Interview with James A. Greer

Today’s author interview spotlights James A. Greer! 

WCP: What was your inspiration for Out of Ideas?

My friend John and I attended an airshow in Wisconsin in July 2005. Unfortunately, there was an airplane crash that killed the pilot. I thought the atmosphere of the airshow, with all the power and elegance of the aircraft, would be the perfect backdrop for a murder mystery. I combined my love of aviation, a novelist’s tendency to twist reality into plot lines and my desire to write a female police officer as a main character into Out of Ideas.

WCP: Do you have any other genre you’d like to try your hand at?

I’m in the late stages of a political romance…. Seeing that on the screen screams “oxymoron.” Of course, a woman police officer is in the middle of it. 

WCP: Does Karen or Adam share any of your characteristics?

Karen is a combination of several strong women I know, among them my wife and both of our girls. I wrote Adam as a sort of “adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it” guy. He is the multi-interest man I would love to be, and the insecure introvert I most assuredly am. 

WCP: Do you have any favorite authors in Romantic Suspense/Mystery? Or ones that have influenced you more than others?

I’m a huge fan of both Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown. I loved the way Brown evolved her characters in Play Dirty. The ending brought me to tears. Roberts’ Birthright deftly handled a really touchy subject – I totally fell for her main character. Of course, I‘ve read a lot of Joseph Wambaugh, who revolutionized police novels. It helped me to see how hard writing cops can really be.

WCP: Do you have anything else in the works?

The political romance A More Perfect Union is about to enter the query stage. Wild Child has the sequel to Ideas titled The Heart of the Matter. I’m a cover away from publishing, through Tattered Cover Press my first manuscript. That one’s about a police sergeant being stalked through the MDT in her police car. 

WCP: What about writing life/being an author took you by surprise?

How easy it is to write, and how hard it is to be a writer. I could sit all day and write scenes if someone would pay me. I love to write. Creating something fit for other people’s eyes is difficult and emotional. I had no idea how hard I’d have to work to do justice to the characters I love so much. Fortunately, between WCP and Terri Valentine (my writing coach) I’ve had a ton of help.

Now for some fun questions:

WCP: What one modern technology do you think you could live without? (Not that you’d like it, but you could if you had to.)An electric ice cream maker. At my age, every calorie counts.

WCP: If you could sit down and have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you eat?

This reminds me of a scene from the movie My Fellow Americans. Jack Lemmon and James Garner are former presidents – Lemmon asks Garner who he was most excited meeting in the White House. “Nelson Mandela.” “I’m not a reporter,” Lemmon fires back. “Ella Fitzgerald,” Garner admits. “Mandela was a great man, but he couldn’t sing worth a shit.”

I’d love to have one more dinner with my late father, a World War Two Marine who fought, at nineteen, on Iwo Jima. We would eat whatever went with a Rusty Nail (him) and a margarita (me). Perhaps he would finally tell me how men summon in themselves such bravery and selflessness. I have spent an entire police career trying to find that answer inside of me. I’m not sure I’ve found it.

WCP: Chocolate, bacon, chocolate with bacon, or none of the above?

Bacon, with scrambled eggs and hot sauce.

WCP: Is there one talent you wished you had (besides writing)?

Languages. I’d love to have a knack for learning other languages. Maybe that’s why I gave that talent to Karen.

WCP: Any last words? Um, for the interview, that is. (grin)

I’m a writer and lawyer, in addition to being an academic and police supervisor. There are never last words, only pauses.

Seriously – thank you for the opportunity to chat about writing. You, Marci and the Wild Child family do me an immense honor. The opportunity to express my admiration for Karen, and the real women she represents, defies explanation.

Even for a writer.

I suppose the only question I wish you’d asked was why I write women police officers as main characters rather than men. In addition to being done to death, dudes tend to be more alike than different. Ask ten guys a question about law enforcement and you’ll likely get a narrow range of answers. Ask ten women the same question and it’s not unusual to get eight or nine…or ten distinct answers. This is especially true when exploring the toll our profession takes on people, their spouses and outside lives. Writing about women cops has given me a chance to reveal how courageous they are, how adept they are at their profession and the unique aspects of their experience as cops.

Purchase Link

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Interview with Husein Taherbhai

This week’s author interview spotlights Husein Taherbhai! 

WCP: What was your inspiration for your short story in Moments in Life?

“Moments in Life” is an anthology of short stories, and it, like all my writings (poetry, fiction and non-fiction) is inspired by my daughter, Shanbreen, who believed in my writings and was my greatest source of encouragement. She passed away at a very young age but occasionally the winds whisper her name, plodding me onwards, especially when I have the proverbial writer’s block. I’m also fortunate to have my daughter Shazeena, my wife, Fatema and my friend, Joanne as my ardent supporters.

WCP: Did you draw on any past experiences to write this story?

Yes. I have these fantastic experiences in different parts of the world where I have lived. I wrote “Nursery Land Blues” when I lived in Mumbai, a long time ago. It is ironic, but the movie “Slum Dog Millionaire” that was produced many years after I had written my short-story, is very much like “Nursery Land Blues”. It was originally published in an anthology of short story contest winners titled “Storied Crossings” by Scribes Hill Publishing Co. in 2002. “Through the Eyes of Innocence,” about arranged marriage in India was also a semi-finalist in an Australian global competition   (unfortunately the name of the competition evades me).

Women issues (“The Emancipation of Anjali”), gay and lesbian issues (“United”), issues pertaining to profiling, “Homeless” (which happened to me at the U.S./Canadian border), “…and the Old Man Cried” (about my dad), etc. are some of the stories based on my experiences in India, Arabia, in the U.S. and Europe. Some of the other stories relating to mystery, love, horror, supernatural, etc. are, according to some friends, based on an over-fertile mind. 

WCP: Do you have any other genre you’d like to try your hand at?

I love to write on any subject. I write essays that deal with many different non-fictional issues that includes “The Birth of God”, “Death of Poetry”, etc. At the present I am writing about the educational system in the U.S.

I love to write about dreams (it was a specialty of a friend of mine in graduate school), but most importantly I would love to create characters that are unique. At the present I am writing about a man caught in the web of dreams, although my goal over the next few years is to write about an immigrant to the U.S. (based partly on my own experiences).  

WCP: Do you have any favorite authors? Or ones that have influenced you more than others?

I used to read everything under the sun: sex, history, who-done-it, supernatural, etc. – the authors did not matter. Perhaps that’s one reason why I don’t remember authors by names (a big weakness of mine), although Phillipa Gregory, and Khaled Hosseini come to mind.

Generally speaking, I do not read other authors when I am writing (which I have taken seriously in the last few years), because I am very susceptible to other authors’ writing styles.

WCP: Is there anything you would like the readers to take away from the story?

“Moments in Life” has something for anyone who likes to read – horror, culture, mystery, suspense, supernatural, love, etc. They all, to some extent, relate to the nature of mankind, e.g., “Samantha of My Dreams.

With “Moments in Life” one can flip the pages to their favorite genre during the lazy summer days by the pool side, beach, in an airplane, in fields, park benches, or in bed. 

WCP: Do you have anything else in the works? 

Yes. “Joshua’s Touch” is coming out shortly. The novel deals with the supernatural, the CIA, Homeland Security, betrayal of friendship, re-kindled love, and revenge.

I have various papers in the works to be published relating to my job as a Principal Research Scientist in the field of Psychometrics. 

WCP: What about writing life/being an author took you by surprise? The dedication necessary to be a writer and the necessity of having a good editor.

Now for some fun questions:

WCP: If you could sit down and have dinner with anyone, living or dead, what would it be and what would you eat?

Casanova. I would eat Cajun-style crab legs, a well-aged medium rare steak, tropical fruits and top it all with a bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France.

WCP: If you could travel to any planet, besides earth, and live there (if that were possible), which one would it be? And what do you think it would be like?

I’d like Saturn because it looks so beautiful with its rings. If it was possible to live there, I would hope to be somewhere in-between the city and the country where I would have easy access to quaint book stores, theatres, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. I’d also be close to a wooded area for hiking, a bicycle trail and a pool formed by a waterfall. Most importantly, nobody would die on this planet and my family (including Shanbreen), parents, siblings and friends would be there with me.

WCP: Is there one talent you wished you had (besides writing)?

I would love to direct and act. Also I would like to be a better artist (oil and water) than I am.

WCP: Any last words? Um, for the interview, that is. (grin)

It is wonderful for you to do this.

Purchase Link

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Interview with Frederick E. Hosen!

Today’s Interview is with author Frederick E. Hosen!

WCP: What was your inspiration for The Village of God?

A. My inspiration was the usual “what if,” and I wanted to deal with the relationship between cooperation and competition. The two missionary groups became the vehicle.

WCP: Did you draw on any past experiences to write this novel?

A. I drew from two sources. One was direct and the other indirect. The direct experience came from my having worked for many years in various government bureaucracies. The indirect experience was from talking to missionaries who had made, at local churches, presentations of their field work.

WCP: Do you have any other genre you’d like to try your hand at?

A. I am pretty much oriented toward mainstream/contemporary. I don’t think that I could effectively write mystery or romance stories.

WCP: Do you have any favorite authors? Or ones that have influenced you more than others.

A. John Steinbeck/Of Mice and Men

Hans Christian Andersen/The Emperor’s New Clothes

The story of Chicken Little: The Sky is Falling

Laura Hillenbrand/Seabiscuit

Frederick Forsyth/The Day of the Jackal

WCP: Is there anything you would like the readers to take away from the story (The Village of God)?

A. Both competition and cooperation have a place in human interaction. And, many human activities are reflective of a business base goal, e.g. the writing and selling of books.

WCP: Do you have anything else in the works?

A. I have a couple of unpublished mainstream manuscripts as well as several children’s picture book manuscripts. I’m always working on something. I am trying to get another mainstream story together, but it’s going very slowly.

WCP: What about writing life/being an author took you by surprise.

A. Several things:

1- The difficulty in finding a publisher.

2- The time and effort required beyond a manuscripts acceptance.

3- The amount of patience required.

4- The effort required to market the final product.

Now for some fun questions:

WCP: If you would sit down and have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you eat?

A. Harry S. Truman/sardines and crackers.

WCP: Maserati, Mercedes, Pacer, or Prius? Which car do you share the most characteristics with? And what are those characteristics?

A. Pacer! It’s an average car, not impressive but will get you where you want to go. Also, it’s “American made.” I once owned a Corvair (unsafe at any speed) that I drove half way across the country on five occasions.

WCP: If you could be any man/woman, living or dead, who would you want to be? Why?

A. Methuselah. His longevity would provide more time to both write and to procrastinate.

WCP: Any last words? Um, for the interview, that is. (grin)

A. If you write, keep at it until your computer keyboard is removed from under your cold dead hands.

villageofgodweb

PURCHASE LINK

 

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Lucky’s Break (Book2) #FREE Excerpt!

lbp4After almost losing her Uncle Phen during the investigation of her mother’s murder, Felicia “Lucky” Fascino cut all ties and ran away, hoping her family would move on and forget the promises they made. Putting the past behind her has never been easy, but Lucky knows the job is slowly destroying her already fractured psyche. Staying away, especially now that her family is in danger, is the only way to keep everyone safe.

Kenji Zinn, determined to locate his ex-lover, tracks Lucky to a small island with her family’s help, and finds her in a miserable and self-destructive condition. His connection to her is strained after months apart but his feelings haven’t change, and he attempts to persuade her to come home, to protect her family and keep her promise. Despite her obvious mental fatigue, only Phen is able to convince her that the way to get closure is finding an elusive man named Quimby and take him out permanently.

Once home, Lucky breaks it off with Kenji, and agrees to go back to work if Phen promises to let her go when it’s done. While her family continues to track their target, Lucky returns to work for the network—struggling through each job, aware that pushing her family away won’t bring anyone the peace they deserve. As she begins to repair her shattered relationships, her true feelings for Kenji are tested when she almost loses him completely. Before it’s too late, Lucky realizes he’s her best ally to help her finish what she started and find Quimby before he strikes again.

Lucky and Kenji regroup after taking out an obstacle…

“That’s about as bad as it gets. Most of my marks are from a distance,” Lucky said with a shrug of her shoulders. “Up close and I tend to get….”

“Forceful.”

“Brutal, Kenji. I wanted him to hurt. I had to walk away, afraid I was going to pummel him just for the hell of it.” Her body shuddered under his hands.

“You were not brutal. You did what you needed to do.”

“I didn’t need to kill him. I wanted to.” She stepped back out of his grasp and walked to the bed. “I’m not some sadistic fuck who gets off on hurting people, but sometimes…and with you there this time….”

When she sat down, she pulled her legs to her chest. “Everything that happened yesterday, being with you in the field and letting you see me that way….”

“The last few days have been taxing,” he said, sitting beside her. She reached the edge of every thought but held back, afraid to speak her mind. He kept his distance despite the desire to hold her.

“I’m still trying to wade through it all.” She put her head on her knees. “What were you thinking, after I killed him?”

“I thought you extracted all you could from him and finished the job.”

She turned her head to face him, seemingly agitated. “Then what were you feeling?”

“Satisfied it was over and impressed with your methods.”

Felicia huffed, got up from the bed, and started to walk away. He grabbed her wrist. “Let go.”

He held tighter and stood. “What do you want to know, Felicia? Stop being vague.”

“How did you feel toward me?” Her voice was heated, sharp. “You were watching me like a hawk.”

“Mostly, I admired your abilities and thought of little else. There were moments I felt intimidated, other times aroused. Watching you overpower and manipulate that man was invigorating.”

“Why were you intimidated?”

“The way you handled the situation astounds me. I was not needed, yet you allowed me to help.”

She broke from his grip and walked to the opposite side of the room. He stood, silently waiting to see what she’d do. Rubbing the back of her neck, she turned around with wide eyes.

“After all that, you still want me.”

“I have never wanted you more.”

Purchase links:

All Romance eBooks
Amazon 
Kobo 
Wild Child Publishing

Author Bio: Jenn’s love of writing started the year she received her first diary and Nancy Drew novel. Throughout her teenage years, she kept a diary of her personal thoughts and feelings but graduated from Nancy Drew to other mystery suspense novels.

Jenn often adds a thriller and suspense element to anything she writes be it Romance, Science Fiction, or Fantasy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, observing pop culture, playing with her two dogs, and working on various charitable projects in her home state of New Jersey.

Website: www.jennnixon.com
Facebook: facebook.com/JennNixonAuthor
Blog: www.jennafern.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/jennnixon
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Interview with Molly Dean!

WCP: What was your inspiration for The Star Catcher?

It was my husband Jack who passed away recently. He became an invalid during the last four years of his life—and like my main character Hawke–was unable to walk. He adapted to this change with grace, courage, and humor and accomplished what I saw as heroic quests in dealing with his new lifestyle. My main character Hawke, a much younger version of Jack, accomplished different types of heroic quests in the fantasy world of my book. I wrote The Star Catcher for Jack. Jack liked hearing about how Hawke chased meteors sent by another world, fought mysterious foes, and coped in a strange environment.

WCP: Did you draw on any past experiences to write this novel?

When I described the imaginary country in my story, I kept seeing parts of England’s West Country—the rocky coast, the mist, and the wildflowers. Devon and Cornwall are some of my favorite parts of the world. And watch out…this might sound peculiar…but the flying element of my story is important. I am one of those people who have reoccurring dreams about flying. I flap my arms (in the dreams) and I’m away. Usually! Sometimes I crash. But I had fun allowing Hawke to actually fly.

WCP: Is there anything you would like the readers to take away from the story?

The old adage: keep trying. ‘Or keep on trucking,’ as Jack would say. Hawke did not achieve a miraculous recovery in the real world. But inspired by his otherworldly adventures, he vowed to do what he must to regain his ability to walk. Maybe we will see Hawke’s full recovery in a sequel. 

WCP: Do you have anything else in the works?

A novel about a young woman who travels to a Caribbean island to search for her father. The man, a professor, has vanished on a Caribbean cruise years before. What happened to him? Did he fall overboard? Did he actually plan his disappearance? What she discovers is surprising.   

WCP: What about writing life/being an author took you by surprise?

Probably that I like to write so many different types of stories. One genre is not for me. Also that I enjoy relating to a variety of different characters—old, young, male, female, alien, animal, whatever.

Now for some fun questions: WCP: What one modern technology do you think you could live without? (Not that you’d like it, but you could if you had to.)

The phone, the phone!

WCP: Maserati, Mercedes, Pacer, or Prius? Which car do you share the most characteristics with? And what are those characteristics?

Not being a car person—I find this a hard question. I think I am kind of a Tinker Toy. But if I must choose one of those four autos—I guess a Prius. This is because the environment is a priority for me.

WCP: Chocolate, bacon, chocolate with bacon, or none of the above?

Dark chocolate is IT.

WCP: Is there one talent you wished you had (besides writing)?

Sadly I’m a bit of a klutz—so it would be fun to be graceful–and a dancer or ice skater. I’d love to be able to do one of those twirling jumps the ice skaters do. Back to the flying again.

WCP: Any last words? Um, for the interview, that is. (grin)

Time to fly away, I guess. But I really appreciate the opportunity to discuss my new novel.

Visit Molly online:

web site: www.mollydean.com

Twitter: Molly Dean@mollydean1

www.facebook.com/molly.dean7

 

Purchase Link:

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New Release from Terri Talley Venters!

 Terri Talley Venters is here today to share her latest release with us!

bodyofgoldnew300dpi (2)Body Of Gold

By: Terri Talley Venters

Even in this post-Bernie Madoff era, it’s surprising how easily investors unknowingly hand over their money to con artists, also known as money managers. Chelsea Lynn Cobb earned the title of the youngest hedge-fund manager at Trans World Investments in Chicago. This charming southern beauty proved a financial genius, but her workaholic tendencies hinder her free time to meet men who match her impossibly high standards. 

When she’s not kicking ass at the office, she’s kicking ass at her Taekwondo class where she falls for her new instructor, Troy Camden. With the exciting distraction of a new and passionate relationship, she spends less time at the office until she discovers financial scams operating at Trans World. Someone is stealing millions from investors, but the evidence points towards her.

 Excerpt from Body Of Gold

Chapter One

“I am a Hedge Fund Manager. I am a Hedge Fund Manager. I am a Hedge Fund Manager.” Chelsea Lynn Cobb still felt incredulous about her brand new title. She hoped saying the words out loud would make her recent promotion seem real. The twenty-nine year old represented the youngest MBA and woman to ever earn the dubious title at Trans World Investments, TWI for short. She now possessed the business cards and enormous compensation structure to prove it. 

She sat in her new office at TWI, located on the twenty-seventh floor of the Sears Tower, recently renamed the Willis Tower, in downtown Chicago. Even her six-foot tall, slender frame was dwarfed by the enormous leather-upholstered chair. She looked around her new surroundings, a dramatic change from her last seven years working sixty-hour work weeks in a cubicle.

Chelsea’s cerulean-blue eyes admired the tidiness of her new work space. Of course she’d spent most of her entire first day moving in, so it had better look neat. But the first few days of January were traditionally slow and quiet because many employees and investors traveled during the holidays. The short plane ride from Chicago to Denver drew many snow skiers to the powdery slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

Chelsea savored the quietness of the phones not ringing off the hook. Once the stock market closed on the east coast, the office grew quiet and felt less insane. She rose on her three-inch Fendi heels and stood in front of her window to admire her view of the meandering Chicago River below. The setting sun shone through her window and its rays danced on her long golden hair. 

Es Ihnen passt.” Margot entered Chelsea’s office and complimented that it suited her.

Margot resembled the brown-eyed, brunette version of Chelsea. Now peers at TWI, they had become best friends in college. They’d both graduated from the University of Florida with their B.S. in Finance and their MBAs. They shared a German-American heritage and often spoke German to one another to remain fluent. In fact, their practice often drove other people nuts, which only encouraged them to do it more often.

“Vielen Dank,” Chelsea thanked her.

“I’m all settled in too.” Margot referred to her own new office to match her identical promotion.

“I feel like cutting out early. I still need to finish unpacking at home. Plus Klaus and Hans promised to drop off the rest of my boxes.” Chelsea looked at her watch and noted the time. With her hectic work load, leaving at five o’clock sometimes felt like working a half-day. But her hard work had earned her the new coveted title. Her investment instincts and research made millions for TWI and its investors. And her prediction over a year ago to invest in gold for the TWI funds aided her early rise up the totem pole at the firm. 

“I’ll walk down with you.” Margot turned towards the door.

The pair left the office and waited at the bank of elevators in the TWI lobby. This represented the longest part of Chelsea’s commute home to her new condo, only two blocks away.

“I love living in the same building as you. It’s so convenient to the office and the Tae Kwon Do Academy. I rarely even need to ride the L train anymore.” Chelsea referred to her recent move from the German area of Old Town. With the real estate market bottoming out, hopefully, Chelsea had recently capitalized on the depressed housing market and purchased her new condo. 

“Speaking of trains, I’m taking one to Michigan Avenue. Can I coerce you into a little shopping on the Magnificent Mile?” Margot’s pleading eyes turned to Chelsea as the two rode the elevator down the twenty-seven floors and exited the skyscraper lobby onto the sidewalk.

“No, thanks. Unlike you, I’d rather eat than shop. Besides, I have Black Belt class tonight.”

“You just love saying that, don’t you?” Margot teased as she waved goodbye. They parted ways on the cold and windy streets of Chicago.

Auf Wiedersehen.” Chelsea called to her best friend.

Chelsea walked briskly down Wacker Drive. She didn’t mind the cold wind blowing off the Chicago River, since the walk home was so short. After seven years of living and working in Chicago, her blood had finally thickened to accommodate the brutal winters. Although she missed the moderate winters of her home town of Charleston, South Carolina, she felt grateful to escape the heat and humidity of the long summer months in the south.

Chelsea arrived at her new condo and was greeted by two handsome German men and another stack of boxes. “Gross Gott, Fraulein,” Klaus and Hans greeted her in unison. The men both shared identical ice-blue eyes and golden-blond hair.

Hallo.”

She opened her condo door as she watched them bring in the last of her boxes. Her long time German friend, Klaus, and his handsome son, Hans, had helped Chelsea move over the holidays, and she was grateful. “Veilen Dank.

Bitte,” Hans replied.

Margot and Chelsea had met Hans and his father, Klaus, when they first moved to Chicago seven years ago. Margot and Chelsea met the gregarious, charming, and handsome father-son pair at the German-American Club. They volunteered at the German Day festival and helped coordinate the annual Von Steuben parade each September.

Margot and Chelsea often flirted with both father and son. They jested about who was more handsome – the 45 year old widower smelter, or his 25 year old apprentice son. They often teased about which one they wanted to marry one day. But over the years, they grew to love Klaus and Hans as family, like a surrogate father and brother.

“Das ist alles.” Klaus carried in the last box into Chelsea’s condo, set it down with the others, and then coughed uncontrollably.

“Are you ok, Father?” Hans asked.

“Yes, I’m fine. I must get back to work. I’m finishing my largest smelting job ever.”  Klaus held up his hand to stop Hans from fussing over him.

“I wish you’d let me help, you stubborn old Kraut,” Hans scolded.

“It is too dangerous, son. I’m melting gold bars into Chip Gold,” Klaus explained.

“Some top secret job for the mafia.” Hans winked at Chelsea.

“I’m afraid of the dangers to you, son. Inhaling the fumes could be lethal.” Klaus objected with a glare.

“Then why did you take the job, Klaus?” Chelsea asked, concerned for her dear friend and father figure.

“This one job pays what I make in a year,” Klaus admitted.

“Wow,” Chelsea said, taken aback. “I never knew smelting could be so lucrative.”

Klaus shrugged his shoulders. “Only once in a blue moon.”

“Thank you so much for helping me move, gentlemen. Would you like a beer?” Chelsea asked, smiling.

Nein. We must go.”

“I will bring you homemade apple strudel soon.” Chelsea saw the men out, and then

 gazed at her new two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo with a sense of pride. She’d diligently saved and wisely invested her bonuses to make an enormous down-payment on her first place, and all without the aid of a man. 

With the men gone, Stormy, her tabby cat, greeted her with a loud purr and a presumably hungry belly. “Hi, Honey, I’m home,” she joked.

As Chelsea rapidly approached her thirtieth birthday, looming two weeks away, she possessed mixed feelings about her single status. She’d always dreamt of marriage with children, but Mr. Right had failed to enter her life, so far. Margot blamed Chelsea’s impossibly high standards for a mate. Perhaps Margot had a good point.

In the rare instances when Chelsea met an attractive man who appeared perfect on paper, he ultimately disappointed her. The few men she had agreed to date in her rare free time either lied, cheated, behaved like egotistical jerks, or all of the above.

Chelsea turned on her television, already set to her favorite channel, CNBC. As she watched the stock-market ticker scroll across the bottom of the screen, she felt soothed. The price of gold continued to rise over $1200 per ounce, and the leading stock-market indexes boasted double-digit returns for 2009.

She treated Stormy to a can of Fancy Feast before she fed herself, preparing her light dinner of turkey on whole wheat in her shiny new kitchen. She nibbled on a banana for the potassium and chased her dinner down with an enormous glass of ice water. She needed to fuel and hydrate herself before Tae Kwon Do class.

Chelsea walked into her bedroom closet and carefully removed her black suit. She placed her pumps and handbag in their proper places and went to the bathroom to freshen up, and then put on her black ninja uniform with pride and pulled her hair back into a practical ponytail.

After retrieving her new First Degree Black Belt from her dresser, she placed it in her gear bag along with a bottle of cold water. She decided there was still enough time to unpack the few remaining boxes. As she removed the final item from the last box, she promised herself she would maintain the current immaculate look of her apartment.

Chelsea covered her soon-to-be cold body with her black wool coat, hat, and scarf. She grabbed her gear bag and headed out the door for her first class of the new year. Before the holidays, Mrs. Grubka, the owner and Chief Instructor of the Chicago ATA Martial Arts Academy, had announced that a new Tae Kwon Do instructor would begin teaching at the first of the year. As Chelsea walked to the Karate school, she wondered what her new teacher looked like.

 

Terri Talley Venters,

Author of Carbon Copy, Tin Roof, Silver Lining, Copper Cauldron,Terri Talley Venters and Body Of Gold

Terri received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Master’s degree in Taxation from the University of Florida. She is a licensed CPA and a Second Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. She lives on the water in Florida, with her husband, Garrison, and their two sons.

Terri is the daughter of Leslie S. Talley, author of Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone which are also available from Wild Child Publishing. 

Please visit Terri’s website for purchase links and to read more about all of her books and free short stories. www.ElementsOfMystery.com

Purchase Terri’s Books: www.freyasbower.com

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Author Interview Matt Campbell

WCP: What was your inspiration for SPIRIT SUMMONER: BOOK 1: CHOSEN OF THE LIGHT?

My original source of inspiration was an old school video game called Final Fantasy. The game’s story (or lack thereof) revolved around the classical Four Elements, and while the plot was very loose, it sent my imagination spinning. It wasn’t until a couple years later when I first started reading fantasy that I realized how I could put my new stories down on paper.

WCP: Did you draw on any past experiences to write this novel?

After reading Spirit Summoner for the first time, my dad told me how similar my main character, Darr, and I are. This was never my intention, but subconsciously, I based Darr on my own struggles growing up.                                           

WCP: Do you have any other genre you’d like to try your hand at?

Science fiction has always intrigued me, but sci-fi requires some rigidity in the construction of a world, whereas fantasy molds to almost any direction you want.

Comic book writing is a genre I would love to write in someday. I have a lot of ideas.

 WCP: Does Darr share any of your characteristics?

Yes. Feeling different as a kid, going on a journey away from home in order to better understand yourself, and watching the ways you see the world change around you are all themes that Darr and I share. 

WCP: Do you have any favorite authors in Epic Fantasy? Or ones that have influenced you more than others?

Terry Brooks is probably one of my favorite epic fantasy authors. His Heritage of Shannara series came out when I was just starting to write The Chosen of the Light. To this day, I consider this a fantastic series, and it really helped me realize the possibilities I could create with my world and my writing.

C.J. Cherryh’s Fortress series and Stephen King’s Dark Tower also influenced me greatly.

WCP: Do you have anything else in the works? 

Spirit Summoner is the first of three books. Books two and three are completed, and I’m currently editing them.

 WCP: What about writing life/being an author took you by surprise?

I’ve been writing since before I was a teenager, so writing itself has been a constant for me. What really took me by surprise when becoming an author was the marketing aspect. S.R. Howen wrote recently about authors who dream of sitting by the fireside, sipping a glass of wine while the money rolls in, but being a career author is a much different world filled with near constant promotion and networking.

Now for some fun questions:

WCP: What one modern technology do you think you could live without? (Not that you’d like it, but you could if you had to.)

My smartphone. As much as I love it, I could totally do without it.

WCP: If you could sit down and have dinner with anyone, living or dead, what would it be and what would you eat?

My good buddy, Pat, who I see but once a year. Good conversation shared over french fries.

WCP: If you could travel to any planet, besides earth, and live there (if that were possible), which one would it be? And what do you think it would be like?

I’d choose a planet outside our solar system. I bet it’d be like going to your neighbor’s house: the design is similar, but everything looks and smells funny.

WCP: Any last words? Um, for the interview, that is. (grin)

Thank you for having me. Sharing my stories has always been an important part of my life, so I’m glad to have the chance to do so.

 

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Author Interview with RA McCandless

This week’s author interview spotlights RA McCandless —  . Author of the urban fantasy/action adventure novel,  Tears of Heaven.

Thanks for joining us, RA.

WCP: Tears of Heaven is your first book, but certainly not the first story Wild Child has published. I know you are a big fantasy fan. What is it about fantasy that appeals to you?

RA: That’s right.  I published one or two short stories through Wild Child in the early days.  Epublishing was still in its infancy, and no one really knew where it was going to go or what could be accomplished.

I think I was in fifth grade and I was given “The Hobbit” as a gift.  It opened the castle gates of fantasy to me.  Suddenly, there was a whole world of swords and magic and fantastical creatures.  But more than that, there was emotional content that I could relate to: joy, fear, adventure, excitement, friendship.  So it was our world, but better.

WCP: Do you believe in magic? For instance, do you write fantasy because you wish there is magic in the world? Or because you believe there is magic, even if we can’t see it or even understand it?

RA: I love magic in all its forms, and there are all kinds of magic in this world.  There’s the way the light of the sun hits the falling rain and turns into a rainbow.  There’s the beauty of the mountains, the deserts and the forests.  There’s the pure, untouched joy of a child’s laughter that reaches straight into your heart and makes you smile.  Fantasy takes that magic and makes it more tangible, but it’s definitely all around us right now.

WCP: Del, the heroine, is a Nephilim, which is a hybrid of angels and humans. She is also a bit of a rebel, although not outwardly. What is it about Del that inspired you to bring her to life?

RA: Del’s strength is what appealed to me most.  Not just her physical ability or how she can handle herself in a fight, but her actual mental/spiritual strength.  Everyone has messes in their past.  Mistakes we made, or times when events conspired against us.  We get burned, we scar and we try to move on.  Sometimes, they come back to haunt us, or we dwell on them and play the “what if” game.  With an immortal character, that becomes amplified by at least an order of magnitude.  So it takes a person of even greater character to deal with a past on that scale.  Del can be a mess in her downtime, when she’s not in her element.  But that fact that she’s come so far is what suggests a well of strength.

WCP: How would Del change the world if she could?

RA: Del doesn’t really like people.  She can handle them (or reject them) one-on-one, but as a species, she typically finds they are panicky, insane, fearful creatures who operate under the philosophy of, “Why make small problems when you can create a nuclear holocaust?”  At her heart, Del is really a marshmallow.  She’s got a sweet and soft center, but people definitely annoy her.  So fewer people, with smaller agendas and bigger tolerance would probably be her remedy for most everything.

WCP: What music does Del listen to? Is she into The Beatles, Rolling Stone, Fifty Cent, etc.?

RA: Even though Del has lived through every musical age, and she has very eclectic tastes, she tends to keep up with most modern music.  She really goes for the artists who have a bluesy, sultry sadness to their voices, and she likes to keep away from the mainstream: Arcade Fire, Nina Simone, Mazzy Star, Madeliene Peyroux, Christina Perri, Bitter::Sweet, and Toad the Wet Sprocket are some of her favorites.

WCP: Of all the books you’ve read, besides your own, which fantasy character would you be if you could?

RA: Please, please, please can I be Matrim Cauthon from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series?  He’s a classic archetype, rogue and trickster.  He has a vicious sarcastic streak, a way with weapons, and several lifetimes’ worth of soldiering memories stuffed into his head.  He also has the Dark One’s own luck, which sometimes benefits him, and sometimes lands him in deeper, and hotter, water.

WCP: Are you working on anything else?

RA: Absolutely.  I’m working on a historical fantasy about Tomoe Gozen, a female samurai acclaimed to be more than a match for any warrior of her time.  No one is quite certain what happened to her after her daimyo was defeated, which I thought was a great place for a fictional account.  Keeping in mind the historical information that we know, I’ve been working to craft a tale of adventure, duty, honor and even some romance.  The book is called The Second Cut, and follows Tomoe Gozen as she tries to fulfill her last duty.

WCP: Now for some fun questions:

Bali or Alaska?

RA: Oh, definitely give me Alaska.  A cozy cabin, a warm fire, plenty of books, and some beautiful trails for running.  I’d be a happy, happy man.

WCP: Is there one talent you wished you had (besides writing)?

RA: I wouldn’t mind an eidetic (photographic) memory.  It would definitely be nice when I’m doing research on a novel.  I typically take copious notes that I reference often.  Perfect recall of conversations or reading would be very ideal as an author.

WCP: Chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal raisin?

RA: My sons will disown me if I don’t say chocolate chip.

WCP: Angel, devil, demon, ghost, or human?

RA: I’d go human.  Even though the benefits are pretty exciting, the constraints seem detrimental.  The human potential is only bound by imagination.

WCP: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

RA: I have to give a huge shout out to my editor and mentor S.R. Howen.  I always knew that I wanted to work with someone who would make my writing stronger, and teach me to be a better author.  I couldn’t have imagined a better person than Shawn to do that.  If I’ve had any success, a good part of it belongs to her.  And if I could give any advice to new writers, it would be to get a good editor . . . but she’s mine!

You can read more about RA and his works at his website/blog.

Wild Child Books by RA McCandless:

Tears of Heaven

tearsofheavenweb

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Interview with Brett Wallach

And I Love Her, noir mystery

And I Love Her

This week’s author interview spotlights Brett Wallach, author of the noir detective novellas Jesse Garon: The Search for Elvis Presley’s Twin and And I Love Her.

Thanks for joining us, Brett.

WCP: And I Love Her is the second installment of the Phil Allman, P.I. series. It’s much darker in tone than the first one. What prompted you to show this grittier side of Phil?

Brett: Most first-person novels in the Private Investigator/Mystery genre show the protagonist as an almost perfect, heroic, likeable person. I consciously wanted to show that Allman, like all of us, has shades of gray, and is flawed. Less likeable, maybe, but I think more real.

WCP: Like the first one, you do utilize song titles interspersed throughout the novel. This time it’s Beatles classics. How much did The Beatles music influence where the plot went? And why the move from Elvis?

Brett: I love all kinds of music and many different musicians; commercially, no one has bigger, more loyal followings than Elvis and The Beatles, so I chose them to appeal to a wide audience, certainly. In this case, The Beatles’s song title, And I Love Her, was so ideal as to what I was trying to say that it was a natural choice.

WCP: Phil almost seems to be going off the deep end in this story, to the point where the reader wonders if he hasn’t snapped. He’s going through a nasty divorce, so there’s no surprise he’s under a great deal of stress.

Brett: Anyone of either gender who’s gone through a divorce with children involved has at least stood on the precipice of the deep end; as to whether Phil’s gone off it is up to the reader.

WCP: Was the character of Phil inspired by any favorite P.I.s from works by authors like James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, or Raymond Chandler?

Brett: Those writers are in another stratosphere, I have no delusions about that. The heroes in their novels, especially the underrated Cain’s, are usually flawed men, so on a subconscious level, I was probably channeling some of that.

WCP: How were you first introduced to the noir genre?

Brett: We met at a party. It’s that kind of brilliant wit that readers of my novels can expect. The heroes or noir books and movies are usually flawed, even lonely guys, who usually try to do the right, and not the most expedient thing, and I connect with that. My favorite movie hero of all time (relevant this time of year) is George Bailey from “It’s A Wonderful Life” for that same reason.

WCP: Did you ever want to be a P.I.?

Brett: In my mind’s eye, I like to think of myself as kind of a tough guy; but reality sets in, and I’m too much of a softie to pursue a career like that.

WCP: Are you working on anything else?

Brett: So glad you asked! I hadn’t written anything brand new in a while, but I am working on a novel now that I think is the best thing I’ve ever written, I’m very excited. It kind of takes the flawed Phil Allman character to another level. The reader’s not sure whether to love him or hate him or both. It’s fun, in a disturbing way.

WCP: Now for some fun questions:

Swiss Alps or Cancun?

Brett: I hate the cold weather and snow, hate it! Cancun in a heartbeat.

WCP: Is there one talent you wished you had (besides writing)?

Brett: Well, the writing talent is open to debate. I do love to sing, and sometimes convince myself that I can. But I can’t.

WCP: Dark or milk chocolate?

Brett: Loads of either. I pride myself on keeping in good shape, but definitely have a sweet tooth.

WCP: Angel, devil, demon, ghost, or human?

Brett: Philadelphians are born cynics. I don’t believe in the supernatural, or in things we can’t see, feel, touch, or hear. Prove me wrong all you sixth sense people out there.

WCP: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Brett: This book, And I Love Her, is not easy reading. Not that I use a lot of big words or arcane references. It’s about a guy on the verge of losing his family, and perhaps his sanity in the process. Anybody who’s had his or her heart broken and life disrupted could identify though, and I think like the novel in the end. I hope.

You can read more about Brett and his works at his website/blog.

Wild Child Books by Brett Wallach:

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And the winners from our Take the Autumn Train Blog Hop are:

Robin Smith — $50 FB gift certificate winner
Wanda Flanagan — $50 WCP GC winner
Melissa Keir — $50 FB gift certificate Winner
Simon Okill — $ 50 WCP gift certificate winner
Sharon David — swag package

Congratulations, everyone!

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