INZARED, The Fortune Teller (Book Two) by L.Leander

Posted on April 22, 2013. Filed under: Book Reviews, Fiction, New Book Premiere | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s here!  After almost a year of editing, the second book of the INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders series continues where the first book left off.  Here is a brief description and links to both books.  I hope you enjoy them!

coverWe meet Bertha Maude Anderson, a girl of sixteen from the hills of Appalachia in INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders (Book One).  Bertha is misunderstood by her parents and yearns to escape her mountain home and see the world.  She craves excitement, and when a Gypsy circus comes to the village of Brower’s Gap she seizes the opportunity and runs away from home.  Life is not exactly as she imagines, but she definitely lives a colorful life among the Gypsies who make up the performers and roustabouts of the small circus that tours the eastern part of the United States.  The year is 1843.  Bertha hates her name and is delighted when the circus owners give her the glamorous stage name of Inzared.  Introduced to Cecil the elephant, and his handler Paytre, Inzared falls in love with both of them and her life changes dramatically.  Although she endures many hardships she is steadfast and becomes the main attraction for the small circus.  She learns the Gypsy culture and superstitions and helps solve a mystery.  But how will she deal with the guilt that plagues her?  Will the Gypsies accept her?  And what of the old fortune-teller Vadoma’s warnings?  Part mystery, part romance and full of quirky characters the book is sure to delight readers of every age!

Inzared_1563x2500_MediumSizeIt is now 1849 and life in the circus continues.  INZARED, The Fortune Teller (Book Two) picks up the story where Book One left off.  Inzared feels the strong pull of home and knows she must face her demons.  A series of nightmares cause her to rethink her life.  When she left Brower’s Gap, North Carolina she didn’t say goodbye and now fears her family will no longer want her to be part of their lives.  But things are different now and she feels she must try to make amends.  After she writes a poignant letter home she makes the decision to return.  She goes back to find things not much different from what she remembered.  She learns the skills of healing from her Ma and with the fortune-telling she has studied from the Gypsies she journeys back to Home Run and the circus she loves.  But what will she encounter along the way?  Will she be strong enough to handle the problems that arise?  What of the man from her past  – will he be part of her future?  Filled with new adventures, paranormal romance and danger, INZARED,The Fortune Teller will make you laugh, make you cry, and you won’t want to put it down until it’s finished!

Stay Tuned for the third book in the Inzared series to be published in 2014.  The Civil War has broken out and Inzared and her son must make some heartbreaking sacrifices.  Will they survive this terrible time in American History?  What of the circus and Inzared’s beloved elephant Cecil?  Will Inzared support the North or the South?  These questions and more will be asked and answered in this adventurous tale of love, loss and human fortitude.


L.Leander is an e-book author, freelancer and songwriter.  She writes for Yahoo! Content and does guest posts on author blogs and groups.  As a child Ms. Leander dreamed of running away to join the circus.  Instead, she grew up to write about it, bringing the magic alive for all who read her work.

Ms. Leander currently resides between Wisconsin and Mexico.  INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders is the first book in a series about a Gypsy wagon circus in pre-Civil War America.

Books by L.Leander:


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Introducing Author J.T. Schaad

Posted on January 7, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

222743_10150558942720075_746485074_18225713_4275797_nThis week I am pleased to introduce a chilling writer, J.T. Schaad.  J.T.s books are not for the faint-hearted.  He writes in the style of Thomas Harris (whose work I absolutely love) and the scenes are graphic and scary.  I could not put down Black Rose from the moment I picked it up. You can read my review here.  I warn you, if you choose to read the book, it’ll leave a mark on you.  Evil can lurk anywhere – maybe even closer than you think?  On a lighter note, J.T. and I have something in common – we are both musicians and songwriters.  It’s always nice to connect with someone who is into the same things you are.

J.T. Schaad Interview

By L.Leander

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

I write in my office at home most of the time. In the office I have my desktop pc (I don’t do laptops, keep feeling like It’s gonna break lol) and it is also my music room. I”ve got my guitars, my bass guitars, amps and so forth. It’s my own little world in there.

What is your favorite writing tool?

For drafts I strongly prefer my pc, because I type fast and can usually keep up with my brain when I’m in hyperdrive plowing through a story. For outlines I use spiral notebook paper. For song lyrics I use yellow legal pads.

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

I think that Ed O’Neill from the early 90’s would be perfect as Frank Adams. He just has that sort of realism to him. Always been a big fan of his since I was a kid.

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

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and a musician. I realized my dream of writing when I was 9 years old. I had a story idea that came to mind out of the blue. I searched and searched to find this idea in a book so I could read it. Finally I just decided to do it on my own. I became hooked on it. I always say that beyond being an artist, I am a fan first. I write mostly so I can read the story. When I get an idea it’s like seeing a preview at the movies for something that looks awesome. I get an idea that grabs me and I realize I have to read this book. But I have to write it first lol

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

For my novels I start with an outline. I find it way easier to use an outline when you are tackling something as big as a novel. I outline the entire story chapter by chapter. Then when I write the prose I just have to fill in the blanks basically. If I didn’t do this I would go nuts because I would do nothing but rewrites. Nothing more frustrating then getting a great idea of where the story should go, but realizing that for this to happen you have to rewrite the past 100 pages.

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

I like bicycles. They are fun to ride and they almost become a part of your body. Plus you are in control. With a horse, you never have full control.

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

I don’t dream about them. At least I don’t think I do. I say that because my dreams never make any logical sense after I wake up.

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

In high school I was kind of a loner. I always felt more comfortable with my fictional characters then the real world. I hid in the back of the room and read. Then I went home and played guitar and wrote. That was high school for me.

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

I’ve never had a chance to go to one. It would have to be one with a horror theme. That would be like a huge crazy haunted house type of thing. I think that would be wicked sweet.

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

I love reading. Always have since I was 5. I read a variety, but horror/thrillers have always been my faves. I’ve always been a huge fan of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, R L Stine, Poe,  James Patterson, right now I  love the Dexter novels by Jeff  Lindsay. Those are awesome.

Thank you, J.T. for being my guest this week.  Readers, you can connect with J.T. and his works at the links listed below.  How about leaving him a comment here to let him know you read his interview and support him?  Thanks for stopping by!

Here’s a little more information from J.T. regarding his current works in progress. 

I am currently working on a vampire series. The first book is entitled Blood Born. It should be finished soon.

I currently am working on a werewolf series, and a few paranormal series. One will focus on a town and the strange inhabitants and history. One series will focus on a paranormal investigative team.

So I have many many ideas running around in my head.

I also have many short stories I am working on also. These are great to relax with between novels.

J.T. Schaad Author Bio

I’ve been writing since I was 9 years old and I still feel as passionate about it today as I did then. It is an amazing feeling when you find something like this that you truly love. I’ve been lucky to find several passions in the arts. In addition to writing, I am a musician, songwriter, and a budding film maker.

I’m the author of the Black Rose series and The Blood Born series (coming soon)

Black Rose Cover 1440X2250 (2)CONTACT!/pages/Black-Rose/116396145196655


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Introducing Author Angella Graff

Posted on December 31, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |


It’s my pleasure to introduce author Angella Graff in this weeks feature.  She is definitely going places.  I think you’ll agree when you read her book “The Awakening (The Judas Curse)” that this author is cut from a different mold.  Not many are able or willing to tackle the subject matter she does.  She’s a mix of Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum, and she makes the reader want more.  You can read my review of  Angella’s gripping novel, The Awakening (The Judas Curse) here.  The idea of using ancient gods and Biblical characters is not new, but in Ms. Graff’s capable hands they take on a life of their own and the reader is hooked from the first page.  This is urban fantasy at its best!

Interview of Angella Graff

by L.Leander

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

I almost always write in my room.  I have a laptop, but I write more comfortably on my desktop computer.  I find myself envious of people who write long-hand, and I miss it from time to time, but my brain moves so quickly that when I attempt to write it out with pen and paper I get frustrated.  My room is quiet, though, and a place I consider my own space.

  1. What is your favorite writing tool?

Probably my computer!  That, and conversations with other people, if you want to call that a ‘tool’.  I find myself constantly inspired by the stories of people around me, and I’m always thinking of ways I can incorporate that into my story.  Whether it’s an event, a personality trait, or even someone’s habit.  I don’t think I would be able to write as much as I do without experiencing life and the people around me.

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

I want to say Benedict Cumberbatch, because let’s face it, I’m mad for him.  It’s a problem, haha!  Honestly though, my husband and I have fun trying to “cast” actors into my book.  I did actually write a character after an actor, though.  The character of Greg/Asclepius was somewhat modeled after Harry Groener.  He played the Mayor in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I just adored the way he could swap between good-old-fashioned guy and evil trying-to-take-over-the-world guy.  I absolutely LOVE him.

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

I wanted to be a lot of things when I grew up.  Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Marine Biologist (until I learned it required biology, go figure haha!) but the one thing I always wanted to be, and the one thing I always came back to was writer.  And though I’m not famous or well-known (yet, haha) I have realized that dream.  I’m on my second published novel, and working myself into a series, so I’d say that if my dream hasn’t been officially “realized” yet, I’m definitely on my way!

  1. Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

Truthfully I don’t have a specific process to speak of.  Outlines distract me from what I want to say.  I’m a big fan of letting my writing grow organically.  I feel that it makes for more realistic characterizations of people, at least for me.  When I try and outline someone or something, it sort of gets this forced feel to it, and so I rely heavily on beta-readers (and my husband) to make sure that I’m keeping the story in line.  I tend to write a few pages of the beginning, then I start with the meat of the story in the middle and write to the end.  When I get there, I head to the beginning and patch it up, bit like quilting, actually.  I find it works well for me.

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

Probably a bicycle.  I may get flamed for this, but I’m not really an animal person haha.  Although oddly, horses love my husband, and I have pictures of a horse giving him kisses to prove it!!  I had one pretty bad injury, a concussion, on a bicycle when I was young, so I was afraid to get on one for years.  Then last year while my husband and I were at the beach for our anniversary we rented bicycles and rode up and down the boardwalk for hours.  I realized how much I missed biking and would love to get one… once we live in an area that isn’t hazardous to cyclists!

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

Yes to both.  I’ve been inspired by dreams before, mainly for short stories.  When I’m in full on writing mode, when my characters and plot have a monopoly on my consciousness, I tend to dream about them.  It helps from time to time when I feel stuck.

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

Oh dear.  Hah.  Uh… well… I was more the Marilyn Manson type.  Eh heh.  I wore a huge black faux-fur coat, torn fishnets, black skirts, Doc Martin’s and my hair was usually some combo of blue, pink, bleach-white and black.  I did the crazy eye make-up and black lipstick.  The whole deal.  Please don’t tell my kids, haha, I want to have some leverage when I want to tell them they aren’t leaving the house dressed like THAT.

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

I’m not a big theme park girl.  I don’t like rides, or carnival games much.  I used to, but it’s just not my favorite.  I’d love to visit the Harry Potter theme park because I’m a huge Potter nerd.  And last year my hubby and I went to Sea World which was fun, but not nearly as fun as I remembered from when I was a kid.

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

I am a reader.  I read literally anything for my book review blog, and have found some really fantastic books… like Miss Leander’s INZARED, which I plan to re-read here in the near future.  When I’m choosing for myself, I almost always go with non-fiction Theology.  I studied theology in school, and I always go back that route.  My favorite theology author is Elaine Pagels, who writes some fantastic pieces about the Gnostic Gospels and some of the other Gnostic traditions.  It’s part of what influences me in my series.

Angella Graff’s Bio: Angella Graff lives in sunny Tucson, Az with her husband, three kids, two cats and one beta fish.  When she’s not writing or book editing, she’s either at a kid scouting event, yoga class, or tearing through some BBC show on Netflix, and possibly simultaneously and repeatedly pinning pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston on her pinterest boards.

Thank you Angella for your candid interview and the nice words about  my book.  (I promise, readers, I didn’t pay her to say that!  lol).  If you haven’t read The Awakening it’s something you’ll definitely want to put on your list for 2013.  The book is very different, with memorable characters and a subject matter that not many people tackle today.  I found it engrossing – couldn’t put it down.  That, in my mind, is a great read!

If you’d like to find out more about Angella Graff here are some places you can find her.

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Posted on November 19, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In the spotlight this week is Author Tom Hobbs.  I am delighted that Tom agreed to stop by to chat and I think you’ll enjoy learning about him.  His answers to my interview questions are witty, honest and fun to read.   Almost immediately after I published my first novel this summer I contacted Tom about listing my book on his Kindle Mojo site.  I found him to be very helpful and eager to help a new author out.  I reviewed his book and loved it.  I was intrigued by his fast-paced, gritty style and I read Trauma Junkie in one sitting.  You can read my review here.  Tom Hobbs has qualities that exemplify the Indie Author.  He knows where he came from and is willing to help others gain success.  The link to his site is at the end of this interview.  Check it out if you haven’t had the opportunity.

Interview with Tom Hobbs

by L.Leander

1.  What makes you stand out as a writer?

I’ve been told it’s my dialogue.  I love to listen to people speak, and will sit in places with my iPod ear phones in, but nothing playing so I can listen to the conversations people are having.  I rely heavily on dialog to define my characters, rather than their actions in a given situation.  Some might consider this a flaw, but I find that it works well for me.

For me the secret of dialogue is the rhythm of the speech and not so much the words that they are speaking.  Listening to candid conversation has the same effect on me that classical music has for normal people.  I find it very relaxing and often find myself replaying various conversations in my head which I will adapt to my writing.

2.  What is your favorite type of reading material?

I love reading screenplays.  I’m more of a visual person with a background in photography and film.  I love to find original versions of various screenplays and compare them to the final product to see how they evolved.  I also like reading classical American Literature (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner being my all time favorites.)

3.  If you could only pick one, who is your greatest influence?

If I had to pick one I suppose I’d have to say Fitzgerald.  I have probably read The Great Gatsby more than 100 times and have several versions on my iPod.  I find something new every time I do, and it is the quickest cure for writer’s block that I know.

4.  Where do you get your ideas for writing?

For my Trauma Junkie series I was a New York City paramedic for 7 years and I kept a journal.  The characters in those books are amalgams of people I knew and the situations are either firsthand accounts, or stories I was told by my friends.  Believe it or not, a lot of the situations are actually toned down due to the fact that they would not be believable.  Some of it is pure fiction, but probably could have happened.

My other books are based mostly on personal experience, though it’s highly fictionalized.

5.  Are you a pantser or an outliner?

A little of both; I do most of the outlining in my head and play a movie from start to finish on the big points and will often build chapters around a single scene I’ve played out.  I often have several stories going on in my head at the same time, and it can get very confusing, but also plays into the fact that I am writing a series.   Then when I sit down to write the story will often take on a life of its own and I have no idea where it’s going.  Most people would call me a very unorganized writer, but it works for me.

 6.  Finish this sentence:  One thing very few people know about me is…

I am a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.  It’s true!

My wife is the strong personality in our marriage, I cry when we argue.  I like to cook – I love the fact that they have the Julia Child kitchen in the Smithsonian.  I sew and would rather watch the home shopping network than pro football.

7.  If I had a choice, every day would include…

Sandy beaches and clear water, I have a real fetish for Kauai, but wouldn’t want to move there because it would ruin it.  I used to have a New York fantasy and loved to visit.  When I finally moved here with my family all I can do is think about moving back to New Mexico.

8.  If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have Internet and a computer or a supply of paper and pens which would you choose?

Oh definitely the internet.  In fact that would be the ideal fantasy for me, to be stranded on a deserted island with a T-1 connection.  I write on a computer, I watch movies , TV and play online games.  I don’t even have cable because you can pretty much get everything they have to offer that’s worth having from the internet.

9.  Do you hear voices?  What do they tell you?  What do you tell them?

I don’t really hear voices, but I see lots of stuff in images.  I’m a very visual thinker.  The voices in my head take some effort on my part and I mostly talk through conversations I plan to write. 

10.  What is your very favorite part of being an author?  Your least favorite?

Finishing a project is my favorite part and starting on a blank page is my least favorite.

11.  Where did you grow up?

My father was a National Park Ranger so I grew up in places like The Grand Canyon, Kennesaw Mountain, Acadia, and Bryce Canyon.  As soon as I got out of the Air Force I moved to the big city (Albuquerque) and haven’t given country living a second thought.

12.  Describe your ideal vacation (the sky’s the limit)

Just sitting on the beach in Kauai with my wife and kids is what works for me.  It’s pretty simple, but it’s my dream vacation.

13.  If you could be either, which would you choose – a dog or a cat?  Why?

A cat.  Cats are free thinkers and don’t have to listen when they are told to do something.

14.  You are the co-host of CBS This Morning – who would you like to snag an interview with?

Man, I would love a sit down with William Shatner.  Not because I’m a trekkie (which I am), but because he doesn’t seem to take himself so seriously. 

15.  Tell us a little about your most recent protagonist?

Brian Sheahan is a New York City paramedic who has had a rough time with his life.  He’s a compilation of several people I’ve know over the years in given situations.  At the beginning he is suicidal, a heavy drinker, and just generally no fun to be around.  He does have one redeeming quality and that is that he obsessed with saving lives.  He takes it very personally when a patient dies, especially a child.  He tends to personalize a lot of things he shouldn’t, and often rubs people the wrong way in the course of his job.

 I would hope that by the end the reader is in his corner.

 Tell us a little more about yourself:

I run the website that promotes indie authors.  The links to all of my books are on that page.  I do offer free advertising to anyone who will write an Amazon review of my first Trauma Junkie novel.

I plan on putting out at least six Trauma Junkie novels, (The Ghost of Bellevue Past is the next installment)  but am also working on a couple of other things – Zen and the Art of Narcolepsy- My year in the Lobby, a fictional memoir of a New York City doorman and Jonesin’ for Grey Matter a dark comedy about the end of the world as we know it via zombie apocalypse (yeah, I’m gonna jump on that hula hoop.)

I am also putting out a series of photo books designed especially for viewing on the new Kindle Fire and iPads.

Thank you for being my guest, Tom, and for all the great promotional work you do for Indie Authors.  Readers, please leave Tom a comment to let him know you enjoyed this interview.

Here are a few more places you can interact with Tom and find his other books.  Click on the cover of Trauma Junkie to be taken to the Amazon page.

Tom Hobbs Facebook Page

Kindle Mojo Website

Kindle Mojo Facebook Group

Tom Hobbs Amazon Author Page

Trauma Junkie Book Trailer

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Introducing Author Brian Beam

Posted on November 5, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews, Book Reviews, L.Leander Book Reviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This week it’s my pleasure to introduce an exciting author, Brian Beam.  Brian and I met on a Facebook group.  I offered to read and review his manuscript.  Am I ever glad I did!

From the very first paragraph of The Dragon Gem I was hooked.  Mr. Beam has a style that keeps readers on their toes, craning their necks to get a peek at what’s coming up next.  The fantasy world he creates is well-developed and the characters are delightful.  You can read my review of The Dragon Gem here.

One of the things that interested me about Brian Beam was his comment about being a dad.  He takes his role very seriously and is proud of his son.  That is something that endears him to readers, I think.  His compassion and fun-loving spirit shine through the pages of his writing.

I sincerely believe that Mr. Beam is an author who will make a name for himself.  His first book was great and I’ve been privileged to read the manuscript of the second.  (I promised not to relay any secrets – sorry!)  Brian has a definite way with words and plot.  His characters jump from the pages right into your heart and you find yourself falling in love with them.  I was sad to see the first book end.  Oh, and I forgot – for you adventure lovers – Brian writes lots of action and adventure in his series.  You won’t be disappointed!

Here is my interview with Brian – his personality shines through!

Interview with Brian Beam

by L.Leander

L.Leander:  What makes you stand out as a writer?

Brian Beam:  I write for the sheer pleasure of writing and telling a story, not to sell the most books I can.  When I have a story in mind, I don’t really think much about how universally appealing it will be.  I hope that readers will love it, and I hope that it will sell, but I don’t sacrifice vision solely for increased readership.  Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m going to shovel out poor work just because I think it’s good, but it does mean that there will be no vampires or erotica in my books any time soon.  I think that dedication to my vision comes out in my work.

L.Leander:  What is your favorite type of reading material?

Brian Beam:  I’m a big fantasy nerd, so just about anything fantasy.  I tend to read more epic fantasy, though.

L.Leander:  If you could only pick one, who is your greatest influence?

Brian Beam:  Even though I just started reading his work about three or four years ago, Brandon Sanderson.  He is not the author who made me want to strive to write fantasy; he’s the one who made we want to strive to write good fantasy.  His books have taught me so much about effective world-building and thinking outside of the box when crafting stories.  I would say that if not for his work, I probably never would have completely finished my first novel.

L.Leander:  Where do you get your ideas for writing?

Brian Beam:  They just pop in my head.  I know that sounds simple, but there’s not much more to it.  I am a jogger, and sometimes I get some great(to me at least) ideas then, but there’s no particular process.

L.Leander:  Are you a pantser or an outliner?

Brian Beam:  Mostly a pantser.  I say mostly because I do come up with the generalities of the story in my head.  I know where the characters will start and finish.  I know most of the big events that occur in between.  I know my characters’ personalities.  I never put all this to paper except for the occasional note or two.  Once I start writing, I let the story lead me from the beginning to the end.  Sometimes I find myself on the general path that was plotted in my mind.  Other times, I go off-roading and have a great time doing so.

L.Leander:  Finish this sentence:  One thing very few people know about me is…

Brian Beam:  That I love to write and record music.  I haven’t done so in quite a while, but I love it!

L.Leander:  If I had a choice, every day would include..

Brian Beam:  Four hours of dedicated writing time followed by 12 straight hours of playing with my wife and son.  And chocolate.  And cake.

L.Leander:  If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have Internet and a computer or a supply of paper and pens which would you choose?

Brian Beam:  Depends…do I get electricity?  If so, internet hands down.  There’s plenty of programs where I could write.  Besides, I type much faster than I write and I have horrible handwriting/drawing skills.  Plus, it’d be much easier to send letters through email than in a bottle J.

L.Leander:  Do you hear voices?  What do they tell you?  What do you tell them?

Brian Beam:  They tell me to write their stories.  I tell them to sit down, shut up, and wait their turn.  I’m starting to wonder if this is an interview or a psychological screening questionnaire…

L.Leander:  What is your very favorite part of being an author?  Your least favorite?

Brian Beam:  Having someone say they enjoyed my book is my favorite.  When I first published The Dragon Gem, I told my wife that if just one person who was a complete stranger said they liked my book, it would all be worth it.  Just reaching even one person truly validates what an author does.  My least favorite is having so many ideas in my head and not having the time to dedicate to them.

L.Leander:  Where did you grow up?

Brian Beam:  I was born and raised in Bardstown, Kentucky (bourbon capital of the world as well as Rand McNally’s Most Beautiful Small Town in America 2012).  It was one of those quaint towns that you hate growing up in as a kid and miss the minute you move away.  My father still lives there, so I get to visit my hometown still.  It’s just one of those friendly, historic towns.

L.Leander:  Describe your ideal vacation (the sky’s the limit)

Brian Beam:  All I want is a beach and no responsibilities.  I’m not too hard to please J

L.Leander:  If you could be either, which would you choose – a dog or a cat?  Why?

Brian Beam:  Definitely a cat.  Cats are (usually) very independent.  Plus, as a cat, I could look at everyone like they’re idiots or have an incredibly eclectic personality and people would be okay with it because I was a cat.

L.Leander:  You are the co-host of CBS This Morning – who would you like to snag an interview with?

Brian Beam:  Brandon Sanderson.  He has some amazing thoughts on what it takes to be a good writer and write a good book.  He teaches a creative writing class at BYU and one of his students taped a series of his lectures.  I watched several of them and took so much away from them.  I’d love the chance to pick his brain a bit.  Maybe some of his creativity would rub off on me too.

L.Leander:  Tell us a little about your most recent protagonist?

Brian Beam:  Korin is sarcastic, good-natured, slightly flawed, and willing to put his life on the line for those he cares about.  He’s not the perfect hero.  He’s brave, but only to an extent.  He’s smart, but not a genius.  He’s a capable fighter, but still gets his butt handed to him.  He is generous, yet not selfless.  Basically, he’s real.  Too often in books we get these cookie-cutter good guys and villains.  I wanted to try to steer from that a bit.

Korin’s best friend is a magic talking wizard cat named Max, who is partially to blame for his sarcastic wit.  Max is there to keep Korin grounded…and alive.

The Korin’s Journal trilogy will follow him on a journey that starts as a quest to find his parents that turns out to be much much more.

L.Leander:  Thank you Brian for allowing me to interview you.  Readers, you’ll definitely want to read Brian’s fantasy novel, The Dragon Gem.  It’s available on Amazon.  Click on the book cover below to purchase.  You’ll be glad you did!

Brian Beam Facebook Author Page

Brian Beam Website

Brian Beam on Twitter

Brian Beam Amazon Author Page

Be sure to grab a copy of The Dragon Gem – you’ll be glad you did!  Click on the book cover to take you to the Amazon sale page.  Be sure to give Brian some love in the comments section – he’d love to hear from you!

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Posted on October 22, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


               Interview by L.Leander

Author C. Michaels was kind enough to agree to do the first interview on my new L.Leander Reviews and Interviews blog.  I owe her a big thank you.  I had a great time reading the answers to the questions I sent Ms. Michaels and I think you will too.  This summer I read the book “Cross Roads” by the author.  You can read the review here.  I loved the novel and Ms. Michael’s writing style.  I began the second in the series “No Fear” but she put out an entirely new book recently called “Bill Of Human Wrongs” and I immediately downloaded the Kindle version.  It has been very hard to put the book down, even to design this new site and post Ms. Michael’s interview.  You can read my review of “Bill of Human Wrongs” here.

Since I know Ms. Michaels personally, I find it hard to understand that she writes in the Suspense/Thrillers genre.  She is very nice, outgoing, and always eager to help a fellow author succeed.  There is absolutely no sign of the danger and suspense that lurks within the pages of her books.  I’d say that makes a great author and C. Michaels is one of my new favorites.


  • What makes you stand out as a writer?

Perhaps it is my twists and turns with my storylines. It’s done all the time with other writers, but I tell ya… my characters really surprise me sometimes. I have had to get out of my chair and pace the floor at times saying to myself, “Where did that come from?”

  • What is your favorite type of reading material?

Surprise. I would say, a good thriller. The worst part of having learned what makes a good storyline, however, is now I find myself more finicky.  Both with books and movies… I will hear a good review about a movie so I watch it. Immediately, I see how it will play out, too predictable.  With books, I look for tricks, the rules we must, should follow, so when I read a book that misses these gems (rules), I’m tainted by my book snobbery. The good news, though, is that a well-written novel is a real gift.

  • If you could only pick one, who is your greatest influence?

Easy. My late husband. He began as a mentor for my career when I was new to teaching many years ago. He was tough, but that encouraged me to work hard.

Later, we became involved, and he became a different type of mentor. He taught me to enjoy every minute of life, literally. Once in a while, I slip and forget to “relish the moment”, but then I think of him, and remind myself to suck it up, maybe turn on some music, maybe even dance.

  • Where do you get your ideas for writing?

At first, I drew exclusively on my own experiences. Cross Roads, my first novel takes place in a small town in Idaho where I fished many years ago. Many of the characters are stolen personalities from folks I know. Funny, though. After I finished the story, my two favorite characters were totally manufactured in my head. That fact helped me feel more confident to just make stuff up.

NO FEAR! continues with the lives of the Cross Roads people, and while the storyline is completely fabricated, it does take place in the town where I live. So, in that respect, I was still drawing on my experiences to some extent.

It is my latest novel, Bill of Human Wrongs where I braved it by picking a subject I haven’t lived. It does, however, deal with a subject matter, US politics, that I find most interesting.

I seem to have a thing for injecting a small bit of fantasy into my novels so far. Just a bit, mind you. Maybe there is still some “kid” in me.

  • Are you a pantser or an outliner?

Both. I start with a strong premise, main characters, and an ending. The rest would be considered “pantser”.

  • Finish this sentence:  One thing very few people know about me is…

I’m shy.

  • If I had a choice, every day would include.

Walk on the beach with my dog (after coffee). Now, if you are allowing me to fantasize, I would say that I’d like my mom and daughters with their families to live near me. Then the daily walk on the beach would include them.

  • If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have Internet and a computer or a supply of paper and pens which would you choose?

Computer ~ I am a geek. Really, I am. Used to teach programming languages.

  • Do you hear voices?  What do they tell you?  What do you tell them?

Sure, I’m a writer. They don’t say much to me, they talk amongst themselves. But they let me hear their conversations, and have given me permission to use them in my books. I don’t tell them anything – they don’t need me. It’s me who needs them.

  • What is your very favorite part of being an author?  Your least favorite?

Best: Unleashing my imagination, so exciting when I move into the zone. Least: When, if I feel the book is taking a wrong turn I need to get away from the computer and begin thinking, planning. Another pacing experience, but in this case, a nervous experience.

  • Where did you grow up?

Washington state, where there is lots of salt water while having the mountains a short drive away. Pretty slick.

  • Describe your ideal vacation (the sky’s the limit)

I’m living it every day. I live in Mazatlan. Sounds like I’m a bore, but that’s the way I feel now. Maybe it will wear off after a while. Ask me this question again in a few years.

  •  If you could be either, which would you choose – a dog or a cat?  Why?

My best friend is Rani. She’s a compassionate dog, perhaps the love we share is a perfect definition of love.

  • You are the co-host of CBS This Morning – who would you like to snag an interview with?

There are many, but right now, Tina Fey comes to mind. I would love to learn how her creative mind ticks.

  •  Tell us a little about your most recent protagonist?

Ah, that would be Claire Winslow. I really like this woman. Her life, at first glance, tells the reader that she’s a success. She is a US Senator; bright, and compassionate about working to pass laws to enhance women’s rights. I actually feel sorry for her when her world is turned upside down. She is faced with a difficult decision she must make when a Senate bill is to be voted on in a week. She’s the deciding vote for her Party. She knows it makes damaging changes to the Bill of Rights that could ruin lives, but also knows that her Party will make sure she is not re-elected if she doesn’t vote for it. The misery she goes through during the first days of this story is painful to watch. She is in her “hole”. A turn of events throws a curveball to her thinking, however, a secret so hard to believe, so terrible. Claire is able to crawl out of her misery, knowing what she must do, but not before coming to grips with the unimaginable knowledge she learns from a strange woman she meets in a coffee house, late in the night.

Thank you Ms. Michaels for your candor.  I’m sure our readers will enjoy hearing what makes you tick and once they read one of your books you should get a landslide of fan mail!  Readers, I am including the following links for you to check out Ms. Michaels books and other places you can find her on the Internet.  Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section below or leave feedback.

Stop by C. Michaels Website

Visit C. Michaels Books Facebook Page

Read @cmichaelsbooks Post (Daily Paper)

Check out C.Michaels book review for Bill of Human Wrongs at eBook and Book for Coffee Time

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