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 K.R. Morrison

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

DSC02259 It’s a new week and I have another very interesting author to introduce to you.  Please help me make welcome Kathy Ree, author of  Be Not Afraid.  You can read my review of the book here.  Oh, and before I forget – Ms. Morrison is giving away a signed copy of her book to one lucky commenter, so don’t miss out!

Interview with K.R. Morrison by L.Leander

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

Depends on the time of year.  Warmer weather will find me walking—a lot.  I have three half-marathons I participate in, ranging from May to June.  I also do 10k events when I can—about three a summer.  In August, I spend two days in a van with six other people in the walking part of the Portland-to-Coast, a 130-mile relay event.  I also garden and quilt.

Who are you as a writer?

That’s somewhat of an obscure question, but I’ll answer it the best I can.  I am a writer with a message, and I hope that my readers will understand what I am trying to convey.

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I’m all for independent thought and ambition.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

I have not.  It’s not a subject that has ever come up, so I don’t know if I would or not.  Depends on who and what.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

“A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I generally run on a different plane from poetry, but his work has always struck a chord in my heart.  He was a sickly child, and his poetry reflects that in many ways.  I just feel so…loved…when I read it.

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

Interesting question.  No, absolutely not.  A surgeon needs one, yes.  But anyone can write.  It’s the last bastion of independence for those of us who like to put our thoughts down on paper—and maybe make some profits from them.

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

Go out and beat it to death, of course.

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

I’ve always been told that I write well.  People enjoy my writing.  I’ve only had one negative-ish review for my book, and that from someone who just didn’t get what I was doing.  I recently set up an editing page (Every Crooked Nanny Editing), and I’ve had one job so far.  I have an obsession for correct grammar, although when I do posts on Facebook, I write the way I talk.  I love to help others prep their work so that it looks sterling for publishers.

What do you treasure most on earth?

My faith in God.  Secondly, my family and friends.  Couldn’t get anywhere without either.

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

We played outside a lot.  I really just liked running around the neighborhood with my friends, pulling a wagon full of buddies or pushing someone up the street on an old engineless power mower.  My sister and I could spend an entire day just doing that—or hide and seek, Red Rover, freeze tag…those were the days!

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

I’d say it would be getting to know other authors.  I am so appreciative of the support and friendship others have shown.  I look forward to meeting more as time goes on.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

I suppose it depends on how you define “success”.  Financially—that would be tremendous.  We have a mortgage and two college tuitions to pay off.  Getting the Message to others is more important, which is why I don’t mind giving my book away.  But I also deem the support and encouragement I can give others through my book reviews/author interviews as right up at the top.

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

1.  Three more wishes—ha!  2.  Free beer of my choosing for the rest of my life, no limits.  3.   Being able to go anywhere in the world any time I want.  With a son going off to live in Brasil for two years, guess where I would choose.

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

Right now—ComicCon in San Diego.   I would go with my sister-in-law, Julie, and we would be able to go backstage and meet all of the celebrities who show up.  I am so wanting to go to that this year!  Or the Dark Shadows convention, and meet up with the stars from the recent movie.  Especially Johnny Depp and Eva Green.  Both such wonderful actors.  Eva was a very believable Angelique.

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

I wonder how many authors will agree with this statement:  I didn’t choose to write—the muse chose me.  I can’t answer for anyone else, but for me it wasn’t really a choice.

One night in April a couple of years ago, I had a nightmare.  In it, I was attacked by a vampire.  It was one of the type where all of my senses were involved; I could feel the tug of my blood being pulled out, and my veins collapsing.  It was very horrifying.

But when I woke¸ the nightmare never went away.  Instead, I fell back into a semi-sleep, where I dreamed another part of the story.  And when I woke fully, the dream never went away.  Instead, it cycled over and over throughout my waking hours, getting longer and more detailed every time.  When it got to the point where the story was over an hour long, I finally started committing it to paper.  The weird thing is, once I started writing, the part I’d written left my mind.

I sent the manuscript off to various people to beta-read, and I got a lot of good feedback.  I was asked when I was going to do a sequel, and that has now been done.   Actually, a prequel and a sequel, since the book got so big.  I hope to have them published/launched in the spring, once I have, a) a publisher, and b) the cover illustrations.  My daughter and my cousin are furnishing those.  My daughter drew the front cover for my first book.


K.R. Morrison is the pen name for Kathy Ree, who has lived in the Pacific Northwest for 22 years.  She came here from California, after the Loma Prieta earthquake caused her to rethink her stance on “never moving again”.  At her first sight of Oregon, she never looked back.

She wrote her first book, “Be Not Afraid”, after a nightmare she experienced would not leave her mind, even when awake.  Before this book, she had not written much of anything, outside of the annual Christmas letter.

A prequel to the first book, “Unholy Trinity”, and a sequel, “Resurgence:  The Rise of Judas”, have just been finished, and hopefully will see publication soon.  “Enoch’s Return”, the fourth book in the series, is just beginning to be written.

She has recently started doing book reviews and beta-reads/critiques.  Having put a toe into the world of editing, she finds she really enjoys it, and might make a business out of helping others polish their manuscripts.

When not writing or working, she quilts or works in the garden.

She lives with her husband of 26 years and a monster-sized cat, and is occasionally visited by her kids.

Thanks for stopping for this chat.  Readers, leave K.R. a comment and let her know your thoughts.  If you’d like to know where to find this author and her books here are some links.

K.R. Morrison Book Links:

Book cover (2) (220x316)

K.R. Morrison Links:!/pages/Every-Crooked-Nanny-Editing/587888887903846

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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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