26 Oct 2014

“Dog Days of Summer” by PJ Fiala

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51hgsJIE-IL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_As you all know, I only read the odd romance book and when I feature one on my blog you know it must be really good. “Dog Days of Summer” by PJ Fiala is a real treat. As romances go this has great chemistry and interesting characters. I found it refreshing to have a romance between people who are parents themselves. The setting in the biker community and its annual charity ride was particularly fascinating for me, since it is such a different world to mine. It was much how I imagined it would be yet with great individuals and ideas that made the story and the characters very relatable and likeable. A good dependable war veteran as love interest should have readers fall in love, just as Joci does in the book. The language and the erotic scenes are quite explicit at times but fit the storyline and characters perfectly. A heart warming and uplifting book full of great values.

Here is an interview with P.J. Fiala:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person. PattiFiala (2)

As a person, I am a wife of 29 years, a mother to 4 grown children and a grandmother to 3 lovely grandchildren.  My husband and I are bikers and love to travel on bike as much as we can. 

Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?


I always wanted to be a writer and let fear get in the way.  I simply didn’t know how to begin and who would want to read what I had to say anyway?  Then, one day, I was reading my thousandth romance novel, by a very well-known author, and I found mistakes.  The kind like eye color of the heroine or technical mistakes in the flow of the story.  I was irritated that between all the editing, formatting, etc., no one caught this.  That’s when I decided, I could do this.  It’s the details, baby.

What inspired you for the stories?

If you are aware of my stories, you will know that I write about bikers, at least in my latest series.  It seemed natural for me to write about bikers, since we are bikers.  I wanted to write a positive story about them, because there is so much written about the 1% bikers, but not much on the other 99%.  The groups we ride with support charities, local organizations and each other.  I was standing on the deck at a local bar, waiting for a ride to start one day.  As I looked out over the crowd and heard snippets of conversations, I thought, “I should write about bikers.”  I mentioned it to my husband and he said, “Now you’ve got it.”

How did you decide on the characters, plots and titles?

The characters are mostly figments of my imagination, but, they are all loosely based on someone I know in some way.  Some of the physical characteristics are different and the stories may be modified a bit, but the general idea came from a true event, or person.

Are your books auto-biographical in any way? Are you like any of the characters, or is your life similar?

The parts that are auto biographical are the trips and the rides.  The rides I mention in my books are rides we have already taken or charities that we support on a regular basis.  I’m not like my characters, but I would like to be, at least the heroines.  I find that I write qualities or characteristics of people that I wish I could be like or would like to have as friends.

Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?

As I mentioned above, I have been married to my husband for 29 years.  We dated for 6 years before getting married, so we have a fair amount of history between us.  He has been my number one supporter throughout our lives together.  When we would encounter something interesting he would say, “You need to put that in a book someday.”  When I finally decided to do it, he was right there supporting me all along the way.

What do your family or friends say about your books. Do they mind you taking so much time to write?

I think my family would appreciate it if I didn’t spend so much time on it.  It isn’t just the writing, it’s all the marketing that takes up so much time.  But, they are supportive of it.  My friends are, shall I say shocked?  I write erotic romance, or at least romance that is explicit and steamy.  In real life, I guess I don’t come off as someone who would be interested in reading it, let alone writing it.  My books have been the topic of many conversations and late night phone calls.

When did you decide to write in this genre?

I love this genre.  Love it.  So, it’s natural for me to write in it.  I will venture into fantasy/paranormal soon.  I have ideas floating around in my head regarding a fantasy/paranormal series.

Would you say there is a message in your books beyond the story? Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?

There is a message.  It’s mostly that bikers are good people, have regular lives and do many good things in their communities and for others.  The general comments have been that it’s nice to read about bikers doing good things.  It’s why I generally promote my Rolling Thunder Series as “Romance of a different kind”.  

Who would you hope plays the characters in a movie version?

Oooooo, Brad Pitt would be my Jeremiah, no doubt.  Linsee Davis would make a fabulous Joci.  Scarlett Johanson would be that awful LuAnn. 

Did you have your books all planned out before you write them or do the characters and story surprise you?

I find that the characters and the story surprise me all the time.  I usually have something in my head when I begin to write, but something happens along the way, and I just go with it.  Sometimes it changes again later.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I really liked Jeremiah.  I had him in my head from the beginning.  He is smart, devoted, dependable, caring, loyal, sexy and the best kind of alpha.  He isn’t a jerk.  I didn’t want him being one of those men that has to be hated in the beginning, I’m tired of those characters.

What would your character(s) say about you?

Hmmm, good one.  I think they would say I am dependable, smart, stubborn and tenacious.  When I really want something, I go after it.  I’m also willing to step out of the box a little bit and see where it takes us.

What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favourite thing?

The best thing about writing it creating the fantasy.   Creating those characters that you want to love and fall in love with.  Creating the situations and stories around them.  It’s fabulous.  The least favourite thing is the darn marketing.  It seems never ending and there is a plethora of information you have to learn every day.  All the social media and websites, learning new software, writing tweets, creating teasers, posting, posting, posting.  Oh, and don’t even get me started on blogging.  Where does the writing fit in?  Family? What family? 

Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it? Tell us about the artist.

I did. My publisher has used this artist for a very long time.  They would submit it to me and ask me what I liked and what I didn’t like.  From there, changes would be made and sent back to me.  I love the cover of Dog Days of Summer.  Wait till you see the cover for Rydin the Storm Out, it’s amazing.  It’s from a different artist, JC Clark, but she is doing a fabulous job with it.  She also just redesigned the cover for Second Chances, which I will be republishing next year.

What is your writing environment like? Do you need silence or music to write?

I write all over the house.  Usually in my office and always with music or television on.  I like the noise and I can do several things at once, so I can sing and write at the same time. Or listen to the news and write.  My office is very nice and I face windows that over look my front yard.  It’s a nice view. 

How many rewrites does it normally take you for each book?

Several.  For Dog Days I had 4 rewrites.  Rydin the Storm Out, my next book and the second in the series, is on rewrite #3.

How do you edit and quality control?

I have beta readers that I trust and enjoy.  They are my quality control.  I am pretty good at keeping the story and facts straight, but every so often, something will slip past, that’s where my betas are so valuable.  Then, I send my books off to my editor, who I adore.  She is fabulous and she does a phenomenal job and she will catch things here and there.

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?

Well, it’s certainly a learning experience.  It’s nice having all the control over everything and at the same time, it’s difficult having to make all the decisions and being the only person responsible for everything, marketing, teasers, finding editors, beta readers, social media, etc.  Highs are definitely when a reader writes a fabulous review.  It makes me soar and I feel as though I was meant to do this.  The lows are the long hours and of course, trolls.

 

What is your advice to new writers?

This isn’t an easy business.  You will climb on a rollercoaster and ride it up the hill and back down again.  Hang in there and keep writing for the purpose you began writing in the first place, because you love it.  Read as much as you can read, learn about every aspect of publishing a book so you can be self sufficient and find that group of fellow authors who will support you and help you along the way.  They are out there.

Who are your favourite authors?

Right now I am really enjoying Joanna Wylde and S.C. Stephens.  They are relatively new to publishing but I just love their books.  Of course I am a huge Sylvia Day fan and have been for many years.  Lauren Dane is another favourite.

Who are your favourite independent writers?

There are so many fabulous independent writers out there.  I’ve found JC Valentine and Sibyl Matilda as well as yourself  Christoph, Hunter S. Jones, Tanya Holmes, Melodie Ramone and so many others.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

I always read ebooks.  I have the kindle app on my phone and I also have the kobo app.  I can read at anytime, anywhere and I love it.  Currently, I am reading Rekindled Love by TL Clark.

What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

I mentioned Joanna Wylde above.  I just finished her Reaper’s Stand, which I would recommend.  Steamy, sexy and wild.  Sylvia Day has the last of the Crossfire Series coming out in November and I am trying to clear my schedule for that one, because, I won’t be able to put it down.

Who would you say are the biggest influences?

Well, for me it’s any writer who can make me sigh!  I just absolutely love a great story.  I prefer romances, but if a story can grab me and keep me interested from beginning to end, I am influenced.  I like reading different writers to learn different styles and techniques.  Some authors just have a fabulous way of describing things, or making you feel.  I like learning all of these different techniques.

What books have you read more than once or want to read again?

Well, I’ll admit, I read Fifty Shades of Gray twice.  I’ve read the Harry Potter series twice.  I’ve read S.C. Stephens books twice.

 

What is your life like outside of writing?

I’m married to my best friend.  I know that sounds like a cliché, but it is true.  He make me laugh everyday.  We are bikers and ride as much as we can.  We have four grown children and three grand children that we love spending time with.  We have a large group of friends who we enjoy hanging out with as well, so you could say we are always busy. 

What makes you laugh?

I have a dry sense of humour and so does my husband.  He  is very funny and always coming up with something witty or cleaver about anything and everything.

What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?

It would have to be my phone loaded with books to read.

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

I think it would be a hoot to meet Maria Shriver.  I also think Jon Stewart would be interesting to talk to.

Hot or cold?

Hot.  Always hot.  I hate being cold.

Salty or sweet?

Hmm, that’s a tough one.  Both.

What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?

I’m creative. No kidding, right? I paint with oils and I paint on walls.  I’ve done a ton of faux painting in my day and enjoy that so much.  I am very good with color and mixing colors.  My oddest quality is probably that I get bored easy and move on.  If something doesn’t hold my interest, I can walk away without a second thought.  That means jobs, hobbies, whatever.

What would you chose as those qualities?

Same thing. 20869617

Tell us about your other books?

Second Chances was my first book.  I enjoyed writing that one.  I had a publisher that charged me money and I haven’t seen a single dime from them since then.  Luckily, I own the rights to it, so I will be republishing that one in March of 2015.  Rydin the Storm Out is the second book in the Rolling Thunder Series.  Ryder is Dog’s son from Dog Days of Summer and very shy.  That was a harder book to write for me, because, I’m not shy. After Rydin, I will release Danny’s War, which is the third in the Rolling Thunder Series then Gunnin for You, Gunnar’s Story.  Gunnar is Joci’s son from Dog Days of Summer.  Then, Restoring Connor and there will be more after those are released but I don’t have titles yet.  Each of the stories mentioned is in some form of existence.  Written, half written, outlined or something.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

Ahh, I just love Kid Rock, anything he sings will work.

How do you handle criticism of your work?

Let’s just say, my skin is getting thicker.  Some people have a nice way of critiquing and I appreciate that.  I know I’m not perfect and I believe I will always have something to learn.  So, I try to approach criticism with that in mind.

Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live.

Okay. Weird-Almost everyone in Green Bay owns a cheesehead!  In some form or another, we all have them, cheese can coolers, cheese pillows, cheesehead, yep, it’s a thing here. Nice-we almost never have traffic jams. Fact- It’s cold here in the winter, and yet sometime throughout the winter, you will always see people wearing shorts. Don’t understand it, don’t think I want to.

What are you working on now? 

Besides all of the books I mentioned above, I am beta reading and reading for other authors, learning marketing.  I am the area coordinator for my local RWA chapter and I work full time. 

Bio:

PJ Fiala

I was born in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri named Bridgeton. During my time in Missouri, I explored the Ozarks, swam in the Mississippi River, and played kickball and endless games of hide and seek with the neighborhood kids. Spending summers in Kentucky with my grandmother, Ruth, are the fondest childhood memories for me.

At the age of thirteen, my family moved to Wisconsin to learn to farm. Yes, learn to farm! That was interesting. Taking city kids and throwing them on a farm with twenty-eight cows purchased from the humane society because they had been abused was interesting. I learned to milk cows, the ins and outs of breeding and feeding schedules, the never ending haying in the summer, and trying to stay warm in the winter. Our first winter in Wisconsin we had thirty-six inches of snow in one storm and were snowed in our house for three days! Needless to say, I wasn’t loving Wisconsin.

I am now married with four children and three grandchildren. I have learned to love Wisconsin, though I still hate snow. Wisconsin and the United States are beautiful, and my husband and I travel around by motorcycle seeing new sites and meeting new people. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are interested in where we are going and what we have seen along the way. At every gas station, restaurant, and hotel, we have people come up to us and ask us about what we are doing as well as offer advice on which roads in the area are better than others.

I come from a family of veterans. My grandfather, father, brother, two of my sons, and one daughter-in-law are all veterans. Needless to say, I am proud. Proud to be an American and proud of the service my amazing family has given.

Website:

https://www.pjfiala.com

You Tube

http://goo.gl/3F2keF

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/pjfiala1

Twitter:

https://www.twitter.com/pfiala

Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/pattifiala/dog-days-of-summer/

Authorgraph:

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/pfiala

Authorsdb:

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/8914-pj-fiala

AuthorsdB – Book:

http://tinyurl.com/p8gmujz

AuthorsdB – Book Cover Contest:

http://authorsdb.com/books/2014-book-cover-contest/romance-2014/dog-days-of-summer

Thunderclap Campaign: Started September 12, 2014

http://thndr.it/1m0gvdM

Goodreads author:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7866768.P_J_Fiala

Goodreads Book:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21851827-dog-days-of-summer

Amazon Author Page:

http://tinyurl.com/mmcrnlb

RebelMouse:

https://www.rebelmouse.com/pjfiala/

Google+:

https://plus.google.com/+PJFiala/posts

Spotify:

www.spotify.com

Follow the links for the playlists for each book:

Second Chances  – http://tinyurl.com/nuut3wn

Dog Days of Summer  – http://tinyurl.com/qhld35l

Rydin the Storm Out – http://tinyurl.com/l8x8p84

 LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=hb_tab_pro_top

Amazon Listmania List:

http://www.amazon.com/lm/R36XEL1VZUDWU3/ref=cm_lm_pthnk_view?ie=UTF8&lm_bb=

Bookarma:

https://bookarma.net/book/9781595983251-dog-days-of-summer

Riffle:

https://read.rifflebooks.com/profiles/151221

Riffle-Dog Days:

https://read.rifflebooks.com/books/331300

 

 

22 Jan 2014

Guest Blogger Dianne Harman: “THE MAKING OF TEA PARTY TEDDY’S LEGACY”

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Today I have the pleasure of welcoming the wonderful Dianne Harman, who just released TEA PARTY TEDDY’S LEGACY. Dianne has already been my interview guest on this blog [Link to this interview ] and today she is letting us look ‘behind the scenes’ of her new book. Scroll down for my excited 5 star review! 

Author Dianne Harman on

THE MAKING OF TEA PARTY TEDDY’S LEGACY

(for my review and the Amazon link scroll down)

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          A common question writers get is whether or not the people and events in their books are real. If one is writing about events and people in the now, I don’t think they can escape from bringing in parts of themselves, knowingly or unknowingly. In other words, we bring to the table the sum of our experiences. Certainly, that’s been true for me.

          I wrote Tea Party Teddy after I’d been seated next to one of the most bigoted, biased politicians I’d ever met at two dinner parties two nights in a row.. And since my husband was a California State Senator and the number three man in the Republican Party in the California Legislature, I had met my share of them. We entertained Congressmen, Governors, Legislators, and Lobbyists of all political persuasion. I was one of the few people privy to the inside workings of politics, and trust me, it’s often not a very pretty picture.

          After I sat next to this politician, I began to wonder what his wife and family were like. I was also curious why he hated the illegal immigrants and even the legal immigrants. Where did that come from? His views were not “politically correct.” The story I made up in my mind became the book. The response to Tea Party Teddy was huge. Political papers and blogs featured it. People loved him or hated him and reviews reflected it. There were even a couple of low reviews from people who didn’t like my husband’s politics! My poor husband was never part of the book other than to read it

          What so many people missed was that the book was essentially a satire – a look at a minority of people who have a stranglehold on one political party. But make no mistake, money is mother’s milk in politics, and this minority can be counted on for big bucks! The book tells of a man whose fall stems from the need to get money to finance his campaign.

          I remember a Saturday morning many years ago when my husband mentioned he had a coffee meeting with a constituent in an hour. He’d just returned from a week of meetings in Washington, D.C. and I told him I thought he needed to take a break. His response: “So and so is a very heavy contributor to my campaigns. If he wants a meeting, he’s paid enough to get the meeting.” In other words, if they pay to play, a politician will listen to them – and probably vote for whatever it is they want.

          Tea Party Teddy’s Legacy was a natural offshoot of the first book. Nina and Bob, Teddy’s ex-wife and arch enemy, fall in love and get married. Bob decides to run for the California Legislature against a minister who has the same political beliefs and ethics of Tea Party Teddy. True? Not really, but some traits of politicians, donors, and aides I’d known found their way into the book. There are many good politicians and I made sure Bob was one of them. There’s a line in the book about politicians willing to trade their first-born if they could win a political race. Often, this is sad, but true. Legacy was probably motivated by a need to show there are still some honest politicians. I’ve noticed that once a politician gets beyond the local school board level, the monies they’ve taken to move up the ladder usually means they’re beholden to someone. If you doubt it, look at some of the bills that are passed, locally and nationally, then look at the politician’s voting record and check out his/her supporters. There’s usually a very clear nexus.

          I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Slade Kelly, the lovable reprobate private investigator. So many people have told me he is their very favorite character in my books. Since none of us is perfect, we can all probably identify with a less than perfect character – which may speak to why people love it when a politician is caught in a scandal. And those scandals are only the ones that see the light of day!  I’m in the midst of writing my third book in the Coyote series, and due to public demand, Slade Kelly is the pivotal person in the book!

Link to the book on your Amazon website: http://bookShow.me/B00HWXB8WC

Tea Party Legacy

My Review:

“Tea Party Teddy’s Legacy” by Dianne Harman is a great political thriller about the election campaign for the California State Assembly. Bob Silva, hero of the first book, Tea Party Teddy, runs against far right-wing Reverend Jim Thurston. Silva’s wife used to be married to Tea Party Teddy and is now heavily pregnant.

Harman sets up the rivals brilliantly within a short space of time and with excellent eye for details, background and characterisation. When Silva retreats from the election campaign for private reasons the Reverend needs to step up his game by all means necessary.
With dry wit, great observational skill and humour and with clear knowledge of political processes the author has delivered another excellent story that exposes greed and hunger for power and the extent to which some individuals will go to get what they want.
The term `legacy’ from the title reverberates throughout the story – a well-chosen title. The story is relatively short which is perfect for the tightly edited plot. Nothing is superfluous in this story, this is a well-paced and skilfully narrated novel full of suspense. A compelling and intelligent read that I most enjoyed. 5 enthusiastic and well deserved stars.

11 Jan 2014

Bob Rector “Unthinkable Consequences”

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“Unthinkable Consequences” by Robert Rector is a well written noir thriller with a great deal of action, suspense, character depth and development.
Set in 1959 middle aged Paula has started an extra-marital affair with Kurt, a muscular hunk that fulfils all of her physical needs. When he proposes they run away together she is surprised at his feelings for her and only reluctantly agrees. Her own life is empty since she is no longer feels loved or needed but she is not yet ready to let go of her old life for an unknown new one.
Kurt is involved in some dubious criminal activities with some detestable ‘business partners’ and is scheming to get away from it all, together with Paula. Unfortunately for him his plans are not working out quite as he has hoped, both with Paula and with the con he is planning.
The story has a lot of erotic scenes since the basic attraction between Paula and Kurt is sexual. However, they both get to evaluate their lives and their feelings new, which are portrayed in slow motion as the lovers undergo their individual paths and personal development. Written with great insight into the human mind and psyche Rector gives his characters a lot of room in the story, deviating from a straight forward romance or thriller format and giving Paula and Kurt time to explore their desires and needs.
Paula’s mother falls ill and needs care while Paula’s husband and his mother start to show their true colours towards the woman in crisis. Kurt also needs to reassess his plans so that the lovers can be together on the right terms.
The book has all the ingredients for a best seller: Action, plot, romance, sex and believable and interesting characters and all in the right measure to cater for the fans of each genre. The writing flows easily and makes this a worthwhile and entertaining read.

Interview with Bob:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.

I started writing professionally in 1970 for a nationally syndicated TV show called The Now Explosion. It was the first program made up exclusively of music videos and preceded MTV by ten years. I was a one-man band. I wrote the scripts, directed and shot the film, then edited them – five films a week. It was a crash course in filmmaking and especially storytelling. I’ve been making TV shows, stage shows, and various film and video projects ever since. Personally, family and work define my life. I’ve been married for 38 years to my best friend. We have two grown sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and a German shepherd/beagle mix.

What made you become a writer? Have you always written? 7359474

Storytelling is in my genes. Both my paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother were wonderful storytellers that kept us grandkids spellbound for hours at a time. I started writing not long after I learned to write. I started writing professionally, as I mentioned, in 1970.

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?

“Unthinkable Consequences” takes place in S. Florida in 1959. I grew up in N. Florida in the 50s. I was 12 in 1959 and was beginning to look at women differently, not just as moms and teachers. The women’s movement hadn’t begun yet – men still ruled the world. Many women lived in gilded cages, locked in loveless marriages. I became aware of a sexual tension vibrating just beneath the skin of these ‘high-spirited’ and frustrated women. Finally, one of them made a break for it. She was never heard from again. My story is based on what I imagined might have happened to her.

How did the characters come to you? Why this setting?

I wanted a setting that was hot and sensual and somewhat untamed. The Florida Keys in 1959 fit the bill. As for characters, Paula and Kurt and all the others in “”Unthinkable Consequences” are based on real people I have known at some point in my life. It’s the only way I know of keeping my characters honest and have them speak convincingly.

Who would play the characters in the movie – if you could choose any actor?

Paula is a strikingly beautiful and tall redhead, voluptuous, sensuous, athletic, fiery, determined, loving, funny, artistic, big-hearted, and vulnerable.
Christina Hendricks.

Kurt is a six-four monument to man in his most primal state, heavily muscled, moves like a jaguar, roguishly handsome with a perpetual shit-eating grin and a heart of gold – to those he loves.
Josh Holloway.

Do you have a favorite genre to read yourself?

I’m a mystery/thriller/suspense guy. But I like any well-told tale, regardless of genre, as long as it stays ahead of me. I hate predictability. .

Tell us a little about the history of “Unthinkable Consequences”. How long did it take you to write and publish?

I started work on the story over 20 years ago, originally as a script. Eventually I decided to make it into a novel primarily because I’d never written in that format before. However, we were very busy building a business and raising a family and the project kept getting shoved onto the back burner. About a year ago I dug it out of storage and decided it was time to finish it. So I did.

How do readers respond to the book?

I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response. So far, it has received only 5 star reviews. It’s been called a page-turner, sexy, with characters you fall in love with, filled with unexpected twists and turns. My favorite comment was from Claude Nougat who said it was, “a thoroughly modern version of Madame Bovary. Paula is a fascinating character – and equally explosive.”

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

Dialogue was the easiest, perhaps because I’ve spent most of my life writing scripts, including the 3-act play “Letters From the Front.” In a play, dialogue is about all you’ve got to work with.

The hardest was cutting the final draft down from 150,000 words to 120,00, then going through it with a fine-toothed comb to correct grammar and spelling mistakes. Hated that part.

What are your next projects?

A revival of “Letters From the Front.” We toured the world with the play for 15 years and it was the most exhilarating time of our careers. Its been in hiatus for the last few years out of sheer exhaustion but now we’re ready to get it up and touring again. Lots of demand for it but it’s a big job.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My life is fun and stimulating, as are the people I associate with. Why settle for anything less? What do I do for pleasure? I’m open. What have you got in mind? As for work, since 1970, I’ve never worked a day in my life.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

The book that did it for me, when I was about 14, was “April Morning” by Howard Fast. Before then, reading was just a way to pass the time.

My greatest influence is John D. MacDonald, the master.
Favorite books: 
anything by MacDonald, Exodus by Leon Uris, Campbell’s Kingdom by Hammond Innes, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. 
Films: Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Psycho & North By Northwest, Ford’s The Quiet Man, Disney’s Fantasia., anything by the Cohen Brothers
Music: Anything by Linda Eder or Billy Joel.

 

What are your views on independent publishing?

 

The verdict’s still out. I’m relatively new at it. I think the potential is great but there are too many participants who do not treat it as a business and are not only shooting themselves in the foot, but the ricochet is hitting everybody else too. For it to truly work, I believe, we can’t position ourselves as trinket sellers at a street stand. We have to establish fair prices reflecting the time and talent involved in creating our books.

 

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

 

Claude Nougat’s Forever Young, Dianne Harman’s Blue Coyote Motel, Simon Okill’s wacky Nobody Loves A Bigfoot Like A Bigfoot Babe, and The Luck of the Weissenstieners by a guy named Christoph Fischer.

 

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

 

I polled a few friends and the consensus was –
Best: Generosity, versatility and tenaciousness. 
Oddest: Rampant eccentricity.

 

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

Animal: Dogs – all sizes, breeds, and colors.
Color: Red. Outdoor
Activity: Sipping an adult beverage on the beach, preferably at sunset in some exotic land.

What would you take to a remote island?

My wife. She’s fun.

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

The Cohen Brothers. The two most original talents in storytelling and filmmaking. The string of masterpieces they have produced is unmatched by anyone else in the business. They have such an unusual take on American life, I would love to pry into their minds and see what makes them tick.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

I have two scripts that I’ve decided to adapt into novels, reversing the usual process. One is another suspense/thriller involving an attempt on a president’s life, and the other is a contemporary adventure/fantasy. I will soon have an author’s website with info on all projects in the works. Stay tuned.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

I’ve been fortunate to spend my life doing exactly what I wanted and have enjoyed every minute of it. As for my book, and the films and plays and videos I have made over the years, I hope those who were subjected to them were entertained and felt their investment of time well spent.

 

Bob on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7359474.Bob_Rector

Unthinkable Consequences on Amazon:

http://bookShow.me/B00GXHPE7I

 

Bob Rector’s Unthinkable Consequences is a classic film noir in full-blown hurricane technicolour. Bob has created quite simply a breath taking masterpiece of the basic human emotions and revved them to maximum overdrive in a 1956 T Bird. The two main characters, the neglected housewife, Paula and the dangerous stranger, Kurt are instantly blended like cheap coffee in a sleazy motel. Set in Key Largo, Florida 1959, and like the original film, oozes sex appeal and raw animalistic traits. But unlike the original film, Bob has taken the lead characters to new heights, or depths, depending on the situation at hand. And oh boy do those situations change quicker than a whore on a Saturday night at the docks. The sex is sizzling like bare feet on hot sand, the dangerous criminals lurking in the background are as vicious as scorpions in a frying pan and the tension could be sliced with a chainsaw.
If you like your thrillers hot, sweaty, visceral, plain down and dirty then this FIVE STAR Bogartesque slice of nostalgia is right up your alley with a slug of gin and a slug to the jaw for good measure. And this reader does know how to whistle, and here’s looking at you, kid.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

08 Dec 2013

“September Ends” by Hunter S. Jones

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“September Ends” by Hunter S. Jones is a wonderful bittersweet love story, told in various writing styles and narratives. Diary entries, emails, chat transcribes and poems tell the story of Liz / Elizabeth and her love life. This patchwork of impressions and plot segments worked surprisingly well for me, even the poetry which is a genre I don’t often enjoy.

The initial diary entry and opening of the novel records the death of Liz’s brother in a traffic accident and her subsequent depression. The scene was very emotional and moving and I found it hard to jump ten years ahead and let go of this powerful first strand of the plot.
What follows is the email exchange between Liz and some business executive, interspersed with poems from a poets blog. There are also some erotic chat room transcribes but they are important for the character development and fit well into the novel. It took me a while to settle into this dual telling but I am glad I persevered for it all comes together beautifully. A stroy of love, loss and survival.
The story ends another ten years later with a last diary entry and a last segment of spectator’s narrative.
September Ends is cleverly plotted and well written, it has a strong story, real emotions and excellent characters. The book is an emotional journey well worth your while.

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.

Thank you for asking. My name is Hunter S. Jones writer and entertainment blogger from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I notice things people do and say that most people do not even notice. The oddest movement will catch my eye, or maybe simply a turn of phrase will capture my imagination. As a person, I am a good friend, loyal and sometimes even dependable.

What made you become a writer? Have you always written?

Writing has always been a part of my life in some manner, yes. Ms Jones Official 11-13

Tell us about September Ends. When did you decided to write this story?

The concept of September Ends presented itself earlier in 2013. After the poet collaborator and I discovered the three main characters, the synopsis was developed. I found it the other day. The original synopsis is so different than the finished book. It is interesting how you can have a plot so very planned and prepared, yet once The Muse calls, the story takes on its own life. 

How did you come up with the concept for the narratives?

That is such a fantastic question and I really don’t know. I wanted the story to be something different, beyond the poetry and prose aspect. The story wanted to be told in the way we communicate today. It’s written in the manner in which we process written information now.  

However, I have no idea how I came up with the POVs we used. I wrote each chapter separately, almost like a short story. That way, if my collaborator wanted to omit a chapter, we would not have to re-do an entire section. That may have a lot to do with how the story weaves in and out of each character’s life.  

What genre would you say it falls under and what is your target audience?

September Ends is a different kind of love story. It is a Romance, a contemporary romance however it is very much of today’s world. The target audience is Romance & Poetry readers, with enough erotic elements and supernatural glimpses to keep my fans intrigued yet appeal to a wider audience.

Tell us a little about the history of the book. How long did it take you to write and publish?

This one is easy! From idea to published form, September Ends took almost six months to complete.

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

The creative is always the easiest for me. Once The Story finds me, it’s as if all I have to do is write it down. Edits and re-writes are agonizing for me. Gruesome, seamlessly-never-ending-phases of detail.

Would you say there is a message in the book beyond the story? Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?

There is a message. The poet & I were very adamant that the message be a vital part of the story. Everything is so easy to obtain in today’s world. What seduces us to believe it is love is maybe not love at all. Maybe it is what you wish love to be. Then when you discover love, true love, you will know it. You will understand the difference when you love right.

Yes, some readers and reviewers pick up on the message. For the literature aficionados, there is a Verbal Imperative used in September Ends which speaks the message of the entire book. I will send a gift to the first person who spots it. 

What do you like most about your characters?

The three main characters in September Ends are so flawed. They are almost human in their frailty. Being Southern I know that the most flawed personalities have the greater chance of forgiveness and redemption. That gives the characters more depth. Hopefully.

Are you like any of them?

Yes and no.

Who would play the characters in a film?

Anyone who is as excited about the book would be fine with me! Secretly, I believe Russell Brand could play The Poet. Yes, I know he isn’t known for dramatic roles but I believe he has a depth of character which could capture the spirit of Jack O. Savage.

What are your next projects?

There are a number of projects underway yet nothing I can share with you yet. Watch this space, so you say in the UK.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My life is chaos right now. Luckily, I have a husband, friends and a writing group which keep me occupied with creative ventures. I am very thankful for all of them, their support and the love and laughter they bring.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

Everyone is an influence-some more than others.  I will commit to favor(u)ite album – Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones.

What are your views on independent publishing?

It’s great! We are in a golden age of publishing, a veritable Renaissance for writers, authors and poets. The Penny Dreadful of 200 years ago is the new 99 cent novel.  

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

I recommend Christoph Fischer’s books and all of my publications. J Actually, I recommend any and all indie books & authors.

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

She’s such a nice girl from such a nice family. Where did she get such a crazy imagination?

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

Animal? Cat / Colo(u)r? Red / Outdoor Activity? Walking to my car or to a restaurant or on the country lane my farm is on.

What would you take to a remote island?

Johnny Depp, champagne, wine, a guitar, books & a hat.

Who would you like to invited for dinner and why?

What if I answer this question in the next interview…

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

Watch this space…

Buy links:

Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/September-Ends-ebook/dp/B00FJD05YO/ref=la_B009SLNLKS_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380674120&sr=1-6

Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/September-Ends-Hunter-S-Jones/dp/1492817333/ref=la_B009SLNLKS_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385618359&sr=1-1

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook:

www.Facebook.com/huntersjones111

www.Twitter.com/huntersjones101

www.Pinterest.com/huntersjones

There is a Pinterest board for September Ends

 PoetryPromo

29 Nov 2013

Janna Yeshanova: “Love is Never Past Tense”

2 Comments Book Reviews

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“Love is Never Past Tense” by Janna Yeshanova is a great love story at heart. Two people fall in love by the Black Sea during the times of the USSR and in the whirlwind of their attraction the two get married. But they are too young to appreciate what they have and divorce, only to experience the regret and continuous magnetic pull towards each other.
Circumstances and wider political developments push the two further on their individual path.

The book is beautifully written and told with a complex narrative that takes us back and forth in time. Such fragmented telling of a story does not always work for me but in this case it succeeded to show the disjointed nature of their relationship, the back and forth of their feelings for each other and the inevitable ending. A good choice.

The romance part of the book is heart breaking and took this often cynical reader by surprise. The portrayal of Communist and post-1991 Russia is brilliantly done and made the story so much more than ‘just’ a romance. For me this turned into an unexpected compelling reading experience. Making the outer circumstances and the changes in Russia have a personal impact on the characters brought the tragedy home to me.

Enjoyable, insightful, sad but a very worthwhile read.

Interview with the lovely and excitable Janna:

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Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.

As a person?.. I am a life coach and a leadership trainer.  I have an MA in Russian Language and Literature from the Soviet Union and an MA in Applied Behavioral Science from the US where I specialized in Conflict Resolution. I taught this subject for years at Antioch University (Yellow Springs, OH).  My chairman once said that when I am in the class with my students the walls are shaking when they laugh. Does it tell you anything about me as a person?  Once in a while, my profession also helps me to deal with the people whom I dearly love J

The novel happened unexpectedly.  I just realized that all written papers that are sitting in a pile on my desk need to be sorted out and have some sequence.  Then, I tried to define this pile and the best definition for it was “novel”.

What made you become a writer?

A desire to share.

Were you always going to write in this genre?

Love Is Never Past Tense… is a historical epic romance.  It’s my first book.  The next one will be a sequel.  Also, I started writing a book related to my profession. Definitely, this will not be a romance novel.  It will be a How To… book.  The framework is already in place. The book is on conflict resolution and overcoming adversity.  It will offer techniques and support stories based on my life experience, education and my observations.  The working title for this book is I Am From The Second Floor, and here is the story behind it.

Once, when I worked at a huge corporation, I was taking an elevator to go up.  Suddenly, a woman stepped in.  I feel uncomfortable being in such close proximity without communication, so I said “Hi.”  The woman looked at me several seconds, obviously surprised by my accent, and asked “Where are you from?”  “I am from the second floor” was my reply.  She laughed, and I thought this could be the name of my book.  We’ll see… 

What is a one line synopsis for Love Is Never Past Tense?

“How could he possibly know that she, a complete stranger, would inexplicably affect his life and be with him forever whether she was at his side or not?”

Is it a memoir or fiction? How much about this book is auto-biographical?

It’s both.  Love Is Never Past Tense… is a novel, based on a true story.

Tell us a little about the history of the book. How long did it take you to write and publish?

The book started by itself years ago and that start became the first part. The other parts were finished in a couple of months. When the publisher in Russia took it, the book was not yet ready.  At that time I was in Moscow almost half a year. There I met a publisher from Ukraine who said that publishing in Ukraine would be three times less expensive than in Russia. So, my husband and I went to Ukraine.  It turned out that publishing the book was three times more expensive and took much –much longer than it would have in Russia. Plus, the publisher offered a cover that he already placed on some other book a year earlier.  He thought that I’d leave back to the US without realizing it, but someone just by chance showed me a book from the same publisher that had exactly the same cover.

We had a return ticket to the US and no cover. In frustration, I shared it with a lady who tried to convince me that life is wonderful in all its manifestations. She had a daughter, who was an art school student and this young lady created a cover for the Russian version of the book overnight.

We flew back home, realizing that life was not as bad as I thought.

The novel, as I said before, was started in the previous millennium. It was finished within a couple months on a beach of the Black Sea in Crimea, in a restaurant with open windows looking into the all shades of green and blue, colors of my favorite sea. This inspired the cover for the first edition of the English version. The second edition of the book also came with a new comprehensive cover.  Everybody loves it! I love both of them.

English is not my native language. It’s my third language. My native language is Russian, but the thought of translating it was very natural and simple. When the translation started, I became horrified. I could not find idioms that would carry the same weight of the words. I felt any deviation from translating the details that one can feel, hear and see would betray my book. I wanted to preserve and convey the juice of the language that expresses the pictures of the environment, relationships, jokes, and everything we live in.

I worked with several editors. My Russian book was on my lap, and we were going sentence by sentence through it. At that time, I had a feeling that they all hated me simultaneouslyJ. Two of them were native English speakers with PhDs in the English that I was attempting to bend.

After the editorial work was over, the manuscript was read by many people from different professions, different ages and educational level. When I realized that they love the book, I decided that it was time to publish it.

I am admitting that to translate and edit the book was much harder than to write it in Russian.

Why did you decide to tell this story?

You know how sometimes we share events from our lives, our feelings with other people and say: “Don’t tell this anyone”? I decided to tell “this” to everyone, because some “secrets” are too good to keepJ.

Which part of the story was easiest to write and which one the hardest?

The first part, the love story, was the hardest:  reliving emotions, gathering the facts from the past for the sake of being able to convey the genuine story to the reader and to connect on an emotional level.

The second part, which talked about exodus from the Soviet Union, was “flying from under the feather”

Who would play the characters in a film?

Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt.  She is very animated and expressive, and he is “the” Brad Pitt! J

That was quick!  Is this a real project?

O Yes! Everybody who reads the book says that they see a movie.

I also want to share with you a little story related to Love Is Never Past Tense. Two years ago, when the book was not yet published, I was flying after my seminar from Philadelphia, PA. On my lap, I had a proof copy of the book. I was scanning the lines, double checking for mistakes.

Next to me was sitting a man who asked me what I was reading and I told him. He asked me to show him the book. I gave it to him and he started reading it and did not give it back to me until we landed in Chicago.

He was a PhD graduate from Yale. He handed me his business card and asked me to let him know when the book was published. He said he wanted to buy it. I took the card and sent him the book as a gift. After he finished it, he called me and said that he sees a great movie created from this book.

A year later he and his wife organized a huge event with presentation of Love Is Never Past Tense. They flew me to Omaha, offered me a great hotel, place an article in a local newspaper!

As a matter of fact, this January, I am going the Sundance festival in Park City, Utah. I hope to make some connections with the people from the movie industry. This is not about meeting famous people.  It’s about famous people meeting me J.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

What do I do for pleasure?  Everything I do I do it with pleasure.  So, it means to me that I do everything for pleasure.  Writing, conducting a seminar, a life-coaching session… I love this so much!  Hiking swimming, knitting, being with the family and friends and cooking for them – I love it! Lying down unattended on a beach – I love it!  Looking out at the patches of forest under the airplane wing – I love it! Theater, movies, books… What else?  Festivals, trips, oceans, forests – love it all!

Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

Russian classics like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Turgenev and later Michael Bulgakov contributed to my development. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salinger, Hemmingway shared with me so much through their pages that they became my life friends.  Haruki Murakami has space for his books on my shelves… Once in a while, I am going back to my bookshelves and every time I am discovering something new that I did not notice before…

My favorite books are on my Goodreads profile and on my Love Is Never Past Tense Facebook page.

Albums?  Beatles, Pink Floyd, Abba, Toto Cutugno, Brahms, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart.  Llove Tchaikovsky, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Andrew Lloyd Webber, a lot of contemporary singers, Russian singers… The list is so long that it may take the whole page…   Who said they don’t like Ricky Martin or Adele?  I do!

I love Tott Cutugno – very eclectic! What are your views on independent publishing?

It’s difficult, but considering my tendency to see the opportunities instead of obstacles, I can say that one who chooses it has a lot of options: the design of your book, your cover, choice of your audience, and change of new editions, yes trailer – no trailer.  Independent publishing gives you a lot of control about all these variables.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

 

Absolutely!  I got a chance to hear from two teen friends that Switch by Karen Prince, was very involving, and they learned a lot from it.  Isn’t it what we want for our kids, development and useful time use? My seven year old granddaughter was captivated by the The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool by P.J.  LaRue. I enjoyed Simon O’Kill’s Nobody Loves a Bigfoot Like a Bigfoot Babe. I never readUrban Fantasy before, but I couldn’t stop reading…  As a life coach, I was interested in readingHappy Divorce by Rossana Condoleo. I highly recommend the book to the people who have in mind a ride through this trouble. There are many good reading choices among the authors of ASMSG http://asmsg.weebly.com/asmsg-authors.html

Absolutely!  I got a chance to hear from two teen friends that Switch by Karen Prince, was very involving, and they learned a lot from it.  Isn’t it what we want for our kids, development and useful time use?  My seven year old granddaughter was captivated by the The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool by P.J.  LaRue. I enjoyed Simon O’Kill’s Nobody Loves a Bigfoot Like a Bigfoot Babe. I never read Urban Fantasy before, but I couldn’t stop reading…  As a life coach, I was interested in reading Happy Divorce by Rossana Condoleo. I highly recommend the book to the people who have in mind a ride through this trouble.  There are many good reading choices among the authors of ASMSG http://asmsg.weebly.com/asmsg-authors.html

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

My friends would say that I am funny and open, creative and energetic; and that I have strong interest in ellipsis …  My oddest qualities are best described in Love Is Never Past Tense…  

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

What is my favorite animal? Dog! Can’t stop thinking about my Pekingese Nikki’s curious and understanding eyes! Sure, my favorite animal is Dog, but I love them all!  If I could have dolphins at home, I would’ve felt I had new friends, and maybe, I could’ve started understanding their high pitch language.   Also love horses.  I love everything that moves and has four paws!

My favorite color is green. It includes all earthy colors. Favorite outdoor activities: hiking and swimming.

What would you take to a remote island?

A GPS transmitter and a radio: The first – so they know where to find me.  The second – so I can tell them when to come looking!

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?           

Sandra Bullock.  Why?  I’d ask her how she stays so cheerful and gorgeous all the timeJ

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

My blog is on Goodreads and on WordPress  http://jannayeshanova.wordpress.com/

My Facebook page for Love Is Never Past Tense is https://www.facebook.com/loveisneverpasttense

Twitter : @NeverPastTense  and @JannaYeshanova

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

The books are inspirational.  If I could make it, everybody can! 

Love Is Never Past Tense… can be found on its website www.loveisneverpasttense.com

where it can come with my autograph.  

Amazon: http://ow.ly/qhOql

and other vendors. All versions are available. 

I’d love to share with you, Christoph,

the book trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quPSNk7EnoA

 I like it and I hope you’ll like it as well.

Wishing best to everybody and sending my love to the whole world! 

 

Janna Yeshanova, MA, MEd.

Life-Spark, LLC
3136 Kingsdale Center # 110
Upper Arlington, OH 43221

http://www.life-spark.com 
http://www.loveisneverpasttense.com
Book trailer: http://ow.ly/q5RMm 
Amazon: http://ow.ly/q5Sdx 

 

01 Sep 2013

NEW RELEASE: “The Last MacKlenna (The Ruby Brooch)” by Katherine Lowry Logan

3 Comments Book Reviews

The Last MacKlenna (The Ruby Brooch)

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My review:

In “The Last MacKlenna” by Katherine Lowry Logan, the second in her Ruby Brooch series, the focus is on Meredith Montgomery, a breast cancer surviving widow who runs a winery in Napa Valley. Over Christmas she goes on a Christmas time research trip to Scotland to find out about her family’s genealogy, where she meets Elliot Fraser, a rich horse breeder.

Despite her lack of bodily confidence due to her scars, the two of them have some sparks flying between them. However, fate intervenes when one of Elliot’s prize winning horses dies and might have been murdered, demanding his immediate attention elsewhere and leaving Meredith in doubt about his feelings and her own.

The romance between the characters is done really well, understated and realistic, thanks to some greatly set up and developed main characters. None of them is drawn either as a drama queen or too flaccid – both characteristics are pet hates of mine in the genre and the author has done a great job at keeping the story line believable and fresh.

Meredith at the time of her trip has yet another health scare. She finds another lump in her breast just before she sets out on the trip, which brings a more serious note to the romance. This, too, is handled in an understated and delicate manner, which lends the book more depth and makes the story all the more touching.

The book has also a lot of very memorable and colourful characters around Elliot, such as his ‘sister-in-law’ Lou, the owner of the B&B where our lovers meet. This makes the story much more entertaining than you would expect a book with such a serious theme to be and I guess it will prove very compelling reading for anyone who has experience with the big C.

The plot has many surprises and turns which I will not mention. There is a minor paranormal element in the story and a link to the past.The slow build-up of the characters and the story was excellent but it picks up in time

to keep us engaged in the story. This is very well written.

Logan balances the various elements of the story really well and also handles the more serious issues without letting them take over the story completely.

Given the character depth, some excellently placede symbolism and the seriousness of the issues I wonder if this should really be passed as romance writing and not as literary novel.

 

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Interview with Katherine Lowry Logan

Tell us a little about yourself, as a person and as an author.

I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, during the 1960s. Sit-in’s, the sexual revolution, pot, campus unrest, and the Vietnam War were brought vividly to life by Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News. While the rest of the world seemed to spin out of control, I spun stories in my head.

College, marriage, and two daughters kept the muse simmering on the back burner. I worked as a real estate and tax paralegal in central Kentucky, and was actively involved in my community. It wasn’t until the nest was empty that I sat down to write full-time. Then, life brought a screeching halt to my writing when my husband died unexpectedly. Healing was a slow process, but two weddings and five grandchildren have a way of putting life into perspective. Following the birth of my second grandchild, I found my writer’s voice again.

I am a marathoner and an avid reader, and I live in Lexington, Kentucky.

Why did you choose this particular period for your novel and the settings?

I’ve been interested in time-travel since childhood. “The Time Machine”, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” and my all-time favorite “Somewhere in Time” Also, I fell in love with historicals reading Hawaii, Centennial, The Source, The Fires of Spring and other words by James Michener. Also, I grew up watching all the old westerns on TV along with Perry Mason.

I knew three things when I sat down to write a story: 1. It would be a time travel, 2. It would be a romance, and 3. The story would take place in the west in the mid-nineteenth-century. Other than that, I had no idea would the story would be. 

How did the idea for this novel come to you?

I set out to write a time travel that took place in the American west in the mid-1800s. The story evolved as I wrote by “the seat of my pants.” Something I read triggered the idea of the Oregon Trail. Then, using the map as I guide, I planned and plotted a story based on what happened to folks who travelled to California and Oregon from 1849-1860.

Why the brooch as time travel device?

When I realized I needed a time travel method, I decided to use a ruby brooch based on a bracelet I have. The bracelet has an interesting past. It was an original design made for a woman in the 1970s.  In the 1980s, she paid her CPA’s bill with the bracelet. In the early 1990s, the CPA’s widow paid her legal bill with the bracelet. After the death of my husband (the lawyer whose legal bill was paid), I ended up with the bracelet.  The bracelet is now memorialized by the book.

How did you choose the characters for the story? Who did you have in mind when you wrote the characters? Who would play them in a film?

I think many of the characters have traits of friends and family members. And I can certainly identify with Kit’s grief and trauma. My husband died five days after I wrote THE END. During the many rewrites over the years, I was able to pull from my own experiences and add depth to Kit’s grief and recovery.

Elliott Fraser is a Mark Harman. Cullen Montgomery is Ben Affleck or Hugh Jackson. Braham is Brad Pitt. Meredith could easily be played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kit by Nicole Kidman or Kate Winslet.

 Who is your favourite character and why?

Elliott Fraser is Kit MacKlenna’s godfather. In the beginning, he was a groom on the horse farm, but he developed into a 50-year-old veterinarian/bachelor from Scotland.  By the end of the book, I knew I had to write his story next.  Although he has significant physical and emotional scars, he can be tender and passionate. You can’t help but love him.

Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?

Kit is a strong, determined survivor who wanted to quit but didn’t. In that regard, we are alike. But I can’t ride a horse, sing, play the guitar, or stitch someone up. She was created from my imagination

 How did you research for the book?

I read countless Oregon Trail journals to get a feeling for the life and challenges the travelers experienced.

I joined the California-Oregon Trail Association and had dozens of conversations with experts about life on the trail.

I talked to people all around the world about carbon dating, Thoroughbred racing, guns, clothing, food, snakes, and the list goes on.

I travelled the trail from Independence, Missouri to Portland, Oregon, and in many places followed the actual wagon ruts. The round trip from Lexington, Kentucky to Portland took nineteen days. It was an incredible adventure.

What was the most fascinating aspect in the research and the writing for you?

A few years ago, during the Christmas holidays, I was working on the stampede scene and I needed gun information. So I went to a local store. My first visit ever! The store was crowded with holiday shoppers. I stood at the door not knowing what to do. The cashier asked if he could help me. I said, “I need a gun that will kill as many cows as possible in the shortest amount of time.” The store went completely silent. The men stared at me. I had a lot of explaining to do. After they discovered I was a writer, everyone wanted to give me gun advice.

Did you have any say in the cover art and what was that process?

I worked with a cover artist on the design. We used an antique brooch I found on Ruby Lane, an online antique, art, and vintage collectibles site. I was very pleased with the final result.

Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?

The plot and subplots evolved while writing the first draft. Then, over the years they were tweaked significantly.

Is this part of a series? What are your next projects?

I just completed THE LAST MACKLENNA, which is a standalone book, but it does pick up where THE RUBY BROOCH ends. There are two other brooch stories. The next one is THE SAPPHIRE BROOCH which takes place during the Civil War, and next is THE EMERALD BROOCH which takes place several years later.

How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?

I lived in a happy writer’s world prior to publication, writing and talking with other writers. I wasn’t concerned with marketing because I had nothing to market. I have since learned that an author needs a platform in place long before there’s a book to promote. Now I split my time between writing and marketing. Like many others, I find social networking a challenge. There are many days when I think Twitter and Facebook control me, not the other way around.

What do you do when you don’t write?

When I get away from the computer and relax, I read, and I read in a variety of genres—fantasy, mystery, suspense, and of course, romance. When the weather is nice, I enjoy evenings on patios at local restaurants sharing dinner and a glass of wine with family and friends. But probably most of all, I relax or de-stress by running. It has become a passion late in life, and I love it because I don’t ponder or worry or plan. I just run because it feels good.

 Who are your biggest influences? Which are your favourite books and authors?

  • James A. Michener: Michener is the author of sweeping sagas. I fell in love with historical novels reading HAWAII, THE SOURCE, CENTENNIAL, and others
  • Elizabeth Lowell: I love her voice, her settings, her characters, and the incredible amount of research she puts into her books.
  • Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: They co-author fast-paced, mind-blowing stories, and I love their character FBI Agent Pendergast

Which indie writers can you recommend?

Clive Eaton, M.A. Granovsky, Michael E. Gunter, Ceri London  

What would you take to an isolated island?

My Kindle and a solar charger!

If you could chose anybody, who would you like to meet?

Hillary Clinton

Here are relevant links to connect with Katherine and her books:

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5806657.Katherine_Lowry_Logan

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13579358-the-ruby-brooch

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18397298-the-last-macklenna

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/The-Ruby-Brooch-ebook/dp/B007QMSONK

http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-MacKlenna-ebook/dp/B00EWOFL6I/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378004632&sr=1-1

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Ruby-Brooch-ebook/dp/B007QMSONK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378004713&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Last-MacKlenna-ebook/dp/B00EWOFL6I/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378004570&sr=1-1

Website http://www.katherinellogan.com

Blog http://www.katherinelowrylogan.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/katherine.l.logan

Twitter https://twitter.com/KathyLLogan

LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/pub/katherine-logan/10/62/752

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/kllogan50/

Shelfari http://www.shelfari.com/o1518085100

Google+ https://plus.google.com/109100035748879115211/posts

 

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