have high hopes for it.

 

Any hints as to what lies ahead for your characters?

Yes. The only hit I have is you never really escape the chains of the underworld. Once you step in, willingly or not, you can never truly be free.

 

Favorite character?

From my novel Empyreal Illusions, my favorite character is Galbrecht Atalir (aka Ghariel Lodan). He’s the anti-hero and 2nd protagonist of the novel. He is a 36 year old doctor who turned to alcohol and aggression when the underworld killed his family 7 years ago and he subsequently failed to bring the killer to justice.

 

Least favorite? 

In my novel, I really think the least favorite character is Korvan the bartender. I specifically design him to make him hateful and just all around disgusting.

 

Which character would you like to meet in real life?

From Empyreal Illusions, the character I would most like to meet in real life would be Veku. It would be so awesome to see a real, living shisa! (There I go again into dream world lol)

 

Interview question you want to answer but no one has ever asked?

So, how does it feel to have sold your movie rights and to see the filming begin? (If only!)


Your favorite authors?

As you can probably guess, there are WAY too many to name, since I am an avid of a reader as I am a writer. However, a few names that instantly come to mind upon hearing that question (and some of their works) is Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn trilogy), Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time), Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar), Tad Williams (Otherland), R. Scott Bakker (Prince of Nothing), John Marco (Bronze Knight), and Robert McCammon (Swan Song). Most of my favorite authors write fantasy.


Favorite book right now?

Dragon Weather by Lawrence Watt-Evans. Read it about 4-5x


What genres of books do you read?

Fantasy (typically epic) with some fiction and dystopian.


How do you feel about your fan base?

I love them all! They are a constant source of motivation to me!

 

Did you ever dream you would become an author?

It has always been my dream, ever since I was in kindergarten I always enjoyed writing and wanted to be nothing more than an author. To have two books out there—even though the first one came out years ago and I did not do much with the series—floors me.

 

Best thing about your author journey so far?

The way I broadened my sense of imagination, vastly increased my skills in all forms of writing, and met some truly wonderful people along the way.


If there was one thing you wish you could explain to readers about the way writing a book works (as in not written to upset the reader) what would it be?

Writing a book takes time and effort. Not everyone can do it, and those that are able to deserve an applause and recommendation, all the more if it actually flows continuously and is grammatically sound. The essence of writing is re-writing, and that takes time and focus. Most authors hold day jobs (or two) throughout their writing careers, so please have patience as they work diligently to present the best novel they can to you

Random questions -

Do you have any weird quirks you'd like to share with the public? :)

Let’s see. Everything in my pantry and refrigerator is size order and perfectly aligned with labels out, like a refrigerator. I hate when the volume on the car stereo does not end in a 0 or a 5. I also love the feeling of a nightmarish workout when your body feels broken and sore and on the verge of utter collapse.

 

Favorite color?

Blue

 

Favorite food?

Chocolate chip cookies!!!

 

Do you collect anything? Or have any specific interests?

I don’t really collect stuff, but I do have an interest in video games (lol), medieval era, all lore studies, and music.

 

Best memory as an adult?

The best memory as an adult…? There are many to name, really. But I think the one that takes the cake is when I moved into my house on my own and was finally like “Wow. I’m not in Kansas anymore.”

 

Is there a person, alive or dead, you dream about meeting if you could?

There would be many I would want to meet, one of which is Robert Jordan, the author of the heel of Time series. I would love to be able to converse with him and see how he created a world spanning over 12,000 printed pages, none of which were ever stale or boring.
 





 
 
Title: Empyreal Illusions: Book One of The Inferno Unleashed 
Author: Jake Bonsignore
Genre: YA Fantasy / Thriller
Release: May 25, 2013
Book Design: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography
 
Synopsis
 
Fourteen-year-old Breena Taljain’s dreary existence in the slums of Purgaire comes to a sudden end when a chance encounter with a criminal mastermind known as the Patriarch goes horridly wrong. His assault on her for refusing to pay for her mother’s addiction leaves her comatose and teetering on the edge of life and death.
 
Galbrecht Atalir is a washed-up doctor struggling to overcome his inner demons through alcohol and aggression. He never quite recovered from the unsolved murder of his family seven years prior. When he discovers Breena as his newest patient, he knows at once that the Patriarch is the one who eluded him for almost a decade.
 
The medicine Galbrecht gives Breena draws her into a heavenly paradise. When it ebbs away, though, the recurring trauma plunges her into treacherous hinterlands. There, Breena must learn to find power in courage, hope, and love to overcome fiends of hatred bent on permanently ending her existence.
 
With justice burning in his heart, Galbrecht begins a race against time to seek out the Patriarch in the underworld before Breena loses her struggle against the ever-darkening terrors of her mind….
 
 
Purchase Here!
 
Amazon (US) (Paperback or E-Book) - http://amzn.com/B00D18OUU4
 
 
Social Media Connection!
 
 


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First how are you doing today?
I’m doing fantastic! I’m having a great time with the new story I’m working on so that always makes me happy.

How are your book/books doing right now in comparison to what you hoped?
I’m blown away.  Seriously. Why I was first picked up by Baico Publishing I was certain that I would sell about twenty copies of Crossover to my friends and family and that would be it.  The fact that people a consistent amount of my books every month completely spins me around.

Most important thing about being a writer?
For me, the most important thing about being a writer is just enjoying myself.  I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and it was always just for the pleasure of it.  Now that I’m published, I just hope to entertain my readers and that they enjoy themselves just as much as I do.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere.  Sometimes it’s just a conversation that will spark an idea.  Sometimes I’ll have a dream and it will stick with me.  Other times I’ll just see a random guy walking in the grocery store and I’ll just have to write a story about him. Lol

How do you cope if you get a bad review?
At first, I cried.  I’m serious.  Now, to be honest, I try not to read reviews.  If I do I just remind myself that I don’t love every book that I read and so not everyone will like mine.  When I do check on the standings of a book I mostly just glance to see the overall star rating for it

How do you choose your characters names?
I’m rarely ever stumped when it comes to naming characters.  For the most part, they just seem to come with one. 

Occupational hazards about being a writer?
Back aches, lack of sleep, and messy house. J

What book or film character would you say you were most like?
I’ll have to go with Hayden from my trilogy. I wrote her as me. Lol

What makes you laugh?
Everything.  I love to laugh.  My sister and I love to send each other little pictures on our phones (the ones with little sayings).  It’s great to have a sister that’s as much of a geek as me.

Which book has been the hardest to write?
I’d say Destiny, the third book in The Chosen One Trilogy.  I wanted to end that series with a bang.  I needed people to be ecstatic, devastated, and enamored when they read this one.  I think I did it.  I actually had a completely different ending written for it and I changed it.

Any hints as to what lies ahead for your characters?
Well, Hayden and Jasper get a break after the last few crazy years.  But, of course, as Hayden likes to say, nothing can ever stay calm and peaceful for her little crew and the next trilogy is going to follow Kendall and a couple more of that pack as they get accidently displaced to Thirstendal.  Of course there will be fighting and some loving.  The whole storyline behind this on is who is abducting cubs and pups and what are they doing with them.

Favorite character?
For the longest time it was Jasper, but as I write this new series I have to admit that Kendall is starting to beat him in the book boyfriend department.

Least favorite?
Braw.  No questions about it.

Which character would you like to meet in real life?
Faren.  I want to ride a dragon. lol

Interview question you want to answer but no one has ever asked?
I keep dropping hints that the trilogy was never supposed to end that way… no one has ever asked how it was supposed to end. Lol  Maybe they don’t want to know because they know I have a habit of killing of major characters.  And yeah.  Let’s just say that the real ending to Destiny is a lot more somber than the one that is in print.  One of these days I plan to release it…

Your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, JRR Tolkein, Anne McCaffrey, Nichole Chase, Dennis Sharpe, Allie Burke, C.A. Kuntz… There are so many.

Favorite book right now?
I just finished Taboo Kisses by Gracen Miller.  If you like erotics, you need to pick that one up.  It’s sexy as hell.

What genres of books do you read?
Everything.  Erotic, romance, paranormal, epic fantasy, historical, steam punk, horror, mystery, non-fiction.  I love a good story.  If it’s told right, it doesn’t matter what the genre is.

Childhood book?
The Saddle Club J

Did you ever dream you would become an author?
It was always something I wanted to do, but never something I really thought I would end up doing.  Had Crossover not been picked up by Baico I’m not sure I’d be doing this.  I really am grateful though.  This is definitely the best job ever.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to have another trilogy done as well as a few more of my middlegrade novels done.  If I never write a best seller, I’ll be ok with that.  So long as someone out there loves these worlds, that’s all I care about.

If there was one thing you wish you could explain to readers about the way writing a book works (as in not written to upset the reader) what would it be?
I’d have to say that sometimes, writers are just along for the ride.  The story comes out and we just write it down.  I’ve had a few people tell me they weren’t happy because a certain character died or ended up with someone else… The fact of the matter is that that’s life.  Myself, I write what comes.  I write about wars and battles.  People are going to die.  Now I did change the ending to Destiny because I was scared that people would read my first trilogy and decide not to read anything else because the ending wasn’t a happy one.  I’m not too worried about it anymore.  I know how Kendall’s trilogy is going to end… we’ll see what the readers think when it comes out.

 

Random questions -
Do you have any weird quirks you'd like to share with the public? :)
I talk to myself all day long. 

Favorite color?
Green.

Favorite food?
Steak Neptune.

Best childhood memory?
Going on road trips with my mom, dad, brother, and sisters.  We would drive to Ottawa or Vancouver.  It would take weeks.  It was fantastic.

Best ever purchase? Can be something big or small.
Our camper because it is in my name and I paid for it with money I made from my book sales.

Best memory as an adult?
The look on my husband’s face each time I gave birth to our kids. (we have three)

Is there a person, alive or dead, you dream about meeting if you could?
I would love to go for a beer with Norman Reedus.  Lol I think that he’d be lots of fun to spend time with. I totally fell in love with his acting in Boondock Saints and he’s the only reason I started to watch The Walking Dead.  I’m glad I did because I love the show. 


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First how are you doing?
I am doing good Kristi. Really excited I get to do my first interview with you. Thanks for making this happen.
 
How are your book/books doing right now in comparison to what you hoped?
My story is actually doing quite well. I actually thought it wasn’t all that great. I put it out there just to show my daughters that if you want something to happen you have to do it and it is possible.

Most important thing about being a writer?
The most important thing about being a writer is making sure your story has a meaning behind it. You always have to connect with the readers through your work. If you don’t have a connection you don’t have anything.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration really comes from my daughters. I always wanted to be a writer growing up. I actually made it happen this year.

How do you cope if you get a bad review?
I haven’t got a bad review yet. I am sure I will and that is okay because I will take what they say into consideration and put that into my next book.

Occupational hazards of being a writer?
Long sleepless nights and coffee becomes your new best friend.

What book or film character would you say you were most like?
I would say my Character Ronnie since her story was my story told differently. I was actually told by a reader that she saw a lot of me in Ronnie.

What makes you laugh?
The only thing that makes me laugh is my girls. I can laugh straight from the soul with those girls.

Which has been the hardest to write?
The hardest part to write was the physical abuse scenes by Ronnie’s Step father Ben in “Bound to me”

Any hints as to what lies ahead for your characters?
You will laugh a lot. Ronnie can be sarcastic and witty.
 
Favorite character?
I can’t choose one.

Least favorite? 
Ben of course! LOL You will see why once you read it.

Which character would you like to meet in real life?
I would love to meet Liam. I want to see what his red dragon eyes look like up close and personal.

Interview question you want to answer but no one has ever asked?
A question I would like to answer that no one has asked me? I don’t know, this interview seems to ask everything. ;-)

Your favorite authors?
I have a whole bunch but my top five would be Kelley Armstrong, Deborah Cooke, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moning and Sylvia Day.

Favorite book right now?
Acheron By Sherrilyn Kenyon will always be my #1 favorite book

What genres of books do you read?
Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Contemporary Romance once in a while

Childhood book?
The Silver Kiss By Annette Kurtis Klause

Did you ever dream you would become an author?
I actually did. I always wanted to do this.

If there was one thing you wish you could explain to readers about the way writing a book works (as in not written to upset the reader) what would it be?
Writing a book should take time. You want it to be perfect. You don’t want to rush through it.

Do you have any weird quirks you'd like to share with the public? :)
I rub my eyes a lot. It’s a bad habit. LOL

Favorite color?
Black

Favorite food?
Bbq Baby back ribs with Bake potato

Best childhood memory?
I have so many.

Do you collect anything? Or have any specific interests?
I collect books. I have also been a bookworm since I was small. I read a lot. But I mostly just buy and collect them.

Best memory as an adult?
Best memory as an adult would be having my two daughters. I would do anything for those little girls. Being able to do it as a single mother has been something worthwhile. I would do it all over again if I could.

Is there a person, alive or dead, you dream about meeting if you could?
            I would LOVE to meet Frank Sinatra and Chris Hemsworth.



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My first ever Author Interview!!!! Big thanks to Eva for her help with my blog and for hosting my first interview. Id like to say everyone should get to know Eva on a personal level as well as an author, she is a very talented writer and a very kind person. I am loving her series The Gate Keepers Trilogy, as well as the beta read I am currently part of.....I wont give any spoilers to it Im sorry.

First how are you doing today?
Well, I'd be doing better if my kids knew how to cook. Just kidding. I'm doing well. Thanks for asking.

How are your book/books doing right now in comparison to what you hoped?
I had low expectations, so they're actually doing really well. I just published last August, so it hasn't even been a year yet, and I have over a hundred ratings at Goodreads. I'm selling on average a book to two books a day. According to my research, it takes five years for your works to become discoverable to larger populations, so I'm looking forward to seeing if that pans out.

Most important thing about being a writer?
Writing good stories. It doesn't matter what else you do if you don't do that.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Other books. I read voraciously and love to consider how a particular story would have been different had something else happened. I also get many of my ideas from my dreams and from things that happen to me in life.

How do you cope if you get a bad review?
I find bad reviews written about famous authors and remind myself that even they can't please everyone.

How do you choose your characters names?
I try to make sure I have names that begin with a variety of letters. As a reader, I get confused if too many characters' names begin the same way--it's hard to keep them distinct. Of course, I broke that rule with Therese and Than, but I did that to emphasize the idea that they were meant to be together.

Occupational hazards about being a writer?
Weight gain. It's hard not to gain weight if you sit and write and read all day, especially when sweets help you to overcome writer's block! I just joined a gym and have told my friends to email me every day to ask if I worked out. I start Monday.

What book or film character would you say you were most like?
My daughter says I'm like Cam on Modern Family, but also a little like Emma on Once Upon a Time. I think I'm like Belle from Beauty and the Beast in that I would rather have my nose in a book than do almost anything else.

What makes you laugh?
Things my kids and husband say. I married my husband for his sense of humor. He's hilarious, and he passed his humor down to our kids. Oh,and The Big Bang Theory!

Which book has been the hardest to write?
The hardest one to write was my sprawling family saga, Magpies in Winter, which has not yet been published. It's currently under consideration by an agent. I'm hoping to publish it and two companion novels through a traditional house.

Any hints as to what lies ahead for your characters?
I definitely plan to write a sequel trilogy for Therese and Than. Not only do Therese and Than have more adventure and heartache ahead of them, but Hypnos and Jen will figure more prominently in this second trilogy.

Favorite character?
Fermin from Carlos Ruiz Zafron's The Shadow of the Wind. He's both extremely tragic and comic and easy to love.

Least favorite?
The narrator in Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending. He bored me to tears. I honestly don't know how that book won a prize.

Which character would you like to meet in real life?
Wanderer from Stephenie Meyer's The Host. I bet she'd have a lot of stories to tell.

Interview question you want to answer but no one has ever asked?
Well, let's see. No one has asked me what I think about self-publishing versus traditional, and I just want to say I think every author would benefit from doing a little of both. It's best not to put all your eggs in one basket.

Your favorite authors?
Tracy Chevalier, Ann Patchett, and Stephanie Meyer, though there are many more--too many to name.

Favorite book right now?
I recently finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and LOVED it.

What genres of books do you read?
All, but mostly young adult and book club fiction.

Childhood book?
All the Nancy Drew mysteries.

Did you ever dream you would become an author?
It's been a dream of mine since the eighth grade.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to be able to retire from teaching college English to write full time.

If there was one thing you wish you could explain to readers about the way writing a book works (as in not written to upset the reader) what would it be?
I think writers and waiters have a lot in common--the goal of both is to please the customer. In everything I write, I ask myself, "Will this please my readers?" Or "How can I give them a really great ride?"

Random questions -

Do you have any weird quirks you'd like to share with the public? :)
I'm not sure if this qualifies as weird, as I imagine plenty of forty-something women do it, but I sleep with a little green Jedi master named Yoda. He's cuddly and helps me keep my back straight when I sleep on my side.

Favorite color?
Green (all shades--makes me think of trees and grass).

Favorite food?
Pasta and bread.

Best childhood memory?
Making a haunted house in my garage with my sister and charging neighborhood kids a penny to enter.

Best ever purchase? Can be something big or small.
One of my happiest purchases was the crib bedding and comforter set I purchased and used for all three of my babies.

Best memory as an adult?
That would be three: having my babies. I was scared to death all three times, but so happy. They were the happiest days of my life!

Is there a person, alive or dead, you dream about meeting if you could?
Oprah Winfrey. I admire her so much and enjoy her book club choices and discussions. I would love to meet with her in person to discuss a book.

Thanks, Kristi!

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Eva Pohler
Lecturer in Writing and Literature
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Author of Teen and Adult Fiction
http://www.evapohler.com

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for having me. Your blog is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete