Author Interview: Odin Oxthorn

What inspired you to write?

It was more of a compulsion than anything. I just keep imagining these worlds and character interactions to a point where I decided that I need to organize them into prose.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

A lot of my scenes that involve food are my absolute favorite. I am a bit of a food nerd, so I try to put readers in my place when I am describing the meals of my worlds.

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

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty. It’s a very humanizing read about death rituals and practices around the world. It is a fantastic read to broaden your horizons and gain insight to other perspectives on mortality.

What are you working on writing now?

I am currently writing the sequel to Sleepless Flame, which has an entirely different setting and even genre.

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

My go-to is currently Mango Loco flavored Monster drink, and some form of jerky. I also enjoy the Air-Heads rainbow sour belts. Though now, I got a new favorite: pistachio oreo thins.

Who designs your book covers?

RinrinDaishi of DeviantArt and Instagram. She does amazing work!

I’ll say! That’s a great cover!

Thanks, I’ll pass that on.

Excellent, thanks!
What’s your favourite kind of music?

I listen to a lot of Industrial and Darkwave/SynthWave, but for writing a lot of ambient and Witch House can get me working.

Forest, country, beach or city?

Most likely a forest, with close proximity to a city.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

The Fifth Element. Love the worldbuilding and technology there.

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

Probably like most of my generation, a Paleontologist. I loved dinosaurs then (and still do!)

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I absolutely love Autumn. To me it seems to feel much more alive, with all the smells and sounds of rustling leaves. It just fills me with an indescribable happiness. I love the muted warm tones and the stillness.

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

If you think you are done after you write the book….nuh-uh. There is the same amount of work if not more after the final edits. Marketing and networking is a must!

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

 Being a creative person that can sustain themselves without worry. Opening potato chip packages without them exploding.

Where can we find your book?

‘Sleepless Flame’ is on Amazonand in other digital marketplaces.

And where can readers follow you on social media?

I have a website. I’m also on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube

Author Interview: Catherine Cavendish

Welcome to my interview with Catherine Cavendish – author of Gothic, ghostly and historical horror!

Welcome to my interview with Catherine Cavendish – author of Gothic, ghostly and historical horror

Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to write?

I can’t actually remember a time when I didn’t write. Certainly since I could hold a pencil in my chubby little girl hand. I was a precociously early reader and my love of stories led me to want to create my own. As an only child, I invented characters to inhabit my world.

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

CREATURE by Hunter Shea. I love all his books but with this one, he has surpassed himself. It’s a horror novel but it works on so many different levels and over-riding everything is a story of a woman’s struggle with a terrifying auto-immune disease. This one comes from the author’s heart and soul. Incredible work. For me, his best yet.

I’m nuts about horror, and I’ve read and reviewed your book ‘Miss Abigail’s Room’ which I really enjoyed.

Oh thank you! That’s very encouraging to know!

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

That’s a hard one to narrow down. I always love what I am working on at the moment because if I didn’t, what would be the point in continuing with it? But I do have a really soft spot for my latest novel – Damned by the Ancients. It’s the third in my Nemesis of the Gods trilogy and is mostly set in my favourite city – Vienna. My villain – Dr Emeryk Quintillus – is particularly evil in it and there is a starring role for a beautiful black cat, although she is far more than what she seems.

What are you working on writing now?

I am at the planning stage for a novella set in a hospital where a woman is recovering from a life-changing operation. There are forces within the hospital though. Things that shouldn’t be there. Things long dead.

Forest, country, beach or city?

That really depends on my mood and on the time of the year but in spring and summer, you can’t beat the countryside – and I would include forests in that, especially on a really hot day when you can shelter among the shady pine trees.

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever had?

Every time I’ve been to Vienna – and I have visited there a lot over the years. It has so much culture and history, the architecture is stunning but it is also a surprising city. Down narrow streets, all manner of curiosities are waiting to be found. It is such an easy place to get around, with excellent, straightforward and remarkably cheap public transport and, of course, the best coffee in the world.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Murder by Death. It’s absolutely hilarious – a spoof on a host of fictional sleuths from Hercule Poirot to the Thin Man and with an all-star cast including Peter Sellers, David Niven, Maggie Smith, Elsa Lanchester and Alec Guinness. It was written by Neil Simon so, need I say more? It’s my favourite feel-good movie.

What’s your favourite TV show?

This changes from season to season in many instances but currently, it’s Killing Eve – a tightly woven psychological drama series that has really got into my head. I am also enjoying American Horror Story: Apocalypse – which I think is one of the best in this franchise. Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates are superb.

Name three people you admire and give your reasons.

Barack Obama – in my opinion, a true statesman who remained dignified and collected no matter what was thrown at him while he was President and continues to do so.

Nelson Mandela – his courage and dignity are a constant source of hope and inspiration even though he is no longer with us.

Princess Diana – she broke through taboos and gave a voice to people who had none. She wasn’t afraid to speak out on unpopular issues and embrace – literally – people others would cross the street to avoid. I think her sons bear true testimony to her legacy.

What’s your favourite quote ever?

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone – Dorothy Parker

Where can readers find your books?

My books are widely available so readers can choose their favourite store.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Apple | Google | Kobo
Kensington Publishing

Where can we follow you on social media?

Readers can visit my Catherine Cavendish website or find me on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

Thanks for being here with us today, Catherine!

Thanks again, Book Squirrel!

Author Interview: Lucia Davis

Meet Lucia Davis, indie author of mystery short stories with a supernatural twist.

Welcome to my interview with mystery author Lucia Davis!
Welcome, Lucia!

Thank you, Book Squirrel!

What inspired you to write?

It was a very natural thing for me. I’ve always enjoyed writing. Even as a young girl, I made up stories in my head—at some point I found myself with more free time and started writing them down. I need some sort of creative outlet, and writing is my way of doing that. Once I started I never stopped. I write mysteries, because I enjoy coming up with the plot.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve written so far.

That’s like having to pick a favorite child. I think every book is the best I could deliver at that time and so for me, each is an accomplishment I’m proud of. I would not have been able to write the next one without the one that came before.

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

Lord of the Rings. Although Pride and Prejudice is a close second.

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

A very difficult question. My reading is pretty diverse. I reread All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Marie Remarque, which is very powerful. I read my first Backman, Britt Marie was here, and thought it was excellent. Another wonderful book I read this year is Rituals of the Dead written by Jennifer S. Alderson. And one of the highlights this summer was reading the first Harry Potter to my eldest and seeing the effect it had on him. I remember reading my own first Harry Potter—to be able to pass on the joy of books like these to my kids is just priceless.

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever had?

Hard, hard, hard! I love vacation. My honeymoon was probably the most memorable one: we spent four months backpacking in South America and Southeast Asia. It was a crazy trip and with enough adventures to last a lifetime—a few scary ones too. My husband has a bit of a wild streak… Now we have kids, which means we have to adjust our pace and the things we plan, but it’s still great fun, just different. Less wild for sure!

What is your most recent book?

The third instalment in my series that came out on December 17th: The Secrets of Sinclair Lodge. It’s a mystery series with a supernatural component. I’ve always been fascinated with the inexplicable and the unknown.

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

I think I wanted to be Robin Hood for a while. Roaming through the forest, shooting a bow, being a hero… it sounded pretty good to me. Until reality sank in, I suppose. After that, a vet I think? That never happened either. I like pets. Just not all of them as much.

Forest, country, beach or city?

Do I have to choose? I love the forest and mountains, and enjoy visiting the beach, but I would miss the city if I wouldn’t have access to one.

What’s your favorite quote ever?

That would be Albert Einstein’s: Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere. I have several on my Goodreads’ page.

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

It’s not easy, being an Indie author. The best way to help us write books is to leave a review after you read one of them. We need them. Without reviews, it’s hard to get noticed.

Where can we find your books?

You can find my books on Amazon. At the moment I only have e-books, but I am working on the paperback versions and I expect those to come out beginning 2019.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

I have a website at www.luciadavis.com where I blog and interview (mostly) indie authors.

I am also on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest.

Thank you for joining us here today, Lucia!

Thanks for having me, Book Squirrel!

Author Interview: Stefan Vucak

Book Squirrel chats with Stefan Vučak, author of science fiction and political drama novels.

Today we welcome Stefan Vučak, an Indie author from Melbourne, Australia, who has written eight Shadow Gods Saga sci-fi novels and six contemporary political drama books.

Welcome, Stefan! It’s great to have you here.

Thank you, Book Squirrel.

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

I always wanted to write. Well, not exactly always, but ever since I came across an illustrated book of Jules Verne’s ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’, the printed word fueled my imagination. In high school and university, I breezed through essay and writing assignments, truly puzzled why some of my classmates struggled. Books, of course, particularly science fiction, got my ideas factory churning. If others could write short stories and novels, so could I. I first turned my hand to writing short stories. I yearned for the day when people would walk past a bookstore and see my books on display. Vanity? Perhaps, but the fire burning deep within me that urged me to write, also compelled me to share the products of my imagination. Regrettably, just making my way in the world, I could not indulge my passion. I had to find a way to live and support myself. Hence my IT career, but that fire never went out, although I did allow it to die down a bit, frustrated at not being able to find a publisher. Publishing is a savage game, as I came to learn, and publishers are not keen to publish my books just because I wanted to see them in bookstores.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

This is like asking a father who is his favourite child! I like to think that all my books have something for readers. For science fiction lovers, I have a soft spot for ‘Immortal in Shadow’, part of the Shadow Gods Saga. For those into contemporary political drama/thrillers, ‘Strike for Honor’ will get them turning pages.

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

Wow, that is a hard one, as I have gone through lots of books this year. However, the one that has caught my attention is Andy Weir’s ‘Artemis’. Yes, he is the one who wrote ‘The Martian’. I love the book and the movie. In ‘Artemis’, Jasmine Bashara is a very smart girl who cannot decide on a career, so she spends her time smuggling for her Moon base customers. She gets caught up in a very dangerous deal that would bring her a lot of money, provided she doesn’t get caught. Andy Weir tells his story with an engaging blend of interesting characters and compelling science.

What are you working on writing now?

Actually, I just finished ‘Lifeliners’. It began as an idea for a short story on a long flight from Europe to Melbourne, Australia, my home. I always have my notebook handy, never knowing when inspiration would strike. Tired of browsing through inflight entertainment, I began jotting down notes to flesh out a story about an emerging new human able to draw energy from someone by touching them. Birthrates in Western countries had been falling for a while, accompanied by growing sterility. A product of our high-pressure technological lifestyle and high density urban living, explained the pundits. Nature decided that lifeliners were the answer who would over time replace the ‘normals’. As expected, this development was not received well by the general population, and governments everywhere began to blame lifeliners for failure of bad economic policies, introducing draconian laws to curtail their rights and freedoms.

That sounds really interesting! You didn’t write the whole book on the plane, did you?

Well, I wrote the short story, posted it on my website, and I thought I was done with it. Time to finish what was then my latest book project ‘Legitimate Power’. Once I had it published, I began reviewing ideas for a new book – and kept coming back to the lifeliners story. It was one thing to write a short story, but fleshing it out into a full-length novel was not something I had in mind, wanting to write another contemporary political drama/thriller. But the bug had bitten me and lifeliners began to haunt my days. The only way I would have peace was to write the damned book.

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

When I knuckle down and put on my writing hat, I don’t pour sand into the creative machinery by indulging in wine or spirits. Once I have new material in the computer and get on with editing, I allow myself a tumbler of nice bourbon. With a particularly good section of writing behind me, I may have more than one tumbler.

Who designs your book covers?

I use Laura Shinn’s services for my ebook and print covers. She does a great job without charging too much. She is very sensitive to my needs and is prepared to make changes.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

Being a nerdy sort of person, I like classical stuff, particularly when editing and proofreading, or reviewing someone’s book. I have a fondness for Austrian and Bavarian folk music. South American folk music is enchanting and allows my mind to soar.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

I love to travel! It broadens my horizons and lets me see not only diverse landscapes, but allows me to observe different cultures and how people live. I would rate my trip to South America as one of my top list experiences. The trip took me from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina, ending in Rio de Jeneiro. I experienced deserts, the Amazon jungle, Lake Titicaca, the Uyuni Salt Flats, and had a chance to stroll along the Copacabana beach.

*singing* At the Copa… Copacabana… oh. Sorry about that.

That’s okay.

I’m a highly impressionable squirrel. 

Barry Manilow, though?

Anything disco, really.
Now… where were we? Ah yes! What’s your favourite TV show?

These days, TV shows leave me unmoved. How many CSI variations are there, four? It is all about crime, reality shows, and cooking programs. Give me a break! There is too much reliance on computer special effects, which sacrifice genuine plotting and characterization. I believe that some of the TV shows from years gone by like Colombo and The West Wing will stand the test of time when others will quietly fade away.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Ah, movies … I cannot say there is one special movie I could watch forever, as I like a number of them across many genres. If I had to pick a sci-fi movie, I would say that ‘Avatar’ has something special, and I have seen it lots of times. ‘Kelly’s Heroes’, a WWII movie, is eminently watchable, as is ‘The Enemy Below’. The black-and-white version of ‘Jane Eyre’ with Orson Wells and Joan Fontaine gets me moody and thoughtful. If any of your readers like westerns, ‘From Hell to Texas’ is memorable.

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

I have always been interested in technology, astronomy, sociology … the bookworm stuff. I loved physics, although the math part wasn’t all that enjoyable. However, chemistry was something I absorbed through my skin, and was set to make it my career. About to finish high school, computers were an expanding field, and it was something I found fascinating. When it came time to choose my university major, I went into computer science, and I never regretted my career choice, but I have not lost my interest in chemistry.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I love the Aussie summer, but I think our autumn has some of the nicest weather. It is still warm, and the days are clear without the hot northerly winds. It is a good time of the year for long walks, games of golf … and writing. I write the year around, but autumn has something extra in the air that stimulates the creative process.

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

If there is one thing I learned over the years as a writer, if anyone is contemplating taking this on seriously, he or she should be prepared to spend many lonely hours with a pencil and paper, and sitting behind a computer screen. There will be disappointments, frustration, angst … and moments of sheer exhilaration and satisfaction when the words flow and the creative process produces something wonderful. Writing is a gift, but it can also be a curse. However, once bitten with the urge to create, there is no cure.

These days, it is easy to self-publish, and outlets like Amazon and Smashwords are replete with good books. Unfortunately, they are also full of amateurish efforts, which has contributed to a negative reputation of ebooks. Most authors dream of finding an agent and being published by a traditional publisher. I have those thoughts myself. However, traditional publishers rarely take up new writers, always keeping an eye on the bottom line. They are running a business to make money, not cater to hopeful authors. It is tough, but that is the hard reality. Another tough reality is the ongoing need to market and promote my books. As I mentioned in one of my Tweets, ‘Writing fills my soul, and marketing empties it’.

Where can we find your books?

You can visit my website or find my books on Amazon.  

Where can readers follow you on social media?

I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Thanks for being here today, Stefan!

Thanks for having me!

Author Interview: C.H. Clepitt

Book Squirrel chats with author C.H. Clepitt about books, writing, and life as an Indie Author. 

 

Interview Red

Book Squirrel chats with author C.H. Clepitt about books, writing, and life as an Indie Author. 

Welcome! It’s great to have you here!

Thank you!

What inspired you to write?CH Clepitt Patience Is A Virtue

I am inspired to write because I have something to say.  You can make some serious points through fiction without seeming preachy, as long as you do it right!  There are usually some very serious topics underlining my humour.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

That’s tough because I’m a fickle beast! Usually the most recent thing I’ve written is my favourite, because it’s buzzing around my brain.  The most recent thing I have written is a submission for an anthology, and it’s very different from what I usually write, but it went down well with my beta readers, so fingers crossed it gets accepted.

CH Clepitt The Book of Abisan

What are you working on writing now?

I have several projects on the go right now. I am working on my sequel to The Book of Abisan, which has a working title of The Smuggler’s Daughter, a sci fi thing that has the working title Crazy dreams, and the third in my Lineage series, which is being released on Kindle and Audible.

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

I don’t like to eat when I write, having to eat is annoying when you’re in the middle of creating, so whatever’s quick.

CH Clepitt Lineage Of Blood

Who designs your book covers?

I do my own book covers. They are a part of my brand. You can recognise a C H Clepitt cover a mile off. When I have enough I want to make a meme, because it’s what all the cool kids are doing.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

I like most music as long as it doesn’t disturb my zen. I spent some time writing for an online music magazine call Rockonnection where I would interview and review themed metal bands, so my tastes have become pretty eclectic!

Forest, country, beach or city?

I’d like the country, if it weren’t for the people! Anywhere quiet is good for me.

Maybe you should consider a treehouse! It works for me!CH Clepitt Everything Is Better With A Cape

Great idea!

What’s your favourite TV show?

I am a bit of a binge watcher, and enjoy anything with a good story, but all time favourite show? Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nuff said.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Sister Act.

CH Clepitt Lineage

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

A vet. Doesn’t everyone?!

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Talking to people and marketing!

Before you go, where can we get copies of your books?

All my books are available on Amazon.

And did I hear right that you’re giving a book away over Easter ?CH Clepitt I Wore Heels To The Apocalypse

Yes! I’m giving ‘I Wore Heels To The Apocalypse’ away that weekend.

That’s better than a chocolate egg!

Really?

Sure. Chocolate is not good for squirrels. I’ll be sure to grab a copy.

Thank you! I hope you enjoy it.

I’m sure I will. And where can readers find you on social media?

I’m on Twitter  and Facebook .
Great! Thanks for being here with us today.
Thanks for having me!

Author Interview: Chloe S Flanagan

Welcome to Book Squirrel’s interview with romance novelist Chloe Flanagan.

Interview Lime
Welcome, everyone! Today I’m chatting with romance novelist Chloe Flanagan. Welcome, Chloe. 

 

Thank you for welcoming me, Book Squirrel.

 

What inspired you to write?

 

I think I’ve always felt called to write, but didn’t really start doing it seriously until the last couple of years. I was blessed to get work that involved writing and have also formed some friendships with very creative people. They’ve helped give me the encouragement I needed to pursue my goals.

 

What are you working on writing now?

 

I’m working on a sequel to my first novel. The working title is A Time for Every Matter. I’m super excited about it because it will feature the major characters from the last book and develop some of the characters that were only minor at that point. It will be released in the spring.

 

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

 

M&Ms. There’s nothing like a multicolored sugar buzz.

 

Oh, I like the peanut ones! 

 

No surprises there! You’re a squirrel, after all.

 

You’re very observant. 

 

Thank you!

 

Who designs your book covers?

Forward to What Lies Ahead 7 final flattened.jpg

The whole team was extremely helpful and generally awesome.

It’s a great thing when you find someone who is great to work with.

 

It really is!

 

What’s your favourite kind of music?

 

Vintage Jazz! Ella Fitzgerald is my favorite singer. If I ever get a time machine, I’m heading back to one of her concerts.

 

Forest, country, beach or city?

 

City. I love activity, people watching, and diverse take-out options. I went to college in New York City and I always felt like the whole city was part of the campus.

 

What’s your favourite TV show?

 

I Love Lucy. Don’t think I need to ‘splain that one.

 

What movie can you watch over and over again?

 

“What’s Up Doc?” starring Barbara Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. It’s the last great screwball comedy. So hilarious!

 

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

 

For literature in general, I love Jane Austen. I’ve read all the novels, but my favorite is Emma. I read it once a year.
For Christian Fiction, my favorite author is Sarah Sundin. Her World War II novels are inspiring and entertaining.
For Indie Fiction, I really like Staci Stallings. It amazes me how prolific she is.

 

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

 

Writing is a solitary activity, so you’d think being an Indie author would be like loneliness squared, but that’s not true. If you do some searching, you can find an amazing community of supportive and creative people. Case in point: the Book Squirrel.

 

Aw, shucks! *blushes* 

 

I’ve never seen a squirrel blush before.

 

That’s true of most people, I suspect.

 

Tell me, Chloe, where can we find your book?

 

It’s available on my Amazon page.
And where can readers follow you on social media?

 

I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I also have a website.

 

Thanks, Chloe! It’s been great chatting with you!
Thank you, Book Squirrel!

 

Author Spotlight: Lyra Shanti

Lyra Shanti is a most accomplished author, poet, songwriter, and musician.

Lyra is the author of the amazing magical science fiction Shiva XIV Series and a number of short stories that explore the same world at different times in her characters’ lives.


If you’re looking for something in the realm of sci-fi/fantasy with a gripping storyline, you should definitely grab Lyra’s Shiva XIV series. It has been reviewed as “brilliant, epic space opera” and “the next space epic you need to read”. It’s really that good.

The short stories that further explore the world and characters of the Shiva XIV series are well written and add greater dimension to the characters and their experiences. The opportunity to see further into their lives and see what has helped make them who they are is always a bonus. They’re great stories that are also able to stand on their own quite successfully, although they will leave the reader wanting more.

Lyra has also published two books of poetry and a novella, ‘The Rainbow Serpent’, in which Lyra recreates the story of the Garden of Eden as told by the serpent.

Lyra Shanti Rainbow Serpent
According to one Amazon review for ‘The Rainbow Serpent’, this book is “Flawless in composition … plainly, yet eloquently written with beautiful imagery that reflects the universal truths of life” so that “the reader is left to ponder the extent of predestination vs. free will to execute one’s choices along the spectrum of morality since Creation.”

Lyra’s poetry is rich and sensory, full of imagery that draws the reader into the emotion and depth of the poet’s mind. It’s a definite must for any poetry lovers, but also shows the extent and versatility of the talent of this wonderful author.

Lyra Shanti Sediments

Lyra has author profiles at both Goodreads and Amazon.

You can also follow Lyra on social media:
Instagram: lyrashanti
twitter: @LyrtaShanti

website: www.lyrashanti.com

You can support Lyra’s work at Patreon where Lyra’s patrons have access to exclusive material and previews.