Thursday, June 25, 2020

Guest Blogger: Kevin Bouchard







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https://www.amazon.com/House-Ophelia-Raine-Kevin-Bouchard/dp/1079955917/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=The+House+of+Ophelia+Raine&qid=1593099201&sr=8-3

                                                                    




https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Moon-Kevin-Bouchard/dp/1625262019/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&qid=1593099608&refinements=p_27%3AKevin+Bouchard&s=books&sr=1-3&text=Kevin+Bouchard

Please tell us about your latest book.
My latest manuscript is a mystery-thriller tentatively called The Devil Comes to Nazareth. The story takes place on Cape Cod and follows the further exploits of Gwen Quinn and the characters from my last novel, The House of Ophelia Raine. I've also decided to bring Eve Teschal, the detective from my previous novels, Blue Moon and Cry of the Cat into the story.



What can we expect from you in the future?
How do we find out about you and your books? I envision more stories involving Gwen Quinn and Eve Teschal in the future. The best way to keep tabs on future novels is to check my Facebook pages and my web site kbouchard.com. Also the Solstice web site features an up to date bio page that also lists all my published novels.


How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
 A great deal of my personal experiences make it into my novels though I alter and adjust things as needed. And I suppose some aspects of my personality make it into my stories as well.


When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms? I wrote my first short story when I was in the sixth grade but it was decades before I considered trying to publish my work. My wife talked me into sending out my first short story.


Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow? I try to write every evening but sometime I get an idea and just have to crack open the lap top and have at it.



What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries? My wife is pretty patient with my writing. Regarding battery recharging I like to read, work in my yard, play my drums or hit the Bowflex and weights in my finished basement. These activities make me feel great.


Where do your ideas come from? Blue Moon came to me while I was mowing the lawn. Cry of the Cat came to me after watching a Night Gallery episode. I read a book about the Christa Worthington murder on Cape Cod and The House of Ophelia Raine was born. My newest manuscript, The Devil Comes to Nazareth started out as an idea for an X Files episode. I simply expanded it and adjusted it to suit Gwen Quinn and the South Port Pose'.


Do you feel humor is important in books and why? Some people are funny; some characters should be funny. Laughing is human.



Please tell us about yourself. 
I am a 59 year old retired teacher who loves to write. I am a musician; I have worked as a drummer in both original and cover bands playing in and around Boston. I live in South Coast Massachusetts.


What are some of your favorite things to do? I love the beach. I love good movies and music. Summer concerts are a must.


Who are some of your other favorite authors to read? Phil Rickman, Stephen King. I find myself drawn to the book as opposed to the writer.

What do you think of critique groups in general? I'm not too familiar with critique groups.


Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself writing books.
How many books have you written, how many have been published? I've written several, three have been published.
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it? Always.
Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine? I like all of my books but there' a special place in my heart for The House of Ophelia Raine and it's heroine Gwen Quinn. I have no idea where she came from but I'm glad she came to the meeting and insisted that she be the heroine.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer? Everything.
If you weren't writing, what would you be doing? I'd be playing drums in a rock band.

What is your greatest desire? I would love to see one of my novels make a national best seller list and maybe even make it onto the silver screen. And I'd like to feel that I've made a difference.
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers? It took me twenty-three years to get publushed. I never gave up. It ain't over 'till it's over.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Guest blogger: Robert Hoppensteadt







Please tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is titled Spawn of the Cataclysm was published in March by Solstice Publishing. The cover blurb is “Humans carelessly wielded their power to create new things, a power that far outpaced their understanding. It was only a matter of time until something went terribly wrong. Something did. Technology has been erased for millenniums, monsters spawned at the end of a world infest the forests and seas, and a new civilization has slowly risen from the long darkness. In sight of the looming ruins of what was once called San Francisco there is an evil growing. The people of New Gate are about to face their greatest challenge.” I think that is a good introduction. It is more of an epic adventure than a post-apocalyptic book



What can we expect from you in the future?
I am working on a semi-autobiography about a teenager who gets into a lot of trouble in the early seventies. Most of what happens is real, but I have re-arranged some timelines, changed all the names and taken a few liberties to move the story along. It follows the path of a young man from being a pretty good kid to someone who gets into a lot of trouble.


How do we find out about you and your books?
You can learn more about me at these links: Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RHoppensteadtauthor/ Buy my books here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07R3CFZC9 or here at Solstice: http://www.solsticeempire.com/products.aspx?categoryid=436
You can also follow me on Twitter @RHoppensteadt


How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
A lot, I draw on people I knew, emotions I have experienced and places I have been to make certain my characters are as authentic as I can make them.


When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
People have told me I should write for a long time. About 20 years ago I took a year out of my career to write a novel but it didn’t get very far. I had people to support so I went back to the corporate world where I was pretty successful. I wrote a lot of poetry over those years, some of that published. I was able to retire early and now I am writing full time.


Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I go with the flow, I am a night owl though and I often find myself writing until two or three in the morning.


What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
My wife doesn’t interrupt me, but my two cats have absolutely no sense of propriety.



What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
I live in a great historic and scenic area so I walk, I read, I go to movies, we travel, I do yoga a few times a week. Living in the DC area these days and there are a lot of very cool places to go, a lot of museums to see and most of them are free.


Where do your ideas come from?
I am not sure, sometimes I will see a story somewhere and run with a tangent, sometimes they pop into my head and won’t go away.


Do you feel humor is important in books and why?
If the story calls for it, some things aren’t very funny but even then scenes can contain humor as a way to ease tension and give the reader a break.


What kind of research do you do?
For my first novel, The Shelter, I did a lot. Average temperatures, sunrise and sunset, a lot of research on viruses, the CDC, the Alaska National Guard, Native Americans , Nome, local flora and fauna, everything necessary to be as true to the setting as I could be. Spawn of the Cataclysm required less as I was very familiar with the area where it takes place and most of the rest came from my imagination. I did borrow heavily on my knowledge of history to recreate the more primitive society that exists when this story takes place.


What do you think of critique groups in general?
I have been in some good ones and some bad ones. It really depends on the people you surround yourself with – do they do the work, are they empathetic and pay attention to detail, and are they good enough themselves to give valuable feedback if it is a writing group. I found it worked better for me in poetry where you could focus on the project and workshop it, and some of the people I had in that group have gone on to be successful poets.


Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully alive and still enjoying life.


How many books have you written, how many have been published?
I have written three books, one self-published long ago, two published by Solstice and one that was self-published many years ago that is now out of print..


After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
I do but not for at least a few months, the editing process requires reading so many times I really don’t need to look at it. I do buy it just to see the finished product.


Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
In The Shelter I did grow attached to Matt and Molly, the main protagonists. In Spawn of the Cataclysm I think my favorite is Tuk. He is not the main character but his ability to overcome fear hatred to find acceptance and a new family drives much of the narrative .



What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Creating people and places tht don’t exist anywhere but in my imagination, and making everything real enough that others can experience them


If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
I have a lot of other interests I would be pursuing, probably focusing more on my hobbies. I like to collect things.


What is your greatest desire?
To live a happy and fulfilled life, to be of service to the people I love and care about, to have no regrets about things I wanted to do but never got around to.


Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Sure – just keep trying. I queried over one hundred agents and publishers before I found a home for The Shelter. There are something like eighteen million books out on Amazon, and agents and publishers in these days of electronic submissions can get dozens of queries a week. Do your best work, make sure what you send as a completed product is professional in its presentation and that you have done the absolute best you can with the story. Also, if you think writing is the hard part you will probably be wrong unless you are also a marketing genius and extrovert.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Guest Blogger: Paige Etheridge



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Rats: Finding Our Humanity in the Age of Aquarius and the Year of the Golden Rat



How we treat rats defines our humanity. 

The main inspiration for Sky from my novel “Cyber Knot” was Miranda from the game “Steel Harbinger”. Both women were transformed into bio weapons against their wills and their humanity is questioned in the aftermath. But unlike Sky, we don’t see Miranda as a human for long. Just long enough to watch her bonding with an albino rat before her father embraces her as she advocates for the mice of the lab. Right after she is drawn to her fate; the pod which would break out and transform Miranda into an alien-human hybrid. Her father feared what Miranda would become beyond that. Yet to me, it was always clear from the start she would stand for good. Her bond with a lab rat was the sole scene used to define her humanity before she was infected with alien DNA. Rat love isn’t just something you can shake off, even after being attacked by an alien tentacle. The love stayed with her and she saved the world. In turn, she also saved the rodents she loved. 

Rats are small creatures and their lifespans are two to three years generally. Yet in that time they are filled with a desire to love. They want to be with their owners. They bond with their fellow rats. They long for contact. Long for affection. Long for human love. The experience pet owners have with their Rats is a stark contrast to how Rats are imagined running through NYC subways.  Not to say you should go pet wild rats, just like you would show caution with a wild dog. But it’s important to note the distinction to the rats which are often around humans. Throughout human history rats were used as bloody entertainment and they are still used for scientific experiments today. Many are fed live to pet snakes. The idea being that because they are rats, their lives don’t truly count as something scared. 

But something happened during those live entertainment events involving dogs killing rats. Men from those events started breeding some of those Rats and in turn those Rats became pets. The value of their lives began to be seen. Humans started to connect with rats in another way. Even amongst the ways in which rats were still used, there were people turning around their views based on their experiences with Rats. 

Rats teach you the value of life, no matter how long or short it is. Short lives are still of value because in the scheme of the universe all lives are short. Being small doesn’t mean your life doesn’t have value. Being a non human doesn’t mean your life has no value. As long as you are alive, your life has value. 

Rats show you how universal love truly is. How easy it is for two individuals with highly different brains and experiences of the world to find love anyway. Yes, Rats show affection in ways humans may not be accustomed to at first. They’ll nip at you, attempt to clean the boogers out of your nose, tear at your clothes, paw at you. But they’ll also giggle and snuggle, which are forms of affection we are accustomed to as we learn their other expressions. Humans fight for success in the world, when truly love in all its unique forms is the most important of all. Rats show us that. 

According to astrology we are currently in the Age of Aquarius. The Humanitarian Age in which living beings are to come together. We just started this cycle which will last thousands of years, but we are getting deeper into the age each moment. We are reaching deeper into our own humanity and learning to come together. But it won’t happen overnight. Again, this is a cycle which will last thousands of years. But we can actively make progress during this age. Explore our own shadow. Find better ways to connect and love.  Rats are fantastic teachers.

It is also the Lunar Year of the Golden Rat and what a better time to propel ourselves deeper into the age of love?


We need to also to honor the Rat. Their ancestors survived the last mass extinction which killed the dinosaurs and in turn gave humans the chance to rise. We need to honor Rats for their contribution to science and astrology. See them as the intelligent, loving, and worthy creatures they are."

Paige Etheridge is the Author of "Cyber Knot" and "Kissing Stars Over the Rising Sun". She is also a new Rat Mom of Ziggy and Zoey: Towo Aries Virgo Moon Rats also born during the year of the Golden Rat. All three are obsessed with unique foods and the esoteric.


Cyber Knot Paperback


Kissing Stars Over the Rising Sun Kindle Edition

Monday, June 22, 2020

Guest Blogger: Sherri Leimkuhler







Please tell us about your latest book.

What’s Left Untold, released by Red Adept Publishing on May 19, 2020, tells the story of a woman who reunites with her estranged best friend and uncovers a devastating secret that threatens to destroy the life she’s built with her husband and daughters.


What can we expect from you in the future?

The first draft of my second book is almost complete—which means it still has a long way to go, lol! Currently titled either Sauce or The Executive Club, this book tells the story of a woman who quits her job to start her own business and finds herself in dire financial straits. When a former client dangles the prospect of discreet, lucrative work she finds the temptation hard to resist, though venturing into this risqué business threatens the relationships that are most important to her and forces her to question the strength of her integrity and moral compass.

How do we find out about you and your books?



















How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

Almost every author has probably heard the advice to “write what you know.” I also, personally, believe that art imitates life, and so for both of these reasons, bits of my personal experiences are sprinkled into my book. That said, What’s Left Untold is not about me or anyone I know. The characters and events are all composites of many people, places and experiences I’ve encountered throughout my life. The book is ultimately a wild ride through my imagination, full of unexpected twists and surprises and a shocking, controversial ending that has readers saying, “I didn’t see that coming!” What’s Left Untold is being deemed and excellent book club book.


When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?

I’ve always loved to write, and teachers as far back as elementary school have complimented my work and suggested I become a writer. My original career aspiration was to be a pilot. In college, I majored in aviation and journalism, intending for journalism to be a secondary or back-up plan. I graduated with an MEII rating (Multi Engine Instrument Instructor) and interned with an airline. I also worked as a corporate co-pilot and flight instructor for many years. But, ultimately, family took priority over flying and I didn’t want to spend days at a time away from home sleeping in hotels.  I had three children in four years and when my babies were napping, I began taking on an ever-increasing amount of freelance writing work as a columnist, a sports writer and a grant writer. It was around this time that I set my sights on becoming a published author.


Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

With three children and multiple freelance jobs (as a yoga instructor, newspaper columnist and market research and development associate) no two days are the same for me—and I tend to like it that way, though I admit it’s not ideal for being able to write as routinely as I’d like. I plan my schedule each week based on what’s the highest priority at the moment, but I do aim to carve out blocks of time each day for writing and exercise.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?

Now that my kids are all teenagers, I have more uninterrupted time during the day to work and write.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

In this world of 24/7 social media access and technology, it’s hugely important to me to maintain a work/life balance. I try to work “regular” weekday hours to coordinate with my family’s schedule so that I’m available in the evenings, and I also unplug as much as possible on weekends. I don’t believe it’s healthy to be “on demand” all the time. I cherish family time, prioritize exercise, and need down time on the weekends to read and spend time in nature. My husband and I were both competitive triathletes for ten years and although we’ve scaled way back in recent years, we still like to stay active. Right now I really enjoy paddleboarding and trail running as often as I can.

Where do your ideas come from?

I believe art imitates life, so most of my story ideas are inspired by experiences I’ve had, stories I’ve heard, or places I’ve been. With those ideas in mind, I change a few of the variables and ask myself “What if . . . ?” and the story often takes shape from there.

Do you feel humor is important in books and why?

Humor is an important part of life—and a skill that I am sorely lacking. I love going to comedy clubs and sharing “punny” jokes online to make people smile, but I don’t consider myself to be a naturally funny person, and I’m not easily amused. I wouldn’t rank comedies high on my list of movie to watch, but I do enjoy reading books that are injected with bits of humor. Bill Bryson is probably my favorite for humorous reads.

What kind of research do you do?

I’m a stickler for detail and research takes up a decent chunk of my writing time. I often stop writing mid-sentence to research a small detail, such as what time the sun would set on a particular date, or what song was popular in a given year. But I also dedicate time to researching for the bigger picture as well. In What’s Left Untold, I researched specific geographic and regional details, as well as social, legal, ethical and medical details relevant to one of the book’s more controversial topics.

Please tell us about yourself.  

I live in Maryland with my husband, three daughters and two Labrador Retrievers. I was a competitive triathlete for ten years and I’m a bit of fitness junkie. I teach yoga and I enjoy spending time outdoors and with family. I also love to travel, explore new places, experience different cultures and drink good wine.


What are some of your favorite things to do?

Trail run, paddleboard, hike, travel, read.



Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?

Stephen King was, well, king when I was a teenager. And while I still admire him, I now gravitate more toward women’s fiction and historical fiction books. Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Weiner, Kristin Hannah, Lisa Wingate, Liane Moriarty, Sarah Pekkanen and Kate Quinn are among my favorite authors. But there are also a lot of very talent debut authors currently releasing great books! My kindle is full of books to be read by Lainey Cameron, Barbara Linn Probst, Kate Milliken, Ava Homa, Rebecca Taylor, Tracey Enerson, Anita Kushwaha, Kate Lansing, Catherine Adel West, Diane Zinna Pettyjohn, Barbara Conrey, and so many more! I need more time to read all these amazing books!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully my second book will be published, a third book will be on the way, and fourth book will be in development. All three of my daughters will either be in college or will have already graduated, so my husband and I will be moving into a new phase of life as empty nesters and hopefully planning an amazing trip to celebrate 30 years of marriage. 

How many books have you written, how many have been published?

What’s Left Untold, released by Red Adept Publishing on May 19, 2020, is my first book. The first draft of my second book is written and hopefully will be the next to be published.

After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?

Yes! I know not all authors do this but I was so excited to have my first book in the world and I wanted to experience it the same way a reader would experience it: I ordered a print copy of What’s Left Untold and read it as soon as it arrived. My journey from inspiration to publication of this book was nearly 11 years in the making, so it was a surreal experience to finally hold my own book in my hands.


 What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Aside from finally having my book in the hands of readers, the most rewarding thing has been the other writers and authors I’ve had the privilege of meeting and getting to know. The writing, reading and blogging communities have all been incredibly positive and supportive, and it’s really made this whole experience even better and more fulfilling than I could have imagined





Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Yes!
1)      Write the story you want to write! Publishing is a highly subjective industry and, though it may take time to connect your book with its audience, I believe that for every book written there are people who want to read it.
2)      Don’t be afraid to take risks.
3)      Practice your craft regularly, connect with other authors, learn and absorb as much as you can, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the writing community for support and advice.
4)      Never give up.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Guest Blogger Rebecca Rose






 https://www.amazon.com/Love-Politics-Survival-Whitfield-Narrative/dp/B0863R7NCG/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2YT9N5I2T39BX&dchild=1&keywords=love%2C+politics%2C+and+survival+rebecca+rose&qid=1592511644&sprefix=love+politics+and+survival+by+Reb%2Caps%2C183&sr=8-1
             
Please tell us about your latest book.
Love, Politics, and Survival: A Whitfield Family Narrative Part One was published in late March of 2020. It tells the story of how families are affected in the fictional country of Waldovia after an attempted coup. As the name suggests, there is a particular focus on the Whitfield family, with several other characters interacting with the family members. The first book represents the 'politics' part of the title.


I have just completed Love, Politics, and Survival: A Whitfield Family Narrative Part Two. From its first few pages, this book clearly represents the 'love' part of the title. The book is about the love life and sexuality of many of the main characters. This includes arranged engagements, to their first sexual experiences, to the ups and downs of true love.


What can we expect from you in the future?

Well, this series is actually going to be several books long. I anticipate the third book will have to do with the 'survival' aspect of the title. I have a brief outline done for the entire series and some preliminary writing done as well. I even have enough material when it comes to Howard Forrester, one of my most complex characters. Readers can hopefully expect a companion series about him at some point.


It is my hope, my prayer, and my dream to be able to turn my book series into a television series. It's actually something I've envisioned as my end goal pretty much from the beginning. Thankfully I have some friends I might be able to work with on for this.


How do we find out about you and your books?

I am a Solstice published author and my book is available on Amazon as well. I'm also very active with promoting my book on Facebook, under Rebecca Downs-Goldberg; feel free to send me a friend request!


How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

What a great, complex question! Since this series takes place in a fictional country, the politics is exclusive to that country. I believe that readers can and should interpret my writing however they wish to. That being said, I do not consider my writing as a commentary on the political climate.

As far as incorporating my own self and my own ideas, that comes into play with writing about love, sexuality, and relationships. Adam Maier was one of the first characters I created. I think I wrote him, when I was about fourteen and fifteen, as what I envisioned the ideal, almost perfect, man to be. While I believe that nobody can be perfect like Jesus Christ, I do see Adam as trying to be as godly as possible.


My second book is a commentary on sexuality, particularly on virginity. While I'm not so much writing from my own personal experience, I do think a lot of my writing represents what I consider to be the ideal. Everyone has their own experience, their own concept of what's ideal,
their own ideas of what they would have done differently, but I try to put into my writing what I want for myself and for others. That mainly comes down to this sense of love and giving one's entire self to another person. I think that's what makes the first time truly special and a memory worth having.


When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?

I've been thinking about stories and writing, both novels and screenplays, for as long as I can remember. Most ideas come from the vivid dreams I often have. This present story came to me when I had a dream at 14, to do with a survival story about a brother and sister. They turned out to be Danny and Cassandra Whitfield. I continued writing on this idea over the years, with different characters and plots developing over time.


I also became involved in journalism while in college and in the years since graduating.

This first MS naturally took years to get it to where I wanted to be, mostly because of how I had to hone my experience and skills with age. Having some constructive criticism was also necessary for me to re-evaluate major aspects of the story. I can't tell you how many times the prologue and subsequent chapter were rewritten; likely too many to count! Finally, a couple of years ago when I had all this free time and felt a calling, I decided to really buckle down and was able to write the final version in a matter of months.


Where do your ideas come from?

As I mentioned, many of my ideas literally come from my dreams, and then develop more fully from there. The most fascinating inspiration came to me while listening to Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf." I loved that song and wanted to incorporate into my story writing playlist. While on a train ride from Long Island to New York City, I planned out this idea of how one of my main character's could sing that song while doing karaoke and it just turned out into this complex couple of chapters.


Do you feel humor is important in books and why?

Oh yes, definitely. Regardless of the book, it really can add a reason why readers would keep coming back. I think there is an art to it, and that it has to be done well. That being said, I find it easier when I let my characters do the work for me.


My books aren't exactly the happiest out there; they were never meant to be. There are humorous moments though. Howard Forrester is funny though, even if he can be a pain in the behind to be around. I think if this television show ever comes to be, the actor who plays Howard will have to be good at balancing being this real jerk, but also one who has that sense of humor.


What kind of research do you do?

This isn't a commentary on the political climate; it's a work of fiction which happens to take place in a setting where politically involved characters have to deal with political upheaval. That
being said, I still felt it was necessary to know the basics of political systems from the United States and around the world, and how I wished to implement those basics.


Where I've done the most research would be on how abuse, in all of its forms, affects young men. Many of the young male characters have been abused, in some way, shape, or form. For some, the extent is not revealed until later books. This abuse explains a lot about these characters, from addictions to behaviors, to their sense of self and of relationships. This novel certainly isn't all sunshine and roses as these characters have experienced such trauma, but I can assure readers that these characters come to a sense of healing and peace. I think it will be a memorable read to see how they get to that point. I think it's important to mention that, at least how I see it, male victims of abuse don't get the attention that they deserve. This is regards to recognizing them as victims, as well as studying the effects of abuse. I didn't begin writing with the idea of incorporating this theme; it's one which sort of just came up, though I'm glad that it did.


Please tell us about yourself.

I'm from Long Island, not the part that's close to the city as most people assume; I'm actually just as close to Connecticut as I am to the city. My hometown of East Setauket is where the spy ring was during the American Revolution. My husband and I met in quite a providential way. We were both from Long Island, both visiting New York City that night, and both living in Washington, DC at the time. We went back and forth between New York and DC but ultimately ended up in the DC area with our two daughters.


I received my Bachelor's degree from Fordham University and my Master's degree from Regent University's Robertson School of Government.

I'm a Roman Catholic and like to take and talk about my faith seriously, as well as other aspects of my life which are important to me.


What are some of your favorite things to do?

Well, there's reading and writing, as well as watching television shows and movies. I've also taken up walking to get in better shape. I love being close to Nationals Park; I can say I watched most of the 2019 postseason games there, the year that the Washington Nationals became the World Series champions. This might be a millennial thing, but I also absolutely love being on Facebook.

Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?


My favorite political commentator, Greg Gutfeld, has written some great books, which are all quite funny. Tasha Alexander has written many books in the Lady Emily series. Tom Robb Smith has also written Child 44 and its sequels, which I highly recommend. Seth Grahame-Smith has written some of my favorite books of all time. I'll admit that I still read books by children's author Kathyrn Lasky; I can't tell you how excited I was when she emailed me back once several
years ago. Last by not least, Solstice's own, Paige Etheridge, has written one of my favorite books, Kissing Stars Over the Rising Sun.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

I think five years sounds about the right amount of time to be an established author, and to at least be on my way to pitching and developing my television series. I might even have other books published, beyond those in the Love, Politics, and Survival series.


How many books have you written, how many have been published?

So, I've written two compete books, one of which has been published. I've outlined about four or five more books, and have written a good amount of two of those books.


After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?

Oh yes! Hey, at least I'm doing my part for sales, right? Even if I didn't read it, I think it would be nice to have the book in the home, as an accomplishment I'm proud of. I do read my books, as it's good to have that experience of reading it with different eyes, after all the editing and re-writing has been done. Since I did a live video discussion on Facebook, I wanted to have the story as fresh in my mind as possible, so I have read my book. I plan on buying and reading the others, in part to make sure I'm consistent with the plot across subsequent books. More importantly though, I really do like the story and the characters and seeing how it all develops. If I want other people to read and appreciate my stories, shouldn't I as the author first read and appreciate it?


Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?

I love this question! My second book, which I just submitted, has to be my favorite book. The third book, as it's been planned so far, has some of my favorite chapters.

I can't think of a more selfless and perfect hero than Adam.


What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

I love how rewarding it is to see others read my books, that we can talk about it, reminisce about our favorite parts and characters, and talk about what happens next.


If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?

I've tried getting involved in politics, particularly causes I'm passionate about. That didn't pan out, but it means I have my writing.


What is your greatest desire?

I really want to achieve true happiness, contentment, and fulfillment. When it comes to more material desires, I would love to see my series take off, as a book series and a television series.
Being a writer has not only been my dream for a while, but it's finally clear to me that this is what I'm meant to do career wise. I'm happy to say that I am confident I have enough material for this to be what I do for the rest of my life.


Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Yes, keep at it! I've had quite a people confide in me that they'd like to write a book, or publish the book they've already written. Now I don't mention this to pat myself on the back. I'm glad these future fellow writers see me as a person they can talk to. I think it's so important to follow any kind of dream, but since this has been my personal dream, I want to see others achieve it. As a young woman, I really want to see other young women really pursue creative projects they have. I would love to see underrepresented groups overall showcase their talents to the world. Finally, and perhaps most important of all, for those who are Christians, or even just want to explore Christianity, I would encourage them to keep in mind Philippians 4:13, one of my favorite verses of the New Testament. It's a short and simple verse, but one which is truly powerful. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."