Introducing Author Rebecca Jane Lynch

Posted on May 20, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, Book Reviews, Fiction, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

This week I’m delighted to introduce an up and coming author who has written the young adult fantasy series Satu Country.  You’ll see by her answers to the questions below that she is dedicated to her work.  You can read my review of Coming Tides here.

Interview of Author Rebecca Jane Lynch

By L.Leander

What is the favorite character you have written and why?

Kano Shadow is my favorite so far. He’s cool, strong, dark, and a real mystery. He’s the type of person I love to follow in a story, but I’d probably be afraid of him if he were real.

Are you self-published or traditionally published and why?

I am actually both. I have been published in the anthology Swimming Blind by Athanatos Ministries, which was traditionally published by the Athanatos Publishing Group. I’ve also published two books through Publish America. More recently though, I’ve settled on self-publishing through Lulu.com, and I really enjoy it. I enjoy that I have full control over the formatting and cover design of my book. Best of all, Lulu is free–which is great for a new author.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

Well, when I was little I always wanted to be three things simultaneously: an author, movie director, and an actress. So far I’m only one of those.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

I am definitely an outliner. I have dozens of documents on my computer storing plot ideas and extremely detailed character information. I always have a general idea of what I want to happen in a story before I begin writing. Usually as I go along though, random ideas come to me and I add them to the story. That’s especially true with a lot of the humor in my books–that is rarely planned.

How do you come up with ideas for your writing projects?

Sometimes ideas just come to me when I least expect it; other times I get ideas from dreams or real-life experiences. When it comes to Satu Country, the idea just came to me one day and I started writing. With other books, such as my children’s mystery story Hamster Heroes, I based the characters on real-life people and animals, but the stories themselves are entirely imaginary.

Who is your biggest supporter?  Why?

My biggest supporter is probably my friend Michelle. She’s one of my beta readers and has been encouraging me to write before I ever published my first book.

Explain a day in the life of a writer (you)

Since I only write as a hobby and my real “job” is being a full-time college student, I just grab a few moments here and there to write when I can. Usually I get my best writing done late at night after everyone else is in bed. When I’m not in classes however, I like to sit down, turn on some Skillet or Relient K music, and write.

What is your wildest dream for your writing?

To have my Satu Country books made into movies, or an anime-styled cartoon series. If I had the skills and people necessary, I’d love to make it an animated series and direct it myself.

What types of books do you like to read/authors that have inspired you?

Even though I read manga the most, I really enjoy reading fantasy books and some Christian fiction. My favorite authors are Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. I’ve really been inspired by Ted Dekker’s writing style/tone.

What is your favorite hobby?  Does it enhance your writing?

Writing really is my favorite hobby. Besides reading and sketching, it’s my favorite thing to do. As for the second half of that question, I think it does. Practice makes perfect (or, at least, makes things better). The more I write, the more I understand myself, my writing style, and my direction for future projects.

There will be seven books total in the Satu Country series, and the first two have already been published.  This year I’m working on book three, In the Heights.  Each year I plan to self-publish one of the Satu books, which shouldn’t be too difficult since I have already written them on paper and just need to transcribe them to digital copies and edit them.

Satu Country has really been my life’s dream.  I started working on handwriting them when I was in high school.  I’d like to encourage people to read the Satu books, especially if they like young adult fiction.  The first book, Coming Tides, was the roughest one I wrote, plot-wise, because it is mostly just introducing all of the characters to the readers while trying to add enough plot to keep the story going.  The second book, Saving the Valley, is smoother.  I think the books will get better the further along the series goes.

I’m also working on my first adult fiction novel, which will be titled Thethe perceptionalist front vs 4 Perceptionalist.  It probably won’t be published until 2014 because it’s taken a backseat to the Satu books.  More information about my other books can be found on my website.

~Rebecca Jane Lynch

stcLinks where my book can be purchased: My Author Spotlight, and Amazon.

Other links: My website and the Satu Country website

Author bio: Rebecca Jane has been writing books since she was eleven years old. She first became published after winning a Christian writing contest in 2010 and had her short story “The Dissenters” published in an anthology. Since then, she has published seven books and is best known for her young adult fantasy series Satu Country

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Introducing Author Thomas M Sullivan

Posted on April 29, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, Book Reviews, L.Leander Book Reviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

ThomasSullivanPhotoA few months ago a fellow Facebook author asked for reviews on a site we both belong to.  I had some time so sent him a message and agreed to give the book an unbiased review.  I’m glad I did.  The story was so heartwarming and so funny that I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it.  It’s a look into the life of a Driver’s Education teacher and the trials and tribulations he faces while trying to teach an important subject to those who need or want to learn.  If you’d like to read my review of Life In The Slow Lane click here.

Interview with Author Thomas M. Sullivan

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I seem to write all over the place – at home, in coffee shops, the library. Whenever something comes to me, I start jotting things down. So I always carry a pen and pad. My creative space is pretty wide open and includes anywhere someone isn’t yapping on a cell phone. I can’t concentrate around those one-sided calls.

What is your favorite writing tool?

I’m still a pen and paper guy, at least for initial drafts.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

Definitely Steve Buscemi. He’s got those bad teeth and awkward mannerisms, which make him so loveable. My characters are goofy and flailing through life, which is their charm. Just like Steve Buscemi.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I never had any clear interest in a particular field. I seemed to fall into things, and for much of the last two decades I was a teacher. I worked for a series of schools that got shut down or blew themselves up. It was all quite funny. But now I’m doing what I really think is right – writing humor essays.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

Since I write essays I don’t really plan or outline things. An idea arrives and I just start writing. And I go until it’s “out of me”. It’s kind of like attacking a buffet when you’re starving. Then I sit back and refine things.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

A bicycle. You don’t have to feed a bike and it never throws you. You throw yourself.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

Not really. I’m a forgetter of my sleeping dreams.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I was a clown/jock hybrid, leaning more toward clown. I could never be a cheerleader because I’m very inflexible physically. One high kick and I’d be done.

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

It’s not really a theme park, but there’s a velvet painting museum in Portland, Oregon that I adore. They’ve got paintings of unicorns with comb-over hair a portrait of Jesus surfing atop a tractor-trailer. Pure magic.

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I like fiction with believable humor that comes from lesser-known authors. I just read Keith Lee Morris’s The Dart League King. Currently I’m reading Salty by Mark Haskell Smith. Great books from authors who should be getting far more attention.

Thomas Sullivan is a humor writer from Seattle. He is a former teacher whose first book (Life In The Slow Lane) recounted his experience teaching driver education.

If you’d like to find out more about author Thomas M Sullivan here are links his websites.

http://www.thomassullivanhumor.com

http://humoroutcasts.com/author/thomassullivan/

Books by Thomas M. Sullivan

lifeLife in the Slow Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

somuchcoverSo Much Time So Little Change

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Introducing Author David D’Aguanno

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

SAMSUNGIf you love a comedic, witty mystery you’ll love this week’s author, David D’Aguanno.  You may know him best for his Brett character in Don’t Mess With Brett but do you know he has also penned a book that is very different and serious titled Why She Left Us?  I think you’ll enjoy learning about this writer and you’ll be glad you took the time to follow his interview. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free digital copy of Don’t Mess With Brett.  If you’d like to see my review of Brett Aerobicizes, the second book in the series, click here.

Interview with Author David D’Aguanno

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

When I’m not writing (or reading), I’m usually listening to classical music. I have a huge CD collection, and because there are only so many hours in the day, there are many CDs I’ve heard only once and don’t even remember what they sound like!

Who are you as a writer?

As a writer – and particularly as a writer of the Brett Cornell series of comedy-mysteries – I view my role to be that of a person whose aim is merely to entertain. In other words, I sincerely doubt that anyone would want to read a “Brett book” in order to gain any kind of spiritual enlightenment. Escapism, a few laughs – That’s about it!

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I think it’s wonderful, since it gives so many tremendously talented writers an opportunity to have their works read, instead of having to spend so much valuable time, simply trying to find an agent and/or a publisher in such a competitive area.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

No, I haven’t, and I probably wouldn’t. As it is, I have so many various ideas floating around in my head that I need to get “on paper” that I probably wouldn’t have the time for it.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

Well, I probably have several favorites,  but one that stands out in my mind is “Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite” by Anthony Trollope. I recall how, when reading it, I said to myself,” I know where this story is heading,” only to find myself completely surprised by a tragic ending that left me emotionally devastated. Often, in a single phrase or a single sentence, Trollope was able to pull me into the minds and emotional states of his main characters. Amazing!

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not?

Having taught English in a public school for nearly 30 years, I find myself being somewhat finicky about spelling, punctuation, and the like. However, with a good editor and proper guidance, anyone should be able to produce a worthwhile piece of writing, even without having earned a degree.

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

Seeing as the mere suspicion that a spider or a snake may be nearby usually gets me nerved up, my imagination would go into over-drive at the sound of a loud roar, and I’d probably freak out completely!

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

My greatest asset as a person? Well, I’ve been told that I’m extremely compassionate, or “an old softie” (if you will). As a writer, I think that I have a knack for coming up with a story that moves along fairly quickly, for the most part.

What do you treasure most on earth?

It may sound like a stock answer, but I’d have to say: “My friends and family.”

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pastimes, friends, etc.

Being non-athletic as a child, I enjoyed mostly board games and word games, and my love of classical music, even at any early age, meant that listening to records or music on the radio took up a lot of my time. Oh, and writing little stories, too, of course.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

Finding out that there are so many ways of reaching potential readers with my writing has been an eye-opening experience for me.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

Being successful as a writer is probably as important to me now as being successful as a teacher was, back in the days when I was doing that, assuming that “being successful” means being able to affect other people’s moods, attitudes, and lives in a positive way.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

O.K., if I were to say that I’d wish I could feed all the hungry people in the world – or anything else along that line – I’d be lying. So, at the risk of sounding self-centered, I’d wish (1) that my Brett books could be turned into a TV series, preferably on HBO, Showtime, or Starz (I’m not too fussy, am I?),  (2) that my other novel “Why She Left Us” could be turned into a major motion picture, and (3) that I could live long enough to hear Brett’s quirky sayings become part of people’s everyday vocabulary. (You would have had to have read one of my Brett books in order to fully appreciate what I mean by that last “wish” of mine.)

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want.  Describe the day (money is no object)

Wow! I’m afraid I can’t really answer that, only because I’d want to be able to spend the day with people I miss the most, and sadly enough, it would be physically impossible to do that (you can guess the reason why).

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

A lot of my writing was originally done several years back, and it wasn’t until my cousin Darlene urged me to do something with the novels I had written that I actually decided to take on this so-called second career of mine. Without her show of confidence in my writing ability, I probably would be doing something else right now. Sad but true, now that I think about it.

Here’s a little more about books currently available from David D’Aguanno in his own words.

A little bit about my books:

Brett Cornell is meant to be taken more as a cartoonish type of character rather than a real person. In fact, if such a person really did exist, most people wouldn’t have anything to do with him, and any self-respecting woman would surely stay clear of him, despite his good looks. The novels themselves are over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek, so that anyone expecting a serious and intricately plotted murder mystery (as in Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes, for example) would be very disappointed. Provided you don’t take the character of Brett Cornell too seriously, though, you should probably find the novels engaging and amusing and totally unique.

My novel “Why She Left Us” is radically different, written in a somewhat experimental style, and involving characters who are meant to be viewed as real human beings who have sincere and deep emotions and several of whom suffer greatly through acts of betrayal, loss, and revenge. If I can move readers emotionally in this novel, then I will have succeeded in doing what I meant to do in writing this novel.

Here are some links to check out this author and his books.  Be sure to leave a comment below to enter the drawing for a free digital copy of Don’t Mess With Brett by David D’Aguanno.

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Introducing Author JT Sather

Posted on March 27, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

7685942This week it’s my pleasure to share a writer with you who is very unique.  While many of us whine and moan when the bottom drops out of our lives, this author used a very different tactic.  I think JT Sather has had just about everything happen that can go wrong but he chose to face adversity with humor and optimism.  We’ve had a couple of good chats about my home state of Michigan and its beautiful upper peninsula, as well!  So, without further ado, let me introduce JT Sather and his book How to Survive When the Bottom Drops Out.  You can read my review of the book here.

Interview with JT Sather

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

I love to build sandcastles, or at least my version of sandcastles.  Time on the beach is very relaxing for me.  I like to find a secluded spot so I can work undisturbed.  It takes anywhere from two to four hours to make a masterpiece, and it’s tough when there’s a bunch of kiddies running about.

Who are you as a writer?

I’m the same man that I am in regular life.  What I write about is non-fiction.  I don’t have to immerse myself into a fantasy world, my reality is crazy enough!

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I think much of it’s terribly disorganized.  I’m happy to be a part of it, but I wish someone would have held my hand when I started.  When I first published, the book was terribly riddled with spelling mistakes.  When I finally realized this (two months later) I felt awful.  If people are going to pay their hard-earned money for a product, I want it to be quality.  Thankfully I have a publisher now, and it’s been edited by a professional.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

I have been approached to ghost write a memoir for a friend of mine.  I’m happy to do it, but it’s very slow go.  He’s 2000 miles away from me, and he’s a very busy guy.  It’s difficult to pin him down to answer the many questions I have for him.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

I’ve only read a handful in my life.  One that stuck in my head was Fear and Loathing. I really enjoyed Hunter’s story telling skills.

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not?

A degree? Absolutely not.  What they need to possess is story telling skills.  Everyone has an imagination, but it takes a skill to transfer it to paper.

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

I would scream like a ten year old girl, they hate that!

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

I’d have to say my experience.  I’ve been through more than most,  and the lessons that I’ve learned have served me well.

What do you treasure most on earth?

My freedom.  I lost it for a while, and I missed it terribly.  I have no plans to let it out of my sight again.

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pastimes, friends, etc.

I was one of those tree climbers.  Not your ordinary tree climber, I was that kid who would climb to the top of a fifty foot pine tree and cling to the very top, swaying in the breeze, and survey the landscape.  That was my first taste of real freedom, and set me on the path of daredevil mayhem.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

Getting a contract from Inknbeans Press to publish my work.  I’m out of my realm in the writing business, and it’s nice to have someone at my side, finally.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

It’s become the single most important thing to my future.  As an unemployed construction worker, I have no desire to go back to it.  My body getting tired, as well as damaged.  I hope to continue this for the rest of my days.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

Peace, love, and happiness.  Anything else that I could ask for would only bring me to these conclusions anyway.

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want. Describe the day (money is no object)

I want to take my mother out for a boat ride on Lake Mead.  I’ve done it a thousand times, and never had the chance to take her out there.  She lives in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and doesn’t get out much.  I’ve had some really great times on that lake.  We’d start the day off at nine in the morning, and depart from the southern part of Boulder Basin.  Lake Mead Marina is filled with beautiful boats of all kinds.  Speedboats, sailboats and yachts are lined up like toys in a pond.  Then it’s off to Sandy cove, where I can light the bbq and have a dandy lunch.  A relaxing day spent cruising on the water is just what my mother needs.  At seventy-four years old, she never seems to have enough time to just enjoy herself.  When the day is done, I’ll tie the boat up in the slip and we can have a cocktail in the Captain’s lounge.  That would be a great day.

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

I’ve always enjoyed telling stories.  It’s the highlight of my night, whoever I’m hanging out with.  I’ve had a lot of friends over the years tell me “You need to write a book!”  Well, I finally did.  If the economy hadn’t crashed when it did, I probably would never had done it.  I never had the time before.  When things were good, I worked 80 hrs a day, and then some.  Time was a commodity that I never had.  Now, I have far too much!  Oh well, better finish the next one, before time runs out.

Thank you, JT for being my guest this week.  Readers, be sure to leave a comment to show JT you have enjoyed his featured spot.  And, if you’d like to find out more about author J.T. Sather check out the links below.  The Book Junkies page includes many pictures, including those of his sand sculptures.

http://www.bookjunkiesjournal.com/jt-sather.html

howtosurvivehttp://www.amazon.com/Survive-When-Bottom-Drops-Volume/dp/1479152250/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364329421&sr=8-1&keywords=jt+sather

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286380

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Introducing Author LA Jones

Posted on March 11, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

lajones_1I love Mondays because I get to meet some intriguing authors each week.  This week my guest is LA Jones, author of Tales of Aradia The Last Witch.  You can read my review of the book here.  Be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win an autographed copy of the book!

Interview with LA Jones

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

Shopping. I love shopping. Going out and checking the new imaginative styles. Hanging out at the book stores and talking with the clerks. It’s my favorite pastime.

Who are you as a writer?

In all honesty, I am a person who has ASD (autism spectrum disorder) who is trying to become a role model and inspiration to people who also have this disorder.

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

My thought is like many new movements it takes to time to flower or flourish. I am actually happy about the indie author movement because it puts more power in to the author’s hands. Too long has the publisher held power in the relationship between writer and publisher. Publisher and their clients (writers) should be partners. This indie author movement is making sure of that.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

No. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with using someone else’s identity and idea to write a book.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

Matilda by Roald Dahl because the story of a little girl over coming such impossible odds has always been so inspiring.

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not? No. I believe degrees don’t guarantee or signify anything. In the end determination is what gets things done. I have always been a believer of self-education. What you learn on your own time is what you use in your life.  

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

I stay very still and try not to irritate whatever the hell it is that made that noise. I also try to hide a weapon under my pillow just in case.

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

My creativity and my ability to be so open-minded. I welcome criticism and suggestions because they help me to be a better writer. My creativity because it helps me think of new things to write and develop.

What do you treasure most on earth? My family and my friends.

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pasttimes, friends, etc. I like to make up games and watch TV. Most of all, I loved to read.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

I think what has helped me most of all was meeting my editor Harrison R. Bradlow. He has helped my series reach its true potential and opened my eyes to all sorts of possibilities.

How important is being successful as a writer to you? Very. I want to be able to live off my writing and help entertain people with my stories. In addition to inspiring others.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

One) my book series to become the next big franchise. Two) to be able to live off my writing. Three) to be able to become the next J.K. Rowling. Meaning an inspiration to my fellow authors and such.

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want.  Describe the day (money is no object)

Meeting some of the authors who helped inspire me to reach my potential. Namely, buying plane tickets to visit RJ Palmer and her husband and taking her family out to Disneyland or something. Traveling to Florida to meet L.A. Sherman another author who has inspired me. Most of all, traveling to Las Vegas and taking my editor and his family to Disney World.

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

My family mostly. They have always loved the fact that I am an author and are very proud of me for being able to publish my books. I don’t think I would have gotten this far without their help.

Editor and partner in my series: Harrison R. Bradlow.la_1

http://www.harrisonbradlow.com/index.html

Readers: Thanks for coming and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comments section for a chance to win an autographed copy of the first book in the series.  Winner will be notified on Monday, March 18.

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Introducing Author Troy Lewis

Posted on January 28, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

book_photoThis week my guest is Troy Lewis.  Troy has written a remarkable book called Another Second Chance.  What would you do if you were faced with a disease that would be certain death unless you could find a donor?  What if that donor turned out not to be able to help you?  The author has gone through just such an experience and has chosen to share his journey with the world.  You can read my review of the book here.

Interview of Troy Lewis

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I like writing in, what I call “my writing cave”! My finished basement.. As I walk.the kittysteps to my “Cave”, it’s as if I am entering a different world. There is a peacefulness down there that can’t be explained. You are surrounded by memories on the walls from moments in the past. And occasionally a furry feline will sunder onto your lap to see what you’re writing

What is your favorite writing tool?

I prefer my laptop to write with.. But I love to listen to Christian music for inspiration. It helps put me in the mood to inspire others when I am inspired myself. It lights a fire in my heart, then to my brain, which explodes out of my fingertips into the story.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

Since my book is an autobiography, it doesn’t seem appropriate to choose my character. So I will get my self in trouble with my better half and choose her character….  I would have to say Jenny Garth would play my wife, since she has been told there is a strong resemblance.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I wanted to be a Professional athlete. Uh… That didn’t work out.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

It starts out as an outline, then moves around a bit when the ideas start to roll. Pretty soon I’m flying by the seat of my pants. So I guess, a little of both.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

That would be a Bicycle since I’ve never ridden a horse. Except at the carnival, but I don’t think that counts… Plus I love riding bike and I don’t have to feed it.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

I have day dreamed about stories, but not had dreams at night about them. There have been moments where I have dreamed about people who I have met. Since I write nonfiction, that would probably be a “yes” on the “Ever written about a dream” question.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I was just an average guy, I was quiet and shy to those I didn’t know well. To the ones I did, I was loud and out going. If you were my friend, you were a close friend.

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

Cedar Point!! The roller coaster capital of the world! Not because I love roller coasters, they scare me to death! (Except the smaller ones.) It’s because I live a half hour away from the park!

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I am not a big reader due to time. When I do read, it is typically for knowledge or inspiration. I love Max Lucado books!

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Six months ago Jan. 28 on July 28, I commemorated my two year anniversary of my Second Chance at life! I wanted to share with you the most visited blog post I’ve written. http://wwwanothersecondchanceorg.blogspot.com/2012/07/walk-with-me-and-see-what-difference.html

On that day I ran my first 5k for team Ohio at the Transplant Games of America (on my 2 year anniversary!) When I arrived to the event and made my way to the starting line… There was my transplant surgeon and his wife ready to run with me…  One of the most memorable moments of my life! I found out a couple of days later that I had finished fourth in my age group (40-49) and just missed the bronze medal.

Thank you Troy for a very interesting interview.  Readers, be sure to leave comments here for the author.

3d_book_coverPurchase Another Second Chance by Troy Lewis at these links:

Amazon Kindle

http://smarturl.it/tj18ra

Nook

http://www.lulu.com/shop/troy-lewis/another-second-chance-gods-story/ebook/product-20256683.html

Signed copies from Troy’s website www.another2ndchance.org

Christianbook.com

http://www.christianbook.com/another-second-chance-gods-story/troy-lewis/9780983360773/pd/360772?item_code=WW&netp_id=1057927&event=ESRCG&view=details

Other places to find Troy Lewis:

Troy Lewis website 

Troy Lewis Blog 

Troy Lewis on Twitter 

Troy Lewis on Facebook

Troy Lewis Bio

Troy Lewis is a recent walking miracle (transplant recipient), speaker, and author.  He resides in Northwest Ohio with his lovely wife Stephanie and two beautiful daughters Corrine and Allison.
He loves sharing “Wow God stories” to inspire and encourage others.
For nine years Troy had played the part of Jesus Christ in a Passion drama, but that was only in preparation of what God had in store for him next. Since his near death experience, he now shares this amazing “Testimonial Message” of Hope at Churches all over! It has been called “God’s story”.
He has been interviewed on TV, Radio, and featured in media articles.
To learn more about Troy and his story, go to www.anothersecondchance.org
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Introducing Author Karen A. Wyle

Posted on January 21, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wyle author photo number 2Author Karen A. Wyle is my guest this week on the blog.  She’s a very interesting author and you can read my review of her book Wander Home here.  I can’t wait to read Karen’s take on Scrivener (see the second question in her interview) as I recently purchased it and haven’t had much time to learn to use the program.  So grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy our chat.  Please feel free to leave a comment!

Interview with Author Karen A. Wyle

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I usually write on my desktop computer, which sits on a maybe-antique desk too high for good ergonomics, so I’m constantly courting carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s in a very messy room we call an office, with what might be a nice view if we ever opened the blinds. Hmmm. Maybe this setup needs work . . . .

What is your favorite writing tool?

Scrivener!!! I recently posted a paean to this program on my blog, at http://looking-around.blogspot.com/2012/12/in-praise-of-scrivener.html. Another and more detailed article showing what Scrivener can do for writers: http://www.livehacked.com/writing-2/scrivener-an-introduction-to-novel-writing/.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I don’t know whether she counts as a star, nor whether she’s done anything with the requisite emotional depth, but Lake Bell looks the part. With the right hair adjustment, Anna Paquin or Bryce Dallas Howard might fit the bill.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I wanted to be a novelist! I gave up on that dream sometime in college, and came back to it after a decades-long detour, at just the right time, with self-publishing now a viable option.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

I’m mostly a pantser. I never do a full outline. Usually, I start with an opening situation and a handful of characters, and then come up with a list of scenes I may want to include. The rest of the story unfolds as I write, and invariably surprises me. The only time I thought I knew the ending ahead of time, it turned out I didn’t.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?horse_1

Assuming I had the resources to take care of a horse, I’d prefer a horse — if it would be so kind as to pull a covered carriage to protect me from the elements. I’d be particularly gratified if the horse would learn the way home from various places I’d be likely to go, so I could relax and nap during the journey.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

I sometimes dream stories that, in the dream, I believe I’ve been writing — but at least as far as I can remember, they aren’t my actual stories. I believe I have come up with one or two story ideas in dreams, but I haven’t written about them yet — I’ve just noted them down in my “Ideas” folder.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I was one of the “smart” kids, and on the fringes of  (tolerated by) the “smart-but-popular” set. I had three friends with whom I spent most of my time (as a foursome or in smaller sub-sets).

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which disone would you like to visit and why?)

The only one I’ve visited is Disneyland, which I enjoy more than I can explain. There’s something about the surrounding energy that delights me.

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I’m a compulsive reader. If I’m sitting down, awake, and not in active conversation with anyone, I’m reading. (That’s a slight overstatement: when I’m watching TV or a movie, I don’t always read. But often I do.)

I have been reading science fiction most of my life, although I seem to read less of it these days. I have been reading increasing amounts of historical fiction, including historical mysteries, which I read for the setting and characters rather than the mystery itself. One of my favorite authors is Mary Doria Russell, whose science fiction novel The Sparrow may be my favorite novel in any genre and from any time period, and who also writes historical fiction.

What led you to write your latest book, Wander Home?

I’ve always been interested in different speculations and imaginings about life after death — and I am drawn to themes of family communication, unfinished business, and reconciliation. I don’t remember exactly when or how the setting for Wander Home came to me, but it fit my interests and preoccupations to dream up an afterlife with features suitable for celebrating one’s life and addressing lingering issues. Once I had the setting, I found a family-based story that grew out of it.

Is Wander Home your first novel? If not, what was your first novel about?

Twin-Bred ebook cover sized for SpotlightIf we (mercifully) don’t count the book I wrote at age ten about a boy and his dragon, my first novel was Twin-Bred, published in paperback and ebook formats in October 2011.

This science fiction novel addresses the question: can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb? Humans have lived on Tofarn, planet of creeks and rivers, for seventy years, but they still don’t understand the Tofa. The Tofa are an enigma, from their featureless faces to the four arms that sometimes seem to be five. They take arbitrary umbrage at the simplest human activities, while annoying their human neighbors in seemingly pointless ways. The next infuriating, inexplicable incident may explode into war.

Scientist Mara Cadell has a radical proposal: that host mothers carry fraternal twins, human and Tofa, who might understand each other better. Mara knows about the bond between twins: her own twin Levi died in utero, but she has secretly kept him alive in her mind as companion and collaborator.

The human Council approves the project. The Tofa agree to cooperate, although no one is sure they understand the project’s purpose. In fact, the Tofa have their own agenda. And so does one member of the Council, who believes the human colonists should have wiped out the Tofa before setting foot on Tofarn. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred project through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely? . . .

What’s next?

I just finished (via NaNo) the rough draft of a science fiction novel tentatively titled Division, involving conjoined twins. While I let it cool off in the virtual desk drawer, I’m editing the sequel to Twin-Bred, with the working title Reach. I hope to publish the latter by late Spring of 2013.

Here are some other places you can find author Karen A. Wyle and her books.  Scroll down to read her bio.

Karen’s Website:

www.KarenAWyle.net

Karen Wyle Facebook page

www.facebook.com/KarenAWyle

Facebook pages for Karen A. Wyle Books:

www.facebook.com/WanderHome

www.facebook.com/TwinBred

Karen’s Blog (Looking Around):

http://looking-around.blogspot.com/

Follow Karen on Twitter: @WordsmithWyle

Purchase Karen Wyle’s books here:

Twin-Bred:

Twin-Bred ebook cover sized for SpotlightAmazon (Kindle):

http://amzn.to/u2OtVP

Amazon (paperback):

http://amzn.to/JYyGeG

Nook Store:

http://bit.ly/Ji0wxT

B&N online (paperback):

http://bit.ly/xsyzwL

Smashwords (various ebook formats):  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94490

Wander Home:

wanderAmazon (Kindle):

http://amzn.to/WeIrf9

(Nook):

http://bit.ly/TymtxO

Smashwords (various ebook formats): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/239628

Karen A. Wyle Bio:

Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence.  After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles, where she met her now-husband, who hates L.A.  They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University.

Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist.  While writing her first novel at age ten, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age nine.

Wyle has been a voracious and compulsive reader as long as she can remember.  Do not strand this woman on a plane without reading matter!  Wyle was an English and American Literature major at Stanford University, which suited her, although she has in recent years developed some doubts about whether studying literature is, for most people, a good preparation for enjoying it.  Her most useful preparation for writing novels, besides reading them, has been the practice of appellate law — in other words, writing large quantities of persuasive prose, on deadline, year after year. 

Wyle and her husband have two intensely creative daughters, the older of whom introduced Wyle to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), for which she will be forever grateful.

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Introducing Author Myra Johnson

Posted on December 24, 2012. Filed under: L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Myra Johnson 2012 smallIt’s Christmas Eve and what better way to celebrate the holidays than snuggling in with a good Christmas-themed novel.  My guest today is Myra Johnson, bestselling author of One Imperfect Christmas.  You can read my review here.

Myra has created a protagonist you either love or want to give a good swift kick in the seat of the pants.  She’s not all that different from most of us, really.  But that’s all I’ll say – you’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out more. Be sure to check out the book trailer for One Imperfect Christmas – the link is below – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

So, sit back and enjoy my interview with Myra and above all, Happy Holidays everyone!

Interview of Myra Johnson

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

My office is a converted upstairs guest room, and it’s pretty much wall-to-wall desk, filing cabinets, bookshelves, and bulletin boards. Oh, and a treadmill, which has a makeshift desk for my laptop so I can walk while I check email (don’t ask how that’s working for me!). I do most of the busy work of writing in the mornings while sitting at my regular desk overlooking our woodsy backyard. Then after lunch I usually move to my comfy Ikea chair and ottoman, where I open up my work-in-progress and spend 4-5 hours in focused writing time.

What is your favorite writing tool?

Not counting my trusty MacBook Pro, I’d have to say Scrivener writing software. I love being able to keep the entire manuscript plus character photos, notes, and research material all in one place and easily accessible. Note card view allows me to see scenes and chapters at a glance, and there’s even a word count meter that lets me know whether I’m staying on track toward my deadline. Once the book is complete, I can compile the document as an RTF file and then convert to Word for sending to my agent or editor.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I recently watched a Christmas movie starring the perfect actors for One Imperfect Christmas. I’d cast Teri Polo as Natalie and Paul Essiembre as Daniel. They’re amazingly close in both looks and personality to how I pictured my characters as I wrote the book. (Hallmark folks, anytime you’d like to pick up the movie rights, just let me know, okay?)

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

As a child I always wanted to become an actress or a writer. So yes, I’d say I have fulfilled the best part of that dream. As a novelist, I live out the stories in my head as both “actor” and “director.” Not to mention I can go to work in my jammies if I want to!

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

Definitely pantser! Once I have the germ of an idea in mind, I start imagining the characters’ current situations and backstories. Finding representative photos always helps. Usually I get a visual of an opening scene, and that kicks off the story. I might have two or three major turning points in mind, along with a general idea of the ending. But how we get from point A to point B to point C is always a journey of discovery.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

If I could have the means to feed and care for a horse, that would be my choice. I’ve always loved horses, though I didn’t get many chances to ride until my mid-40s. While volunteering at a therapeutic riding center, I met some wonderful “horsey friends” willing to share their horses so I could take dressage lessons—what a thrill! There’s nothing quite like the bond between a horse and rider. We moved from that area several years later, and since then I have really missed the opportunity to ride. Unfortunately, circumstances have never come together in a way that would allow me to have my own horse.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

Actually, the idea for One Imperfect Christmas first came to me in a dream. We’d been watching a bunch of sappy Christmas movies on TV, and those were playing through my head all season. Then one night I awoke with dream images of a couple about to celebrate 50 Christmases together, only something stood in their way. It took a little imagining and playing the “what if” game to come up with the right characters and plot, and the story went through several incarnations before reaching its published form.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I’d have to say nerd. I was an A student (graduated 5th in my class), but I was certainly not popular—very much a loner, the last kid picked for teams, never had a real date, much less a boyfriend, didn’t go to prom. Very sad, yes. But that didn’t stop me from not only meeting the guy of my dreams (we’ve been married 40 years now) but landing the career of my dreams as a published novelist. I’m also blessed to have so many wonderful writer friendships now, tops among them the ladies of Seekerville.

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

I’m not much of a daredevil, so I don’t visit theme parks for the roller-coaster rides. Give me something fun and “gentle” like Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean river trip or the Haunted Mansion. I loved Epcot, too. We finally made it there a few years ago when RWA held their conference in Orlando. Visiting all the different “countries” was fascinating!

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I love to read. My pleasure reading is usually during the last hour before bedtime, and my favorite books ever are The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien. For the past several years I’ve mostly read inspirational fiction by favorite author acquaintances including Carla Stewart, Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Janet Dean, Cara Lynn James—too many to name! When I need a change of pace, I’ll try one of my husband’s techno-thrillers. Clive Cussler is always fun!

Myra’s bio: Award-winning author Myra Johnson is a Texan through and through, but she has no regrets about recently making the move to the more temperate climate of the Carolinas. She and her husband of over 40 years are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters who, along with their godly husbands, have huge hearts for ministry. Four rambunctious grandsons and two precious granddaughters take up another big chunk of Myra’s heart. The Johnsons also enjoy spoiling their very pampered oversized lapdogs. Myra’s first novel from Abingdon Press is One Imperfect Christmas (September 2009). She has also written contemporary romances for Heartsong Presents.

Thank you, Myra for a candid and interesting interview.  Readers, please leave comments for Myra – she’d love to chat with you!  Listed below are some places you can find Myra Johnson and check out her other books.

Find Myra on the Web:

www.MyraJohnson.com

www.seekerville.net

www.myra.typepad.com

www.facebook.com/MyraJohnsonAuthor

www.Twitter.com/MyraJohnson

www.Twitter.com/TheGrammarQueen

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1391761.Myra_Johnson

One Imperfect Christmas-coverOrder One Imperfect Christmas online at:

Amazon (print version)

Amazon (Kindle version)

Cokesbury

Christianbook.com

Watch the Book Trailer for

One Imperfect Christmas:

http://tinyurl.com/cec2fpj

 Want to see more books by Myra Johnson?  Her latest release, A Horseman’s Hope, is now available for preorder here:  Amazon

HorsemansHopeCover

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Introducing Author Barbara Watkins

Posted on December 17, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Barbs professional pic2I am so happy to have as my featured author this week the incredible Barbara Watkins.  She’s definitely got a lot of thrills and chills in store for her readers.  I’ve read Barbara’s short stories in a book she and Betty Dravis co-authored – Six Pack of Blood, but until I read Hollowing Screams I didn’t realize her capacity to hold a reader in suspense and make them squirm for hours on end.  You can read my review of Hollowing Screams here.

Interview with Barbara Watkins

by L.Leander

Where do you write? What’s your creative space like?

I have a room in my house that my husband and I converted into an office space. On the corner of my desk sits an old antique Royal typewriter,

a gift from my dear mother, and several horror posters adorn the walls including a poster from The Vampire Guardian Angel series, courtesy of horror Director/Producer, Lia Scott Price.

What is your favorite writing tool?

My just about worn out Dell computer and outdated Microsoft word processor! LOL)family pics from phone 801_1

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?  Nicole Kidman would be perfect to play the role of ‘Shannon’ – her performance in the paranormal flick, ‘The Others,’ absolutely blew my mind. Her portrayal of complex characters, along with the fact that she fits the description of ‘Shannon’ makes this actress my first pick.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you realize that dream?

I always thought that I would like to be an actress – that didn’t happen. However, I get to play make-believe and act in various roles every time I create a character – guess you could say that I have realized my dream!

Explain your creative process. Pantser? Outliner?

Um, I guess you could say that I’m more of a fly by the seat-of-my-pants plotter. It’s not like I don’t know where my story is going though – I just tend to let my characters lead me there.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle? Why?

I’d have to say a horse, cause I’m too lazy to pedal a bike! LOL)

family pics from phone 802_1Do you dream about your stories? Ever written about a dream?

When I was quite young and would have nightmares, I often wrote them down in a journal. In fact, I have incorporated several of my nightmares into my writings – makes for some horrifying tales!

What were you like in high school? Class clown? Nerd? Cheerleader type?

Um, I guess you would say I was more of a class clown – definitely not a nerd or cheerleader type. I did have a habit of talking to my classmates too much, as often indicated on my report card. LOL)

What’s your favorite theme park? Why? (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

Universal Studio in Orlando, Florida ROCKS! I love the simulated rides; particularly the ‘Back to the Future’ ride. Do they still have that one? LOL)

Are you a reader? What types of books do you like best? What author(s)?

family pics from phone 800_1I consider myself an avid reader when I’m not writing. It really depends on what kind of mood I’m in as to what I like to read.

I’ve been known to enjoy a good sappy love story, a comedy, and even a futuristic sci-fi. Nevertheless, give me a paranormal thriller, a thrilling horror tale and I’m in seventh heaven! Clive Barker, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and John Saul – all rate high on my list.

bwhollowingThank-you Barbara for an interesting and candid interview.  Readers, leave some comments and let Barbara know what you think about her interview and writing.  If you’d like to find out more about Barbara Watkins here are some links:

Barbara Watkins Website

Barbara Watkins Fan Page

Barbara Watkins on Twitter

Books by Barbara Watkins:

Hollowing Screams (Kindle Version)

Hollowing Screams (Paperback)

Mortal Abomination

Awaken Spirit (A Digital Short)

Six-Pack of Blood (with Betty Dravis)

Soon to be released:  Six-Pack of Fear (with Betty Dravis)

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INTRODUCING AUTHOR LAURA SEEBER

Posted on December 10, 2012. Filed under: L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

lauraThis week my author guest is Laura Seeber.  I have just finished reading her novel The Spring And Autumn Murders. You can read my review here. This was an interesting book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ms. Seeber has done a great job of making the story personal and relevant to today’s readers.

I love getting to know authors and Laura is definitely not an exception.  How I yearn to be like her!  Read question #5 below and in Laura’s answer you’ll see why.  I am a total pantser, but Laura’s explanation of how she writes puts me to shame.  I just have to get used to outlining.

Enjoy our conversation and don’t forget to comment and show Laura Seeber some author love.

Interview with Author Laura Seeber

by: L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I work primarily in my living room in a great big pink chair with my laptop perched either on my knees or on a nearby coffee table.  The area around me changes depending on how much other work I have going on- but it usually consists of a notebook, a sketchbook and a few wads of crumpled up paper tossed around the table and floor.  I am definitely not an organized person.

pENPAP_1What is your favorite writing tool?

My favorite writing tool is probably my notebook and pen.  I know, sounds weird when I spend so much time on the computer, but being able to draw out plot lines, etc. with pen and paper feels much more real to me.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I would probably cast Jackie Chan as Lord Nianzu if I had the chance.  I’m a genuine fan of him, and his acting ability which goes way beyond what is shown in a lot of the kung fu action movies that you see him in.  It would be great to see him in a role that would highlight his acting ability without type-casting him as a kung fu master.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?scientist_1

Depends on when you would have asked me.  At one point I wanted to be a pilot, a tap dancer, a scientist, and a horse trainer.  To be honest, being a writer was never one of my dreams that I remember.  However, right now I also work as a geologist, so I guess I partially realized my dream of becoming a scientist.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

Oh I’m almost obsessive in my outlining.  I’ll start with a subject matter or area I want to write about.  Then I’ll spend the next few months researching the setting, the people, the eras, and the subject matter until I feel that I can truly internalize what I have researched.  Then for the next few months I’ll “write” the story in my head, reworking things, changing point of view, altering characters until I get to the point where I don’t think it can be changed anymore.  Then I break out the lap top and write it down.  After that I’ll revise it a few more times until feel it’s good enough to submit.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

bike_1Unfortunately I would probably choose the bicycle.  Although I love riding horses, they can be quite expensive to fix and or replace when something goes wrong.  It’s much easier to fix a flat tire than it is to fix a broken leg.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

Actually, dreaming of my stories is one of my steps in writing.  If I continuously dream of a story for a few nights I know that it’s near completion and it’s time to break out the computer.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

Actually in high school I was the quiet kid who sat in the back and didn’t say much.  The only time I came out of my shell was when I was around my friends- then I became a smiling goofball who wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time.HIGH_1

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

Well, I guess my favorite theme park would be Kenny wood Park in Pennsylvania.  It’s the closest park to where I grew up, and it has a great nostalgia feel to it.

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I’m a fairly avid reader, but I wouldn’t say that I read incessantly.  I prefer either mystery, non-fiction or the occasional romance if the heroine actually has half a brain on top of her shoulders.  Honestly if the story is well written, I’ll read just about anything.  As far as authors- Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, and Madeline L’Engle are a few that come to mind.

Thank you, Laura, for taking the time to join me today.  It’s been great chatting with you.  Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment and do check out my review of The Spring And Autumn Murders – I’m sure you’d love to read it!

You can learn more about Laura Seeber by visiting these links:

Where to purchase The Spring and Autumn Murders:


Spring and Autumn murders coverWriters Thread

Emerald Musings

Biography:

Laura Seeber has worked as a geologist, an environmental consultant, and a freelance writer.  She currently divides her time between her own environmental consulting business, handling various ghostwriting and freelance writing projects, and her own fiction writing.  Her interests include history, outdoor activities, martial arts, mysteries, and non-fiction material.  The Spring and Autumn Murders is her first novel.   She currently lives in Illinois with her husband, Michael.

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