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: 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!

Author Interview: J. Raven Wilde

Today we welcome J. Raven Wilde, author of steamy romance and paranormal romance novels.

What inspired you to write?

I have always loved reading, as well as writing. I knew that I had a few stories that I would love to share, it has just taken me a while to get those stories written and published. The more I read, the more stories I wanted to tell. Soon, the creative juices were flowing and ideas were popping up. I have many writing projects going right now to keep me busy for a while.

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

The Beautiful Monsters Series by Jex Lane. I love the world that she has built in her stories and the characters that she has created. I have read her series at least eight times, they are that good!

What are you working on writing now?

I’m working on a few things; the second novella in my Sanctuary Series called, Claimed by the Bear, which I plan to have out in August.
The first novella in my Sanctuary Series, Claimed by the Alpha was just released and available on Amazon.
The other writing project I’m working on is another steamy romance novella called His Orders.

What’s your favourite TV show?

Supernatural, of course.

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

A veterinarian however, that didn’t happen. I joined the military and traveled the world.

Forest, country, beach or city?

The country and the beach. Definitely not a city person. Too much noise. I need a little peace and quiet, tossed in with some sun, sand, and water.

Who designs your book covers?

I actually found a really awesome graphic artist on Fiverr called, Designrans. He wasn’t my first cover designer, but now, he’s the one I go to.

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

I like being in control of my work, as well as the percentage of royalties that I receive compared to a traditionally published author. I am able to publish more and often, rather than waiting a year or more just to publish one book. I can set my own prices. True, you have a lot of leg work to do as far as getting your name out there, but you are doing just the same amount of work as you would be as an unknown traditionally published author.

Where can readers find your books?

People can find my books posted on my publisher’s webpage at http://www.twistedcrowpress.com or on Amazon.

Are we able to follow you on social media?

I also have a Facebook page where I keep everyone up to date on my current projects or newly published works.

Thank you for talking with me today, J. I’ve enjoyed our chat.

Thanks, Book Squirrel. It has been fun!


Author Interview: Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Today I’m chatting with Pamela Schloesser Canepa, indie author of science fiction books since 2016, who is currently working on her sixth book, which is from the Detours in Time series.

Welcome, Pamela!

Thank you, Book Squirrel!

As you know, I’m a big reader and I always ask what people enjoy reading.
What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written? 

The Help, by Katherine Sprockett.  I really identified with the main character.

What are you working on writing now? 

I’m writing “Malachi,” a story based on a side character in my second book of the Detours in Time series (Undercurrents in Time).  Malachi, a young man with an interesting job, is hired by Milt, a Science professor in Undercurrents in Time to help guard his scientific secrets.  He’s so good at it, I just had to dive into his back story a little bit more.

What’s your favourite kind of music? 

I love electronic music, but with lyrics, like the music of Moby.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had? 

I went to the Bahamas on a cruise with my son who was ten.  We got along so well.  I was fresh off of a ‘soft’ breakup.  I got my hair braided on the beach, sipping a coconut pina colada while he gathered all the coconut shells he could find to make a miniature village.  I sang karaoke at night while he cheered me on.  I never stayed out late, but we had fun.  We also got a taxi van with a bunch of college guys who also loved singing.  I got a tan and sang a lot.  This was right before his tough teen years.

What’s your favourite TV show?  

Travelers, on Netflix.  I love just about everything about it, including the characters.

What movie can you watch over and over again? 

Two of them:  The Game, with Michael Douglas, and either the first or the most recent Bridget Jones movie.  It depends what mood I am in!

What’s your favourite season? Why? 

Fall, because it doesn’t make me as sick as Spring does, and there are so many cool and fun festivals or Halloween events!

And it’s so pretty… and there are nuts! And… oh, yeah. Interview. Right. Where was I? Let’s see… Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

1.  Stephen King.  2. Margaret Atwood, and 3. Toni Morrisson.

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

I would like people to know that being an indie author is sometimes a lonely undertaking.  You want to learn a lot and end up doing so by taking webinars to save money.  I know there is an answer, which is going to more author events, but I have just gotten started with that.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier. 

I wish getting older was easier, and I wish book marketing was easier, because I think I’ll need to keep doing both.

Where can we find your books?

My books are all on Amazon and in other stores via the Books2Read website.

Where can readers follow you on social media? 

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

That’s great! Thanks for chatting with me today, Pamela!

Thanks for having me, Book Squirrel! It’s been fun!

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!

Book Review: ‘Kiss of Quicksilver’ by Dona Fox

A dark and disquieting tale.

This dark little tale by Dona Fox evokes a strong sense of desperation in her protagonist and other characters in their grim quest for survival.

Much like being thrown into the deep end of a dark pool, the reader is plunged into the action, yet only gradually realises the depths into which they have been submerged. There are some very effective moments of realisation and revulsion accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation of disquiet and doubt in the reader’s mind, both heightened by the tone of normality with which Fox infuses the narrative.

Easily read in less than half an hour, this is a perfect diversion during a break or over lunch on a busy day. Or… perhaps not while you’re eating. 

An excellent horror story, ‘Kiss of Quicksilver’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn. 

Find your copy here