Author Interview: Nicole Coverdale

Welcome to my author interview with Nicole Coverdale, author of paranormal and urban fantasy novels.

Welcome, Nicole. It’s great to have you here.

Thanks, Book Squirrel!

What inspired you to write?

Writing is something I have always loved to do. Growing up, you could always find me with my nose stuck in a book and I was in awe of those who could bring such amazing things to life, just with words and I just knew that’s what I wanted to do. In English class, I loved everything about it, grammar, writing, sentence structure, etc and one day I decided I was going to write a story and I did. It was childish, something I would never share with anyone, but it was special to me and eventually writing became like a therapy to me. Growing up in a house of divorced parents, and being the middle child of three daughters I needed some way to get my emotions out, especially since I was very quiet and shy. Writing gave that to me.

What are you working on writing now?

Right now I am working on the 5th book in my The Wiccan Way series. A series about magic, and a group of sister witches who are struggling with their destiny. This book, titled Bound by Magic follows the sisters as they search for an ancient sapphire that has been scattered throughout the world, before the demons get to it first. 

Do you have a favourite food or drink that helps you write?

I like to snack. Peanuts tend to be my go-to, and I do like a glass of wine to help calm my thoughts.

Who designs your book covers?

I follow a lot of different designers, many who have created covers for my books. Kristyn from Drop Dead Designs, Tara from Fantasia Frog Designs, and Michele from Captivating Covers and Plots just to name a few. They’re amazing, and so easy to work with. I’m lucky to have found them.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

I love my 80’s rock music, or hair bands as some may call them. Poison, Motley Crue, Def Leopard, Aerosmith, etc. I haven’t been able to find a music genre that moves me as much as the hair bands do.

Forest, country, beach or city?

Country! There’s just something so soothing and calming about the country. Being with your own thoughts, and of course, getting to watch the wild life. There’s nothing quite like it.

What’s your favourite TV show?

I have two. For comedy and good laughs, I love watching  Brooklyn 99. I could binge that show a hundred times and never get sick of it! For drama, Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve watched it since the beginning, and love how much it’s grown. Plus it’s been on for so long, I just can’t not watch it!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Honestly, I wanted to be so many things! I wanted to be a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, even a cop, and finally, yes, an author. But you know the cool thing about being an author? You get to put yourself in so many different character’s shoes that I get the chance to be every one of those. With a little help from some research, of course.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I love the fall. The colors of the leaves changing is one of my favorite things to watch, plus it means football season is here and I love watching football!

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

I’ve always loved the quote, “when one door closes, another opens.” It just always helped me remember that whatever life throws at you, there’s always more. And even in the face of our darkest days, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, and good things will come. But sometimes you do have to be patient for it to come.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

That it’s not easy. While I love  getting the chance to do what I love, write and share it with so many readers, being an Indie author is tough! You not only have to find the time to write and set strict guidelines for yourself, you also have to make sure you find a good editor, a good cover designer, get the book’s interior formatted, not to mention knowing where and how to promote your work. It can get exhausting! But it is so worth it as well.

Where can readers find your books?

My books are on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Thanks for chatting with me today, Nicole!

Thank you for having me, it has been fun. Bye for now!

Author Interview: Toni Kief

Hi everyone! Today I’m chatting with Toni Kief, author of the Mildred Unchained mystery/humor series of books.
Welcome, Toni!

Thank you, Mr Squirrel!

What inspired you to write?

I didn’t start writing until I was sixty years old. I was in metaphysical group that was closing and James Johnson said, “I want to write more.” I’m not sure where the answer came from, but I said “If you write I’ll write.” Now ten years later we have a total of eight published books between us, and that doesn’t include the cookbooks we never published.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

Of all my 200 short stories and 5 books. My favorite project is Mildred In Disguise With Diamonds. The first in the Mildred Unchained trilogy. Mildred Petrie is 71, widowed and broke. She walks to the casino, and they offer a job working in security undercover.  She isn’t your usual crime fighter and I’d love to hang out with her.

Mildred sounds great! What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

This is tough, I was just talking to my grandson about books I remember years after reading. Some of the books I remember the most may not really be a favorite. Probably The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

I have been reading an odd mix of Indie books the past four years. I’d have to say the best this year is The Immortality Cure, by Tori Centanni.

What are you working on writing now?

I’m working on a historical fiction about my 8x great grandmother, Susanna Jackson/White/Winslow who was on the Mayflower in 1620.

Oh, that sounds fascinating!

It is!

Do you have a favourite food or drink that helps you write?

I have a reward system to encourage my writing. If I write well and move forward, I get the English Breakfast tea that my friend brought to me from London. If I don’t accomplish much, I get the 2 for $5 sale stuff from the Safeway store.

Who designs your book covers?

I use Heather McIntyre with Cover & Layout for all of my covers. I give her my ideas and then she does something so much better.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

Back in the 1960s I was deep into folk and protest music. When everyone was buying the Beatles, I was listening to Sam Cooke and Mel Carter. I’ve always skirted the crowd.

Forest, country, beach or city?

Forests are utterly amazing. I used to plant a tree a month when I had property. Ideally, I would like a place in the forest on a lake near a small town where I know the stories of the people sitting on the other side of the bar.

That sounds lovely. A forest, on a lake… *sigh*
Ah. Where was I? Right. Here we go!
What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

I went to Italy with an acquaintance. I brought her a book and she read the same People Magazine the entire flight. As it turned out I let her shop one afternoon, and every other hour I dragged her to museums, archeological sites and the Vatican.

What is your pet hate?

Frogs, and I don’t know why. I must have seen one with a knife when I was a baby.

Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?

No, it is a silly enough hate it would make a character unbelievable.

What’s your favourite TV show?

I am forever dedicated to The Daily Show, as a one time political activist and a progressive nothing beats the news and humor.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

I don’t tend to rewatch movies or reread books. I am embarrassed to say that I’ve seen Grease seven times, but that was accidental: it was on in front of my face.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I have wanted to be an archeologist since I was eleven. Might explain why I was a rock hound for years.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

No question about it, Spring. That is the season that is all hope and new flowers.

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

I have a crush on Ernest Hemingway, I’ve met Maya Angleou and she was an amazing talent, spirit and warrior.  For number three, Tony Hillerman. I bought a book on tape (that long ago) for a 3,500 mile trip hoping my son would like it. I ended up buying all of his books twice.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?  

Oscar Wilde, “I’m to old to know everything.”

Name three people you admire, and give reasons.

#1 Malala Yousafzai so young, brave and brilliant. Being shot in the face didn’t stop her.  
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for bringing civil rights issues to the forefront and using non-violence, and eloquence to fight for rights.
Third, would be Mary Wollstonecraft a trail blazer for equal rights and education for women in 1792.  Oh and Shirley Chisholm, and… and I’ll stick with the first three.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

The writing is the joy, editing the equalizer and marketing the battle. Remember commas are ninjas that creep around into the night trying to make you look bad.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Getting a good education and cleaning the oven.

That’s one of the great things about being a squirrel: no oven to clean!
Where can we follow you on social media?

I have a website and an Amazon author page where you can find all my books. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for being here with me today, Toni.

I’ve enjoyed our chat! Thank you!

Author Interview: Timothy Moonlight

Greetings! Today I’m chatting with author Timothy Moonlight about life as a writer and his upcoming new release, a thriller titled ‘The Last Word’.
Welcome, Timothy!

Thank you, Book Squirrel. I’m delighted to be here!

Great! Why don’t you start by telling us what inspired you to write?

For me, writing is an internal drive. I wrote my first novel when I was 15, but never did anything with it afterward. However, from that point on in my life, I knew my purpose. My about page goes into a lot more detail, but this has been a life-long journey for me.
Now, that I’m actually writing again after so many years, I will never go back to a place of inactivity. We can accomplish so much in our lives if we apply ourselves. It took me finally getting fed up with not pursuing my dream and avoiding activities that were non-productive in my life to begin this journey. When I finally put my foot down and said “enough”, then I began to make progress.

What’s your favorite thing you have written?

This is a hard one and several things come to mind. There are several poems I have written in the past, “Journey”, “A Child’s Plea”, “Clinging”, and “Next to You” immediately come to mind.
As far as blog posts on my website, my favorite is “Leap of Faith”.
The Last Word, my novel, has a ton of scenes that I enjoy. What makes writing beautiful is that it comes from the heart. When you really write something that resonates with you, you’re really showing a little bit of yourself. Expressing your thoughts, sharing your emotions, or even a memory, can make a powerful impact on readers.

What’s your favorite thing that someone else has written?

Seize the Night by Dean Koontz holds a dear place in my heart. The writing is superb and he is a masterful writer. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it, but you’ll have to start with Fear Nothing, since it is a sequel to that book. I think the setting has makes a serious impact throughout the novel along with the characters. It’s an overall great story.

What are you working on writing now?

My next novel will revisit the second book I began to write in college, but couldn’t finish due to a full-time job along with my class load. So, there is a ton of history between the origin of the story and where I’ll actually go with it. I wouldn’t say that too much will change between what I’d envisioned back then and what I think of the idea now, but you never know. When I’m writing, I find myself adding to the story in ways that make sense. A thriving, engaging plot means the world to me and it has to resonate with the reader. My first mission in writing is always to think about the reader. Will they enjoy this? Does it resonate? Those types of questions are very important for me to answer.

Do you have a favorite food or drink that helps you write?

It’s not so much food or drink, although I am very partial to Dr. Pepper, lol. Really, it’s instrumental music. It has to be able to match the setting of the book, the tone of the story. That may not make sense, since it is a highly subjective experience, but I do enjoy great tunes when I’m writing. They just have to be instrumental. I can’t have people speaking in my ear, breaking my concentration.

Oh, I’m right with you about the great tunes! What’s your favorite kind of music?

I will always be a fan of 90s pop/alternative rock, and I have never left those years. I also love music by the late Robert Miles.

Forest, country, beach, or city?

I’m a beach and country person. I like the slower pace in life. I have lived in a big city before and the traffic is just crazy. Traffic where I live now is continually getting worse. More and more people moving here. I live just North of Atlanta, Georgia in the United States.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Is it wrong to have two? The Illusionist and Interstellar. I can watch these over and over again, however, I don’t resonate with the ending of Interstellar. It’s a great film though, perfect score, and most of the movie is so massive. I truly felt like I was in outer space throughout the film. I’m always eagerly anticipating more Christopher Nolan movies!

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

Just because the publishing world has changed with the ability to self-publish doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of hard work involved. You are responsible for everything. This is fine with me, but know this up front. Not only do you need a great story, you need an editor, you need to be completely dedicated to your craft and continually making yourself better. I spend hours each week learning grammar again. Yes, starting over is hard, but you have to better yourself continually. However, I love it. I love most things about this business. You are the writing team, you are the marketing team, you are everything. When you need help, be certain to ask. There are plenty of people who are willing to help along the way. Most importantly, do it only if you love it. You have to love what you do in life. If you’re in a career that you don’t enjoy, then you are wasting your time and doing a disservice to yourself. You only have one life and time is the most precious commodity. Find what you are passionate about in life and do it with all your heart and your life will be full of life and color.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. It’s taken a long time, over two decades, to go after my dream, but I’m finally doing what I’m passionate about. When I know that I’ve touched someone with what I’ve written, then that makes everything worth it. I want to touch lives with my writing. I want people to be excited when they know I’ve got something else coming out. Their excitement is my excitement!

In what genre would The Last Word be classified?

The Last Word is a technology-driven thriller riddled with mystery.

Oh, that sounds good! What is the main plot of the book?

It revolves around the life of Claire Bigsby right after her father’s death. In her struggle with grief and other intense situations she faces within the book, the reader is drawn into an intriguing web of constant suspicion.

How did you come up with the idea for the novel?

This novel was borne out of my own personal loss of my father in 2011. It’s interesting because when I started writing The Last Word, I had no idea my own sense of loss would enshroud the book, but if you look hard enough, anyone who knows me will be able to see that, in a way, the story chronicles my own bout with grief. Anyone who has lost a loved one, someone who is irreplaceable in their life, will be able to identify with what Claire is going through in the book. The story doesn’t stay in a bleak mood as you will recognize after the characters are introduced.

Why do you think people read thrillers?

People don’t read books to feel depressed. People read thrillers because they want to see how others deal with tragedy and situations that they wouldn’t want to be in themselves, but they sure don’t mind reading about in other people’s lives. It’s part of the element of seeing someone overcome impossible odds. The mystery involved in the novel helps solidify its ability to grip you, to startle you, and it keeps you turning the pages. One of the goals behind my writing is to keep you wondering, keep you reading, and maybe even keep you up at night. I can remember a substitute teacher from 2nd grade who used to have a “story-time” with us at some point in the day. She told us scary stories! Lol I used to go home and spend half my night awake because of what she described. Now, I hope I don’t have that type of effect on readers, but I have to say, those types of interactions in my life have helped shape my own stories.

Describe the pace of the book?

Have you ever read a book where you’ve invested a portion of time only to find yourself going through the motions in drudgery? “Come on already, when will this thing pick up!” is what I usually say if I pick up a book like that. That is definitely not this book. All stories have to produce an environment where the reader is invested in the characters. Beyond those formed connections, the book takes off and becomes a page-burner. I would hazard to say that some people will read it in one sitting.

What does it take to create a compelling character?

It takes a little bit of you, someone you have a connection with in some realm of life. For us in this novel, it’s Claire, a woman who has lost her father – a good and decent man who she loved fiercely. When you have a connection with someone, you are drawn to them like a magnet. You suddenly want to see them succeed in their quest. You care about their well-being and you want them to overcome the obstacles that they face. When you see characters in stories overcome their difficulties, it speaks to us, deep down inside that maybe we can overcome our own obstacles in this life as well. Claire isn’t the only person in the story that you care about and as for the rest my lips are sealed.

Why do you write thriller/mystery fiction?

Honestly? It’s why I’m on the planet. It has been my passion, my drive, my dream for so long. I’ve known for years, years, that I am supposed to be an author churning out thriller fiction, but I let too many other things get in my way when I was younger. When I was 15, I wrote a novel. It took me a year to finish it. Then, as I started college, I started another novel, but between classwork, and my job, I didn’t have time to write. My dream of becoming an author was drifting high above me, like a balloon I had accidentally let go and was now out of reach. Time goes on, no matter if you’re on track with your own personal destiny or not. If too much time goes by and you’re not accomplishing the dreams you have in your life, they can begin to fade. Then, almost like a form of depression, you only think about the time you’ve wasted and that isn’t good. You need to think about what you can still accomplish and not just think about it, but act on it. That’s why I have motivational content on my blog.

What does the writing process look like for you?

Great question! It is a jumbled mess! Lol, but it’s a lot of fun. I work a full-time job like most writers and like most writers sometimes you come home and you’re tired, but you have to write! Writing has never been a chore to me. It’s really about having a goal and sticking with it. A word to a sentence to a paragraph to a page that eventually turns into a novel. I don’t know everything that will happen in the novel before I’m done with it. Some items I know I want to happen in the book, but a large portion of The Last Word wasn’t written to a specific plan until after the 40% mark. Other things just fell into place and as I’m sure other writers will agree, some things I changed during the course of the book.

What is the story behind your branding logo?

The logo of a writer’s silhouette against the moon is a picture of someone who started late in life, during the moonlight phase of their existence. It’s a picture of my life. Notice though that I’m writing in that picture, I’m finally doing what I was born to do on this Earth, it just took me a while to get here. I’m here doing what I love now and I’m here to stay.

You mentioned earlier about your motivational blog? Tell me about that and what other content do you have on it?

My website is www.motivationbymoonlight.com. It’s my author site where people can read some of my content, but also a place where people can read motivational content that I wish I had access to when I was a kid, teenager, or early 20s. There is a wealth of knowledge out there, but what I have come away with in life as far as happiness is this: Do what you love. Do something your passionate about. Find a way to turn what you love into a profession. We spend the majority of our lives working. Why would you do something you dislike most of your life? Some of the things you’ll read there is common sense, some of it will provoke you to take action. You’ll also find some poetry I have written, some from decades ago, some from mere weeks ago. Also, you’ll discover I chronicle my journey with my novel when I’m writing one. I expect that I will continue to do that. It’s fun telling people about the adventure you’re on. They can see your process and how things are moving along. I will never give spoilers about any of the content.

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

I used to wake up in the middle of the night with ideas for novels. I expect that will come back to me as long as I keep myself engaged in the process. That didn’t happen with The Last Word. Truth be told, I didn’t know what I had until it was almost half-way completed. I believe in the future of my writing I will have more of an outline, but I’ll also keep an open mind with regards to the characters and try to give them a will of their own. If you want your story to take an unexpected turn, then let them make the decisions.

What about writing a novel do you enjoy the most?

All of it. Writing a novel takes patience, dedication, and strategy. I have always done well with these elements. I enjoy thinking through situations and how different scenarios play out. I love to plan surprises for my fans with at least one big “I never saw that coming!” moment. I believe The Last Word delivers this excitement several times.

What is the most challenging part of writing a novel?

Like most writers, I would say ensuring your plot lasts. The middle of a novel can be terrifying to writers. This is because they may not have the content to carry a novel to the end. Haven’t we all read novels where there is a lot of filler? I never want to do that. I may take some time in the beginning to introduce you to the characters and their world, but when that has been completed – look out, the thriller train is chugging down the track. All aboard! If the train doesn’t have the steam to get moving, then my book isn’t ready for release.

How have you grown as a writer in this process?

The short answer is leaps and bounds. One thing that I have grown plenty in are the relationships that I have formed with people. I love my editor, Debra Kastner. We discuss things. If something needs to change, I change it. Like I have stated on my blog before, “I am an impartial judge, holding an ax and pen instead of a gavel, not beholden to the cries of my own personal creativity.” I’ve embraced more fully the patience inside me. You can’t rush a high-quality product. You have to take your time, gain perspective, and see other points of view, all while staying true to who you are. I will continue to learn every day and hope to only increase in the quality of my novels. Above all else, I want my fans to be thoroughly pleased when they reach the end.

Brilliant! Thanks for your thoughtful and interesting answers, Timothy. It’s been great having you here today.

Thank you for having me.

‘The Last Word’ will be available at a special promotional price until August 23rd.

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Author Interview: Aly Locatelli

Today I’m chatting with Aly Locatelli, one of the contributing authors in the upcoming murder mystery anthology, ‘Death Among Us’.
Welcome, Aly!

Thank you, Book Squirrel! It’s so nice to be here.

What inspired you to write?

I began writing when I was 11 years old. My family and I had just moved to the UK from Italy, and my English was very poor. All I knew were the basic school-taught phrases that, unfortunately, didn’t really help in real world situations. My English teacher at the time suggested I try writing short stories in my spare time to practice the language. When I handed in my first short story and she really enjoyed it, I realised how much had enjoyed writing it. From then on, I would write short stories and beginnings of full-length novels and hand them in every week. 

Practicing English also came in the form of listening to audiobooks, reading, and watching shows with the subtitles on (a habit I still have to this day), but writing really cemented my learning.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

I’ve written a couple of books that I’ve had a blast writing. One of them features a haunted island and a very unlucky teenager and her family; another is high fantasy with dragons, magic, political intrigue and talking sloths. I hope the world gets to read them one day.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

Oh gosh. I am a huge fan of V. E. Schwab. I’d read her shopping list if I could get my hands on it. A Darker Shade of Magic saw me through some rough days, and is a book I turn to whenever I struggle to live in the real world. The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas is another, even though I haven’t finished it. I have a lot of thoughts on those last two books. Also Tana French and Gillian Flynn, for the murder mystery lover within.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

*stares at teetering TBR pile*
This year has been hard for me when it comes to reading. I haven’t had the right head to sit down and actually get through all the books I’d planned on reading. However, I absolutely adored Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan and Sadie by Courtney Summers.

What are you working on writing now?

I’m working on a few projects at the moment. I’m trying out the whole “plan, don’t pants” thing and… well. We’ll see how that goes. One of a horror/mystery and the other is, of course, fantasy. 

Do you have a favourite food or drink that helps you write?

Coffee. Coffee gets me through every single challenge. It’s like the writing buddy I never knew I had.

Forest, country, beach or city?

Forest! Give me silence, solitude and cooler weather any day of the week.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I started off wanting to be a lawyer. Then a psychologist. Then a criminologist. And then, somehow, I wanted to work in publishing if not become a published author myself. I guess I’m kind of getting there with the last one, ha!

What’s your favourite season? Why?

Winter. I grew up in the mountains bordering France and Italy, right in the peaks. We had some of the coldest winters with thick snow and blizzards. Something about winter is just endlessly romantic to me. Hot chocolate, thick blankets, fluffy socks… *sighs*

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

George RR Martin is top of my list. The guy managed to build an entire world, several languages and a multitude of stories that have captured the world. I’d love to be like him one day.
V. E. Schwab. She’s published quite a few novels, all whilst getting her degree. She’s also public about mental illness and her day to day life living with it and for someone who struggles with depression and anxiety myself, I feel seen by her.
Jay Kristoff. The way he writes is magical and captivating and even his darkest novels (Nevernight and Godsgrave) are humorous with some light-hearted moments. He’s another author I’d love to meet one day. 

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” Delilah Bard, A Darker Shade of Magic. 

Name three people you admire, and give reasons.

My mum and dad are two of the people I admire. I know it sounds cliché, but we truly have been through some stuff in our time. Awful, depressing stuff that most people wouldn’t come out of. My mum and dad have always been my constants, people I could turn to even just for some words of comfort. My mother is so strong — mentally, physically, emotionally — and my father is tough as nails and as wise as can be. I’d be lost without them.

The other person is my boyfriend. We’ve been together almost two years but, again, we’ve been through stuff you wouldn’t think possible. He’s been my rock and his sense of humour and positive attitude has pulled me out of more than one “dark day.” I don’t know what I would do without him, and hope I never have to find out.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Life in general would be great if it were simply easier. Joking aside, writing is definitely one of them. If only there was a universal rulebook we could all follow when it comes to writing books, that would’ve been fantastic. Another is accepting criticism, personally. I actively seek out people to criticise my work, but then sit there for days self-hating because of said criticism. It’s helped me grow, that’s for sure, but I wish it were easier for me to brush it off and move on.

Before you go, why don’t you tell us about ‘Death Among Us’?

‘Death Among Us’ is a collection of 23 murder mystery short stories that releases on July 7th. It is a really varied and interesting multi-genre collection by some really great authors.

That sounds great! Where can we get a copy?

It’s available for preorder via Amazon, and you can find out more by watching this video.

Thanks for being here today, Aly. It’s been great to get to know you a little better.

Thank you for having me!

Author Interview: Maria Riegger

Book Squirrel chats with Maria Riegger, author of legal thrillers and the new release non-fiction book, Your Scorpio Child: A Guide for Parents.

Today I’m chatting with Maria Riegger, author of legal thrillers and the new release non-fiction book, Your Scorpio Child: A Guide for Parents.

Hi Maria, welcome!

Thank you, Book Squirrel. You’re looking handsome today.

Oh Maria, flattery will get you everywhere. Tell me, what inspired you to write?

Oh man. Where to begin? I’ve been reading and writing stories since I was around six years old. Reading and daydreaming have always been escape mechanisms for me, especially when dealing with traumatic events. My daydreaming got to the point where I had so many stories in my head that I had to get them out by writing them.
It’s also a creative outlet for me. I enjoy my day job (as a bank regulatory attorney), but it does not satisfy my need to create as much as fiction writing does. As far as inspiration, it’s all around us. You just have to live.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

The Lines We Cross (the second book in the Jeb Shaw series) by S.A. Bailey is a well-written, page-turning thriller where the author pulls no punches. It’s reminiscent of the movie Taken and is a refreshing, realistic change from much of the fiction I have read recently.

Your book titled ‘Your Scorpio Child’ was released today. Why don’t you tell us about it?

Scorpio is the most misunderstood and enigmatic of all the signs in the zodiac. Much has been written about Scorpio men and women. However, the Scorpio child remains elusive, mostly because Scorpio children do not usually say what is on their mind. Scorpio children are dramatic, suspicious, manipulative, and can seriously try parents’ patience. They are also sensitive, intuitive, and loyal. The key to having the relationship with your Scorpio child that you want lies in knowing how to handle their innate characteristics. My hope is that other parents of Scorpio children will find the information in this book useful.

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

That sounds fascinating! What are you working on writing now?

I am working on my next nonfiction book, Your Gemini Child: He’s Not Crazy, He’s Just Always in his Head, which is a parenting guide for parents of Gemini children. After that, I’ll be finishing my first novel in the Sabrina and Tex series, which is a Western/sci-fi series.

Do you have a favourite food or drink that helps you write?

Coffee. I can’t work without it. It’s my only real vice.

Who designs your book covers?

I select the images I would like and I have a graphic designer that I use consistently (his company is pixelstudio on fiverr.com.). He is prompt and fantastic! He designed my company logo as well.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

This is tricky because I love most genres. Probably hard rock, since I grew up listening to Bon Jovi, Journey, and the likes. When I’m editing, I listen to EDM.

Forest, country, beach or city?

This is tough. I prefer to be isolated from people, and I’ll take any environment where I can do that. I love all the cultural opportunities that a city offers, but hate the crowds and noise. I’ll pick an isolated beach. Listening to the surf is relaxing and the salt water exfoliates your skin 🙂

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Lost in Translation. The idea of two random people feeling lost and finding a connection deeply resonates with me. Plus, I’ve loved Bill Murray in everything I have seen him in!

What’s your favourite season? Why?

Autumn. It’s dreary enough that people stay indoors and I can take a walk without feeling hemmed in by crowds, but it’s not cold enough that my teeth are chattering! And the autumn colors are gorgeous!

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Ken Follett, because he researches before writing his novels and because he is a master at suspense and the spy thriller (Eye of the Needle is my favorite thriller of all time).

Patricia Cornwell because her first Kay Scarpetta book, Postmortem, basically gave rise to the entire true crime and forensic files industry, including books and television shows; and because of her thorough research on Jack the Ripper, which is amazing.

Anne Rice, because her Vampire Chronicles were the first books I absolutely fell in love with, because I love a good vampire story, and because Lestat is an irreverent upstart who flouts the rules and makes his own path, which I can relate to.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

It takes an incredible amount of work to produce a high-quality book. It’s not only about the writing, but about editing, proofreading, finding quality contractors, promotion services, marketing, blogging, maintaining your author website, etc. It takes a huge amount of time and resources. Not all indie books are written or edited well (that is the unfortunate truth); however, many of them are, so please do not discount a book or an author merely because they are self-published. Many of us are indie authors because we do not want to waste our time querying multiple agents and publishing companies. We just to write.

That’s really good advice. I read a lot of excellent Indie books.
Finally, Maria, where can readers find your books?

My books are all available on Amazon and listed on Goodreads.

Thanks for being here and talking with me today.

It’s been a pleasure! Thank you!