‘Jack Steele’

jsToday, I’d like to welcome Jack Steele, author of “Long Shot” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

I live in Nottinghamshire but was born in Hackney, London and grew up on the Bannister House Housing Estate in Hommerton. I work full-time in the printing industry but with the help of a very understanding wife I manage to find time to indulge in my favourite passions of reading and writing. It can be a balancing act trying to fit it all in but as I enjoy writing so much it doesn’t seem like too much of a trial. I spent five years researching books, magazines, documentaries, movies and internet articles on various subjects as well as completing a creative writing course and attending workshops run by the Nottingham Writers Studio. It was a great achievement in 2016 when I published my first Crime Thriller novel ‘Loose Cannon’. It was the first in the Detective Joe Stone series and I was encouraged to write the sequel ‘Long Shot’. My writing style is a fast-paced page turner with cliff hangers, moral dilemmas and believable characters.

OK – HERE WE GO !!

No.1: Would you break the law to save a loved one? My instant reaction is YES if there is no other option. To relieve the misery of a loved one’s suffering has to be my number one priority but I would weigh up the repercussions of my actions too. If their life was truly in danger, life or death situation, yes, I would.

No.2: What is the difference between being alive and truly living? There was a time when I would go to work for 12 hours a day, six days a week and the only day left to enjoy being with the family was a struggle due to fatigue. The bills had to be paid and what precious little money we could save, went towards a few weeks of holiday in the UK, where it usually rained the whole time! This for me wasn’t truly living but just being alive. Of course I was lucky that I had a family and a home but I realised something needed to drastically change if I wanted to spend more time with our children. I took a new job which meant the family had to relocate but once things settled down we all agreed that it suited our needs. I had the time to enjoy life with my family and feel that I was truly living.

No.3: What motivates you to write? Years ago I had a lot of ideas written on paper which were unfinished and stuffed in a wicker basket. I would read Crime Thrillers in my spare time and when a few disappointed me I felt that my stories were just as good if not better. The big turning point came when a good friend subscribed me to a monthly writing magazine. That really did give me the motivation to open the basket and get to work. An inner drive to get a book finished led to years of research and courses to ensure it was as good as I could make it. I realised halfway through writing it that I was enjoying the characters and the scenarios so much that I potentially had a series here.
Once I had completed the first novel I sent it to friends and family who gave their opinions which led to a few changes and then it went to editors who flagged up even more changes. So when it was finished. I sent it to book clubs, readers, bloggers and more friends. When the first official reviews came back with excellent comments it made me so happy and they demanded the next in the series. This gave me the ultimate motivation to continue writing and I can’t thank all those that reviewed and left their thoughts on Goodreads and Amazon. So now I have written the second in the series and already the reviews have blown me away which motivates me to keep writing.

No.4 : Why do humans want children? I have already mentioned in a previous question how important my children are to me. Personally, the urge to nurture and love something so precious is so fulfilling. Now that they are grown up they have in turn shown love and kindness and an appreciation of the love bestowed on them. I know quite a few couples who have not had children preferring to concentrate on their work and financial needs instead. They tell me that they don’t miss having their own children because they have brothers and sisters who have kids and so they regularly see them. Like Grandparents, they enjoy time with the children and then hand them back. This way they have the best of both worlds. Historically, Kings and Queens have needed children to keep alive the family name and have successors to their realm. If everyone stopped having children then quite simply the world would end for the human race.

No.5: What was the biggest challenge in creating your book, ”Long Shot”? The biggest challenge in creating my new book was that it is a sequel. In a series there has to be an overall story arc and significant threads which are gradually resolved with each novel to keep the reader wanting more. The growth of the characters is also important and I took great care in developing not merely the central character but also the supporting cast. Another challenge was the backstory. New readers who have picked up the second book in the series may need some form of introduction to the characters and setting but this has to be balanced with those readers who have read the first book. Providing too much detail for the new reader could risk boring the dedicated series reader who has already grown to love the characters.

No.6: What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far? I’ve learned a lot so far in life. Because, even as you get older, you still keep learning. Achieving your goals requires hard work, strong determination and the support of family and friends. When you reach that stage enjoy it and appreciate everyone that enabled you to get there.

No.7: How did you come up with the title “Long Shot”? It is a play on words because one of the threads running through the series is the sniper who will appear in each book. We don’t know anything about him yet but ultimately there is a connection between him and the central character. The other reason for the title is that when all around him seems lost the detective has to do something extraordinary in which to find out who is responsible for the murders and destruction. He has to take a long shot.

No.8: How do you handle personal criticism? I would like to think that I handle it a lot better than I used to. If it’s coming from someone with experience who knows what they are talking about then I’m fine. When I was just out of my Apprenticeship I had to grow up fast with plenty of knock backs and jibes. I took it on the chin and treated it as a steep learning curve. If it was to do with time taken to do a job then the person criticising should know the realistic time frame in which to do it. When I saw the same person with feet up on his desk falling asleep it made me wonder whether this man should be dictating time management to me! If a job had been estimated incorrectly or something had inevitably cropped up that delayed the job in some way. If the person arguing belittles you when they have no conceivable understanding of the point you are trying to get across then I would get angry and frustrated with them. Now I am a lot older and wiser and have been in the job a long time so it is known that I will produce a job efficiently whilst maintaining quality to the best of my ability. If someone criticises my DIY around the home then I would probably have to agree with them as I am useless at it. I would have looked up on the internet videos of how to repair whatever only to find that it doesn’t want to unscrew or come apart as it is supposed to!. Occasionally I will surprise myself and do a good job when that blue moon is in the sky.

No.9: Why should people read your book? Well, I love to write about love. I write crime thrillers. My writing style is a fast-paced page turner with cliff hangers, moral dilemmas and believable characters. Reviews for Long Shot have beaten all my expectations and I have been thrilled by the readers and bloggers comments.

No.10: Why is there something rather than nothing? This question took some time to figure out an answer. In order to get a jump start I typed the question into Google just to see what came up. Nearly every answer related to the universe and how the big bang or God brought existence from nothing. I wasn’t expecting this to be a scientific question debated by eminent physicians because the question is not ‘something from nothing’ but more the fact that something is better than nothing. If I tried to achieve something but the result was nothing then I can console myself with the fact that at least I tried. The amount of effort doesn’t always equate with more of a reward it has to be a conscious reward to one-self.

Thank you 🙂 For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book:

“Long Shot”

Detective Joe Stone and his team investigate a major terrorist attack on one of London’s most iconic buildings. They soon draw up a list of suspects who are highly respected members of the community and government. When most of his team is attacked, it soon develops into a war of nerves and a race against time before a deadly weapon is unleashed with horrific consequences.

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‘Errin Stevens’

up- eirrinToday, I’d like to welcome For Errin Stevens, author of “Updrift” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

Errin Stevens writes paranormal fiction and reads practically everything she can get her hands on. Errin Stevens writes from her home in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband and son. When not wrestling with unruly narrative – or reading everything from mythology to contemporary romance to New Adult suspense – you’ll find her swooning over seed catalogs (winter), or digging in the garden (the other three days of the year).

OK – HERE WE GO !!

 

No.1: Would you break the law to save a loved one? Yes. If I had to steal to feed or protect my family, I wouldn’t hesitate. If they were in danger and there was no other way, yes, I would. I love my family and especially if my family were in danger, watch out!

No.2: What is the difference between being alive and truly living? I believe we are put on this earth to be both express ourselves as individuals and serve as supportive members of our broader human community. When we lose focus on one purpose at the expense of another, I think everyone suffers. The feeling of suffering, moreover, should motivate us to look at what we need to do to stay vital and grow.

No.3: What motivates you to write? I read so much and so hard as a kid I remember a huge swath of memories in the wrong order… and subsequently hardwired a narrative filter into my brain which every experience I have goes through. I’m constantly deciding how I would characterize in words what happens around me.

No.4: Why do humans want children? Well. Isn’t that a question for the ages? I have dear friends who don’t… but most people, myself included, do. We have one child and will stop there for quality of life reasons as well as other more practical issues. This question harkens to question #2 above, I think, i.e., depending on your own unique nature, you will procreate or not according to how you fit into the world, which your own suffering will guide you to experience. I very much needed to be a mother, went through quite the process to become one, and am very glad I am. I’m also very glad I have only one!

No.5: What was the biggest challenge in creating your book, ”Updrift”? Everything was a big challenge for me, starting with giving myself permission to write it! I would think, ‘How dare I?’ Then after I dared, there were a few years of wandering in the cesspool of sharing and critiques, which was a crapshoot to be honest but ultimately REALLY helped me hone my prose. The last big challenge for me was rewriting the work from omniscient voice to third person to adhere to the editorial standards of my publisher at the time.

No.6: What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far? Hmmm…that’s a hard question. Because, even as you get older, you still keep learning. Two things, the second more important than the first… and I’ll warn you right now I’m going to sound trite! Be grateful, and love one another.

No.7: How did you come up with the title “Updrift”? Funny you ask this, since I thought hard on my initial titles, which were Blue, Sapphire, and Cobalt. After attending a writer’s conference in New York a few years ago, though, I realized I needed to go for a different connotation, one that wasn’t so flatly visual. I researched oceanic terms and played with them until I settled on Updrift, Breakwater, and Outrush. I prefer them because they’re fresher and have more dimension.

No.8: How do you handle personal criticism? Nobody likes to hear criticism. At least I don’t think so. Depends on who’s handing out the criticism! Criticism really did get my work where it needed to be, but not everyone is a capable critic, which can be hard to figure out when you first start writing. I wrote a humorous piece on this a while back if you’re interested.

No.9: Why should people read your book? People should go to my stories for the imaginary escape, and also to feel “fed” in the reading of them. This is my hope in going through all of this, that you will walk away feeling loved and bolstered by the more generous intimacies that go with being human.

No.10: Why is there something rather than nothing? Again, a question for the ages, and I very much wonder what compelled you to ask these questions! This is too light an answer, but what we see and feel as individuals defines much of what we think of as reality, and it is our own unique personhood that launches the explorations of art, literature, science – everything we can think up in this world. The “something” comes forth when we bring our efforts out of ourselves and share it with others.

Thank you 🙂 For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book:

Updrift

Since her father died, Kate Sweeting’s home life has been in the pits, her well-being on life support. Her future looks desolate until she and her mother, Cara, make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Cara can play small-town librarian-bachelorette and Kate can figure out what’s up with that secretive Blake family from the beach.

Everyone is eerily captivated with Kate and her mother, and Cara is the first to figure out why when the man of her dreams arrives all dripping and devoted and closed-mouthed about what he intends. Kate is willing to go along with their subterfuge for a while, but eventually makes a charge for the water to learn what her mother is hiding. Gabe Blake is there waiting for her…and so is someone considerably less friendly. By the time Kate navigates her way home, everything will have changed for her—what she feels, what she wants, and what she’ll risk to be with the man she loves.

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‘Amanda Siegrist’

img_2060-2Today, I’d like to welcome Amanda Siegrist, author of “The Danger With Love” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

I love anything that has to do with romance. As long as there’s a happy ending, I’m a happy camper. I love baseball (Go Twins!) and creating awesome crafts. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, working in that field for several years before I became a stay-at-home mom. When I’m not hanging out with my wonderful family, I’m writing a sweet contemporary romance or a romantic suspense that keeps you guessing until the end. I have a few more amazing stories in the works. If you would like to connect with me or see important

OK – HERE WE GO !!

No.1: Would you break the law to save a loved one? If they were in danger and there was no other way, yes, I would. I love my family and especially if my children were in danger, watch out, momma bear will come out. This is kind of an ambiguous question, though, in my eyes. Because saving a loved one could mean so many different things. Their life is in danger, they were arrested, they lost their job, and so on and so forth. Most of those scenarios is a ‘learn from your mistakes’ sort of lesson, but if their life was truly in danger, life or death situation, yes, I would.

No.2: What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Well, alive is you’re here and breathing and doing your everyday thing. Bills have to be paid, family has to be fed, a job you have to go to. Truly living would be living your life the way you want, no restrictions, nothing holding you back. You always wanted to go on a dream vacation, well, you go do it. You always wanted to have your own boat, but you hate to part with the money, well, you go buy one anyway. You always wanted to retire early and travel the world, well, you quit your job and start planning and traveling, maybe even renting an RV. That’s truly living. Living the life you want because you only live once.

No.3: What motivates you to write? The characters in my head demanding that I do. *chuckles* I used to write when I was younger (as a child) and I slowly just stopped as the real world slapped me in the face. Then suddenly, my husband got a job where I became a stay-at-home mom and the writing bug hit me again. Now I can’t stop. I write because it makes me happy. I love telling a story. I love sending it out into the world, hoping that I touch another person’s heart with some love and happiness. Because with me, you’ll always get a happy ending.

No.4 : Why do humans want children? Because it’s fun. Lol. There’s something special about creating a child, going through a pregnancy, then watching them grow up. It’s kind of hard to explain. Yeah, I know, that’s what I’m supposed to do, but it’s hard to put into words why. Kids make the world happier. I have three children, two girls and a boy, and I can’t imagine not having them in my life. They bring joy, laughter, happiness, tears on occasion, even some anger. *chuckles* All I have to do if I’m having a bad day is look at them, see the smile on their face, and it lifts me up. Why wouldn’t I want that?

No.5: What was the biggest challenge in creating your book, ”The Danger With Love”? Creating the story really wasn’t that much of a challenge. What I really struggled with this book was coming up with a title. Titles are important to me. I like them to have meaning, something that connects them to the story itself. I went back and forth with lots of different titles, asking for opinions and always rejecting all the suggestions thrown my way. If the title doesn’t speak to me, I can’t use it. This particular story has an undercover agent trying to take down a mob boss. He goes undercover in his friend’s wedding as a groomsman, and falls in love with a bridesmaid. We have love and we have danger. Wah-lah! The Danger With Love was born.

No.6: What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far? Hmmm…that’s a hard question. I’ve learned a lot so far in life. Because, even as you get older, you still keep learning. I don’t think that ever stops. But if I had to choose one thing I would say, “Do your best.” There’s nothing wrong in trying something as long as you do your best. Sure, mistakes will be made along the way, but if you did the best you could, you should still be proud of yourself. I’ve had to say this particular saying to my daughters already, especially when it comes to school work. “Always take your time and do your best.”

No.7: How did you come up with the title “The Danger With Love”? Well, since I already talked about how I came up with the title for The Danger With Love earlier, I’ll tell you how I came up with One Taste of You’s title. This particular book has suspense and some hot romance in it. In the very beginning, one of my characters says something along the lines of, “What I wouldn’t do for a taste of you…” and it just kinda clicked with me that I loved it for a title. This is a series now, A One Taste series, so every book starts with ‘One Taste of’. It’s fun and sexy. To me, anyway. *chuckles*

No.8: How do you handle personal criticism? I’d like to think well. Is it ever truly easy, though? Nobody likes to hear criticism. At least I don’t think so. Lol. As long as it’s constructive and said in a nice way, I welcome it. If it’s malicious, then I’m not going to be very happy. Although, I’m more likely to vent to my husband rather than call someone out on it. I’m not a big fan of confrontation.

No.9: Why should people read your book? Well, I love to write about love. I have to have a happy ending, and hey, it might even be a sappy one, but what can I say, I love love. I also love a good mystery. I watch a ton of ‘cop’ shows and so you’re more than likely gonna get a sexy detective or law enforcement officer as my hero. I always try to make my heroines strong, and even sometimes, feisty. If that’s something you enjoy reading, then I’ll be sure to give you a story that’ll entertain you until the last page. I especially love writing a murder mystery and doing my best to keep you guessing who the killer is. I don’t hear much if people figured it out or not before the end, but it always makes me wonder. It’s a fun challenge.

No.10: Why is there something rather than nothing? Well, if we had nothing, as in, no creativity, then the world would be a very sad place. Having lots of ‘somethings’ makes the world so much more beautiful. Especially these days, we need beauty to lift us up, to make each other smile. Plus, nothing sounds boring. Who wants nothing? We all want something.

Thank you 🙂 For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book:

The Danger With Love

A beautiful wedding. An exquisite dress. A night to remember. If only she were the bride. Sarafina just wants her fairytale ending like all her friends, but she seems doomed to always be the bridesmaid. Until she runs into him—the groomsman walking her down the aisle. She might be attracted to him, but he screams nothing but trouble.

Special Agent Dax Delcroy never wanted this assignment. Being old college roommates with the groom meant the case was his anyway. Get in and get out. Get the information to take down the bride’s father, the most ruthless mobster in the city. It should all be so easy. Except nothing is easy the minute he meets her.

danger-love

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‘Pamela Schloesser Canepa’

d-timeToday, I’d like to welcome Pamela Schloesser Canepa, author of “Detours in Time” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

Author Pamela Schloesser Canepa had a childhood full of travel and moving, fueling her writing of poems and stories as a child to provide entertainment for long trips. After a while, her family settled in the southeast. Writing provided an outlet for private thoughts and emotions for years, until she decided to self-publish fiction in 2016. Pamela’s genres include science fiction, paranormal fiction, and poetry of all types. The “Made for Me” series was Pamela’s first published fiction series. Currently, Pamela is working on a sequel to her time travel novel and hopes to publish an anthology of paranormal stories within the next year.

OK – HERE WE GO !!

No.1: Would you break the law to save a loved one? I’d have to say yes. Why? The reason I say yes, is because there are so many laws on the books that get broken by everyone, such as, jaywalking. If my loved one was in trouble and I had to get to them in a hurry, yes, I’d be jaywalking to get to them ASAP. I might even run a red light. I know that I’d lose some of my objectivity because of being overcome by emotion. Would I murder? Well, these laws are in different categories. I can’t imagine being in that situation. So, I’d say no to that one.

No.2: What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Alive is breathing, and for some, going through the motions. ‘Truly living’ is being able to delight in something on a daily basis. Perhaps it is doing what you love, or, being surrounded by those you love, and one can delight in that. One could give up doing what they really love to be able to be with those they love, and they might find it just another way to be truly living. So I believe there is more than one way to be ‘truly living.’

No.3: What motivates you to write? There is a part of my brain that won’t be quiet unless I do something with it. I don’t think it’s overactive, but these thoughts ideas will be lost to the wind if I do not write them down. I had a friend, when we were young, tell me about a grand book idea, but never wrote it down. I wasn’t told the idea either, but that friend is no longer with us. I enjoy writing, so now is the time to do it. Just the same, if you really enjoyed dancing, you should dance, until the day your legs give out. Then, find something else delightful, but if you died, you would have done what you loved. Our life is fleeting, and the end chases after us, but sometimes the world seems so still; those are the moments at the beach with my son, or snuggling with my dog on a hot summer’s day. There is a time to write and a time to rest, and I can do that as long as I am carving out time to write. Writing does relieve a lot of stress at times when I can’t make it to the beach, and work has been hectic. I love the escape.

No.4 : Why do humans want children? Maybe it’s because we want someone there for us in our old age, or it’s because are told we have to propagate. I have a child, and I would never want it any other way. The experience of childbirth was so rewarding and moving. I only had one. That was all I needed. You are giving the world a piece of you. I suppose it is similar to creating art, writing and publishing a book, etc.

No.5: What was the biggest challenge in creating your book, ”Detours in Time”? Well, it started as a great distraction for myself, thinking of the future and what we might see if we went there, at a time when I needed a distraction. So, at some point, I had to tighten up the plot. Yes, the story is a great getaway, but I needed to make the stakes more clear. I would also say that editing was a big challenge, as it always is. You get five people to look over your manuscript, and then the day of publication, you see you left out a letter in a word. One letter makes a huge difference! So, you load your manuscript again. Then you wait on your computer as it loads, so you can preview it again. You can’t really do anything else, though I’d be scrolling through my phone while I wait.

No.6: What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far? I have learned to treat others the way I like to be treated. That may not sound very original, but it prevents a lot of pain. My mother was always loving and nurturing. I was a real brat toward her in my adolescence. So in adulthood, I’ve tried much harder to treat her kindly and to appreciate her friendship. Sometimes my company is all she wants. So, I am learning the same with my own child, that there are phases we all go through when we are not dependent on parents, but one day we learn to appreciate them again, even if we don’t need them as much. I suppose this fits with the concept of karma and the popular Bible verse. Every religion seems to have a similar teaching.

No.7: How did you come up with the title “Detours in Time?” It wasn’t my original title. My original title was very basic, but it did fit with the concept of stepping into another time and place and it suddenly is changed just because of your present, much like Bradbury’s story, “A Sound of Thunder.” However, upon searching, I found so many similar titles to the original, that I decided to change it. By that time, I was well into the book and my characters had already made an unplanned detour. So the new title just fit. I think it also communicates quite well that this book is a sci-fi, time travel book.

No.8: How do you handle personal criticism? I handle it much better now than I did at the start of my writing adventure. It gets easier every time. I had a really harsh critic on a book website regarding a short story I had listed there. When he posted a second scathing review (accidentally) even after I’d made corrections, I decided to delete the story. It’s not going away though. It will re-surface, perhaps in an anthology. It will be well edited, though. To be honest, I did not edit it much before I posted it, as it was a sort of pulp fiction type story. So, what I am saying is, learn from criticism, but don’t let anyone beat you over the head with it. There’s just no reason for that. However, there’s also really no reason to respond to someone who does that. I’ve learned from it. With my published novellas, I have found that some readers love them, and others may not. It’s based on their personal preferences. It’s all a learning experience. I personally don’t read a book to criticize every flaw. I love to read, so if there is something positive in a book, my review reflects that, but I will also point out parts of the style that got in the way of my reading enjoyment.

No.9: Why should people read your book? “Detours in Time” will take you on a journey, but it will also make you care about the characters. It will make you think about our place in the universe and the overall scheme of things, as well as making you think what you would do in certain situations. It doesn’t hold the answers, but it makes you think about the age old questions of who we are and what our responsibility is to the universe.

No.10: Why is there something rather than nothing? I like your philosophical questions. It seems there is no right or wrong answer! Buddhists would probably tell you there really is nothing. I think they are telling us you have to be able to let go. I’m not a Buddhist, so that doesn’t work for me, though I have learned to let go of thoughts that are harmful and try to keep what delights me. Seinfeld would tell you that, if you have a show about nothing, it actually just includes everything, even the kitchen sink, so you can’t narrow it down to a particular something. Jesus would tell you that there certainly is something, and it all makes a difference; it was all planned. This all brings me to one of my favorite quotes, that tells us there certainly is something besides all that we strive for and fight to survive for, and when we lose everything here in our own little world, there is something more. It is why I love sci-fi and speculative fiction: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophies.” -from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This makes it hard for me to meditate. Instead, I ponder on all the possibilities. I call it “entertaining the what-ifs,” and I find it quite enjoyable! I have grown to be able to comfortable with the possibilities I ponder. Now, that is something.

Thank you 🙂 For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book:

“Detours in Time”

Feisty Tabatha, a struggling artist, and Milt, an awkward Science professor, set off on a journey to the future. What was supposed to be fun soon turns quite intense when they make discoveries about their future selves and end up on other “detours.” The two set events into action that may save one life, yet destroy another. Both Milt and Tabatha struggle to witness and not participate in a place and time that is not yet their own. Amid the backdrop of a future that reveals great wonders and horrors, Tabatha and Milt must resist the temptation to use discoveries from future technology to aid them when they return to the present. Detours in Time starts as a fantastic escape and grows to present many moral dilemmas and surprises that can either destroy the strongest friendship or bring two people closer.

detours-time

 

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