Why I write LGBTQ characters

Happy pride month! It’s a little late, but I wanted to make sure I got this in.

Now, as most of you might know, I’m not a member of the LGBTQ community.

That being said, I have included at least one homosexual character in almost every book I’ve written.

I don’t do this for praise, or to virtue signal. Today, I want to talk about why I include LGBTQ characters in my books.

Writing about people just like me is boring.

There’s a whole bunch of stories about straight Christian white girls. Like, a lot a lot. And, as I wrote about before, I don’t want to write the same sort of character over and over again. I want to write new kinds of characters who have new kinds of stories. Stories that maybe I’m not so familiar with.

Homosexuality is totally normal, and it’s unrealistic to not include them.

I bet you know someone who’s a part of the LGBTQ community. If you don’t, someone you know isn’t telling you something.

If that’s the case, why aren’t there more LGBTQ characters in fiction? Sure, there are more now than there used to be. But it’s still not proportional to the actual demographics.

Honestly, no offense to the books I read, but I don’t think I’ve read a book this year that included a homosexual or bisexual character. Not a one. Does no one see the problem with that?

I want characters who are real people who also happen to be gay. I want to see people who have story arches that have nothing to do with their sexuality. And since I’m not finding them, I’m writing them.

I want LGBTQ teens who might read my book to see representations of themselves.

Imagine how frustrating it must be to read about characters who have one very important thing in common with you, and there’s literally nothing else to their character. Doesn’t that sound frustrating as hell?

Now, imagine almost every time there’s a character with that one thing, that’s the only thing about them.

I know that there are some great LGBT characters who are well written people. Who are textured and layered and everything a good character should be. If you know about them, please give them a shout out in the comments.

Here’s what it comes down to. I want to write characters who are real, worlds that feel real. Ignoring the LGBTQ community isn’t real, and it isn’t right.

I want to write real stories, real people.

Station 86 is shocked when a Khloe assassin begins killing members of the all powerful 51fxP9XGG+L._SY346_council. Officer Sennett Montgomery and Councilman Godfrey Anders swear to find the assassin after Godfrey’s wife is falsely accused. But the killer, and the council itself, are not what they seem. Neither, as it turns out, is Sennett’s daughter.

Get it here now, for free.

Author interview, Cynthia Austin

Today we’re wrapping up the Spring Author Interview Series with Cynthia Austin, author of Tainted Luck.
Tell us about your book.
Tainted Luck is a short, young adult horror novel. It covers modern day high school drama, and even includes a possible student-teacher relationship.
When did you realize that you were a writer?
Every aptitude test I ever took suggested I become writer. While it was always a hobby, I didn’t become serious about it until 2014.
Do you have any books coming out this year?
I hope to be done with the fourth installment of my New Adult Paranormal Romance Series by the end of this month. It will then be sent off to my editor and eventually queried to my publisher. This process can take anywhere from 4-6 months, so yes, I do hope to have another book published before this year ends.
If readers are looking to connect with you, what’s the best way to do it?
Twitter. I make it a point to interact with all of my readers at least one a day via Twitter. You can find me at @Cynamarie
What are you working on right now?
The fourth installment of The Pendant Series. Adrian has returned for Sidney, but unbeknown to him, he brought some friends. While he may be looking for redemption, I can’t say his companions share the same desire. Just like the last three, this book is filled with plot twists, vengeance and all out horror.
Tell us about submitting your book. What was that like for you?
I keep a word document of each publisher I submitted to and what the end result was. So 51cW944MmiL._US230_far, I have had five books published with three different publishers. Each time, I have probably received at least 35 rejections. It’s not an easy process for your ego, but if you keep at it, eventually you will find someone who is just as excited about your manuscript as you are. That is what you want.
What author would you say inspires you the most?
There are so many to choose from. I guess I would say Kelly Favor. She writes romance/erotica but she only sells about 50 pages at a time. Sure she has some readers a little angry when the story abruptly ends and you have to pay $2.99 for the next 50 pages, but her stories are so good that she hooks you. She can literally make you buy like 4 of her books in the course of one day. It’s a pretty brilliant marketing plan but only writers skilled enough to leave you clinging to edge of your seat can pull it off.
Who is your current favorite author?
Christopher Pike was my hero as a teenager so I would have to give the credit to him.
What was your first favorite book as a child?
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. I still love it to this day and anytime I see a tiny, dilapidated house sitting in the middle of a big city, I think back to that book.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you first started writing?
Get rid of the first 3 chapters in Between Dreams and open the book to when Sidney catches Ray cheating. All books should open to drama. The reader isn’t going to wait for something good to happen.
 What would you consider the best thing you’ve ever done for your writing career.
I’ve been working as the marketing manager for Foster Embry Publishers for the past year. This is a job I never would have gotten if I didn’t write, and this is also a job where I can make a lot of contacts that would benefit my writing. It’s such a great opportunity to have.
What would you consider the most fulfilling moment you’ve experienced as a writer?
When a reader emailed me simply to discuss my book. For months, I was stuck inside of my head with these characters and now there is a real life person who is just as interested in these characters lives as I was. It was very satisfying.
What book would you suggest to anyone who wants to write?
Dawn Husted has a great booked titled, A Wordy Woman’s Guide for Writing a Book. I’m not sure why she singles it out for women when really it’s a book that could assist both male and female writers. The book discusses character development, plot outline, climax and conclusion. It’s a great roadmap for any writer.

July’s Camp Nanowrimo might be the most productive. Here’s why.

We interrupt our Spring Author Interview Series for an exciting announcement. It’s time for summer camp.

And by summer camp I mean Camp Nanowrimo, July Session.

Ah, I love this. It brings back fond memories of the summer camp I went to as a girl. The songs, the terrible food, the wonderful smores. I learned to cook a whole Thanksgiving dinner over a campfire. I learned to read a compass, paddle a canoe, use a swiss army knife. It was a great time.

Even if you don’t participate in Nano, I think you should consider doing Camp Nano in July. Because aside from the obvious differences I discussed before the April session, there are a lot of other reasons now is the perfect time for a camp month.

November is hard

Last year I nearly killed myself doing Nanowrimo. My dumb self thought it was a great idea to plan a vacation the same month. Then we lost power at my house for three days. I did it because I’m a Gretchen Rubin Upholder, so once I set a goal I’m going to die before I don’t meet that goal. I’m not saying that’s healthy. I’m just saying it’s who I am.

That’s the thing, though. Lots of people have Novembers like mine. Busy with holidays and vacations and other family obligations and events. Students have finals on top of all of that. Honestly, November is a hard month to write a freaking book. I swear that’s part of the point. If you can write a book in November, you can write one any time.

On the other hand, if you can’t write a book in November, maybe you can write one in July when there isn’t all that extra stuff going on.

Summer is a great time for students to focus on a creative project

Nanowrimo isn’t specifically aimed at students, but a lot of students flock to it. Students who have nothing to do with their brains for the Summer. Who might need a project, but are accustomed to exterior structure. Writing a book is a great Summer project. July’s Camp Nano is a great launch point.

July is often longer and more boring than we think it’s going to be

I know, mid-June it’s hard to believe, but by July you might get sick of Summer activities. Look, I love swimming, cooking out, camping and all the other festive Summer fun. But there are limits. Having a project, a major goal can give you something to do during the days that are so, so much longer.

If you didn’t quite make your goal in April, learn from that experience

I know a lot of people participated in the April Camp Nanowrimo session. I also know that a lot of people didn’t reach their April goals. My goal changed twice. At first, I wanted to edit for 39 hours. Then, thinking that would be too easy, I upped it to 50 hours. I upped it to 50 hours a couple of days into the month. That was dumb! So I moved it to writing 50,000 words instead, which was more than my original goal but less than the new goal I hadn’t planned for.

I learned from that experience, and I think I can successfully edit for 50 hours in July. I took into consideration why I couldn’t do it in April; I didn’t plan for it, I started late, I was already behind when I made the goal, I hadn’t taken into consideration that April was likely to be a bad depression month due to reasons.

If you tried to do Camp Nanowrimo in April and didn’t reach your goal, take heart. Figure out what stopped you from reaching your goal, and what you can do to overcome that.

If you wrote a book in November Nano, now is the time to finish it

Did you write a novel in November that you’ve been trying to edit, but you just haven’t found the time? Well, brothers and sisters now is your time. Right now, sit down with a calendar and figure out if you can finish the editing in July. You’ll feel so much better, having succeeded in doing something most people only dream of; You’ll have written a book.

I know I talk with my business hat on pretty frequently. Right now I’m going to take that hat off and remind you of something; writing is fun. Writing is campfire stories while snacking on marshmallows. Writing is making up a story to amuse a bored child. It’s spilling your guts onto the page, making up stories to comfort yourself and maybe someone else. That’s what I love about Camp Nanowrimo. It reminds me that writing is supposed to be fun.

Don’t forget, Nanowrimo works. Here’s the proof.

In Devon’s world, magical work is as common as turning a pot or fletching an arrow. What Featured Image -- 5695isn’t common is a man with thread magic. When Devon finds that he is a seer, weaving prophetic tapestries, his family tries to keep it a secret.

But the family can’t hide Devon’s visions after he predicts a devastating plague in the dragon lands of Coveline. He travels there to help the dragon queen save her people.

Meanwhile, Devon’s sister Lenore joins the Church of Singular Light. As Lenore learns to serve, and falls in love with her city, she discovers a dark underbelly to the church.

Lenore fights for her city, and Devon rushes to find a cure to the plague, while an unseen enemy raises an army to destroy Septa from within.

Get it here now.

Author Interview, Cynthia Ley

Today on the Spring Author Interview series, we have Cynthia Ley, author of It’s A Mystery! Please enjoy.



My latest book is the second in the cozy series It’s A Mystery II: A Player Sets The Stage. The first story, “It’s A Mystery I: The Lost Boys,” debuted in my quirky and offbeat short story anthology Pink Flamingos & Other Follies, published last year.


Debuting the series in the story anthology Pink Flamingos & Other Follies.

Tim and Jocelyn are two college friends with the same obsessions –books and theater. They find a lovely little town to set up It’s A Mystery, their bookshop, and both become active in the community theater group.

Then one fine summer day, two little boys go missing, one of them being the son of Joc’s best friend. There is no trace of them anywhere. And then a clue is left in the bookshop’s dropbox as rehearsals for the upcoming theater production swirl around them.


We were stunned. Tim pushed back from the manuscript, met my eyes.

“My God, Tim, did someone disappear Johnny and Bobby?” My voice expressed only a fraction of the horror I felt.

“It sounds like it,” he said grimly, pulling out his cell. “Hello, Steven? Something showed up here in our drop box. It might be important. But it makes very little sense.”

Someone who hates boys. A wonderland somewhere nine inches down. Some place that’s dark and below. Below what? A lot of walking in the dark. A challenge. Lots of contempt. Marco Polo, where’d they go?

Had we just read a confession?


Coming in May!

IT’S A MYSTERY II: A PLAYER SETS THE STAGE, continuing the story begun in IT’S ACynthia's book MYSTERY I: THE LOST BOYS from the anthology Pink Flamingos & Other Follies.

It’s now a few weeks since the events of THE LOST BOYS. The play is almost ready to debut. Tim and Joc find themselves at center stage for some fallout from recent events and from their college days. Meanwhile, at the community theater, there are some bizarre and dangerous discoveries. The stage is set … but for what?


Randy never took the hint. He’d try to engage me in small talk, and I wouldn’t let him. Eventually, he’d say something like, “Hey, you want to go out to dinner with me?”

“No, Randy, I don’t.”

You like playing hard to get, don’t you?” He’d flex his chest and arm muscles, putting on some sort of fuzzy testosterone-fueled display. It had all the appearance of tribbles in the throes of an epileptic seizure. “Whaddya think?”

“I think I’m not interested,” I’d say firmly. “I mean it, Randy. Lay off.”

“Lots of ladies would love to get what you’re getting.”

“Fine. Go bother them.” I tried to sound neutral and calm, I swear I did. “Starting with your girlfriend.”

His face reddened. “It’s Tim, isn’t it?”

I knew it. The feud wasn’t over yet. Only this time I was the prize. I just had no plans on becoming collateral damage.


Young, pre-teens. Creative writing classes scared me out of writing fiction for the longest time. As a skittish introvert, the last thing I wanted to do was read my stories aloud in front of the class! (Why do teachers torture their students like that??) I had story PTSD and didn’t get over it until after I’d retired. I earned my Masters in History and Political Science and learned how to do research and concise, clean writing, which has served me well since.


It’s A Mystery II: A Player Sets The Stage was just released in May 2019. I have a few more stories up my sleeve and hope to release at least one of them before year’s end.


I’m on twitter @cynthialey16 and also have a facebook page at Cleyfiction4.


A paranormal story (Cecily’s Vampire) and a murder mystery (Death By Drake). Both with lots of twists and turns.


It’s always a little nerve wracking. Check the book to the point of obsession. Write a cover letter. Attach file. Take a deeeeeeeep breath. Hit “send.”

At that point, it’s been released to the Fates, and, win or lose, they still can’t take away my birthday.


I can’t answer that. But I have been blessed with some fabulous mentors along the way.


My favorite guilty pleasure is the Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. They have such devious minds and know how to tell a fabulous story.


Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. I was 11 or so, and loved this tale of creative defiance in the face of societally enforced conformity.


Considering that was only a few years ago, I think the answer would be (and still is) to be more out there. I’m a terrible introvert, and find advertising myself is a bit scary sometimes.


Still working on that. But I am doing a lot of shows right now. Joining a regional writers’ community has been very helpful (NIWA, the Northwest Independent Writers Association).


Other than my own? (laughs) Seriously, I consider the story “Remains” from one of my earlier short story anthologies, The Ossuary Playground and Other Unexpected Tales, one of the best stories I have ever written, and it blew my reviewers out of the water. Just sayin.’

Going old school though, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. It is unparalleled for its truths, its integrity, and its sheer power of story. This is an author being true to his Voice.

As should we all. Readers can tell when authors aren’t invested in the stories they tell. It’s like having to write that science paper on igneous rocks when you’d much rather talk about the metaphysical properties of quartz.

Do quartz.


Author interview, KateMarie Collins

Next in our Spring Author interview series, KateMarie Collins. She’s the author of the Waystation Guardians series. Also, the COO of Solstice Publishing. Enjoy.

Tell us about your book

My last release came out in August of 2018, right before I went to Scotland for a week. ‘Guarding William’ is the 3rd book in The Waystation Guardians series. The series is urban fantasy with a twist on Greek mythology. The first book in the series, ‘Guarding Charon’, came out in June of 2016. ‘Guarding Amber’ was the 2nd book.

When did you realize that you were a writer?

The idea was always there, but I was raised in an environment where creative endeavors weren’t encouraged. I heard, from a young age, that I’d never be good enough. Someone else would be better, get the shot, so I shouldn’t even try. By the time I started high school, I thought my talent was nothing more than an ability to b.s. my way through an essay on a test.

Do you have any books coming out this year?

I’m working on the 4th book in The Waystation Guardians series now. ‘Guarding Connor’ should be out before the end of 2019.

If readers are looking to connect with you, what’s the best way to do it?

Twitter! I’m @DaughterHauk there. Or you can follow my blog, leave comments on my website. https://katemariecollins.com/

What are you working on right now?

Two books, actually. ‘Guarding Connor’, which is the next installment in The Waystation Guardians. And one tentatively called ‘Eynhallows’.

Tell us about submitting your book. What was that like for you?

Nerve wracking! My hand shook so bad the first few times I hit submit! But I had to do it. I didn’t want my kids thinking the same thing I had as a child. I wanted them to take risks, go for what they really wanted in life. The best way for me to teach them to do that was for them to see me go for what I wanted.

What author would you say inspires you the most? 

I have a special place in my soul for Nick Pollotta. He taught me a lot about the business end of things before I got my first contract. He passed away in 2013, just before my 2nd book came out. I dedicated it to him. I saved all of our conversations and refer to them often.

Who is your current favorite author?

I adore David & Leigh Eddings, Nick Pollotta, and Steven R. Boyett. Patricia Kennelly Morrison is another favorite. I reread their books often.

61lfbFPzb2L._US230_What was your first favorite book as a child?

There was one I read in jr. high. ‘Masha’ by Mara Kay. I still remember the feel of the dust jacket, the smell of the pages, and how magical the story was for me.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you first started writing?

Don’t listen to the ones who say you can’t do this. They’re scared you will, not that you can’t.

What would you consider the best thing you’ve ever done for your writing career.

It was something Nick Pollotta taught me. He said to be nice and polite to everyone. He deemed the industry ‘incestuous – in that everyone knows everyone else, and they talk.’ One bad email can ruin a career before it gets started. Learning that lesson early was one of the best things that could’ve happened.

What would you consider the most fulfilling moment you’ve experienced as a writer?

Probably holding a print copy of my first book, ‘Daughter of Hauk’, for the first time. It was the physical representation of everything I’d grown up hearing I’d never accomplish.

There’s been some truly touching and/or surreal moments since then, to be certain. No matter if my books sold, though, that one moment taught me I could achieve something others wanted me to never do.

What book would you suggest to anyone who wants to write?

This is a tough one. There’s some great books on writing, yes. But you need to find your own voice, tell the story your own way. Learn grammar, punctuation, and don’t rely on spell check. Pick up books on that, if you need help. The writing itself? You could do great with outlines and set writing goals every day. Or you could do better if you fly by the seat of your pants and write only when the muse speaks to you.

Now, for those who don’t know, you’re also COO of Solstice publishing. What’s your favorite part about that?

It’s uploading the first book by a new author. Knowing I’m making the dream I share with them come true.

Do you ever find it hard to read for pleasure, after spending all day reading for work?

I rarely read for pleasure any more. I have a really bad habit of picking up other authors’ voices! I don’t want to accidentally plagiarize someone, so I don’t read much any more.

How do you balance work for Solstice with working on your own books?

Writing happens after work is done for the day. And after the household chores, errands, etc. I should do better about prioritizing my writing, but it’s hard to get everything done some days and still have a couple hours to devote to writing.

Is there anything in particular Solstice is looking for right now, for people who might like to submit?

Good books that are well written, engaging, and by authors who aren’t afraid to promote their work on social media!

If someone wants to submit to Solstice, what advice would you give them?

Read our submissions guidelines and follow them. Build your social media presence. Don’t give us a reason to say no because you didn’t proofread your book before you submitted it, or because you thought you could wait for your book to come out to get a twitter account.

Check out Guarding William, the third book of the Waystation Guardians, now on Amazon.

Author Interview with Eric Klein

Today our Spring interview series continues with science fiction author Eric Klein.

Tell us about your book.

The One: a Cruise Through the Solar System  is a hard science fiction novel about the various colonies and a bit about the conditions there. In many ways it is designed to inspire colonization, and also to set up for book two.

It follows BJ Armstrong, a MacGyver like solutions expert on his journey around the solar system as part of a cruise he won. It is filled with homages to past sci-fi writers, and has many parts that were inspired by my own travels.

When did you realize that you were a writer?

This is a hard one, back in school I tried my hand at what would now be called fanfic for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I got about 3 chapters in on a sequel but dropped it. After that it was all writing chapters and articles for work, so it took almost 30 years for me to get back to writing fiction.

Do you have any books coming out this year?

Not clear yet, I  am working on 2 collaborations and don’t know when they will be done.

If readers are looking to connect with you, what’s the best way to do it?

Best way to connect with me is either via my Facebook author’s page or twitter. Both can be found on my site www.ericlkein.com.

What are you working on right now?

As I mentioned, I  am working on 2 collaborations. The first is the sequel to The One, and the second  is a more tongue in cheek tales of support staff that we are hoping to turn into a series.

Tell us about submitting your book. What was that like for you?

Actually that was quite easy, I had an in with the publisher (he is family) and it is a hybrid publishing house. So it was easy to submit it and then work out the details to prep it for publication.

What author would you say inspires you the most? 

I was inspired more by a generation than an author, but if I had to name one it would be Robert A. Heinlein. He took so many ideas and kind of created the field with them. Some better than others, but he was the first in so many I would have to say he inspired me.

Who is your current favorite author?

I have been going back to Spider Robinson a lot lately, so it would be him for his Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon series or Doc Smith for his Lensman series. I love the story telling techniques that they use.

What was your first favorite book as a child?

Where Wild Things Are was probably one of my first favorites after I graduated out of the Dr. Seuss books. But my favorite childhood book came later, and that was The Phantom Tollbooth.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you first started writing?

Keep writing, even if it is only a little bit a day. You can not edit or publish blank pages (yes I know that some people have done just that). And that first draft is just a more complete outline not a final book.

What would you consider the best thing you’ve ever done for your writing career.

Taking a wild chance. I noticed one of the scifi sites does a monthly “new books coming out” article almost every month. So I pushed my publisher to contact the article’s author. She never responded, but I was the first one listed for the month I launched. Got me a good start.

What would you consider the most fulfilling moment you’ve experienced as a writer?

I went back to my old high school and gave a series of talks to several classes of seniors. Was great to help inspire them and to show it is possible. Their questions and concerns were real and it made me feel good to pay it forward.

What book would you suggest to anyone who wants to write?

These days I am not sure that any writing book will be more useful than the tools you use to write. That said, Elements of Style would be a must. There are so many little things (like spelling out numbers) that you need to know to do a good book.

Check out Eric’s book, The One, here.

Author interview with Geoff Nelder

Continuing our Spring Author Interview series, please welcome Geoff Nelder, author of Suppose We. Full disclosure, I’m in the middle of reading this right now. It’s pretty awesome. Review to come soon. Please enjoy the interview.

SUPPOSE WE – the enigmatic title of a spaceship that became the title of the work-in-progess novella but the critique group said—as if they were one angry person—“Nelder, don’t you dare change the title. We thought it stupid at first but have fallen in love with it.”

  1. Tell us about your book.

SUPPOSE WE is a science fiction novella, the first in the Flying Crooked series. It might be the only science fiction book written by a vegan (for over 40 years. I’m no jump-on-a-bandwagon fashionista) with a vegan main character and set on a vegan planet. What? How can a planet be vegan you ask? The planet has no predators larger than insects. Yes, I’ve done the ecosystem schematics: I used to teach ecology and environmental science. Not all the characters are vegan, creating juicy debate.

The ship crashlands on a faraway planet. Sadly the natives are a million years ahead of bttgfEarth, so ignore the humans. How do they get the help they need, survive the strange planet and discover what is in the mission’s secret payload?

SUPPOSE WE was unleashed on the vegan and non-vegan public on May 20th 2019 as an ebook (B07RQW5LHR) and paperback (ISBN 978-0997554939)

Universal link for Amazon Kindle https://mybook.to/SupposeWe

  1. When did you realize that you were a writer?

In 1962 at the age of 15, I wrote skits for school performances. One of my gags was stolen by the Bishop of Gloucester and he repeated it on BBC radio years later. I didn’t get any credit except that gold epiphany: I knew I could write well enough for a bishop to plunder my work! If you want to see that joke send me an email. I could write it here but it takes half a page and I don’t want to be responsible for you choking and spluttering your cornflakes all over your screen.

  1. Do you have any books coming out this year?

Besides SUPPOSE WE – have you bought it yet? –its sequel FALLING UP will be published this year. It’s also a bit surreal – the title kind of says it all.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

    Contact form on my website https://geoffnelder.com

Twitter @geoffnelder

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy

  1. What are you working on right now?

GNwhiteback700FALLING UP and you’re stopping me. I have deadlines you know. Lines that are dead, or dying.

  1. What author inspires you the most?

Oh that’s hard. What time is it? Ah, before lunch if I need inspiration I read a page or two of anything by Tibor Fischer, especially The Thought Gang, or Collector Collector. Between lunch and tea, I turn to A.L Kennedy – she’s probably the best short story writer ever. After tea I read something by Idries Shah such as The Pleasantries of the Incredible. They’re kind of koans except they’re not Asian but Turkish-ish.

  1. Who is your current favourite author?

Claire North eg her The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. She’s my fave because she writes like me, or I like her.

  1. What was your first favourite book as a child?

How to be a spy by Baden Powell.

  1. What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you first started writing?

The fashionable answer is to say give up, but not me. Join a critique group or two. I belong to the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) critique group. Alternatively you should cough up the funds to employ a good editor before submitting anything to publishers or agents.

  1. What was the best thing you’ve ever done for your writing career?

Career? Haha. Anyway… 7 years ago I went to a writing retreat on Greece. Absolutely marvellous. Time and scenery to relax and write, write, write. Meet arty types and absorb the Mediterranean. I go every year for two weeks if my wife can’t find a good enough reason to stop me.

  1. What would you consider the most fulfilling moment you’ve experienced as a writer?

The day my first novel came out and a month later at my first book signing. Yes, every publication day is great, but nothing quite beats the first one. I say this even though that humorous thriller, Escaping Reality, was riddled with typos and OTT sex. It’s been cleaned up a bit since. A contender for best moment is when my grandkids realise that their Pop is a writer. They tell their infant teachers who then want me to read to the kids. Umm. Okay so now I’ve written a few kids stories so that the police aren’t called if I read my novels to a class of ten year olds!

  1. What book would you suggest to anyone who wants to write?

Many writers would say Stephen King’s inspirational On Writing, or David Lodge’s clever tome, The Art of Fiction. However, everyone should really read How to Win Short Story Competitions by… guess who? Yes, I co-wrote it with Dave Haslett. We’re both experienced competition judges. ISBN 978-1719861663 ASIN B07GS36Y1N

Is that it? Can I get back to my anniversary and SUPPOSE WE publishing celebration now? Hey, grandkids, that’s my laptop not your games console…

Author interview, Debbie De Louise

Continuing our Spring Interview Series, here’s Debbie De Louise, author of Sea Scope. Enjoy.

Tell us about your book.

Sea Scope is a psychological mystery featuring Sarah Collins, a children’s book illustrator, who is invited back to her childhood home in South Carolina by her aunt after her brother’s death. Facing some difficulties in her marriage, she accepts the invitation and travels there with her friend. Along the way and at Sea Scope, the Inn where she lived as a child, she starts receiving strange messages from someone pretending to be her brother Glen. The book moves back and forth in time to the summer Sarah and Glen, as kids, found a body of an inn guest near a lighthouse. Sarah, now grown and reunited with people from twenty years ago including the boy who kissed her for the first time, discovers some clues in her childhood diary and her aunt’s art studio about who might be sending her messages and what really happened that long ago summer at Sea Scope. The book also contains trivia and photos related to lighthouses and lighthouse lore.

When did you realize that you were a writer?

debbiehicksvillenewsI’ve been writing since I was a child, but I didn’t consider myself a writer until I began publishing articles for pet magazines and then a short story in a mystery anthology, followed by my first book, Cloudy Rainbow, that I self-published in 2008 that was recently reprinted by my publisher. I’ve been publishing books regularly since 2015 and now have seven novels including the four books of my Cobble Cove mystery series.

Do you have any books coming out this year?

Not yet, but I have an unpublished first book of a proposed cozy mystery series that I’m querying to agents, and I also have two unfinished mysteries that I hope to finish writing soon.

If readers are looking to connect with you, what’s the best way to do it?

I have a blog and an author newsletter, both of which can be subscribed to through my website at https://debbiedelouise.com. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter and have an Amazon author page. Here are all my links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debbie-de-louise

What are you working on right now?

I just returned from a writer’s conference in St. Louis, so I’m taking a break while I promote my new release, but I hope to get back to my works-in-progress soon.

Tell us about submitting your book. What was that like for you?

Well, I’ve been publishing with Solstice Publishing for nearly three years now, but I found out about another publisher through an author whom I interviewed on my blog and submitted Sea Scope to them. I’m still writing for Solstice, but I thought I’d like to branch out a bit. In addition to ebook and paperback copies, Creativia has published Sea Scope in large type and also plans to publish it in audio and hardcover. I think it’s nice to have a variety of formats available to readers. I’m also very pleased with their cover. I’ve had lots of compliments on it.

What author would you say inspires you the most? 

That’s a tough question. I’m inspired by many authors. If I had to choose one, it might be Nora Roberts because, not only is she prolific, but she writes her JD Robb mystery series along with romantic suspense standalones, and I also enjoy writing series as well as standalone mysteries.

Who is your current favorite author?

I like to read a variety of authors. Working in a library, I have access to a large number of books. Some of my favorite authors include Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, and Sandra Brown. I’ve also enjoyed books by Jo Jo Moyes, Ruth Ware, Kimberly McCreight, Audrey Niffenegger, and Karen Robards, There are many more including Indie authors such as Lisa Diaz Meyer, JP Ratto, James Cudney V, and so many others.

What was your first favorite book as a child?

The book that had the most influence on me when I was young was the Winter People by Phyllis Whitney that one of my brothers gave me as a Christmas present when I was 11. After that, I read all of her books and other romantic suspense authors of the time such as Victoria Holt.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you first started writing?

I think I would’ve taken more time to query agents before signing with an online publisher. I also wouldn’t have stopped writing for so many years after I self-published my first book.

What would you consider the best thing you’ve ever done for your writing career?

Joining professional writing organizations including Sisters-in-Crime, the Cat Writers’ Association, the Long Island Author’s Group, and International Thriller Writers and also networking with other authors both online and in person.

What would you consider the most fulfilling moment you’ve experienced as a writer?

Seeing my first published book in print form.

What book would you suggest to anyone who wants to write?

Writer’s Market in print and online. It’s also available in most libraries. It features listings of publishers, writing tips, and other valuable information for writers and is updated annually.


Paperback: https://amzn.to/2GTQonm

Large Type: https://amzn.to/2vuDVQe

Kindle eBook and Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/2VenMOi

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