My Biggest Fan

Two posts today people….to celebrate the fact that my Internet seems to be back! Lol.

This is my interview I did for Ava, hope you enjoy it 🙂


Hello all! Last week, Vikki over at The View Outside fulfilled her role in our Blog Swap, now it’s my turn. I’m completely honored to present this interview with “my biggest fan,” so-called because she is far and away the most prolific commenter on my blog, besides me. Enjoy!

1. What is the very first piece of good writing you remember doing?
Ha ha ha, I’m not sure I’ve actually done a “good” piece yet! 😉 I guess the first piece I was actually quite pleased with was a small exercise I did for writing class, called RagLady. You can read it here:
It was the first serious piece of fiction I’d written since leaving school. Lol.
2. What is your favorite genre to read? Is it also the genre in which you write?

I don’t really have a favourite genre to read, I’ll read anything, especially…

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Life’s Too Short :)

Today’s guest/Blog Swap is Ava, who is also known as Jordanna 😉 Ava’s blog often has me laughing out loud. Go take a peek at Journey of Jordanna East 🙂

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
To be honest, I started writing my first novel because I was bored. I was unemployed, couldn’t afford cable, and had no money to do anything. I was even more depressed because I could no longer afford my college tuition. I thought about what I could do with the knowledge I did have, and how I could combine that knowledge with something that interested me. Then it hit me: I could write a crime book! That’s what I called it, “a crime book.” I majored in Biology with minors in Psychology and Criminology, so I thought I would try my hand at writing a novel. I sat on my bed and started typing. I wrote about 5 chapters by the seat of my pants. But I enjoyed it. A lot. When I started working at a restaurant, I found myself writing notes and chapter summaries on scraps of receipt paper. But I still didn’t know I wanted to be a writer (I can be rather dense). A few people read my first chapters and said they saw potential, but eventually I put my work aside. This year I picked it back up. And when I was unhappy at my most recent job, I realized that I would be so content if I could just stay home and write. So I’m trying it (I left that job for unrelated, personal reasons) and it’s the happiest I’ve been in a long while. I realize that I might not make a lot of friends by admitting I was bored and thought I would write a novel, but I will say that I’m 100% committed to learning and improving every day and I’m completely humbled by those who have succeeded before me.

What genre do you write in?
As I stated above, at first I called it “a crime book.” That eventually became the slightly more sophisticated “crime novel.” For a while I struggled with what actual genre my novel fell into; it wasn’t a mystery/suspense since the main character IS the serial killer and who’s killing people isn’t a big surprise. Then one day I read an article about how to characterize your novel and I discovered my novel falls into the Psychological Thriller genre. I do have a few other ideas for future books though, and they fall in several different genres.

Do you have a writing schedule, your normal writing day?
I do not. I sit on the couch and force myself to write throughout the day. I’ve recently begun shooting for 1000 words per day, but oftentimes I get distracted by editing. That’s right, I love to edit and I have to fight the urge to go back and perfect stuff. I’m a crazy person.

What’s the best writing environment for you – where you write?
I write in the living room, on the couch, with the tv on in the background. I can’t do music! Music distracts me because if I know the words I absentmindedly start typing them. It also distracts me when my cats lie down on my notes, but I tolerate them because they’re so darn cute.

Who inspires you?
My oft-mentioned Hubby-pants. I’ve never seen anyone believe in someone else the way he believes in me. In fact, I’ve never seen someone believe in themselves, let alone another person, the way he believes in me. It’s the best feeling, aside from his love and affection, of course.

If you were to be compared to another author, who’s work would yours most resemble?
I don’t really know yet and I don’t want to be presumptious and disappoint people. I hate when I read a review that says the author is the next Stephen King or the next JRR Tolkien and then…not so much.

Tell us about your current WIP/recently published book?
It’s a crime book! Haha, no, seriously, it’s a thriller involving three characters whose lives are colliding, but not in a happy, shiny, “It’s a Small World After All” kind of way. My main character, Lyla Kyle is a beautiful artist living in Philadelphia who happens to also be a disturbed serial killer. Trying to connect a series of unexplained deaths –Lyla’s murders– is a young cop itching for a big case to make his career. Both of them are seeing the same psychologist, but neither one knows the deadly impacts she’s had on each of their lives. I have about 28K words at the moment and hope to have the project completed before the end of the year, at which point I will enjoy a much anticipated spa day in the city. (Vikki – Can’t wait to read it Ava!)

Ava’s last point, about treating herself to a Spa Day when she’s finished the novel, reminded me of Stephen Kings Misery. Where The author, Paul Sheldon, has a cigarette when he finishes a novel. This got me thinking, what would I treat myself to? Hmmmmmm, it would have to be a Mont Blanc Pen and that way, I could build up a collection *snigger*

So what will you treat yourself to when you’ve finally finished that WIP?

My Favourite Steampunker

Chris Stocking who blogs at Write to Perfect is today’s guest. Chris is into Steampunk, a genre I admit to not knowing that much about, but I’m hoping that I’m learning from reading Chris’ blog 🙂

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
It’s difficult for me to pinpoint when exactly I wanted to be a writer. Since I was young—spanning from 1st grade to the present—I had always dabbled in writing. Whether it was a short story assignment for class, or me writing fan fiction based on whatever book I was writing, I was always writing. I just never thought that I might actually have some sort of talent for it, nor that I would want to write books for the rest of my life. I guess if I had to pinpoint a time, it would be about two or three years ago when I decided I wanted to write and finish a book, which led to me writing ESTRA Corp., which is now retired.

What genre do you write in?
I write Science-Fiction/Fantasy/Steampunk.

Do you have a writing schedule, your normal writing day?
Unfortunately I do not. I wish I did, though. With work and everyday happenings of life, I write when I can. Someday, when I get a job with steady hours, or am fortunate enough to live off my writing, I’d like to develop a writing schedule.

What’s the best writing environment for you – where you write?
I write anywhere my laptop has power. I can write in basically any environment; however, what is happening in that environment alters how much I write. I find it harder to write when there is a television on, or if there is a lot of noise around me. I’ve also recently found that I write better sitting at a desk or a table than if I’m lying down.

Who inspires you?
Other writers in the same position I’m in. Writing is a journey that is difficult, if not impossible to do alone. We need the help of other writers to get a different perspective of our work, and to give feedback. That’s why I always offer to give feedback on other writer’s work. Of course I’m not a writing expert, and my opinion may mean more to some than others, but the fact that I can influence and potentially help to better someone’s work is very gratifying.

If you were to be compared to another author, who’s work would yours most resemble?
This is a difficult question for me to answer. I’d like to think that I have a darker, sarcastic voice with some dry humor mixed in. To be honest, I don’t know that many authors. That is one thing I’m working on remedying. I’m trying to read more because if we don’t read, how can we know how to write?

Tell us about your current WIP/recently published book?
I’m currently awaiting edits and the cover image for my next book, London Darkness: Infernal Inventions. It’s a Steampunk book, which blends science-fiction and fantasy, and takes place in Victorian London where the technology has progressed greatly, but many things are run by steam power.

I had a ton of fun writing it. It seemed to flow really well, and I’ve received a lot of good feedback on the first chapter I posted on my blog.

Here’s the description: “Victorian London–When Ryker Mayson–an independent inventor–comes across the dead body of a Head Inventor from the League of Inventors on his birthday, his life becomes more complicated than he could ever imagine. Murder, lies, and deceit become all too familiar as Ryker searches the dark city streets to find out who is behind these deaths, and why.

With the help of Wendell, his Gnomish best friend, Celia, his prostitute lover, and some newly made friends, he scours the city in search of whomever is lurking in the city’s shadows, slaying unsuspecting inventors for taking part in a tragic injustice.”

I’m hoping to have it published in the next few weeks.

I have to confess to not knowing much about SciFi and Fantasy, but I know it’s a popular genre. I can’t quite get my head around whether it’s easier or harder to write than ‘normal’ fiction. would love to hear your opinions, especially from those who write in this genre?

Picture Book Monsters

Today’s “Blog Swap” is with a children’s author, Clarike Bowman-Jahn who blogs at Clarbojahn

Clar was born in the Netherlands, but now resides in the US. She has been writing in her journals for years, and now attends writing classes and is a member of a writing group. She’s an active user of FaceBook (Clars Page) and Twitter (Clars Twitter Feed).


How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I have always written. Just didn’t submit it. Lol. No really I’ve written in journals since the aungsty days of teen hood. Still do. Some day I hope to edit those private writings into public ones. Maybe in the form of memoir.

What genre do you write in?
I write picture books and memoir.

Do you have a writing schedule?
Yes, I write first thing in the morning for about two hours. Then I join my husband in breakfast and a walk.

What’s the best writing environment for you – where you write?
Right here in the living room. With my laptop or journal on my lap. I like it quiet. I don’t like interuptions.

When do you write?
First thing in the morning.

Who inspires you?
For picture books I get my ideas from all over the place. For my memoir I look over the old journals.

If you were to be compared to another author, who’s work would yours most resemble?
I don’t know.

Tell us about your current WIP/recently published book?
My most recent published book is “Annie’s Special Day” about a seven year old girl who stays up all day and all night celebrating her birthday with a new adventure every hour. It is a basic concept book for four to seven year olds learning to tell time. It is available from E Treasures Publishing as an e Version with print coming out soon.

My most recent is another picture book about monsters. Yep gonna fill that over loaded genre with another monster book.

When I was at school I wrote a children’s book, as coursework, for my Child Development CSE Exam (that shows my age). I got an A, something like 92% but the book wasn’t very good from what I remember lol.

Hmmmmm, is this something I’d like to try my hand at? They say don’t they, you never know til you try….. Have you ever considered the idea of writing a children’s book? When I went to see Adele Parks someone asked her that question and she said its something she’d love to do. Personally, I wouldn’t know where to begin! Lol

If you want to see my post for Clar, pop over to Clars Blog and have a nose 🙂

Life on a 5 Mile Island

Thank you to everyone who commented on my whiney Insecure blog post yesterday. It is much appreciated 🙂

Today’s guest post is from Ayesha Schroeder who has a weekly post that lists agents Tweets. That’s how I stumbled across her great blog, after all, we all want to know what agents are Tweeting 😉 You can find my post of My Night with Chris Baty over on Ayesha’s blog.


How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer early on in life. It was what I was good at, however, I didn’t truly embrace writing as a career path until I was living on a 5 square mile island. That was where I completed two manuscripts and began blogging as a sort of therapy. It was lonely and I needed a way to communicate with those back home. Living on that island was when my story really took off.

What genre do you write in?
My genre is what I have coined “fictional slice of life,” meaning telling realistic stories. My stories don’t always have a happy ending, but they tend to carry morals and/or raise questions regarding society’s mores.

Do you have a writing schedule, your normal writing day?
Typically I’m up by 7am and out of the house by 8am. I write web copy for a living and do social media, so I’m always forced to be creative. Sometimes I’ll blog or add to my MS/WIP during my lunch or do it between 5 and 7pm, which is when my husband gets home from work. I try to balance life and work and sometimes do sacrifice writing time for cuddle time.

What’s the best writing environment for you – where you write?
When I write I like to have my husband and cats around me. Seen, but not heard. Haha. Right now, I write at the kitchen table or on the floor. We don’t have a bed or furniture (long story), so really the whole house is my writing space. On another note all of my ideas tend to come to me while eating or in the restroom. Go figure…

Who inspires you?
God, first and foremost. I’m inspired by His creation and the many paths that we all walk. Life and nature. Really everything I see fuels my writing. I love to go to the airport far ahead of the suggested 90-minute arrival window just to people watch. I wonder where they’re going, what they’re doing. People are weird and life is crazy so why not write about it and enlighten others?

If you were to be compared to another author, who’s work would yours most resemble?
I’d love to say Jhumpa Lahiri, because she is one of my favorites, however, I do have my own style, which may be characterized as darkly humorous and starkly realistic.

Tell us about your current WIP?
I’ve got two finished manuscripts that I am having a killer time editing. I’m too close to them and am thinking of hiring a freelance editor to look over them. Currently I’m writing a novel that looks at a prisoner’s life. He killed someone and is locked up. Like many in prison he found religion, but is struggling with the idea of being forgiven. The question really is whether he can forgive himself and believe that he is changed and what he does with his conclusion.

Thanks Ayesha 🙂

Don’t forget to nip over to Ayesha’s Blog to read my review of the night I met Chris Baty! 🙂

Ayesha’s favourite author is Jhumpa Lahiri, who, I must admit, I’ve never heard of. I’m always on the look out for great authors who I’ve never read before. So my question today is, dear reader. Tell me one of your favourite authors, one you think I might not have heard of? I just know I’m gunna regret asking that as my Amazon wishlist will now probably go off the scale lol.

By the way, one of my favourite authors you may not have heard of is Linda Gillard who’s book Emotional Geology is one of my all time favourites 🙂

Following Your Destiny

Today’s Blog Swap is with eBook author Wendy Steele who is also a dancer and a healer. Check out Wendy’s blog to see my interview.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When I left school, I had no idea what I wanted to do but it’s hard to envisage a time when I didn’t write. My first piece was a poem aged 10, after visiting the Tutankhamen exhibition in London and, ever since, I’ve come home from new adventures and committed my thoughts and experiences to paper. My first piece of published (and paid!) writing was an article for the Dancing Times, after attending my first day of belly dance workshops in London, eight years ago.
As a child, I read and wrote stories, losing myself in the lives of the characters, while in my early twenties, I wrote children’s stories and short stories but it was on a two day writing course, nine years ago, that I believed I could be a writer. I liked the character I created on the course and, over the following three years, proceeded to write my first novel between school runs, children’s clubs, family domesticity, cleaning other people’s houses and stacking shelves in a supermarket.
After attending Swanwick Writers Summer School for the second time last year, (Vikki-Where I met Wendy in the smoking tent lol) and receiving great advice and help, I made the decision to take time away from teaching dance and complete the current novel I was working on and, since then, have felt like a writer.

Writing is a harmonious accompaniment to my dancing, forcing me to sit and expand my mind while allowing my body to rest.

What genre do you write in?
My work was described by an agent as ‘contemporary romantic speculative fiction’ and, yes, my characters are of the moment, they form relationships but they do so in this world while the majority of ‘speculative fiction’ I’ve found is set in the future, another world or planet and the characters are often not completely human.
My writing is also magical. One reviewer wrote about ‘Destiny of Angels’ – ‘ A revenge/redemption story with a spiritual twist, where the mundane and the mystical intertwine.’

Do you have a writing schedule?
I do plan my writing time but often find myself juggling to include the demands of the indie writer within the plan. I used to write two days each week, actually writing new words but now plan to write for three days per week, while allocating two half days for promotion and paperwork.

What’s the best writing environment for you – where do you write?
Before we redecorated to sell our house, propped up in bed was my favourite spot but this has since been usurped by the summerhouse in the garden. It’s quiet, save for the occasional bee, and the cats like to join me, which is lovely.

When do you write?
Most of my writing is done between 6am and 6pm, as family and dance take over my evenings. If I find myself alone in the house at the weekend though, I will write!

Who inspires you?
The natural world gives me the biggest buzz. I can be carried along for a week by an hours saunter through a bluebell embellished wood but the person who inspires me is Mr Terry Pratchett. Two pages from any of his books is enough to way lay my angst and focus me on the task of attempting to write words as beautiful as his.

If you were to be compared to another author, who’s work would yours most resemble?
I have yet to find an author who writes like me! My friend Peter thinks some of my characters are glamorous, rich and powerful like those in a Jackie Collins novel but the only other author I know who wrote contemporary fiction in a magical context is Dion Fortune. She, however, was using fiction as a way to get a message across, where non-fiction would have been unpublishable at the time she was writing, while my writing is always about telling a stonking good story.

Tell us about your current WIP/recently published book?
‘Destiny of Angels – First book in the Lilith Trilogy’ was released on 21st April 2012.

Two years ago, at a time when I was feeling angry and uncertain about my life, the storyline for Destiny came to me….what if the powers from other dimensions could be channelled, used to offer choices and the chance of redemption in this level of consciousness?

Angel Parsons and her lover, Aidan Quinn, were my first two characters. Beautiful, intelligent, yet humanly flawed, they were exciting and fun to write with….and the rest of the cast soon followed.

Angel and Aidan and the rest of the cast depart for their first foray into the world of the Door Keeper Thoth, Ra the Sun God in his Temple at Tiphereth and Lilith, the Dark Goddess.

‘Destiny of Angels’ is available to download on Amazon
and for US readers

The second book in the Trilogy ‘Wrath of Angels’ is begun as is ‘Wendy Woo’s Year – A pocketful of smiles’, a non-fiction book I hope to have ready for September to be released around the same time as the paperback of ‘Destiny of Angels’. Do stop by my blog at and join me for a cup of tea and a piece of home-made cake.


This whole idea of a trilogy fascinates me… it something I could do? Think about, with my own work? I’m not completely sure lol. Have you thought about writing a series, or have you started one? What are the pro’s and con’s?

On A Hot August Afternoon

Yes, yes, I know it’s not August, but I can pretend cant I? Lol

Today’s “Blog Swap” is with author Bridget Straub who knew she wanted to be a writer when she was a child.


How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I have been entertaining my younger sister with stories ever since we were little and shared a room, so writing became a natural extension. By eight I was writing anti-war poems that had my mother worrying that I was depressed. There was just never any doubt that this was what I wanted to do.

What genre do you write in?
i always end up saying Chicklit for lack of a better word but I think just as with Romance that can make it sound like a manufactured bit of fluff. My books are insights to a particular time in the characters’ lives.

Do you have a writing schedule, your normal writing day?
I write off and on throughout the day. I have kids, so there are constant interruptions and scheduling conflicts to be juggled.

What’s the best writing environment for you – where you write?
I generally write on my bed listening to some music to block out surrounding noise. Of course sometimes if it’s a new favorite CD it’s hard to let it work as a buffer and I end up singing along and being totally distracted, lol.

Who inspires you?
Musicians. I love music and the ability to tell a story or paint a scene in just a few minutes. Also movies, again because I’m very visual, which leads to art. Of course my twelve yr. old is in here telling me it’s my kids that inspire me and they do too!

If you were to be compared to another author, who’s work would yours most resemble?
That’s tough. Bits of Jane Green or Jennifer Crusie maybe?

Tell us about your current WIP/recently published book?
I published my first novel “Searching for My Wand” in December as an ebook. My next book, “On a Hot August Afternoon” is coming out this month and is being released in both kindle form and paperback.
“Searching for My Wand” is about a woman struggling to repair past mistakes she has made. She was named (incorrectly) after Glinda the Good Witch and has spent most of her life trying to live up to that fictionalized image.

On a Hot August Afternoon” is about marriage, trust, family and the warped perceptions that fame can bring.


I love Bridget’s drawing 🙂 And it made me ask myself the question….. If you’re a writer, and hence, creative, does that mean you have other creative talents? I used to do collages (check out my Flickr page if you want to have a look) and I’ve seen quite a few writers, showcasing their ‘art’ on their blogs.

So my question to you today dear reader, is…..Do you do any other ‘creative’ activities on top of writing?

Nip on over to Bridget’s Blog to see my post for today 🙂