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.

Follow Timothy Moonlight on social media:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

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Author Interview: Tim Walker

Book Squirrel chats with historical fiction author, Tim Walker.

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What Inspired you to write?

I have previously been a journalist but only turned my hand to creative writing in 2013 as a response to being grounded with health problems. Whilst undergoing cancer treatment I did an online creative writing course and started writing short stories during my recovery. By July 2015 I was ready to self-publish my first book of short stories, Thames Valley Tales. To me, this will forever be my survival book.

What´s your favourite thing that you’ve written? 

In 2013 I had an idea to combine my love of history with a creative writing project. After visiting the site of a former Roman town in southern England, I sketched out a rough plan for a book series that connected the end of Roman Britain to the start of the Arthurian legend. After three years of researching and writing, A Light in the Dark Ages three-book series is now complete. Having launched book three, Uther´s Destiny, in March 2018, I then went back to book one, Abandoned, and extensively re-wrote it, adding in new chapters and characters that more closely link it to book two, Ambrosius: Last of the Romans.

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Abandoned, second edition, was lanched in July 2018. Now complete, this series is something I count as a major life achievement.   

What´s your favourite book that you´ve recently read?

A favourite book I´ve read recently is John Grisham´s, Camino Island. He has an easy-going style I admire and it is a skillfully-constructed thriller that´s a perfect holiday read. After finishing, I sketched out the main plot strands to get an insight into how he introduces sub-plot and peripheral characters. The copy I´ve read was autographed by the author at the recent Harrogate Crime Writer´s Festival, where he spoke for an hour (interviewed by Lee Childs) on his method and approach to creative writing. Fascinating.

What´s your favourite TV series?

My favourite TV series is ´Homeland´. I love a good political thriller and this series is so well written and acted it sizzles. After my heath battles, I found myself identifying with main character, Carrie, who struggles to manage living with a serious health condition whilst juggling home life with the demands of her job. Superb.

What film have you recently enjoyed and why?

A film I really, and unexpectedly, enjoyed was ´La La Land´. I usually watch action, adventure and thrilers, but was ambushed by the charm, cleverness and excellent acting in this worthy oscar winner. I recently watched it again on DVD to analyse what I liked about it the first time – it´s pure, magical, movie escapism at its best but with a bitter-sweet sting in the tale, with superb central performances from Gosling and Stone – recommended!

What did you want to be when you were a child?

I would pay little attention in the classroom, counting down the minutes until I could get outside and play football. Sport and mischief were my passions. I wanted to be a football (soccer) player!

What do you like about being an indie author?

I like the control of all aspects of the process. In previous jobs I have gainsed experience of researching, writing, editing, production, design, printing, marketing and sales. A little knowledge in these areas combines well to give me control of creating something from start to finish, but without the stress of deadlines. I work at my own pace, and have often fitted it in around clinic and hospital visits. It helps keep my morale up, and if I´m feeling tired or unwell then I leave it for a day or two. Also, I buy in services like cover design, proofreading and copyediting to ensure it is to a standard that satisfies me. Once launched, if it sells and generates favourable reviews then great, but if not, then that´s fine too – the enjoyment is in the creative process.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Relationships and filling in forms.

What´s your favourite season?

Spring. I´m ready for renewal after the long, cold, wet and dark British winter. The sight and sound of lambs frolicking in the field behind my flat are the reward for surviving another winter. After staring my flimsy mortality in the face and just about pulling-through, Spring reminds me that life always finds a way.

What´s your favourite colour?
Why, green of course!

To learn more about Tim Walker and his books, visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Also, don’t forget to grab your copies of A Light in the Dark Ages book series!
Abandoned      Ambrosius      Uther´s Destiny

Author Interview: Eva Pasco

Author Interview: Book Squirrel chats with Eva Pasco, author of contemporary “lit with grit”.

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Book Squirrel chats with Eva Pasco, author of contemporary “lit with grit”.
Welcome, Eva! Eva Pasco - author

Book Squirrel, seeing you go nuts over authors, I’m in the right place. Thank you for the warm welcome!

It’s great to have you here. What inspired you to write?

Already having typewritten a mystery and a spy series by the age of twelve, and composed a romance novella in high school, I shelved my creativity during college and throughout my teaching career in elementary education. On my last day of school, I left a handwritten farewell note to my colleagues near the sign-in area of the main office. Many of the teachers let me know how much my note moved them. At least two told me I should write a book.
Inspired, I revived my dormant imagination. In 2007, I published my first novel in the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction, based on my fragrance addiction—Underlying Notes. Several years later, in 2016, I published An Enlightening Quiche, where I incorporated aspects of my summer job at a bookbinding factory to the fictitious, impoverished mill in the story.

Wow! An author by twelve! That’s impressive!

I guess so!

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

ScreenHunter_437 Feb. 03 11.37Always enamored with my latest published work, I’d have to say my favorite at this point in time is “Mr. Wizardo”. This novella is part of the co-authored collection of reimagined fairy tales for grownups, Once Upon a Fabulous Time, in collaboration with the Indie Fabs: Aliya DalRae, R.M. Gauthier, J.B. Richards, Lyra Shanti, and Joanne Van Leerdam.

Oh, I just got my copy of that! It looks fabulous indeed!

It really is!

I can’t wait to read it. What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

Thus far, my steadfast answer is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The effects of intense suffering between two passion-driven characters with a toxic love-hate relationship who torment themselves, each other, and those around them tug at my heartstrings.

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

Although the year has just begun, I will give a shout out to my current read. I’m 79 per cent through ‘Sandhills’ by Alan Vanderoot. It is a Contemporary Coming-of-Age that nails the protagonist’s teen angst living with a verbally and physically abusive father, and the outlet he finds to come into his own.
I also want to heap praise on the latest published paranormal short in the “Fallen Cross” pack, ‘Bitter Challenge’ by Aliya DalRae.

Oh, I’ve read ‘Bitter Challenge’! That’s a really great series. 

Isn’t it, though?

What are you working on writing now?

At the onset of 2018, I began writing my next Contemporary, Aida’s Fishing Ground. I’m currently in the midst of drafting chapter 2.

Who designs your book covers?

Now that I am going full-tilt boogie as an Indie—none of this hybrid stuff for me any longer—it’s Renee Gauthier, courtesy of her enterprise, R.M. Designs. Her covers and banners are fabulous!

Forest, country, beach or city?

It always has and always will be the beach!

What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?

One of my pet hates is that “exploitation” for monetary gain, power, or control whether perpetrated by usury, intimidation, pretense, lying, cheating, humiliation, preying…
As of yet, I haven’t brought it to light in my writing.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

My all-time favorite movie to watch over and over is Casablanca because it reinforces that there are no painless resolutions in life. The choices we make often come at a personal sacrifice of love and happiness.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

Hard to choose, but I’ll cite this one by Khalil Gibran—“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”

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

No two Indies are the same, therefore there is no well-trodden path which leads a writer to becoming a successful author. Success is based on your own criteria and not anyone else’s.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

I wish it were easier to recover from heartbreak.
And, although, I have been blessed with good health thus far—I wish ageing were easier.

Those are sobering thoughts indeed – and you have expressed them beautifully.

Thank you. You’re a lovely squirrel.

Careful, you’ll make me blush! Tell me, Eva, where can we find your books?

They’re on Amazon and you can also get signed/personalized copies at Authors Den.

 

Where can readers follow you on social media?

I have a Facebook Page: where people are welcome to follow me, and I’m on Goodreads, too.
I also have a blog titled Eva’s Bytes – An Indie Author’s Blog on WordPress.

Thank you for being here today, Eva. 

It’s been fun! Thank you, Book Squirrel!

Author Interview: Lisa Hofmann

Book Squirrel chats with Lisa Hofmann, author of fantasy and medieval dark fantasy books. 

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Book Squirrel chats with Lisa Hofmann, author of fantasy and medieval dark fantasy books. 

Hi Lisa, welcome! 

Hi, Book Squirrel! Thanks for having me here!

I love chatting with authors, so it’s great that you’ve joined me today. Tell me, Lisa, what inspired you to write?

I’ve always loved to write, but I never had the courage to really do more than outline my ideas and set them aside for “some other time” before I discovered that indie publishing isn’t so complicated that I couldn’t learn to do that. The concept of submitting my work to a big publishing house put me off the entire process for a long, long time, thinking that the odds were stacked so high against someone with no background in the industry, I truly believed it would be next to impossible to ever get a book out there via the usual channels. I’m a teacher by profession, and I worked at the local university for several years, translating non-fiction specialized books, and that made it seem so unlikely I’d even be any good at writing fiction, never mind fantasy fiction – until a friend began to encourage me, telling me that the little dabbles I was putting on a free reading site were really good, and worth working with.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

I think I always like the book I’m currently writing best, but I have to say that my favorite story as such is the one I most recently published. It’s a dark fantasy novel titled Trading Darkness, which is set during the time of the witch trials near my own home town. There are historical elements in it which really took place, and the setting is real, of course, and I really lived inside the main characters’ heads for the time I was writing this. Not only is it my most recent publication, though, but also my oldest work. I began outlining this while I was still attending university as a student majoring in (local) Women’s History. I think it took me over 20 years from the first draft to actually publish it.

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

I think I’d have to differentiate there in terms of genre. I like reading Horror, and I love anything by Stephen King. Blaze would be way up there on my list, next to Koonz’ Lightning. YA Fantasy: Reckless – The Golden Yarn by Cornelia Funke. Historical: John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

Legacy of Hunger by Christy Nichols, who is an indie author. I like reading books by fellow indie authors, and I remember this one because it was quite captivating.

What are you working on writing now?

The third book of my fantasy series. It’s a medieval fantasy fiction about a group of people who have magical talents, though nothing I’d define as sword-and-sorcery in the classical sense. It’s more about the conflict that arises in that particular society, and it’s very character-driven.

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

Definitely chocolate. And cappuccino.

Who designs your book covers?

I usually have an idea, or choose the basic raw image from a stock photo site myself, and then I look for someone who I think can work it out for me. I’ve worked with different artists over the past two years.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

Rock music, but I also like classical music, and movie scores.

Forest, country, beach or city?

Always the beach. But not the Mallorca kind. I prefer the rugged west coast of Ireland.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

Ireland, of course. I try to go there with my family every other year. It’s the quiet, the landscape, the ocean, the people. It’s just the perfect place to wind down.

What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?

Arrogance. I think you can find it in most of my villains.

What’s your favourite TV show?

I don’t really watch a lot of TV, but I do watch most episodes of Game of Thrones when they air here (that can take a while in Germany). I like the quality of that production – the actors are great, and the computer generated images are awesome.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Hm… National Lampoons Christmas Vacation annually. But The 13th Warrior was great, and I must have seen that about five or six times now.

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

A teacher or a pilot. I was too short to become a pilot.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

Summer. I really, really, really hate snow.

You should try hibernation! It’s great!

That’s a very good suggestion!

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Cornelia Funke for the get-up-and-go, Stephen King for the success, and any and every indie author for the guts to go and do what they do.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

“There is magic within every beginning, and it protects us and help us to live.” – Hermann Hesse.

Name three people you admire, and give reasons.

I admire so many people for various reasons, but it’s never anyone famous. It’s people I’ve met who deal with their lives in ways that I find inspiring, so I try to adopt their way of handling things for myself.

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

That it’s difficult to find the time to write while you’re working in your day job and taking care of those everyday things that arise when you have a family with children – you’re always in between things, and you have to set priorities. Very few indie writers are able to make a decent living from their books, and I’d love for both readers and writers alike need to know that someone who does this is investing a lot of “stolen” time, sweat, and money in their work. Readers seem to expect to get lots of books for free or really, really cheap nowadays, due to the huge choice of books on offer on the internet, but that is ruining the market in a big way, really, and you get what you pay for – both readers and writers do.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Just two? *giggles* No, I love my life just as it is. I wouldn’t change a thing, except for maybe that I’d love to have more time to write without developing a bad conscience for not having done this, that, or the other properly or more patiently with or for the most important people in my life: my kids.

Where can we find your books? 

My books are all on Amazon. They’re available in English and in German.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

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

 

Author Interview: Ammar Habib

Book Squirrel chats today with Ammar Habib, a bestselling and award winning author of paranormal suspense thrillers.

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Book Squirrel chats today with Ammar Habib, a bestselling and award winning author of paranormal suspense thrillers.

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Welcome, Ammar. It’s a privilege to have you here today. 

Thank you, Book Squirrel! It’s a rare thing to be interviewed by a squirrel!

What can I say? I’m a rare squirrel. 

You certainly are.

Thanks! So tell me, what inspired you to write?

The one book that inspired me to become a writer is Og Mandino’s The Choice. I read the book when I was seven-years-old and it is what put me onto the path of becoming a writer and inspired the dream to one day have millions of copies of my books sold around the world.

Outside of books, the other main thing that acting as a catalyst for my writing was my 2nd Grade Teacher at AP Beutel, Mrs. Scott. When I was in her class years ago, she gave me a homework assignment to write a one-page story. This was the first time I ever wrote anything. That experience breathed the love of writing into me and I’ve never stopped since!

I’ve also discovered that I’m not the first author in my family. My great-grandfather was a writer after his career as a police officer in India ended. My maternal grandmother was also a writer, having some of her works published in the newspaper. Although my own mother was not a writer, she has her Master’s degree in Fine Art. So I think this artistic capability probably runs in the family too.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

I like to say that my favorite and best book is always my next project!

What are you working on writing now?

I actually have quite a few projects in different stages of development. I recently signed a contract for a children’s picture book, which will be releasing next year. I also have a police novel releasing next year as well. My agent is shopping around a Young Adult novel and is also shopping around a non-fiction project of mine. I also have a graphic novel being read by some publishers. So 2018 will be very exciting God-Willingly!

Who designs your book covers?

As of right now, most of my book covers have been created by Fiona Jayde.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite kind of music in terms of genre. I’m more particular about lyrics and making sure that I listen to something that isn’t going to drag me down mentally. However, I definitely use music to my advantage when writing and find that listening to music that mirrors the type of scene I’m writing helps me nail down the tone of the scene!

So, you are what you listen to?

That’s one way of looking at it!

 What movie can you watch over and over again?

Hands down, it’s The Last Samurai. I love that movie from the characters to setting to plot to theme. The ending still gets me on the edge of tears, even though I’ve watched this movie many times. This film was actually the inspiration for the graphic novel script I recently wrote.

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

Ever since I was seven, one of my dreams was to one day become a New York Times Bestselling author! I’m still excited about continuing to strive towards that dream.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

Here’s a quote from President John Quincy Adams: “Duty is ours. Results are Gods.” I love this quote because it reminds me not to worry about the results of my action. I just need to do the best I can and keep my intentions pure, and then leave the outcomes up to a higher power.

I like that. It’s very inspirational.

I agree.

Speaking of inspiration, name three people you admire, and give reasons.

There are definitely more than three people I admire and look up to, but I’ll just keep it at three for the sake of space. The first two are a couple, my father and mother. They’re my heroes in life and gave me the foundation to pursue my dream.

The third would be my brother. He is my best friend and #1 fan and I cannot explain what his support has meant to me through every step of this journey as a writer! Without these three people in my life, I would not be the person I am today and the person I am becoming tomorrow.

They sound like great people. We should all be so lucky.

Indeed!

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Here’s an answer that most authors can definitely relate with:

1) Getting a publishing deal
2) Raising awareness of your books.

Both are sometimes equally hard as the other and something to celebrate upon achievement. But thankfully as I continue to work in the industry, I’ve gotten more opportunities for both and am continuing to grow more proficient at my craft. All this leads towards growing closer to my dream of becoming a New York Times Bestselling author in the near future!

Where can readers buy your books?

My books are on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

And where can we follow you on social media?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ammarahsenhabib
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmmarAHabib1
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ammar.a.habib/
Blog: ammarhabibblog.wordpress.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Ammar_Habib

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cTopbv

Thanks for being here today, Ammar. 

Thanks for having me!

 

 

 

 

 

Meet A New Author: Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams is a brand new author. His debut, Lethal As Love, released in December of 207. 

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Patrick Williams is a brand new author. His debut, Lethal As Love, released in December of 207. 

Thank you for joining me today, Patrick. 

It’s a pleasure to be here, thank you.

 

What inspired you to write?

I’ve spent the vast majority of my life as an amateur and semi-professional actor and musician with occasional forays into direction and technical theatre. While in all of those occupations one works with words and puts their own interpretation into them, they are still someone else’s words. I longed to use my own voice, to take the skills I’ve learned over a lifetime and apply them to creating something original and entirely mine. That being said, I write mostly love poetry and for that, I do best with a muse. A real-life target for the words.

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

I am a huge fan of the late Sir Terry Pratchett. I’ve devoured everything I could find that he wrote and enjoyed it all. But of all his work, I appreciate the Tiffany Aching series most, and of those, my favourite is “The Wee Free Men”.

What are you working on writing now?

Having just published my very first book, I have material enough to publish another and am approaching that (but I guess that really does not answer the question). As I’ve written, most of my work has been love poetry. But world events have recently shifted my focus a bit and I appear to be developing a social consciousness voice. Some of the work that I am currently writing is about the state of the world, equal rights for all people, and justice.

Who designs your book covers? Patrick Williams Lethal As Love

I am quite fortunate to know Brent Jackson from Peacehaven, UK. Brent is a musician, a visionary poet in his own right, and an amazingly talented artist. When I announced that I was going to self-publish, Brent stepped forward and asked if he could design my covers. I immediately accepted with gratitude and joy.

That is a fabulous cover!

Thank you! I’ll let Brent know you think so.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

I have yet to find a style of music in which I cannot find examples to appreciate and enjoy. There really is no way that I could pick one genre as a favourite. I do, however, love cool jazz, punk rock, and classical music.

What’s your favourite TV show?

I haven’t watched television in around fifteen years. I find myself too easily captured by television; I’ll stare at it for hours and get nothing done. I have, of late, been watching a few television programs on the internet, however, and find that I am really enjoying Anthony Bourdain’s series “Raw Craft” and “No Reservations”. Back in my television watching days, I was an enormous fan of “Star Trek, the Next Generation”.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Oh, this is an easy one. “The Princess Bride”.

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

William Shakespeare, Alan Ginsberg, and e.e.cummings. That’s quite a mixed bag, isn’t it? Shakespeare was unafraid of language, he twisted it, he invented words, and his work, all in iambic pentameter, keeps that pulse and rhythm. I strive to keep an internal meter going in my work, too. Ginsberg spoke his heart and in a new and surprising way. His work was raw yet eloquent.Of all the Beat artists, he’s my favourite. I play with word order sometimes in order to surprise the mind of the reader. And cummings? Well e. e. cummings always makes me smile.

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

As ‘Lethal as Love” is my first published work, I really do not have a deep fund of experience to go into this answer. I’m finding the whole process, however, to be an enormous challenge. I had no idea how much time and energy I would be spending on formatting, publishing, and promotion. Fortunately, I have experienced friends who are holding my hand through the process. So, what should people know? This is more work than work. Every independent book you see out there is not only months and years of writing, it’s also hours, weeks, and months of constant promotion and really hard work. An Indie Author really has to deeply believe in what they’ve written.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Finding your own voice and making money.

Thanks for joining me today, Patrick.

Thanks for having me.

Read the Book Squirrel review of Lethal as Love

Find this great book on Amazon.

Author Interview: James B Peartree

The Book Squirrel sat down recently to interview James B. Peartree, author of Pack: The Three Moons and its soon-to-arrive sequel. 

Interview Lime

Welcome back to the Book Squirrel’s “Nuts About Writers” series of author interviews.  

The Book Squirrel sat down recently to interview James B. Peartree, author of Pack: The Three Moons and its soon-to-arrive sequel. 

James Peartree Pack Cover
Thanks for joining us today, James. Why don’t you start by telling us what inspired you to write?

What inspired me to write most of all, was my desire to redefine the werewolf mythos sensitively, without dragging it kicking and howling into the 21st century. Although if I’m being totally honest, I’ve loved writing from an early age and was looking for a suitable excuse to do so.

What’s your favourite book by written by someone else? 
My favorite thing that someone else has written has to be Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf. It’s a book you actually devour and once finished, you want to go back to the beginning and read it all over again.

What are you working on writing now?
I am currently working on the third book in the ‘Pack’ trilogy and another paranormal novel. I think it’s important to keep another project running at the same time as your primary one. It seems to work for me at least.

That sounds like it keeps you busy! What’s the best vacation you’ve had? 
The best vacation/holiday I’ve ever had was travelling to Sri Lanka with my family when I was 10. I’d never been abroad up until then and it really opened my eyes to the world beyond East London and Essex.

What movie can you watch over and over again? 
The movie I could watch over and over again would be An American Werewolf in London. I still love it to this day and strongly believe that it doesn’t need to be remade with modern CGI methods. If they could do a director’s cut of the original where they added back in some of the deleted scenes, this would be good enough for me and most other die hard AAWIL fans.

What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing? 
My pet hate is people who are pig-ignorant, bigoted or even worse, both. I wouldn’t say that I’ve made a conscious effort to add these traits to any of the characters in anything I’ve written. Although they are traits that are commonly found amongst evildoers I suppose.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written? 
The one thing I like the most which I have written would be a short story titled Maurice. It would fall into the ‘psychological paranormal’ subgenre if that subgenre even exists. There I go again, creating my own subgenres. It should be published at some point in the near future, probably in a charitable publication.

There’s nothing wrong with creating your own subgenres. That might be an effective way to create a niche market. 
Good point!

Thanks!  What’s the best book you’ve read this year? 
The book I’ve enjoyed reading the most this year was Lies by T M Logan. It had me gripped from the very start and I struggled to put it down; reading until the summer sunrise was repeated until I’d finished it.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?
What aspiring writers should know about being an indie author, is that it’s an arduous process from opening chapter to release date. After which you have to get your next book written and out there whilst promoting the first as well. In short, don’t expect to write ‘The End’ then sit back and watch the royalties roll in. This only ever happens for world best-selling authors I do believe.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier. 
The two things in the world that I wish were easier are:
 a)  Getting aid to areas of the world where it’s desperately needed.
 b)  Bringing those who persecute the weak or defenceless to justice.

I so agree! It’s hard for us little guys to know how to help make that happen, though! 
It sure is, Squirrel.

So, James, where can we find your books?
You can find my books on Amazon.

And finally, can we follow you on social media? 
Sure! I’m on Facebook.

Thanks for being here today, James! It’s been great chatting with you.
Thanks, Book Squirrel!