Author Interview – Brian L. Porter

I am happy to have Author Brian L. Porter as my interview guest this week.

Brian is an award winning and best-selling author who has numerous published works and writes under three names.

I have read one of Brian’s mystery novels, A Mersey Killing, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I plan on reading more.

Read our interview below to learn a little more about Brian L. Porter.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

Yes, I was about eight years old when I received a copy of Biggles Goes to War, by Captain W.E. Johns, for Christmas and I was immediately hooked on the whole concept of the adventure story. I ended up asking my parents to buy me another Biggles book for my birthday in March and I gradually accumulated many of the Biggles stories. They had such an impact on me that I decided to join the RAF, (Royal Air Force) when I grew up, and that ambition stayed with me until I did indeed join the RAF at the age of seventeen.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

Although I always loved the written word, it wasn’t until my later years, that I finally entered the world of the author. I’d suffered a mental breakdown and one of my nurses suggested writing poetry as therapy. I did just as she suggested and was surprised when people responded well to my poetry. I went on to write many poems and a friend suggested I should try and have them published. In the end I had over 200 poems published in various anthologies, and then, once again at a friend’s suggestion I tried my hand at short stories, having seen an advert for a short story contest at my local library. I didn’t win, but my story was highly commended, and I spent a couple of years writing short stories until the urge to become a ‘real’ author gripped me and I wrote my first novel, A Study in Red, The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper. After over twenty rejection letters from various publishers, I decided to try submitting the book to American and Canadian publishers, and I was delighted when the book was accepted within weeks, by Double Dragon Publishing in Canada, and I was on my way. That was about fifteen years ago, and I’ve really never looked back since that time, with over twenty Amazon bestsellers to my name so far, including four bestselling children’s and young adult books written under my Harry Porter pseudonym.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Clive Cussler, Tess Gerritsen, Alistair MacLean.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

I love the freedom of being able to work when I want to and create new characters and new worlds in my fiction. I hate it when I sometimes hit a brick wall in the middle of a book, and have to take a break from writing until my inspiration returns and I’m able to continue.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

For my mystery/thrillers, the ideas usually come from my own imagination. I’ve often thought of the idea for a new book while lying in the bath or while shaving. When that happens, I get the full story in my head and then begins the task of researching any details needed to make the book true to life and realistic. For my Family of Rescue Dogs series, everything of course is real life, as they all are true stories.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I’m a proficient dog trainer and oversee the training of our family of ten rescue dogs. I also used to be a pretty good bass guitarist and played in a number of groups as we called them in those days, when I was younger.

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

In my Mersey Mystery series, the central characters are actually based on members of my own family, as I recall them from my younger days in Liverpool. In my other fiction mystery/thrillers the characters are all created from my imagination.

9. How do you come up with titles for your books?

They usually suggest themselves to me, based on the subject matter of the book.

10. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I’m currently working on Book 8 of my Mersey Mystery series, A Liverpool Lullaby (He Loves them to Death). A serial killer is loose on the streets of Liverpool. Women’s mutilated bodies are discovered in isolated places, their hearts surgically removed, a rose and a tape recorder left close to the body, with lullabies on them. Detective Inspector Andy Ross and his team from the Merseyside Police, Special Murder Investigation Team, are tasked with the job of apprehending the murderer, who is soon dubbed ‘The Doctor’. As the tension in the city rises, Ross and his team think they know who the killer is. The trouble is, nobody knows where he is or who his next victim might be.

I’ve also just started the 7th book in my bestselling Family of Rescue Dogs series, the life story of three siblings we adopted 7 years ago, as yet untitled.

11. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

I’ve won quite a few.

The Best Book We’ve Read all Year 2018 (A Mersey Maiden) from Readfree.lyBest Mystery Novel, 2018 (A Mersey Maiden) from TCK PublishingBest Mystery Novel, 2017 (Last Train to Lime Street) from TCK PublishingBest Non fiction winner 2018 (Cassie’s Tale) Readfree.lyBest Non fiction book, 2018 (Cassie’s Tale) Critters.orgBest Non fiction book, 2017 (Sheba: From Hell to Happiness) Critters/Preditors & Editors Readers PollBest Non fiction book, 2016 (Sasha) Preditors & Editors Readers PollBest Non fiction book, 2016 (Sasha) Readfree.ly Best Mystery Novel, 2017 (A Very Mersey Murder) Readfree.lyBest Mystery Novel, 2016 (A Mersey Mariner) Readfree.lyBest Author 2009 Award, Preditors & Editors Readers PollBest Thriller Novel, 2008 (A Study in Red, The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper) Preditors & Editors Readers PollBest Poet, 2008, (as Juan Pablo Jalisco) Preditors & Editors Readers PollBest Thriller Novel, 2009 (Legacy of the Ripper) Preditors & Editors Readers PollBest Mystery Novel 2010 (Glastonbury) Preditors & Editors Readers PollBest Thriller Novel 2010 (Requiem for the Ripper) Preditors & Editors Readers Poll

A Little More Personal

12. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Pilot a jet fighter plane.

13. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

My wife and I were sitting watching TV one night when an ornament of an Edwardian Coach and Horses inexplicably and suddenly shot across the room, as if jet propelled. Spooky huh?

14. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

Definitely not.

15. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

Call me boring but I’ve never eaten anything that could be described as ‘strange’.

16. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

I love Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, where Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor owned houses opposite each other, connected by a ‘love bridge’ that was sealed by iron gates at each end when they divorced and opened up again when they remarried. It’s also where I met a wonderful old man called Jesus who taught me all about the history and culture of his country and inspired me to create my alter-ego of Juan Pablo Jalisco, author of the bestselling romantic poetry collection, Of Aztecs and Conquistadors.

17. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

I loved visiting my grandparents’ home, where my Grandad had an orchard, and during the summer he’d take me round the orchard, explaining the different types of apples growing there. In those days, I had a tricycle with a ‘boot’ on the back, U.S. readers would call it a trunk I suppose. My grandad would climb his ladder, moving from tree to tree and then throw apples down to me, with which I’d fill the trike’s boot until it was full. I’d go home laden with fresh apples and I can still remember the beautiful, tasty apple pies, apple charlottes and apple crumbles my Mother would make with those fresh apples, fresher than any that could be bought in the shops. I still remember the smell of them as they baked in the oven and can almost taste the sweet apples and beautiful pastry my Mum used to make.

18. What makes you happy?

I love to see my wife’s smile. When she’s happy, so am I. With ten rescue dogs sharing our home, I also love to see them all happy, with their tails wagging and full of fun.

19. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Usually I’d be walking one or more of our dogs, or just playing with them, and training them. Of course, as I write their life stories in my Family of Rescue Dogs series, I suppose you could even call that writing related, too.

20. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

During my time in the RAF I was once a member of the guard of honour for the Queen when she visited the Central Flying School, where I was stationed at the time, although I didn’t meet her of course. In my later life I met numerous British actors and comedians, including Eric Sykes, Roy Hudd OBE, Jimmy Edwards, Kevin Whately, and more.

Brian’s Links

Website: http://www.brianlporter.co.uk
Amazon Page : https://www.amazon.com/Brian-L-Porter/e/B00466KITC

Author Interview – Mats Vederhus

This week’s guest is Author Mats Verderhus.

Mats’ writes crime and mystery novels though his current WIP is a sci-fi noir story.

To learn more about Mats, check out our interview below.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

This is such a clichéd answer, but like many kids of my generation the books that really got me hooked on reading were the Harry Potter-series. They had an impact on me simply because they were wonderfully written and made me read.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

This is a difficult question for me. I started writing short stories in school as a very young kid, and continued doing that until I was in secondary school. But then I stopped, and I didn’t return to writing until I had started university, many years later. But I guess you could say that it is/was something that was always close to my heart, even though I had to find my way back to it.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Obviously JK Rowling. Harry Potter when I was a kid, and Cormoran Strike as an adult. Then there’s the Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård, whose prose is unlike any I’ve ever read. Agatha Christie probably shares first place as my favorite crime writer with JK Rowling, and I also love Philip Pullman’s fantasy. My favorite guilty pleasure is Dan Brown!

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is the unlimited expressiveness, the ability to conjure up worlds, universes and characters simply by setting a pen to paper. Paradoxically, that is also my least favorite thing about writing. Because it strains my fantasy to such a degree that… my favorite quote about writing is American journalist and dramatist Gene Fowler: “Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Kind of sad, but as I’ve grown older, most of my ideas seem to stem in whole or in part from my own life. The protagonist in my two books, Kurt Hammer, is from Trondheim where I lived for many years. He works as a journalist, and I also have an education in that field. His relationship with alcohol is mine, just pushed to an extreme degree. Writing about that has been like therapy for me, and I think has been an important part in keeping me from addiction. Right now, I’m working on a science fiction noir story, set in Moscow which is a city I also lived in for a year.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I program computers – a hobby, I play bass and take concert photographs.

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?Really difficult question!!

Off the top of my head I would say Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, or The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

Most of them are made up, but they share names and sometimes physical traits with people I know or people I’ve met. You shouldn’t befriend me unless you can deal with potentially becoming a character in my books.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Sadly, no.

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?
Those are often very difficult. My current project has a working title of Moscow 2486. Murder in Lima, my latest release – I don’t remember how it came about, but it was fairly obvious. I think it was the first title I actually checked online, and I couldn’t find another book with that title. Later I’ve found that there is actually another book by that title, but it is a very old book.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

Like I’ve already mentioned, it is a Science fiction noir story set in Moscow in 2184.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

Not yet.

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

I haven’t yet sailed from Peru to Polynesia. It’s on my bucket list. So is climbing Mount Everest.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

Not that I can recall! There’s this moment in Murder in Lima when Kurt Hammer woke up in a bed by an unknown woman, unable to recall any pretext. There’s been a few of those in my own life, but I didn’t base that situation on anything specific.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

Not off the top of my head. Actually, at one point my dog figured out that he could use his body weight to free some ice from a frozen lake, so he started jumping on it. Border Collies are incredibly smart!

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

No.

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

Raw meat, Steak Tartare, in Russia. It’s really good!

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

Right now it’s probably between St. Petersburg, Russia, and Lima, Peru.

19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

My favorite childhood memories seem to be connected to meeting my cousins during the summer at my grandparent’s house. They lived at the other side of the country so we typically only met once a year.

20. What makes you happy?

I’m happy when I’m reading a really good book, playing a really good game, watching a really good painting or completely drunk (I.E don’t have to think about anything).

21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

I study Russian and Italian at the university of Bergen.

22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Yeah, loads. Most of them Norwegian stars whom I’ve interviewed. The most famous one I’ve ever met is probably Rob Trujillo, Metallica’s bassist. That’s a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Mats’ Links

Website: http://www.matsvederhus.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/matsvederhusofficial

Publisher’s Page: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mats-vederhus

Author Interview – J. W. Goodwin

My guest this week is author J. W. (Jessica) Goodwin.

Hailing from a small town in Northern Ontario, Jessica found inspiration for her debut novel on her grandparents farm.

Please read on to learn more about J. W. Goodwin and her writing.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

The first book that’s had an impact on me is a toss-up between Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The reason I’m conflicted is The Three Investigators was the first series of books that I enjoyed reading as a kid and showed me that there are books out there that I can enjoy. As I’ve mentioned in other interviews, I was and still am a very picky reader. Harry Potter on the other hand was the first book I delved into and I was always impatient for the next release. Harry showed me that books can be exciting and worth the time to read. Being interesting to read may not be a big impact for most people but to a child who hated reading, it meant everything in the world.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

When I was in grade 9 I would tell my best friend, at the time, stories about a show we’d watch together. I think she said that I should write them down though I can’t remember totally because it’s been quite a while ago. I did put the stories I was telling to paper and the rest, as they say, is history.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

At this particular moment in time, my favorite author is Holly Black and I’m super excited about the book that has just come out. Got it on reserve at my local bookstore even. In the past I’ve loved books by J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, and D.J. MacHale.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

Hands down, my favorite thing about writing is telling the story for the first time or even the second time. I also love creating the characters because I’m an artist as well as a writer so everyone gets some concept art. Well, everyone except the antagonist. For some reason I’ve never gotten around to doing concepts of them.

My least favourite thing is editing since it’s just perfecting what I’ve already done. I’d rather use the time to create more stories but I know I can’t share those stories unless I’ve ironed out the wrinkles.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas usually come from dreams that I’ve had but, sadly, those have become few and far between as of late. I’ve been learning to come up with more while conscious but they’re never as good as the ones that happen in my sleep.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

As I’ve mentioned, I’m also an artist. I focus mainly on the anime art style but I’ve dabbled in others. I’ve posted some concept art I’ve done for By The Light of a Darkened Forest on my website if anyone would like to take a look. They’re a bit dated and I’ve certainly improved in the past 3 years and can do better now but that’s like any skill. It always gets better with practice.

7. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

It’s a bit of column A and a bit of column B. Most of the characters are made up but a few of them are/were inspired by people I’ve known. Christopher Ashmore is heavily based on my grandfather and his wife, Jocelyn Ashmore, was influenced by my late grandmother since going to their farm had always been a magical experience for me.

8. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that

reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Not so far but that would awesome if it ever happened.

9. How do you come up with titles for your books?

They usually come to mind while writing with the exception of By The Light of a Darkened Forest. That title came from a poem I wrote in high school or earlier. Which reminds me, I need to find that poem again soon.

10. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I’m trying to work on the second book of the Love’s Choices series but I’ll be honest, I’m having a hard time with it. Unlike Evelyn, the next protagonist is incredibly stubborn and hard headed. Unless I’m writing the story exactly how she wants it, she doesn’t let me continue on. She’s rather rude like that but I do love her spirit.

11. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

That would be the dream but, unfortunately, I haven’t yet.

A Little More Personal

12. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Is completing the next book a good answer? I’m joking, well sort of, I would like to finish it in a shorter amount of time than it took the first book.

13. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

Normally I just go through life without any big surprises. Boring, I know. There have been a few times as a teenager that I’ve had déjà vu after dreaming about something a few years prior then actually doing it in the same way later on. Other than that, I don’t get to experience the weird stuff.

14. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

I’ve tried many foods since becoming an adult and I’ve convinced myself to try anything once. The weirdest thing I’ve eaten is octopus. Normally texture doesn’t bother me but the rubbery feeling of having a tentacle in my mouth was wrong. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish eating it.

15. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

I love camping. Living in Canada, especially in Ontario, gives me plenty of opportunity to go out and sleep outside. Normally my family goes to Marten River Provincial Park but we’ve been exploring the other parks in the recent years. So the long way to the answer is my favorite vacation spot is any spot that I can set up a tent.

16. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

I can’t go into detail because I have a horrible memory but it would be a tie between going for tractor rides around my grandparents’ farm and feeding wild rabbits in the forest with my pépère (a French way to say grandpa). I miss doing both of those things but unfortunately my pépère had passed away nearly three years ago and my other grandpa can’t walk anymore. Guess those things will only be memories now.

17. What makes you happy?

Many things make me happy. The sound of rain on the rooftop. Pretty things that sparkle and shine, this includes glitter and sequins or even the sun’s reflection off lazy ripples in the water. Catching a glimpse of a wild animal, though longer glances are way better. Cookies or other baked goods. I could go on but that may take a while.

18. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Working but I think that’s standard for everyone. In my down time I also draw and journal. I also play video games though they usually take up a bulk of my time if I’ve found a good one. I’ve tried to justify the time I used by doing reviews on the games I play on my blog but sometimes I go overboard and get lost in the game for a month.

19. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

The only famous person I’ve met is Lawrence Gowan. It was brief because he was signing things after a concert I attended but it was awesome to meet him since I love his music. I even had my favorite CD signed with a part of my favorite lyrics. It was great!

Jessica’s Links.

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

WordPress Blog: authorjwgoodwin.wordpress.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/authorjwgoodwin/

Author Interview – Coral McCallum

This week’s guest is Author Coral McCallum.

Coral is a contemporary romance author. She has published three books in her Silver Lake Series as well as a stand-alone novel.

I hope you enjoy reading a little more about Coral and her writing.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

I was lucky in that my mum always read to me when I was a little girl. Books have featured in my life for as long as I can remember. The first “big book” I remember reading on my own was Alice In Wonderland. My mum said it was too advanced for me but I’m kind of stubborn so was determined to read it. The copy of it was old, with no pictures, only the occasional drawing but I remember being fascinated by the way The Mouse’s Tail was laid out on the page. I was about 6 or 7 at the time but I finished it all by myself.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

As soon as I could write a few words and string a sentence together.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Oh, that’s a cruel question for a book lover! The answer I guess also depends on mood. I’ll try to narrow it down to five that I always go back to – Paolo Coehlo, John Irving, Barbara Erskine, Kate Mosse and Stephen King. Bit of a mixed bag!

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

I love creating the personalities of my characters and bring them to life. I try to give them real life habit sand mannerisms eg Jake Power in my Silver Lake series is always late and, when he’s nervous, runs his hand through his hair. My least favourite thing is formatting and editing. Commas are evil!!

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Everywhere and everything – a song lyric, a name, a daydream. A combination of all of those. If I hear a name that catches my attention, I’ll take note of it and then try to think of who could have a name like that, what would they be like etc.There’s a scene in the third book in the Silver Lake series, Bonded Souls, that was inspired by the lyrics of the Slash ft Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators song “Not For Me”. Ideas are all around us – you just need to look for them.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

Oh…good question. I guess photography. I love taking photos! I also write a music blog, The 525 to Glasgow, where I review the rock shows I attend and I take all my own photos for that.

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

Lord of the Rings. I love that book!

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

A bit of both in reality. I’ve always said you can’t create a character that is based on a real-life person for risk of offending them. I’ve been told there is a lot of myself in Lori in the Silver Lake series but that was as much accidental as anything else. There are traits that remind me of friends and, I guess, myself. I have written a serialised short story that appears on my blog that is loosely based around a friend. They had playfully begged and begged to be in my book and I mischievously wrote them into my Silently Watching stories- a case of be careful what you wish for!

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Yes, to an extent. When I created Jake Power, I could hear him singing in my head. A year or so after I created him, I heard a song called “Ghost” by the Australian rock band, Massive. It was Jake’s voice in my head. Love that song.

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

The titles of the books in the Silver Lake series are song titles of the fictitious songs the band play. They also reflect the story in some way too. My stand-alone spin-off novel was harder to name. I elected to go with the character’s name, Ellen, for simplicity’s sake. That also leaves me free rein to add to the spin-offs with other characters in future.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

Currently I am finalising book four in the Silver Lake series, Shattered Hearts. This one is due out on 6 December via KDP and picks up the story of all things Silver Lake five years down the line from Bonded Souls. I’ve also started planning and writing the next and final book in that series but it is very early days there.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

Not yet but who knows what the future holds. Ever the optimist!

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

I have a lengthy list but I think “visit the Grand Canyon” is top.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I am sure there are several but I can’t think of one just now….sorry.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

There have been a few, usually déjà vu type things or the odd spooky thing. I saw a “fortune teller” once, kind of by accident. I thought the lady was going to read Angel cards not necessarily be a medium. She caught me off guard and told me quite a few things that there was no way she could have known. Freaked me out a bit.

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I am very superstitious and I’m a creature of habit – bad combination! I tend to wear the same jewellery if I’m going to certain places or the same Converse…that kind of thing.

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

Probably Kangaroo meat a long time ago

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

Rehoboth Beach, DE and the surrounding area. Definitely a place close to my heart.

19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

Probably sledging down the driveway of our house when I was about 9 or 10 with my friend Gill. I didn’t own a sledge so had borrowed my mum’s metal tea tray, waxed it with a candle and off we went! That driveway was steep! It’s a miracle neither of us got hurt. 20. What makes you happy?Walking along any beach or being at a rock show or simply a good cup of coffee with friends.

21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Life is busy – I work full time as a team manager for a bank, I write a weekly blog, I run two social media fan sites for a real life rockstar plus I have a husband and kids and 4 cats. I could be doing anything associated with any of these or I could have escaped out to a rock show!

22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Yes – several rock stars. The one I have met most often is Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge. It’s two of his online fan pages that I run. He’s one of the most humble, talented, shy humans I have ever met. A really lovely guy. Very easy to talk to. I’ve met the rest of Alter Bridge too and they are all great guys. The first time I met Myles was when he was in Glasgow with Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. I got to meet the three Conspirators too that night – Todd Kerns, Bent Fitz and Frank Sidoris- all lovely guys. I go to a fair number of rock shows so I’ve met a few bands along the way.

Bio

I’ve kind of given most of it away in my answers above.

Ok, I’m Coral McCallum and I’m a wife, mother, bank manager, blogger, author and a rock chick at heart. I live in a town called Gourock on the banks of the River Clyde on the west coast of Scotland. I’ve always been a writer at heart. I’ve written stories and poems for as long as I can remember. About seven years ago I took a long hard look at myself and decided I needed to do something just for me…. like I do with everything I thought about it a while longer then on 8 May 2013 I sat down on my front doorstep in the early evening sunshine and began to write the story that eventually became Stronger Within, book 1 in the Silver Lake series. If you’d told me that night that by the end of 2019, I’d have published 5 books I wouldn’t have believed you. My mantra has become “Dreams get you started. Discipline keeps you going.” With a bit of self-discipline, the dreams come true.

Oh, and the secret fear – letting people read what I write.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/coralmccallumauthor/

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/

https://the525toglasgow.wordpress.com/


Book Links

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Ellen – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

Shattered Hearts can be pre-ordered here. It is due out on 6 Dec 2019Amazon.com link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Author Interview – Tyler Colins

I am happy to have Mystery Author, Tyler Colins, as my guest this week on Author Interviews.

Tyler has published four novels in the Triple Threat Mysteries Series with more to come.

Read the interview below to learn a little more about Tyler and her writing.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

I read a lot as an only child—I would walk home from the library every Friday with my arms full! The first book I recall reading and loving—the one that encouraged my love of mysteries and future mystery writing—was Nancy Drew’s The Haunted Showboat.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

Not long after reading a few Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books. Being an only child meant having to entertain myself. The wonderful world of [imaginative] writing inspired me to develop a few mysteries of my own.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

I have a few: Ray Bradbury, Harper Lee, Jonathan Kellerman, Janet Evanovich, Kathy Reichs, Shakespeare.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

I love watching the story/scenes unfold and come together. My least favorite thing is not having enough time to pursue that [much desired] writing. <LOL>

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Most of my ideas simply pop into my head. The odd character is based on people I’ve met (names and traits changed to protect the innocent) while casual actions and dialogue are occasionally based on real ones. Notions related to a given mystery, mayhem and murder stem from my imagination.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I used to be a very good drawer; in fact, at one time, I had considered attending art school. My other talent would have to be organization/coordination; I excel at putting things in order.

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

What an awesome question! It would have to be something from Shakespeare—perhaps Macbeth. I’d enjoy going back in time and experiencing life in another era, particularly a turbulent one.

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

Occasionally, secondary and “transitory” characters are based on actual people, but my main characters are completely made up (and often possess traits/characteristics I wish I did).

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Hmmmm. Not that I recall, but that would be very cool.

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

Like scenes and dialogue, they tend to pop into my head. I focus on one or two components of the book—“Connecticut” and “corpse”, as examples, re The Connecticut Corpse Caper—and then phrases begin to formulate.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

“Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha” is the fifth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series. In this one, the three private yes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—attempt to ensnare a serial killer. GrimReaperPeeper—or GRP, as the trio calls him for short—leaves a silken black rose on his victims . . . and a couple at their house. He likes games and wants the private eyes to play along.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

No . . . but, hopefully, one day I will. J

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Become an American . . . live in Hawaii . . . be my own person.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

Oh my goodness. There have been many, but the one I’ll never forget (I have the scars) is the time I fainted and tumbled through the biology class door; we were doing blood tests.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

I can’t say I have per se—nothing super weird—but I’ve had many moments of déjà vu, which can prove somewhat unsettling.

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I used to be superstitious, to a degree. If I spilled salt, I’d throw some over my shoulder. I no longer scurry away from black cats or avoid anything with the number 13. Hmm. Hold on. You know, I do still avoid walking under ladders. <LOL>

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

I’m not sure what I’ve eaten is strange—perhaps for North America, but probably not elsewhere. I’ve had kangaroo, snake, turtle, chocolate-covered insects, brains, blood sausage, headcheese, eel, alligator.

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

Hawaii. Love it, for various reasons. Someday, I hope it will be my future home.

19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

I can’t, quite frankly—and let’s leave it at that, please, if you don’t mind.

20. What makes you happy?

Cuteness! I love seeing darling animals, adorable children, and hearing of or viewing good deeds. It brings happy tears to my eyes when people go out of their way to do kind things for others. It warms my heart and instills hope.

21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Currently, I edit when I’m not writing or at the 9-to-5, or taking care of my mother. My time is fairly limited, but I snatch the odd “me” moment whenever possible. J

22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

I’ve met a lot of famous people—back when. I used to work in the music industry, doing promotion, so I attended scores of concerts. Given I often worked backstage, I met a number of musicians.

Tyler’s Links

Facebook Triple Threat Investigation Agency page: https://www.facebook.com/OahuPIs/posts/

Twitter: Tyler Colins @USBound3

Blog: https://thewritersgrabbag.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2

Next Chapter: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/tyler-colins

Email: TylerUS3@gmail.com

Author Interview – John Broughton

Historical Fiction Novelist, John Broughton, is this week’s Author Interview guest.

John has published several novels.The most recent, Elfrid’s Hole, Book 1 of the Jake Conley series, just released at the end of October.

Thanks, John, for participating! And double-yuk for question # 17, you are a brave.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

I was too young. My granddad gave me an Illustrated history book and it was my constant bedtime companion from the age of four to about 9.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I didn’t really want to write at first. I did it because my children had consumed all the books in the children’s section of Glossop library. So, I started writing for them. Somewhere in that process, I began to acquire the enthusiasm.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Crazy question. There are so many. I’d have to go by nationality and my own cultural preparation. If we’re talking British, I’d go for the poets: Keats, Byron, Wordsworth, Shelley and more up to date Seamus Healey. Italian: Pirandello, Italo Calvino. German: Hermann Hesse. Russian: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Sholokov, Chekov. I’m still catching up with the classics and I’ve left out all the most modern writers, the French, the Americans – oh, how could I neglect Gore Vidal?

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

Favourite, that’s easy. I lose myself in another century and meet the people I choose to meet. Least favourite? Probably writing synopses.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Either from research if it’s a pure historical fiction work or quite simply a moment’s flash of inspiration if it’s for my latest venture, the Jake Conley series.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I enjoy photography but I wouldn’t say I’m talented. I can do great portraits of friends and fairly harmonious compositions. That’s the extent of it. I’d love to be more of a Renaissance man but sadly it’s not going to happen!

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

It would be my own first historical novel, The Purple Thread because it covers the emergence of Christianity and its conflict with paganism in the eighth century in Western Europe. I’d love to observe those changes and meet and talk to the wonderful Leoba.

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

I don’t think you can escape from drawing on real life for authenticity. I’m lucky to have a wife I admire for her intelligence, sweetness and moral fibre. I drew heavily on her for Leoba but also for Cynethryth in my second novel.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Oh dear, confession time! Jake Conley came out of thin air, but his psychic powers aside, I’m beginning to realise that he’s really me!

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

With difficulty. Often, I don’t have a title until the end. My first title was obvious because it came from Leoba’s dream. Sometimes as with my work in progress, the working title threatens to become the actual one.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I’m working on Book 4 of my Jake Conley series. He’s a psychic investigator, which enables me to flit between the Anglo-Saxon period and today. It’s a load of fun to write, so I hope it’s fun to read. The first of the Jake Conley books, Elfrid’s Hole is due to be published at the end of October 2019 and the second, Red Horse Vale, at the beginning of January 2020.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

I’ve never entered my books for awards. That doesn’t help in winning them.

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Visit Japan. I love their culture and enjoy reading Murakami.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

Not really, I’m quite sensitive and tend to avoid embarrassment easily. Funny? Well, life is fun as well as us living in a vale of tears. There have been so many funny episodes but I’m not a comedy writer. I just try to enjoy life. Forgive me, I know a boring answer when I write one. You can see why Jake Conley is taciturn and meditative, can’t you?

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

Yes, I’ve seen a ghost and I’ve had premonitions. You can find some of them in my Jake Conley novels.

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I have a little elephant under my computer and my name in Anglo-Saxon runes stuck on my monitor.

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

Sliced cold sheep’s brain in Turkey – sorry Turks, but yuk!

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

I suppose it would be a little bay on the Isles of Scilly, specifically St Agnes, where I used to live. I wrote my only two poems there. So, not strictly a vacation spot. Vacation? OK, the whole of Tuscany.

19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

Yes, my granddad converting his handcart into a Roman chariot for me. Sadly, he died when I was seven.

20. What makes you happy?

When my wife smiles at me.

21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Reading – or is that cheating? Or else, listening to music.

22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Yes, the wonderful, incredibly modest John Patitucci, arguably the greatest living jazz bass player and composer. His family originate and still live in my Calabrian village. I couldn’t believe he wanted to know about me over dinner. Ridiculous!

John Broughton

Author of The Purple Thread; Wyrd of the Wolf; Saints and Sinners; Mixed Blessings; Die for a Dove; Perfecta Saxonia; Ulf’s Tale; Angenga; In the Name of the Mother and Elfrid’s Hole (now on Pre-Order).

John’s Links

Website: saxonquill.com

Facebook: John Broughton- Historical Fiction Novelist

Email: jbroughton48@gmail.com

The Purple Thread; Wyrd of the Wolf; Saints and Sinners and Mixed Blessings are now available on Amazon, published by Endeavour Media, one of the UK’s leading independent publishers of digital books.

Perfecta Saxonia, Ulf’s Tale, Angenga; In the Name of the Mother and Elfrid’s Hole are available from Amazon and published by Creativia/Next Chapter independent publishers of digital books worldwide.