Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

​And what do YOU have to say? – ELLEN L. BUIKEMA

Due to popular demand, my first author interview series is continuing. I hope it gives you a chance to meet some interesting new authors, or to find out more about the ones whose books you have already read. Today we are joined by Ellen L. Buikema. Thank you very much for your time, Ellen.

Ellen L. Buikema

I am a writer, speaker, educator, and mom. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, received a M.Ed. specializing in Early Childhood, and have post-graduate studies in special education from Northeastern Illinois University. I worked as a teacher for 23 years.

During the school year I have the pleasure of being a visiting author, either in person or via Skype. I usually visit with students in Pre-K through fourth grade, although I have spoken with students through eighth grade. For Pre-K through first grade I bring Sock Puppet Tim along to help. He is a well-loved addition to author visits as he is funny and helps maintain students’ attention.

IDENTITY CARD

Name/pseudonim: Ellen L. Buikema
Book(s): Parenting . . . A Work in Progress, The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series, currently working on The Hobo Code
Genre(s): Self-help, Children’s Fiction, Young Adult Historical Fiction
Day-job: Writer
Likes: Dark Chocolate and wine
Dislikes: Yelling
Favourite virtue: Sense of Humor
Fault: Very Stubborn
Favourite movie genres: Comedy, Suspense/Thriller
Favourite song/band/musician: I have an eclectic taste in music, so there are too many to mention.

INTERVIEW

1. Welcome to Anita’s Haven. Pull up a chair, relax and fire away. Firstly, tell us five things about yourself that you think matter the most.

Patience, persistence, love of children and animals, creative, humorous.

2. ​When you were a kid, what did you want to do in life as an adult? ​Can you remember the moment you realized you had become an author? How did it feel to transcend from that point when you just wrote for yourself to the point when you realized this was what you wanted to do full time?

My mother told me that when I was three-years-old, I lined up all my dolls and conducted school. However, I didn’t become a teacher until after I had my own children and decided that kids are awesome.

I knew I was an author when I held my very first proof in my hand. Until then it wasn’t real. The physical book made it truly real for me. It felt great!

3. Why do you write?What’s the most challenging aspect of your genre? How do you feel when you write? Is there a special ritual to it, a playlist, place, company, technology?

I write to get the ideas out of my head and to keep the characters quiet. I’ve had characters request name changes, as odd as that might sound. One insisted on being named Hugo.

I write on a laptop on our dining room table. A foot tall, plush dragon named Nom Nom, as in nom-nom I just ate another faerie, sits across the table as I write.

Currently, I am writing my first YA historical fiction novel after writing a children’s chapter book series. Two more are written, making it a series of five. I find the change in genre isn’t as difficult as the age change. This genre requires a great deal of research, so I am having fun talking to people all over the country about trains, hobos, and specifics about some cities and towns. I spend an hour on the phone with the owner of a bar in Wausau, Wisconsin, the location of the story’s beginning. She was able to give me details that make a huge difference in the setting for one part of the story. My list of acknowledgements is growing all the time.

4​. Tell us more about your book characters. Who is your favourite character and why?

There is a little bit of me in the majority of my characters. My favorite character in The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series is Frankie, the worlds most obnoxious goldfish. He is the main character’s pet and a wonderful comic relief. Of the characters in The Hobo Code, so far I am most fond of Hannah. She begins the story as a feisty, eight-year-old who loves art, puts up with her older brothers, and is quite stubborn.

5. We all know typing those special words, the end, gives us a priceless feeling, but that is when the actual work begins. How do you deal with the editing process? Are you your toughest editor and beta-reader or do you rely on someone for that?

Wow! Editing is so important, too much for just one person. I go to two different critique groups, have beta readers, and use professional editors as well. I do not mind editing and find many of my errors when I read the chapters aloud, but I never, ever find all the errors myself.

6. How much do praise and positive reviews help to fuel your creativity and keep you writing? How do negative reviews affect you?

Positive reviews are awesome and appreciated. They do keep me writing.

When I get a negative review, I read it with an eye towards making a better story if the comments are constructive. If the comments are a bit off-the-wall, I read the reviewer’s comments of other authors’ works to see if there is a pattern. Sometimes people don’t like my work, preferring other genres and writing styles, and that is fine. Differences of opinion are to be expected. No one that I know of enjoys all genres and all styles of writing.

7. What do you do when you are not writing books? Any hobbies or projects you are particularly passionate about?

When I have a bit more time, I plan to go back to drawing and painting. I love art in its many forms. I can carry a tune and love to sing. Maybe some day I’ll learn how to play the guitar. Right now I am working on fluency in Spanish. I feel it is important to speak more than one language.

8. What’s the funniest or most interesting reaction you​’ve​ had from people when you told them you were a writer?

I have been looked at in awe and asked for my autograph. A few students have asked me if I am wealthy. I find that amusing.

9.​ ​Would you like to add anything, share a brief sneak peek into your book, or send a message to the readers?

Here is a snippet from The Hobo Code. Most of the story is in Jack’s perspective. This is a Hannah chapter.

John Schmidt opened the front door and herded his children into the largest building they’d ever seen. They entered a cheerless hallway of bare, drab-colored walls. I think if people stared at those walls long enough, they’d lose their imagination. Wooden cane chairs and a few stark benches leaned against one wall.
“Sit here while I speak to someone in charge.” Their father walked into the main office, directly across the hall from the uncomfortable bench Jack, George, and Hannah occupied.
The three children sat together, carpetbags on the floor in front of them, and waited to learn their fate.
“Jack, I think Hannah is right,” said George. “We shouldn’t be here. I feel like we’re being watched.”
The three huddled together, Jack speaking quietly so no one could overhear. “If all of us feel the same way, something has got to be wrong.”
They were being watched. A man dressed in dark pants and a blue work shirt, washing the floors, whisked his mop in their direction with a practiced rhythm. Every now and then he’d flick his brown hair back and sneak a peek. He licked his lips. The corners of his mouth tilted up into a leering grin.
I don’t like how that creep is staring at me. The closer he came, the greater Hannah’s urge to either smack him or to grab her brothers and run.
The creep was a few arm’s length away when John exited the office of the headmistress, followed by a tall, silver-haired woman in a waist-cinching, long black dress that swept the floor has she walked. The creep looked away and mopped in the opposite direction and down another hall.
John held his hat in his hand. “Children, this is the headmistress. She’s in charge of the orphanage.”
They sat frozen on the bench.
The willowy headmistress bent down and shook their hands. It was like shaking a fresh-caught fish—moist, droopy, and cold.
“Welcome to your new home, children. I’ll give you a few moments to say goodbye to your father, then I’ll have someone show you to your rooms.”

QUICK  POP-QUIZ

Dogs or cats Cats
Ice-cream or fruit
fruit
Meat or salad
salad
Fact or fiction
fiction
Music or silence
music
Indoor or outdoor
outdoor
Ocean view or mountains
Ocean view
Books or movies
Books
E-book or print
print 
Teach or learn
learn – this keeps the brain young so-to-speak
Romance or crime
crime

AUTHOR LINKS

Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Charlie-Chameleon-New-Beginnings/dp/0990897931

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Charlie-Chameleon-School-Days/dp/0990897966

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Charlie-Chameleon-Summertime/dp/0990897990

https://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Work-Progress-Ellen-Buikema-ebook/dp/B00R2807X8

Website:

http://ellenbuikema.com

Social networks:

https://www.facebook.com/ecellenb/

https://twitter.com/ecellenb

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellen-buikema-b289a661/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJugScmUYKs6L3NH9oyYn2A

https://www.pinterest.com/EllenKidsAuthor/pins/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EllenLBuikema

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12592731.Ellen_Buikema

https://www.amazon.com/Ellen-L.-Buikema/e/B00THGTSA6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

(All images and replies provided by author Ellen Buikema herself.)
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Writer’s Gift 4U from Phoenix Rainez

To end this challenging year, there is nothing like having a guest over. A romance author with a kind heart, Phoenix Rainez will make this transition from 2017 into 2018 smooth and gentle! Here she is, sharing with you some of her latest poetry:).

AUTHOR : Phoenix Rainez

GENRES : Romance, Erotica, Poetry

BOOKSITE LINKS : http://www.amazon.com/dp/1501022539

                                http://www.amazon.com/dp/1515302156

SOCIAL NETWORK LINKS : http://www.facebook.com/phoenixrainez2

                                             https://phoenixrainez.wordpress.com

                                             https://twitter.com/phoenixrainez

1. Do you have a favourite winter holiday story?

No favourite winter holiday story, but my favourite holiday film would have to be LOVE ACTUALLY.  I have so many books in my collection still to read, I honestly don’t have time to re-read any of the books I’ve already read.

2. Which character from a holiday story would you like to be?

I think I’d love to be Elsa from Frozen.

3. What is your ideal way to spend Christmas Eve this year?

Curling up with a good book all day in my pj’s and a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

4. If you could travel anywhere this winter, where would it be and why?

I’d love to visit Lapland during a winter holiday season.

5. What would you like to ask your readers?

I’d like to ask my readers if they think a companion novella is a good way to introduce other characters in the story.

Do share a sneak peek into your current work in progress.

My present work in progress is my poetry book.

Give us a riddle to your wip. 

When you need to share a secret quietly you ….

Where can we follow your progress? 

 http://www.facebook.com/phoenixrainez2

What’s the blurb for your work in progress?

No one asks to fall in love, but sometimes it happens, and the timing is all wrong.  So, they wish upon stars for a love they can’t hold, and whisper their love on the wind, across oceans that keep them apart.

Sneak peek, please?

1st poem from my new poetry book:

You’re the whisper on my mind

Wrapped around my heart

I see you in my dreams

And touch you when I sleep

Your love is like a whisper

From a time so far away

Caught in a moment of silence

On the tail of a shooting star

We dare in dreams to share

A whisper of love so soft

Like the feathers on a breeze

Of a lover’s dream in thoughts

Sailing those intimate waves

Of a secret love lost in thought

We touch only in dreams

Our love just a breath

A whispered I love you

MY HOLIDAY WISH for my readers is that they find the time to read all the books they want to, not only over the holidays, but all year through.


Thank you, dear Phoenix. May your 2018 be a happy beginning to a new adventure!

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The Writer’s Gift 4U from Wolf Schimanski

The Writer’s Gift is a little present that keeps on giving – my blog feature gift to the authors you should know about, and their gift to you as their (potential) readers. Find out more about some wonderful authors you may not yet have heard about, and enjoy a free sneak peek and riddles for their latest book or even a work in progress. Feel free to leave a comment and share the posts during the upcoming holiday season.


Here to start off this pre-holiday series is thriller author Wolfgang Wolf Schimanski.

Author: Wolf Schimanski

Genre(s): Action/Thriller/Romance/Mystery

Booksite links: https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Schimanski/e/B0094JVA8O

Social network links:
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorWolfSchimanski

twitter: @wolfschim

Chat with the author:

1. What is your favourite winter holiday story you have read and like to go back to, and why?

I just read Robert B. Parker’s Silent Night written by his literary agent Helen Brann because Robert passed away in 2010. Helen did an amazing job and kept Robert’s spirit so much alive.

2. Which winter holiday character, custom or decoration would you like to be and why?

Scrooge, I am not at all like that but it sure would be a wild ride seeing the things he was shown.

3. What is your absolutely the most favorite thing to do during the winter holidays?

To go to Key West. My days of skating, skiing and snowmobiling are long over. Been there, done that.,

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world during the winter holiday season, where would you go and why?

See 3, Why? Because its the greatest place on earth. When Hurricanes are not barreling down on it of course. I am going back to Margate, Florida in early December to spend a bit of working time with my writing partner and her wonderful family.

5. What would you like to ask your readers?

To read all of my ‘Meter’ trilogy so they can really get a full concept of what it’s really all about and to support all of us ‘Indie’ authors as we really do what we do for them….

Sneak peek & riddles for METER OF REDEMPTION

I have asked the authors to take these 4 little steps for you;), readers, about their latest book or work un progress.

step 1: give us a riddle about a character, place or key word in your book

What does the Monster ‘Mikhail’ call adversaries or anyone other than himself?

step 2: give us the cover and link for the book (if wip, pls share your link where we can follow your progress)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1974608093


step 3: give us the short blurb for the story

This completes the ‘Meter’ trilogy, the story of four friends who get entangled with an evil, intrigue, and adventure they never bargained for. The story is based in Toronto, Canada and wraps up the battle with the diabolic Richard Rasmussin, a vicious underworld figure who will stop at nothing to amass wealth and power. Mikhail, the Ninja adversary from the first two books aligns himself with our heroine Angel as they slowly pick apart Rchard’s empire one piece at a time until the final confrontation occurs. Will Angel and Mikhail and their friends survive? Yours to discover…..

step 4: sneak peek, pls

Anyone can click on the book link and take a look inside. And actually that feature is called a ‘Sneak Peek’, but…;) okay I have added an excerpt paragraph from Chapter 22…

The only thing that was left to do was dispose of the reason for them being there in the first place, Herr Eberhart Klingebiel, himself. The dog, even more strangely, stood beside Angel and allowed her to scratch its huge neck while Mikhail calmly walked into the bedroom. Klingebiel was obviously in his deepest sleep, judging by the chainsaw snoring and grunting coming from him. The Assassin put one huge paw around the slumbering sleaze ball’s neck and squeezed the life right out of him in seconds flat.

Your holiday wishes for your readers, besides world peace, of course:)

I wish you all a peaceful and safe time with your families. Christmas is not about presents or commercialism. It’s about love and friendship and comfort and joy and the birth of a very special baby. Cheers!

Wolf Schimanski

Thank you very much, Wolf, for starting off this series of Writer’s Gifts and taking the time to share your thoughts and work with us.
Readers, if you enjoy fast-paced, no-fluff cliffhanger thrillers, drop by Wolf’s site and read all about how he measures justice in his 
Meter series!

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Who is SHE? – Deb McEwan

Today I have another wonderful guest – award-winning author Deb McEwan. She opens up about a number of things in this no-questions interview where I ask authors to write down what some key words mean to them. Thank you, Deb, for taking the time to do this.

Dreams – I’ve had vivid dreams for most of my life. There’s nothing worse than somebody telling you they had a weird/bad/whatever dream the night before then going into every single detail. For this reason I won’t bore you with my dream stories, suffice to say that I’ve been woken up for shouting at or hitting my husband due to something that’s going on in my head while sleeping. I often nod off again and return to the exact part of the dream where I woke up – like an episode in a series. My husband is very happy that I now write novels. I don’t dream like I used to and wish I’d known years ago that writing was the creative outlet I needed to stop the weird or frightening dreams.

I only want to know about your dreams if they are uber original or unusual. Any takers?

Stress – The good or the bad? Let’s take the good first. Anything that takes me out of my comfort zone and it’s not only physical like abseiling or a tough session with my personal trainer for example. (Though it’s a while since I’ve done any abseiling). Giving a presentation to a room full of people or the final minutes before a job interview are the situations that normally cause my good stress. I usually enjoy the buzz after the event!

Like most people, I don’t thrive on bad stress generally caused by having unrealistic deadlines thrust upon me, the thought of having to do housework or having to attend health and safety lectures. I might have mistaken the latter for boredom and don’t have to attend health and safety lectures these days. This sounds flippant I know and there are plenty more triggers that cause bad stress. I’m a bit more serious about this under the Journey heading.

Release – Sport or walking generally does it for me. Any tension melts away following a good workout. The ideas floating around in my head always take shape during a long walk and it’s my way of either escaping from real life, or working through any problems.

Support – You sometimes expect support from family members but can’t beat the support of your good friends who choose to be there for you. As far as writing is concerned, the Indie Author Community are a marvellous bunch, who help each other without expecting anything in return.

Model – the first image that springs to mind are the waif-like serious looking females who strut up and down the catwalk. Images of these ladies have been blamed for many eating disorders in young girls who aspire to be super skinny. I read something the other day that models in France now have to have a healthy BMI before being employed in the industry. Don’t know if this is true but I hope it is. Should the model industry reflect all different shapes and sizes like the real world? You tell me?

Journey – When I was younger I discovered I had a 50/50 chance of inheriting the Huntington’s Disease gene. There are so many awful illnesses and diseases but I believe the worst is the one that may affect you, your family or any others you love. The relief of discovering that I didn’t have the gene was tempered by the guilt when I found out that other family members did. Up until that point I’d always thought I wasn’t good enough to do many things, including writing. Discovering that I wasn’t going to die from Huntington’s was a major turning point; I felt like I’d been given another shot and now embrace life to the full.

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Issue
– Writing. My characters talk to me all the time and the urge to get their words onto the computer is simply irresistible.

Relevance – According to Wikipedia: “Relevance is the concept of one topic being connected to another topic in a way that makes it useful to consider the second topic when considering the first. The concept of relevance is studied in many different fields, including cognitive sciences, logic, and library and information science.”

So there you have it.

Some believe there’s a reason for everything and that everyone is connected. Maybe this makes it easier to understand seemingly random events? Nobody knows for certain. Isn’t the majority of science best guess?

Joy – Loads spring to mind.

Spending time with the people I love is top of the list.

The sun is shining and birds are chirping away to the background music. I’m chilling with the people I love (husband, family, friends) in the pool and a glass of something is waiting in the fridge, for when I/we dry off.

Then there’s the random stuff like hearing children giggling, reading a fab book, or having a good old belly laugh.

Haven – Don’t know why, but I’ve always loved being around water. Walking in the rain, cwtched up at home reading while it’s raining outside, listening to the sea, taking a long shower, sitting under a tin roof listening to the rain. I think you’ve got my drift.

Deb’s writing news

I write in various genres. It all started with songs, followed by a book for children. The first, ‘Reindeer Dreams’, is a quirky rhyming Christmas story featuring Barry the reindeer and his family. My books for grown-ups started with the Aliens series. The Afterlife trilogy came next with a few ‘Jason the Penguin’ books in between.

The first book in my ‘Unlikely Soldiers’ series (free on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo and Nook) is set in 1970s Britain, with others to follow through the decades.

I’m currently working on a story about netball players, due out in the autumn.

Details of my books and some of my songs (co-written with musicians and I’m not singing thankfully) are on my website. https://debmcewansbooksandblogs.com

One was written for my husband for our 25th wedding anniversary – but that’s another story…

Thank you so much for sharing! Happy writing!

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Who is SHE? – Elizabeth Horton Newton

One of my favourite indie authors, a lady with an incredibly big heart and a curious knack for psychological horror and mystery, is the fabulously supportive Eluzabeth Horton Newton. She is here today to do a no-questions interview and share some of her writing news with her fans. I asked no questions; she just got some words to prompt whatever it did, be it about herself, the world or writing.

Elizabeth Horton Newton

Who me?

Dreams – I’ve always felt my dreams are somewhat precognitive. I will dream about people or places and sooner or later, somewhere down the road, I will see the place or meet the person. At first I thought I would simply have forgotten a prior incident. However, I have come to accept I have some sort of little old fortune teller living in my head. Often I will use things I dream in the stories I write, with a bit of elaboration of course.

Stress – My husband insists stress is bad for me. I disagree. I work best when I am stressed or on a time limit. I love the challenge of pushing myself harder.

Release – It’s rather embarrassing but I have always found release to be a sexual word. It brings to mind orgasms. Perhaps that’s why I did such a good job with the steamy love scenes in my book, “Carved Wooden Heart”.

Support – Bra. That’s it. You reach my age and that’s what you need.

Model – A model is something you put together a piece at a time; for instance a model of a ship. My father used to make models when I was a little girl and we would often work on them together. We did ships and movie monsters. Now you see why my stories can be somewhat gruesome.

Issue – Social issues; homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse, so many social issues that need to be addressed. I’m involved with a few social issues in my state and wish I could devote more time to working with groups.

Journey – Life is a journey; an exhilarating journey with twists and turns down winding paths. I love looking back on my life and I love hearing about the life journeys of others. We all have a lot more in common than we realize. We may come from different parts of the world but there are still things that are remarkably similar.

Relevance – This word has a legal connotation for me. What is the relevance of your information to the substance of this case? How does what you know apply to this crime? Perhaps I watch too much “Law and Order”. 

Joy – Joy is such an understatement for the unbridled ecstasy of being on the deck of a ship at sea. The ocean stretches out in all directions, meeting the sky on the horizon. It makes me conscious of how small we all are on this planet we call home. We came from the sea, crawling out as small, insignificant creatures and have developed into what we are now. We are now able to sail on the seas. It all makes my heart swell with joy.

Haven – A haven is special, secret place, safe from all outside bothers. It’s a spot where I can go to let my imagination run free.  Everyone needs and should have a haven. We all need to disconnect sometime.

I am currently working on two books; “Stolen” has been almost finished for over a year but I keep getting involved in other projects. It’s a story about a young girl who finds out she was kidnapped as a small child and raised by a Gypsy couple. As more of her story is revealed, she learns she was supposed to be in the Witness Protection Program but was “lost”. There’s romance, mystery, and action in this book. It comes complete with Gypsies, drug cartels, incompetent federal agents, and, of course, a twist at the end. The other book I’m working on is tentatively called “Murder on the Highway of Tears”. It is based on a factual place and real life events. There is a stretch of highway in northern British Columbia where a significant number of indigenous girls and women have either been murdered or disappeared. The government is just beginning to take notice. It has largely been overlooked because natives in that part of the world are viewed as unimportant. My story revolves around a native police chief who is investigating recent murders of native girls. A writer and a photographer from a travel magazine are in the area doing a story on adventure travel. They get caught up in the occurrences. As with some of my earlier works the story addresses the social issues surrounding the illegal adoption of and removal of native babies from their biological families. I’m anticipating having both books completed and available by the end of 2017.

I have a short science fiction story titled, “From Where I Come” coming out in an anthology at the end of May. The collection is called “Gems of Freedom” and all the stories revolve around female soldiers or freedom fighters. It’s the third in a series from a group called The Sisterhood. I have another short story, a detective noir, in a soon to be released collection called, “Cons, Dames, and G-Men”. My story is called “Dark at the Top of the Stairs” and is full of the flavor of 1940’s film noir.

Author Website: http://www.elizabethhorton-newtonauthor.com/

Author Blog: “Between the Beats” https://elizabethnnewton.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKzySYm8jUCDYL1lPYA03PA

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Horton-Newton/e/B00NSET8JY/

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9060216.Elizabeth_Horton_Newton

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethhortonnewtonauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/redqueenliz

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

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ElizabethNewtonauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lizzibegood/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/redqueenliz/

Tumblr: http://authornewliz.tumblr.com/

Thank you, Elizabeth. Always great to have you over and looking forward to your new thrillers!

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Who is SHE? – Claire Plaisted

Claire Plaisted, a New Zealand force of nature in the form of a mother, author, editor, publisher and book promoter, has agreed to take some time to do my no-question interview and say what my key words mean to her…

CLAIRE PLAISTED

DREAMS

What are dreams? Where do they come from and what do they mean? In the literal sense, I have no idea. Dream Therapy isn’t something I’ve touched in my life so far.

Going back to my childhood my dream was to marry, though not a red head…Oops.  After 25 years of marriage to my darling redhead, I found it was the best thing I ever did.  Of course, as your grow and change your dreams for your future change as well.  By the time I was at High School I wanted to be a computer tech. Computers were just starting to emerge to the public and at schools.  I loved them.  Uploading from a tape recorder, drawing houses with a set of numbers in a certain sequence.  It was cool.  Then came the disappointment.  I wasn’t allowed to take computer studies because it was just a fad… Another oops.  Never mind I plodded onwards.  Never really getting the career I wanted. It seems reality was going to wipe away my dreams.

Growing up we used to receive gifts from New Zealand. The country and culture intrigued me. I had a new dream. I wanted to have a holiday there. I got that dream in 1989 and for once, I never looked back. You see I fell in love and ended up living in New Zealand. I love this country, the culture, my family. It is an amazing place to be, though a tad expensive these days.

All I dream for now are grandchildren.  Going to be waiting a long time for them, so meanwhile I enjoy my friends’ photos of grandchildren on social media.

STRESS

Stress to me is a negative word which I try to remove from my life as much as possible.  Like a lot of people, I have depression.  Most of the time I’m lucky and it doesn’t rule my life, however there have been times then I have literally disappeared into a fog and taken several weeks to shift the stress away from me so I can recover.  With every negative which touches me, I try and find the positive within. I also suffer anxiety in various situations. To be totally honest my crashes generally arrive if or when several negative things happen at once.  The rest of the time I deal.  

RELEASE

Release a breath of satisfaction of surviving another day surrounded by those I love and those who love me.

SUPPORT

Support is something you give and can receive in life.  I am one of those people who likes to give support, to help people find the positives, to teach and show them what is possible.  I support my family with love as I do with my friends. I must admit I am not good as asking or taking support when I need.  I tend to think I am self-sufficient, when I know I’m not. I block it away and keep moving forward.

I love to see people grow and change. One lady in particular who I admire is Patty Fletcher.  She has changed so much in the last two years, growing and taking back her positive attitude. Building on what she knows and learning new things to better herself. Enjoying her life more and helping others where she can.  Her strength is amazing.

Support is also what I do with my marketing magazine, helping Indie Authors get their books out there.  I have no idea how widely shared the magazine is. I think it does need more support to make it grow.  The thought of how many I email it to who don’t open it at all…is to a degree sad.  I am hoping to find a way to gather more support and keep the light burning. I am amazed the magazine has been running for over a year. 

MODEL

With the world model usually comes those stick thin women who walk down the runway.  Well with me it was models of a different kind. Airfix Kits, be them figurines of kings and queens, ships, animals and aeroplanes. They brought us hours of JOY and family time.

ISSUE

Children or magazine.  They are different, though both have a life of their own.  I have three out of four beautiful children.  All grown up now, though my son is in his final year at high school.  All still live at home though perhaps not for much longer.  You see it is travel time, though I’ll cover that as part of JOURNEY.

Magazine – I issue a free marketing magazine out every month for Indie Authors and those who support them.  It helps to widen everyone’s social media presence.  It covers all genres and is family friendly. With ‘The Indie Publishing News’ magazine doing so well I have recently started one up for Erotic Indie Authors.  The first issue goes out this month.

JOURNEY

My journey in life not just in writing and business.  Life has a way of making you realise every moment is different and for a reason.  Your life is your journey to learn what you need to know, perhaps what you missed in a different life.  We are all born to a body, though our souls continue until they have learnt what they need to go to the next level.  We all live for a reason—it is finding the reason that is your journey.  Are you there yet?

Personally, I have no idea.  I had a wonderful childhood even though I didn’t have many friends.  I journeyed through been bullied from age 7 – 18.  How it affected me, how it affects different people—is what you need to learn to move forward.  Some don’t, which is very sad, though I believe when your journey is over, then it is over. 

I have had many different types of journeys in this life giving me a wide range of information, ideas and learning which I can share. These experiences have made me who I am today. Though I’d probably not like anyone seeing deep inside me. That stone wall won’t be toppling any time soon and when it does god help me.  

I have had several journeys with my children – from perfections to disabilities.  What a learning curve that was and still is today. As a mother I am over protective, which is probably why my children still live at home.  Four journeys through birth, several journeys though death and the best journey of all is with LOVE.  My husband is amazing. He is my world. Our journey in marriage and family has had many ups and downs, though we stay strong and committed to each other, looking forward to travelling and retirement.  Our next journey starts later this year or perhaps next year.  We shall see.

RELEVANCE

I suppose there is a lot of relevance in my life these days.  In the past walking in my ancestors’ footsteps became my family history research.  These days my writing of books moved my journey towards publishing and helping others.  Life interconnects in many different ways.

JOY

Joy is my marriage, the birth of my children and one day (hopefully) the birth of grandchildren.  Joy is family, respecting, helping, learning, teaching and so much more.  It is positive energy which I love to share. Joy is a hug and a smile. It is an acknowledgement of so much the human race is missing.  I wish JOY was the thing which made the most profit in this world and then perhaps we could be at peace with each other.

HAVEN 

My Haven is my sanctuary of peace and love of the positive life I try and lead.

Claire’s news

The latest book by me is Princess of the Earth.  It is an old story which I have republished after reworking it and making a new book cover and teasers.

It is about a young girl called Zoe who have her own journey of discovery with myths and legends which she only thought were stories.  With Fairies, Nymphs, Old Father Time, Gaia on the good side and Cronus, Trolls and Ogres on the bad side it is a battle to see who wins the day.


Links for Claire

www.plaistedpublishinghouse.com

www.claireplaisted.wordpress.com

www.billionaireromances.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/rotosis1

www.facebook.com/groups/indiepublishingnews

www.facebook.com/groups/ghostlywritesanthology

www.facebook.com/girlieadventures

www.facebook.com/garrettinvestigationbureau

www.facebook.com/billionaireromances

Dear Claire, thank you so much for sharing this side of you with the readers! Happy journey!

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Who is SHE? – Phoenix Rainez

Author Phoenix Rainez  a true romantic at heart, has also generously agreed to do my non-question interview and to explain what my key words remind her of. Meet Phoenix form a different perspective…

PHOENIX RAINEZ

DREAMS – there is one special dream I have, that I wish would come true and that is to find that perfect hideaway and spend endless time filling pages, with the stories that are crowding my head. A place where there is no concept of time, where days just filter into one long writing scene with no disruptions except for the necessary body functions.

STRESS –  A word that pushes so many buttons… I think my typical stressful times is when I have a deadline to meet or a course I need to work through and pass for my day job. As a full time, live-in-carer for the elderly, I have regular courses to update and pass to get that valuable certificate that qualifies me to continue in this field of work.

Do I find writing stressful you may ask? Only when I hit a stumbling block, a blank page staring at me and not knowing what to write or how to carry on from the next chapter. Let’s not forget the editing process and rewriting repeatedly till not only your editor is satisfied but you are too.

Definition of a writer’s stress – blood, sweat, tears, chewed finger nails, endless cups of coffee, chocolate fixes, sleepless nights and puffy eyes are but a few of the signs of a writer’s stressful times.

RELEASE – As I’m going through writer’s stress now, my release would have to be reading other writers books and wondering how they found it so easy to write and publish such an amazing story. Sometimes I will escape into a world of writing poems, my full proof escape from staring at a blank page I cannot fill with words.

SUPPORT – My husband is very supportive of my writing and will always give me the time and space I need to write, never complaining when I’d be up all night writing and sleeping late in the morning.

Friends and family have been very complimentary, supporting my writing and buying my books. I’d be rather disappointed if they didn’t (winking). Here I must mention my friends Terry and Paul, who first put me in touch with Wattpad, an online writing community, where you share your stories, one chapter at a time and get instant feedback. This is where I started and gained the support and confidence to publish my first novel SECOND CHANCES on Amazon, after securing a place in the top 25 semi-finalists in the Harlequin/Wattpad (SYTYCW) contest. Without the Wattpad readers support and encouragement I doubt I would have had the confidence to publish my first novel.

MODEL –  I think the person I look up to would have to be Nikki Kelly, author of the Styclar Saga Series, who I met and became friends with on Wattpad. Book 1 of her series was such a hit on Wattpad, she landed a traditional publishing deal with an international publisher and went on to America to promote her book. She gave up her day job to live her dream and write full time. I have all three of her hardback books on my bookshelf and looking forward to the day I can meet her for coffee in London, to get her books signed.

ISSUE – I would have to say my biggest issue with writing is time. Keeping up with social media is very time consuming but necessary to stay in touch with your readers. In between this is your family’s needs and socialising with friends. It is a fact that writers often become hermits and seldom realise they have not surfaced to see there are other people around wanting their attention.

Let’s not forget the trillion times you re-write and edit your story, a serious time stealer when all you really want to do is continue writing the stories filling your head-space.

JOURNEY – Writing has been an incredible journey for me. I have found a voice in my head that has been buried for years and it’s exciting to know that I have so many stories still to write.  Writing my way down this exciting road I have been very fortunate to meet so many talented writers, whose books I buy and continually add to my “to read list”.  

Writers are such a unique group of people whose friendship albeit online, is a journey in itself. Their continual support, advice and confidence boosting chats all help towards encouraging each other to keep writing. 

Reading books opens up a whole world of endless possibilities. You may travel through time, journey into a world of fantasy or magic and swoon over a romance that brings you to tears and even hide under the covers as you creep through the pages of a horror story. Let’s not forget the science fiction and paranormal worlds that have you gasping at the unimaginable.

RELEVANCE –  it’s not easy to be a parent. You learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. Depending on your childhood, you may take pages out of your parent’s book and follow in their footsteps or you may choose to follow your own path, but whatever you do, will depend on what your learnt growing up and will make an impact on you as a parent and how you bring up your own children.

The same applies to writing. I learn from reading other writers books and joining writer’s online groups. I think it’s important for my writing to be a member of these groups, to learn from those more experienced and join in discussions, talking about any problems you may be experiencing and possibly helping with promotions or beta reading. I have found the most important and relevant part of being a writer is reading as many books as possible. This is where I am learning how to be a better writer, from the words of others.

JOY – my happiest moments are spent with my family. I am blessed with two beautiful daughters and four wonderful grandchildren. Celebrating special occasions with them are memories I treasure and photograph at every opportunity. One of the most incredible moments in my life as a parent was witnessing the birth of my first grandchild. I was thrilled and apprehensive when my eldest daughter asked me to be her birth partner, along-side her husband. Watching your child in pain is not the easiest of things to do but when my granddaughter’s head crowned the emotions were unbelievable. Of course, I cried. I had never witnessed anything so amazingly beautiful. I must’ve done something right as she asked me to be her birth partner when her son was born too.

As a writer, the most exciting moment is holding my paperback copy of the first novel I’d published. To see your words in print is overwhelming.

HAVEN – ANITA’s BLOG is a part of her charming personality and character. She is always willing to help support other authors and this shows in her blog post when she features other writers and give them the opportunity to show case themselves and their books through her delightful interviews.

I have no new releases at this time but hoping to publish my children’s illustrated story book, The Magic Chicken, at the end of this year. It is presently in the hands of the illustrator and I have recently seen the sketches and quite excited to see it all come together in colour. I do hope to be able to publish my new poetry book, Whispered Love, at the end of this year too and fingers crossed I may have my fantasy romance, The Colour of Love, ready for publication early in 2018. Editing and rewriting for this fantasy romance has been nightmarish for me and not sure if I will ever venture this route again. I have the greatest admiration and sympathy for my beta reader who has pain stakingly been guiding me through the rewrites and putting up with my endless ranting and bad tempered moments. I will be forever grateful for his patience, without which I know I would never see this book in print.

Covers for these books are still being worked on. 

Thank you so much, Phoenix. Happy writing!

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Who is SHE? – B. J. Tiernan

Another amazing lady joining me for the ladies’ interviews in May is author Beverly J. Tiernan, a retired History teacher who never rests, author of the philosophical thriller Standing on a Whale and a beautiful histfic romantic life story Yield. Here is her take on my non-question based interview, and some of her exciting news at the end.

B. J. TIERNAN

What do these words mean to you, Beverly?

1. DREAMS 

When I see the word DREAMS, a little childhood chant comes to mind that has changed my life forever. The message hidden in this little gem is profound. ROW ROW ROW YOUR BOAT is the chant and here are the nuggets of wisdom it offers:

ROW, ROW, ROW means do what you do – go to work, clean the house, raise your children, write a book, etc. YOUR BOAT Don’t row somebody else’s boat, ROW YOUR OWN BOAT and leave everyone else alone. How do you row your boat? GENTLY, always with love and kindness. Where do you go? DOWN THE STREAM not up the stream against life, but flowing down the stream with life – trust and let go. With what attitude do you do these things? MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY Why? Because LIFE IS BUT A DREAM…This is the philosophy I live by.

 2. STRESS 

I choose not to participate. I know what and who causes stress in me and I set up loving boundaries to keep those people and situations at bay. No drama, No trauma. That’s the motto I live by.

3. RELEASE 

Ah, my favorite word in the English Language. It took me a long time to get it, now I have got it. To release – to let go of – toxic thoughts, toxic people, toxic relationships, toxic food, toxic beliefs, toxic judgements. As soon as we learn how to let go and RELEASE, life gets a whole lot easier.

4. SUPPORT 

Support is a funny thing. For me personally, I support those who support me. If I support those who do nothing to help me, then I become an enabler. When I die, I intend to leave my hard-earned money to those who have been loyal and supportive to me throughout my lifetime, not to those who have done nothing to support me or help me along my way. Buy hey, that is me doing my thing in my own boat. Please, don’t judge me. Stay in your own boat and I won’t judge you either. P.S. I do not feel this way about giving to the poor. Those who are helpless to help themselves are the exception.

5. MODEL 

When I see this word, I think of role MODEL. Role models are everywhere. People, animals, nature, our bodies. Some of my best teachers are not people, but situations and inanimate objects. There are sermons in stones if one will but listen.

6. ISSUE 

There is no ISSUE. I observe people and situations and learn from my observations. I take my good from where it comes and leave behind what is not in harmony with me.

7. JOURNEY 

We each have come here on a sojourn, a journey. We have the right to fulfill that journey with no interference and judgment from others. Once we learn to free ourselves from the good opinion of others, stay in our own boats, and leave others alone in theirs, the JOURNEY is on.

8. RELEVANCE 

Everything is relevant to something. Our task is to figure out what is relevant to us and to our own lives. Then we must decide what to do with it. As long as we move in love, I think we move in the right direction.

9. JOY 

JOY is a choice. It is a state one can live in every day. For me, JOY comes from living in a state of gratitude. Giving thanks EARLY, LATE, AND OFTEN for all that I have. That’s what keeps me in JOY.

10. HAVEN  

My HAVEN is my writing space. When I am writing, I am in a space like no other. Time matters not, Food matters not. Problems matter not. I am in a cocoon of inspiration that takes me away, kind of like a Calgon Bath. 

And here is the bit of news from Beverly…

CURRENT PROJECT:

Wolf Schimanski and I have formed a writing partnership called TierWolf Creations. We are currently working on our debut novel. We have dubbed the genre as Metaphysical Thriller, but there are lots of surprises in this story, some that surprise even us. Wolf is the gold and I am the alchemist. Two authors who met along the way and have been given the chance to create something special together.  

Yield – blurb

Marley Cover has lived in Lake Wales, Florida, since she was five.

While the country heads into the Vietnam War, a small town anxiety overtakes her, as she desperately searches for the man of her dreams.

Marley focuses on her career as a physical therapist and meets her first patient, Peter Rensen, son of a local ranch owner, who doesn’t wait long to propose marriage. Peter adores her and he’s a good man, but sparks are not flying for Marley. Longing for a family of her own, she eventually relents and says “I do.” She has every reason to say yes and only one to say no.

She meets that reason on her wedding day. His name is Warren, and he’s just come back to town. From the first touch of his hand, Marley is infatuated, but her decision has already been made.

The accompanying anxiety of the war looms on, as Marley struggles with the intimate impact of the burgeoning uncertainties of these troubled times.

Torn between love and loyalty, Marley faces some of the toughest decisions of her life.

SHORT LINK DIRECT TO YIELD ON AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2gdtX14

Thank you, Beverly! Happy writing!

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Who is SHE? – Lisa Veldkamp

During May I will be doing several interviews with female authors in a series entitled ‘Who is SHE?’ It will not be a feminist rant, nor do I plan to nag about women’s oppression – in fact, I am planning a similar series with some male authors, too. But ladies first. It has been such a pleasure to meet so many creative talents and fighters in the writing world that I wish everyone could appreciate these ladies’ relentless pursuit of their dreams, whilst balancing the life of the ‘ordinary’ miracles such as family and jobs.

Seeing as my guests are all quite creative, I do not want to limit them with typical questions but try something different. My guests will be asked to say what certain words mean to them, and they will not limit their replies to books, but also write about themselves, the world today, even family and friends, to sort of give us the feel of them as people and artists as well.

At the end of each ‘interview’, the readers will be surpised by the latest news from my author guests – their new release announcements, sneak peeks and even glimpses into their work in progress.

My first guest is author LISA VELDKAMP and today of all days is the release of her new novel The Empath. All the best with the book, Lisa, and thank you so much for sparing some time to drop by. Here is what Lisa had to say about her challenge words…

DREAMS

Funny you should start with this one. For it was a dream that made me write The Fire Trilogy. It was after I saw Placebo in concert. They were headlining Pinkpop in 2009 and while they we’re playing ‘Come Undone’, I was taken to another world. The world of Catherine and Tristan. When I was home again, I dreamed the entire outline of the trilogy in two nights in a row. It literally picked up again where it ended the following night. One of the weirdest things that ever happened to me. I took it as a sign from the universe and decided to start writing.

STRESS

I’m certainly no stranger to stress. I used to have a very stressful job and eventually decided to turn my life around. It was scary, both financially and emotionally, but it was the best decision I ever made. My life is so much healthier now and I’m grateful I had the chance to be able to this this. Is my life stress-free? No, I don’t think that’s possible, not for someone like me. However, I know how to deal with stress now and I recognize the signs, so I can act accordingly. Playing my harp is really soothing. It helps me to unwind.

RELEASE

Well, on this particular day, release means the release of the second installment of The Fire Trilogy. My book, The Empath, is available in stores today. Very exciting. Tonight I will do a book signing in my local bookstore, which I’m really looking forward to. Other than that, release -for me – is mostly about letting go of control. I still find that….. challenging. I’m kind of a control freak. 

SUPPORT

First thing that comes to mind are my family, partner and friends. I have a great inner circle I can always count on. I feel really blessed in that way. Very fortunate to still have both my parents, who are my great example of a happy marriage. 

Support also comes from my favourite coffeehouse, Barista Café. I do my writing there and they’ve supported me and my writing from the beginning. Love those people!

MODEL

I have many people who inspire me and I consider a model/role-model. While I was growing up, I always saw the shows of Youp van ‘t Hek. He’s a stand-up comedian from Holland. I still go to every new show, by the way. He always makes me think about life and the universe. Yes, he’s funny, but most of all, he’s critical and sheds a painful light on what’s wrong with our society. He makes me cry, he makes me laugh, he makes me think. Yes, he’s been a real model to me.

ISSUE

Haha, when I hear the word issue, I think about my work as an editor for our Dutch harp magazine. We’re always busy with the latest issue. Do we have enough interviews, sheet-music, reviews and what not? We have a great team, though. I love to be a part of this process. And it takes my mind off my own writing.

JOURNEY

This great journey called life, I suppose. People tend to focus on a destination so often, they forget to live in the now. Living in the moment has become more important to me over the years. To really enjoy the now and be content with the present. You can’t change the past (unless you have a time-turner) and though it’s good to plan ahead, you can’t control the future either. So why not focus on the here and now? 

RELEVANCE

This is a tough one for me. I do not really concern myself with my own relevance. I’ll always be relevant to myself and those who care about me. Like they are relevant to me. Politicians are always concerned with their relevance. If they seize to be relevant, they might be out of a job. Which is why I could never be in politics. Relevance shouldn’t be about societies’ rules or pressure. To me, it’s a more personal word.

JOY

So many things bring me joy. Spending time with loved ones, music (especially Placebo and playing my harp), writing, riding horses, nature, healing. But also very mundane things like watching movies or tv series bring me great joy.

HAVEN

Well, besides the name of your blog, haven means my home. My safe haven. The place where I can always be myself, feel protected and loved. I love spending time at our own place. I’m a big believer in putting as much love in your house as you possibly can. It will give it back to you, really. Trust me on this one. It will work and your home will be the better for it.

And to finish this unusual ‘interview’, here is a wonderful piece of news from Lisa – her completely new release THE EMPATH – out now!

The Empath is the second installment of The Fire Trilogy and is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bol.com or you local bookstore. 

UK link 

US link 

Bol.com link 

Blurb

Battersea Park Station. Home of the company. The kind we all need, but nobody likes to talk about. Tristan Visconti works for the company and his clearance level has just been upgraded. Why? Simple, because he and his team have exactly one week to save our planet from impending doom.

When Tristan arrives in London, he needs to convince his client, Catherine van Dyk, of her own powers to help save our world. Problem is, Tristan believes he is on a suicide mission and so does his team. His former lover, Eve, is behaving out of character and then there is Alan, Catherine’s ex. Like Tristan, Alan’s an empath, but he’s also a master of death and the company can’t locate his whereabouts.

As Tristan, Catherine, Alan and Eve take center stage, the company is fulfilling its own agenda. Question is, are they working to save the world or to help destroy it?

Booktrailer The Empath

Lisa Veldkamp

www.the-elemental.co.uk 

www.facebook.com/theelemental

www.twitter.com/Lisa_Elemental 

Thank you, Lisa! Have a phenomenal release!

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CROOKED INTERVIEW with Joseph Mark Brewer

This is an author who will draw you into his exotic world of the Shig Sato mysteries with ease and elegance. It gives me great joy to have Joseph Mark Brewer over as my guest today, chatting about his short story Nothing But The Truth in Crooked Tales, as well as his other books.
 

Author’s bio

From an early age, Joseph Mark Brewer loved travel and learning about the world. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a journalist and spent the next four years on sea duty, serving on ships that would allow him to visit more than 40 cities around the world. His three years based in Japan and subsequent time working as a journalist in Tokyo forms the foundation of an interest in that country that continues today.

You can get a copy of Tokyo Summer at http://amzn.to/2oiVYXd

You can find Joe’s other work on his Amazon author page at: http://amzn.to/2aDZEvh


Interview


What is your Crooked tale about and what inspired it?

1. My Crooked Tales story is a sort of morality tale: neglected kids, broken homes, and witnesses keeping to themselves, for whatever reason.

What do you like writing and/or reading best? 

2. I like reading best. Reading is the well from which my writing emerges. 

What else do you do in life apart from writing?

3. I work in the news business, and am a historian by nature/inclination. I spend as much time reading history and biography as I do literature, or mysteries, or even writing my own stories.

What are you currently working on?

4. These days I am writing the next three books in the Shig Sato series, and shaping the outline of another trilogy quite different from Shig.  

Crooked Interview – My 5 questions for myself:


What interests do you have besides writing and history? 

I developed an interest in the world and travel at an early age, and was fortunate enough to indulge in that before finishing my university education. I don’t travel as much as I’d like these days, but hope to resume that interest someday soon.

Why did you set your Shig Sato mysteries in Japan?

 I had no notion or interest in Japan until I was stationed there while serving in the U.S. Navy. But I grew to like the country’s art, literature, and music. And living in a culture so different from my own, I found similarities all humans share. I think this gave me confidence to write, and to write about people no matter their background or situation. All human emotion is the same.

How did you come to write a mystery series?

 Again, I surprised myself, in that when I took stock of what I like to read, and what type of story I wanted to write to convey some of my feelings about Japan and its culture, I found that a mystery series suited my purpose. I’ve always been a Sherlock Holmes fan, love Agatha Christy, and am drawn to noir and thriller books and films. I found it intriguiing to create that world to say what I wanted.

You worked as a journalist in the Navy. Did that influence your writing? 

 I think it helped me decide that that I could earning a living in the news business and learn how to write. I have worked for newspapers for almost 30 years. It’s a great way to learn how to write and edit. 

How is writing a mystery novel the same or different from writing for news media? 

It’s similar in that facts matter, and that a certain logical sequence has to be followed. Answering who, what, when, where, why is a good starting point. The main difference is in length. The challenge in writing a 60,000 word mystery is sustaining the narrative and holding the reader’s interest. Very few news stories, or longer pieces in magazines, are book- length. Learning how to do that was quite an adjustment. 

The blurb for Tokyo Summer:

It was classified as an overdose. Or was it?


Setsuko Usami, the wife of a top Bank of Japan economist, is found dead in her bathroom. The police report points to an accidental drug overdose. Government officials want to keep the death under wraps to avoid scandal. But when the toxicology report arrives, it points to murder.


Despite his independent streak and reputation for turning down promotions, the bureaucrats in government and at the Tokyo Police headquarters know there’s only one man for the job: Inspector Shig Sato. He re-opens the case and follows the clues. What he discovers is more shocking than any official can imagine.


Will Sato bend to the will of his superiors and keep the case quiet, or will Sato go the distance to catch a killer?

Because someone just might get away with murder.



MARK FINE’S QUESTIONS for other Crooked Tales authors

Do you find a silver lining in a bad review? If so, please give an example.

— I had one reviewer complain about the mistakes and errors and such, and I went back and had to sheepishly admit to myself that I had missed a lot of small things in the final edit. Let that be a lesson: Even an editor needs an editor.

What percentage of the research you do for a novel actually lands up on the printed page?

— Not much, but the Shig Sato series will eventually be 12 volumes. A lot of what I’m researching now, facts and answers to questions I have, and reviewing things I’d forgotten, will eventually make it into the series.

Do you have an author you admire? If so, why?  

— Patrick O’Brian, the author of the “Master and Commander”  Aubrey/Maturin series. What he created — the British Royal Navy during the time of the Napoleonic Wars — and the characters, settings, adventures, plot twists, naval engagement, world travel, history, natural science; it’s simply a masterpiece. I found myself rereading the series five times, and realized about the third time through that what I was doing was learning how to write a series from him. I regard that series as the how-to for anyone who wants to write a series, regardless of genre.  

Question for authors from Joe Brewer:


Who is your favorite story or character or author  from literature – any genre-  Why?

Does that story/character/author help you in your writing process?


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