We interviewed Bon Rose, author of 'Old Jacob', available on Kindle.
Tell Me About You - Born in Iowa, I grew up reading the Nancy Drew Mysteries. As a teen I did a rough draft of a short story but it wasn't until a few years ago that I finally took my time to sit down and re-write it, and then had it published as an e-short story called Old Jacob. I now have several short stories and two books. These stories were written with my grandchildren in mind and are based on some adventures from my childhood. I have also written three short stories for adults, "Dying to Write", "Death by Love" and "The Rabbit's Foot".
Tell Me About Your Novel - Spooky but fun short story, which is 1st in a series called The "Old" Adventures of Hailey and Jared. Warning: My short stories are for children and the young at heart. If you're too old to remember your childhood, these aren't for you! (:
Tell me more about your key characters - Even though Hailey is a girl, you'd have to call her a tomboy as she loves adventures with her best friend Jared and has no problem getting in and out of spooky situations! She, Jared and her beloved bike Blue manage to keep their lives pretty exciting and sometimes they are not sure whether it's ghosts or just their imagination. You'll just have to decide which one it ends up being!
Are you planning to write any new books in the future? - I have written eleven short stories for this series. I never know when another idea will hit for a new one so yes, there's always room for a new story in the future. I want to put in paperback all eleven of my stories one day.
An interview with Nancy C Johnson, author of 'Her Last Letter', first recommended in the ENovel genre in May 2011
Tell me about your book.
Her Last Letter is both a murder mystery and a romantic-suspense novel with elements of a thriller. Since I am a skier and love Colorado and other parts of the western United States, it seemed a no brainer to place my novel there. Of course, it was also a bit intimidating too since I live in Michigan, and though I’ve vacationed in Colorado, I’ve never lived there. But I knew I could research the area thoroughly enough to make it seem real, and it did seem very real to me as I was writing it.
My main character, Gwyn, is married and in her mid-thirties. As the novel begins she finds a letter written in her sister Kelly’s handwriting, a letter she obviously tried to hide. Two years earlier Kelly was killed by a hit-and-run driver. At first it was thought to be an accident, but then Kelly’s truck is found parked in her garage, the fender creased and blood stained. The police suspect Kelly’s boyfriend, as he disappeared shortly after her death, but in the letter Kelly reveals she was having an affair with her sister’s boyfriend, and is scared for her life. Both Gwyn and her remaining sister Linda have since married these men.
Tell me more about your key characters.
Gwyn is grieving for her sister Kelly, with whom she was very close. Gwyn is the eldest. Linda is the middle child, and Kelly was the youngest. Linda and Kelly were not close, and at times Gwyn feels that Linda isn’t all that sorry Kelly is gone. Gwyn hopes to get closer to Linda now. She feels some guilt that she didn’t do more to bring the sisters together. But Linda seems very closed off, more so now that Kelly is dead. Each sister is flawed in their own way. Gwyn is seeing a therapist, but isn’t always honest with her or with anyone else. Linda is moody and withdrawn and won’t open up to Gwyn. We know Kelly only through the memories of each sister; Gwyn’s is a loving memory of the little girl she helped raise; Linda’s is of a spoiled child who got into drugs and treated her badly. Each sister has secrets, and as the novel progresses they are eventually revealed.
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you.
One way I relax at the end of the day is to watch reruns of television shows I’ve enjoyed: King of Queens, Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City, and if I can find them, Monk, and The Golden Girls.
No matter how many times I clean out my purse, it always ends up full of papers: to-do lists, receipts, and other odds and ends. I would rather have a clean well-organized purse, but it’s just not me, I guess.
Like my main character, Gwyn, I love hot wings and blue-cheese dip. I don’t eat them often though. They are more of a guilty pleasure once in a while.
Can you describe your writing process on how to create a book (novel)?
Sometimes ideas will pop into my head unbidden. These I write down for later. Otherwise, I’ll sit at my computer, or use a pad of paper and pen, and try to come up with interesting ideas. What ifquestions work well for me. For instance, what if a woman hears an argument going on in a neighbor’s house in the summer when the windows are open, and then sees the neighbor doing something suspicious while she’s taking a walk later that evening. Days later, she notices the neighbor’s wife isn’t around anymore. From there I would keep expanding the story. Does she know the woman? Does she know her husband? How well? Does she start asking questions, or does she keep quiet and then the neighbor shows up at her door. Why is he there? What does he say? Does he try to explain away his wife’s absence? If the idea grabs me, I’ll make an outline and keep adding to it until I think I have a solid story that will work.
We invite authors to talk about their books we've recommended.
Tell Me About Your Book
Glasruhen Gate is the second book in the Adventures of Jack Brenin Series. The first book, The Golden Acorn won the Brit Writers' Best Story for Children and I went on to be awarded the Brit Writers' Award for Writer of the Year 2010. Glasruhen Gate starts where the Golden Acorn ends so you'd need to read book one first. The story continues after Jack has found out, beyond doubt, he's 'The One' everyone is depending on to save the ancient forests of Glasruhen. His friends lives also depend on his success. Now, armed with his own golden acorn, a wand and new magical skills he sets out to help fulfil his promise and ensure Glasrhen Gate (a portal into the otherworld of Annwn) is opened before it's too late. The books are suitable for all ages.Glasruhen means 'ancient green hill' and is based on a real place in Shropshire, where I live. The maps at the front of the books are from parts of the county but the names have been changed. The map of Annwn is imaginary.
Tell me more about your key characters
Jack Brenin is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary future, although he doesn't know it. He learns magic from Nora (a druid who's been trapped on Earth for centuries) and he's taught how to fly by Camelin, a greedy, grumpy raven who loves kebabs... and any other food on offer. Elan (Nora's neice) has a special role to play in Jack's life and is a key character in all the books.
How did you get started as a writer?
For twenty-nine years I taught in primary education and loved every minute. When I was told five years ago I had degenerative bone disease and would no longer be able to teach, it was quite a blow. Within six months of being diagnosed with the bone and joint problems I found I had aggressive breast cancer. That was my 50th birthday present... something I hadn't put on my wish list!It's a life changing event to be told you have cancer. It affects everyone around you and you find out very quickly how precious life really is. After weeks of treatment I came to a crossroads. The easy road would lead me to withdraw and accept defeat, or I could take the other path, try and pick up the pieces and face the battlefield. I chose the latter.The body might not be too good but the brain was fine and needed occupying, especially during the endless trips to hospital. I'd always said I'd write 'the book' when I retired, little thinking that day would come sooner rather than later. Immersing myself into another world was a life saver for me. I spent six months researching the history, myths and legends of my home county of Shropshire, and sorting out the characters for the story. My aim was to write a series, which would be suitable for young and old alike and to weave all my research into a tale of magic and adventure. I wanted to write the kind of books a parent, grandparent or teacher, would be happy to give to a child to read on their own.The first draft took six months to write, was far too long and not very good. I knew it was far from perfect but realized I needed professional advice. The advice I got was drastic but you either accept your manuscript needs sorting out or you can blindly disregard the professionals and think you know best. I took the next six months removing the whole subplot (which has now become book five) and rewriting the manuscript. I submitted it again for feedback and found I'd written a really good first draft! Another six months of hard work went into making The Golden Acorn - The Adventures of Jack Brenin Book One, into a book.Last year I entered The Golden Acorn into the Brit Writers' Awards for unpublished authors. There were nearly 22,000 entries and I got through to the final at the O2 in London. The Golden Acorn won Best Story for Children and I was crowned Brit Writer of the Year 2010. I won a £10,000 prize and a publishing contract with Infinite Ideas of Oxford. The book rights have now been sold around the world and this month we completed a contract with a film company in LA.I'm able to visit schools as an author. I'm in a position to encourage young people to read and hopefully inspire some of them to want to write books of their own. One door closed for me five years ago but I opened another one and took that first step through. Little did I know at the time where it was going to lead. It's been quite a journey.'
Describe your desk/workspace.
I'm a very organized person but I'm afraid to say the room where I write is very messy. I sit surrounded by piles of notebooks, pieces of paper and books. My room has floor to ceiling bookshelves, which are all full. I also have suitcases (the old brown battered type) which contain the costumes and props I take into school on my visits. Part of the mess is from the props and costumes I make, which go with the books.
Are you planning to write any new books in the future?
There are three more books in the Jack Brenin series... I've nearly finished Book Three, entitled The Dwindling Door. Book Four is to be The Lost Treasure of Annwn and Book Five is The Oak Lord.I also have a series called Hawke & Co., two books are out already with more to come. Book One is called The New Neighbours and Book Two is The Pirate Ship. I'm hoping to have book one in Ariadne's Adventures finished for Christmas (the book is written but my husband and I haven't finished the illustrations). I also have a stand alone book called Snowflake and Blizzard, about two horses, but again the illustrations aren't done yet.
Tell Me About Your Book-
Hollowland is a young adult urban fantasy/paranormal with a little bit of romance...it has way more zombies than it has romance, though. Remy has just escaped a quarantine before an attack, and she needs to travel half-way across the country to try to find her brother Max, and save him.
Tell me about your key characters:
I really wanted to write a book that had a super tough female lead character, so I knew this was the one that I would do that with. Remy King is a 19 year old who won't let anything get in her way. She meets some interesting people (and animals) along her journey, but I shouldn't give too much away.
How did you get started as a writer:
I've always been a writer. Ever since I could write, I would sit in my room and write stories/poems. Before that, I would tell stories to anyone who would listen to me. I wrote my first novel in high school, and I've shopped around for agents since then.
Describe your desk/workspace:
Right now, my actual desk/workspace isn't getting too much attention...but, it's a black desk surrounded by posters of things I love, and collages I've made. It also has a poster of Christian Bale right on top of my line of vision, to keep me on track. When I'm not writing their, I'm either writing on my couch or in bed.
"I've got to return some videotapes." - Patrick Bateman
We invite authors to comment on those books of theirs we've recommended..
Tell Me About Your Book:
Deed to Death is a fast-paced thriller set in the real estate and construction industry. Real estate agent Toni Matthews’ problems begin when her fiancé, Scott, is murdered. Having to bury the man she loves on the very day they planned to be married is almost more than Toni can take. Dealing with her loss becomes even harder when Scott's estranged brother, Brian, contests the will, threatening to take away her home.
After learning Brian is in deep financial trouble, Toni suspects he may be the one who killed Scott. Determined to find the truth and frustrated with the police, she begins her own investigation. Toni soon realizes she didn't know her fiancé quite as well as she had thought. Scott had been keeping secrets. Secrets that make Toni the killer's next target.
Tell Me more about your key characters:
Toni is a woman determined to find answers, and she’ll let nothing stand in her way. She also has her flaws; she’s definitely not perfect. Trust is a big issue for her. Having been abandoned by her mother at a young age, she finds it hard to let anyone get close to her. Just when she’s found a man she can fully believe in and depend on, he’s taken from her. I hope readers will be able to relate to her and sympathize with her actions.
Best and worst part of being a writer:
The thing I love most about being a writer is I can work in my pajamas. The worst thing is I’m easily distracted and have mastered the art of procrastination. Seriously, writing is the best job in the world. It allows you to daydream and live out someone else’s life on paper.
How do you get started with writing a story (as in, how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it)
I usually start with the plot. Once I know what the crime of my novel will be, then I focus on the characters. Who would commit this type of crime and who would go about solving it? I write a complete background for each one of my primary characters. I know their birthday, their habits, and everything that has happened to them up until the point the novel begins. Most of this backstory will never make it into the book, but I feel it’s important to know the characters on the most intimate level before I begin writing. Once I know them, I let the characters take over. They take on a life of their own and guide me through the story.
What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?
I recommend that all writers keep a journal. Whenever I’m feeling blocked or am having trouble with a scene, I turn to my journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings and the events of your day can really help to get the juices flowing. It’s like turning on a tap. Writing, no matter what kind, inspires more writing.
Tell Me About Your Book Children of the Elementi is a fantasy adventure which flips between this world and another called Eleria. When the Magi murder the heads of the five ruling families, their heirs are scattered through time and space to safety. Each heir has a power over the elements but the High King has power over all four. When Jake, the hero, discovers an ancient crystal, he not only learns about his fantastical past but also alerts the Magi Emperor that some of the Elementi survived. Jake must find the others to unite their powers to be able to defeat the Magi.
Tell me more about your key characters Mirim is from the 'air' family and has lived in the old Elementi powerbase since she was born. Her family stayed behind to keep the Matrix alive (a planet wide mind composed of crystal). The true power of the Elementi is the symbiosis between them and the Matrix. When she discovers that the High King (Jake) is not dead, she travels across the dimensions to bring him back. Jake has an ordinary life on Earth and while he longs for adventure he is not too sure about the bossy Mirim, but is convinced to try and find the other lost Elementi at her urging. I don't want to give too much away as there are five families, each coming into their powers through the story.
Who are your target readers? My target readers are boys and girls aged around 12 years and up. There is no real reason why an eleven year old would not enjoy the story but some of the language is for advanced readers.
How did you get started as a writer? While working in the School Library I had six weeks off in the summer. Rather than waste them watching television I had a burning itch to write something new. I had started a story earlier in the year, which to be honest was absolutely awful. But something happened that summer. I had an idea, I knew what books the students were asking me for and I had time. I wrote the first paragraph and I was off...
Describe your desk/workspace. Messy!
Best and worst part of being a writer The best thing by far about being a writer is writing, the worst - marketing! I loved writing the ideas down and watching the characters take shape. The best of this was the children who tried out my work at the school. They were so enthusiastic. I was going to cut out the section set in the school but one of the children said it was the best bit. well what could I do? - The section stayed.