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[NEWS] Where to find my awesome space opera book

Where to find Where Weavers Daire

This sticky post lists where to find hardcover, paperback and ebook copies of my space opera novel Where Weavers Daire.

Weaver is available in hardcover, paperback and eBook through Amazon.

Weaver is available everywhere / Bookshop.orgGumroad

Have your read the book and wish to leave a review? Links are below:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Bookbub | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

It’s also available at these fine local area bookstores:

Rhode Island:

Charter Books

Stillwater Books (either in-store or through their website)

Wakefield Books

Inkfish Books

Books on the Square

Seattle

Pegasus Book Exchange

If you’re a book store looking to add my book, please let me know. I’m open to consignment requests.

Where Weavers Daire is available through Ingram Spark as well: ISBN 978-1-7325680-1-3

[Author Interview] Christa Carmen

Christa Carmen lives in Westerly, Rhode Island with her husband, daughter, and bloodhound-golden retriever mix, and is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, The Daughters of Block Island, and Beneath the Poet’s House, coming fall 2024 from Thomas & Mercer.

Additional work can be found in Vastarien, Nightmare, Orphans of Bliss, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror, and the Stoker-nominated anthologies, Not All Monsters and The Streaming of Hill House. She has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from Boston College, and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine.

You can follow Christa through her social channels:

Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bluesky | Youtube | TikTok | Website

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I have been writing in one capacity or another for as long as I can remember—painstakingly bound and hilariously illustrated short stories as a child, emo journal entries as an adolescent and when I was in treatment for substance abuse, impassioned nonfiction essays and decidedly weak attempts at memoir—but I didn’t start writing fiction until about 2014. I’ve always loved the Gothic, so my first completed project was a gothic horror novel set in the Hundred Mile Wilderness in Monson, Maine… very Stephen King of me, I know. After that, I wrote predominately short stories for several years, and then returned to writing novels at the start of 2019.

Describe your desk / writing space.

Technically, I can write anywhere, but if I have the choice, I’m in my home office. My desk is over a hundred years old, a beautiful, massive, oak wood rolltop, with endless little slots and drawers and compartments, perfect to fill with odds and ends that I can look upon for distraction or inspiration. When my grandfather purchased a plot of property boasting a church and several additional buildings in 1970 or so, the desk was found in the rectory basement, once used by the parish priest, along with several gorgeous glass-front bookcases that also ended up in my home office.

My office also contains my altar, tons of paintings and artwork, books written by friends and colleagues, an old typewriter, endless candles, tarot decks, baskets of stationery and notecards, seashells, bird feathers, etc.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

My writing time has changed significantly since having my daughter. I certainly don’t write at the same time each day; I don’t even write daily. To put it simply, I write when I have an ongoing project I need/want to work on, or if the idea for a new project or short story strikes me. Once I’m working on a project, especially a big one, I’ll get into a routine of hitting a daily page or word count, but I have to take advantage of the time during which I can write whenever it presents itself. That might be for twenty minutes in bed with my daughter while waiting for her to fall asleep or four hours straight on a weekend when my husband is at work and my daughter is with her grandparents or cousins. In a way, it’s more a more productive schedule than the one I had three years ago; I can’t waste time picking out ambient coffee shop sounds on YouTube or reheating endless cups of tea or screwing around on the internet. When I have an hour to write, I HAVE TO WRITE.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

The Daughters of Block Island is my take on the gothic, the culmination of years of reading books like The Monk andRebecca and wanting to throw my hat in the ring of decaying castles and damsels in distress. Like many popular subgenres, the gothic has been done to death, so I had to ensure I was bringing something new to readers, ultimately deciding to “make gothic meta,” with my poor tragic heroine, Blake Bronson, believing herself to be in the quintessential gothic novel. The book is also inspired, in part, by the Twa Sisters murder ballad, often known as The Dreadful Wind & Rain, as well as the Scream film franchise, so there is a little something for everyone within its rain(-and-blood!)-soaked pages.

With that being said, my two initial titles for this book were The Dreadful Wind & Rain (after the Twa Sisters) and A Gothic Story (my blunt, meta homage to Scream), but neither my agent nor my editor thought these were evocative enough, and in hindsight, I 100% agree, so after a few brainstorming sessions, we settled on something that hinted at the both the female relationships highlighted within the story and the isolated, island setting.

Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked has a less involved backstory; the title is the same as one of the stories within the collection. I felt like it adequately captured the eclectic mix of tales and subgenres that make up the ToC: something gothic, something hardcore… a little of this and a little of that.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?

I’d say the hardest scenes for me to write are both the first and the last, or, maybe not the last, per se, but the climax. The first scene I HAVE to get right before I can move on, even on a first draft, because the tone and content of that scene will set the stage for me for the rest of the novel in terms of my headspace and how I’m approaching the characters and narrative. I’ll go back over it thirty-six times if I have to, and once I feel like it’s “right,” I’ll allow myself to write the next chapter. And I feel like climax scenes are hard for any writer, no matter how skilled or experienced. It’s the place where you have to put everything together, where you have to prove to the reader that they’ve made the right choice by following you as far as they have.

What inspired your book/series?

The genesis of The Daughters of Block Island was a happy accident of ideas and inspirations that evolved more and more as time went on.

It begins with two key things: my infatuation with a painting by Katy Horan from her Murder Ballads collection: The Dreadful Wind & Rain, and a question that had always haunted me… that of why a mother might have to give one child up for adoption but is able to raise another—or others—herself. For whatever reason, these two things came together in my head when the need for a new short story to critique in an MFA residency group presented itself. After considering different reasons for why a mother might give up one child—a pregnancy resulting from assault, substance abuse issues that were dealt with later, or other, more nefarious scenarios in which the mother wanted, or needed, to protect one offspring and not another—I melded this tragic adoption scenario with the themes of The Dreadful Wind & Rain (or, as the murder ballad is also referred to, the Twa Sisters), in which two sisters are two-timed by a manipulative suitor, and the seeds for The Daughters of Block Island were not only planted, but watered, give sunshine, and nurtured above all other writing projects.

Still, the story was still just that: a short story. And to make matters worse, it was in epistolary format, so I was struggling with how to make sense of the (slowly) unfolding narrative over a series of painfully convoluted emails. Luckily, those in my MFA critique group, including rising superstar poet and writer Belicia Rhea (check out her novella being published in 2024 from Dark Matter Ink, Voracious, about a pregnant teenage girl with an eating disorder who works to reconcile her visions of a doomsday of insect plagues and her unique role in what she fears in the impending bug-filled apocalypse), and inimitable moderators Robert Levy and Nancy Holder, challenged me to question whether I was using the right structure… the right POV(s)… and the right length. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t.

Fast-forward two years later, and I’m looking for the subject of a new novel to work on. I found myself rereading the critique group short story (which was originally titled “The Dreadful Wind & Rain,” like the murder ballad and Katy Horan’s gorgeous painting) and decided to try my hand at expanding it. It had potential but was also strangely boring, which was surprising… and disappointing. That is, until I realized I could really lean into the potentially trite trappings of a gothic novel if I acknowledged their occasional ridiculousness in some way. Another lightbulb went off, another unexpected source of inspiration, and I was applying the meta lens and self-deprecation of the Scream film franchise to my manuscript. Without (much) further ado, The Daughters of Block Island found its stride.

So, a murder ballad, an obsession with the psychological underpinnings of adoption, and Neve Campbell. What are the odds? The marriage of ideas resulting in exciting fiction sure can be weird.

What are you working on next?

My second novel with Thomas & Mercer, Beneath the Poet’s House, will be out next fall and also takes place in Rhode Island… on Benefit Street in Providence, to be exact, and features just as much gothic gloom and literary influence as The Daughters of Block Island.

Beneath the Poet’s House is based in part on the real-life romance between Sarah Helen Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe and set in the actual house at which Poe first spotted Whitman tending her rose garden under a midnight moon in 1845. The novel sees protagonist Saoirse White navigate both a personal haunting and the lingering ghosts of much-revered public figures, as well as the ramifications of men who treat women as stepping-stones on their way to artistic greatness.

What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?

Emily Dickinson, Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freemen, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sarah Helen Whitman, Shirley Jackson, Agatha Christie, Mary Shelley, Margaret Mitchell, Sarah Waters, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Frank M. Robinson, Sidney Sheldon, R.L. Stine, Jennifer McMahon, Harper Lee, Cormac McCarthy, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael McDowell, Blake Crouch, Emma Cline, Lauren Groff.

If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?

I don’t know if I can flatter myself as far as to say Gwendolyn Kiste, but I love her lush yet biting style and her lyrical way with language, the way she not only comes up with unsettling and important and ingenious ideas but executes those ideas to perfection. A lot of what Gwendolyn writes about consistently—feminist takes on vampires, sister relationships, the otherworldliness of birds, dark fairy tales, body horror, etc.—are subjects I’m drawn to as well.

Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why?

The first iteration of The Daughters of Block Island was a short story told in epistolary format, and I’ll admit it was strange for me to take an idea conceived as a short piece and expand it. Normally, the medium in which I set out to write is the medium in which I complete the project. I don’t really prefer novels over short stories or vice versa, though that wasn’t always the case.

A few years ago, I felt my strengths lied predominately in short fiction, and didn’t have as much confidence in my novel-writing abilities. That changed with—like anything else—lots of practice, and today, I switch pretty effortlessly between novels, short fiction, nonfiction essays, and children’s picture books, depending on where inspiration strikes.

Is there genre you’d like to write but never have?

Like I mentioned above, I currently write—and pretty regularly at that— novels, short fiction, nonfiction essays, and children’s picture books. I’ve also been dabbling in poetry, mostly because my last novel manuscript demanded it of me (several characters are poets, and the main character in particular is heavily influenced—maybe even possessed—by the Divine Poet herself, Sarah Helen Whitman… needless to say, I had to acquire at least a working level of proficiency in poetry, and pretty quickly). I think the only other type of writing I’d like to get into isn’t so much a genre as a category, and that’s middle grade and/or young adult novels.

What advice would you give to unpublished writers?

Advice is a tricky thing, because what might work for some might be neutral—or even harmful—for others. I’ve been asked in other interviews and by other writers and readers about advice for new authors, and I guess my simplest suggestion is simply: Write! Do not stop. Turn all your anger and disappointment and dissatisfaction (and, since I believe we each have a shadow side and a lighter side to our personality, all of your joy, success, and happiness, too!) into stories. Those stories make the world the magical place it is. It’s a real gift to harbor a talent and passion for writing. Embrace it, and share it with others, if you’re so inclined.

I do also think it helps to have a goal. Any goal, no matter how small, helps keep you on track. Maybe start with something that gets your butt in the chair as consistently as you’re aiming for and work your way up. My writing goals are simple these days: meet deadlines—regardless of what that looks like for word count or days in a row spent writing—and respond to the Muse when she comes knocking.

[Author Interviews] Amanda Creiglow

Amanda Creiglow lives by the sea with her little pitbull, Donna Noble, and the bits and pieces of too many projects in various stages of completion. She writes music, plays video games, and builds things she probably shouldn’t.

Remember to join her mailing list (found on her website) and get a free novella set in The Trove Arbitrations universe.

You can follow Amanda through her social channels:

Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | ThreadsBookbubWebsite

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write. Some of my earliest memories are scrawling down stories as a little kid with terrible handwriting. Over time, it turned into long-form speculative fiction, but I’ve written a little bit of everything. My dad used to trade me a poem for a poem when I was very young, which morphed eventually into songwriting. I had a screenwriting stint, when I thought I’d pursue being a TV writer, though as far as I got with that was a zombie script that won a very small film festival at a college in Alabama. For a while I ghostwrote Romance novels/stories for various small, independent publishers, which was a lot of fun. I looked at it more as paid practice than anything else, and while I enjoyed the stories I told, Romance as a genre isn’t my main interest. But the books I’m writing now absolutely wouldn’t exist without the skills and habits I built during that time.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I’m a gamer with a big fondness for big monitors, so I’ve got two massive ones hanging from the wall in my home office/music room. It’s almost always a cluttered mess, but it’s one of my favorite places in the house. There is, as is required by law, usually more than one glass in the immediate vicinity.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

A little of column a, a little of column b. Routines are necessary for any serious progress, but I struggle like hell to adopt and maintain them. When I can manage to get up and get some writing done before the day crashes down on me, that’s usually when I’m most productive. Lately, I’ve formed a gym-buddies-for-writers kind of group at the local library that meets weekly as a failsafe to make sure I’m making some progress at least weekly. The big thing I find helpful in terms of routine is pomodoro timers and tracking my word count in a little excel spreadsheet, both per sprint and per day. The color-coded competition with myself means nothing but accomplishes everything.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

For the Trove Arbitrations series that I’m writing now (and realistically for the foreseeable future) I have an established pattern of two main alliterating words, one of which is usually the main creature introduced in the book. So far they’ve been: A Grimoire for Gamblers, A Surplus of Sirens, A Reckoning of Wraiths, and sometime in the next couple of months, The Vengeance of Vampires.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?

I can’t think of one, single, specific scene that was the hardest. Usually the trickier ones get a lot of thought about mechanics beforehand, away from the keyboard, so it sort of evens out. I will say that action scenes of any kind in general take a lot more effort, just because you have to think through cause an effect and control tension in a more specific way than more dialogue-heavy scenes, and you end up with more description and less talking. Back when I was writing Romance, it was the sex scenes for the same reasons, although I don’t have any of that content in my work under my own name. The scenes that are my favorite to write are usually the dramatic, relationship-defining, dialogue-heavy ones. A lot of the time, I’ve had these conversations back and forth with myself many times and already figured out what everyone’s going to say (sometimes months or even years beforehand), so actually getting the scene down on digital paper is a breeze.

What inspired your book/series?

I read all the Dresden Files novels, and really loved them, even for all their flaws. I thought it would be a fantastic, absolutely unprecedented idea to do something in the vein of those books, but with a female protagonist. And then, of course, I went wandering through the Urban Fantasy landscape and discovered how truly not-novel that idea was. I started devouring the sub-genre, and honing my own preferences, and boring my friends and family with my rants and raves. As cliché as it is, I ended up writing the kind of book I like to read: long-running Urban Fantasy with little romance, more intrigue than violence, high stakes, a complex world built over time, a large cast of unique characters and, of course, some real fucked up magic with some real fucked up consequences.

What are you working on next?

Right now, I’m finishing edits on Book 4 in my series, which is the obligatory vampire novel. After that, I have some plans for Book 5 that’s I’m pretty excited about. It’ll probably be a weird, semi-experimental tangle that might be tricky to pull off, but I’m sure going to try.

What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?

I can’t think of a single book or author that I’ve read that didn’t inspire me to write. The great ones make me want to write something as well as they do; the bad ones make me want to write something better.

If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?

I have no idea. I probably should, but here we are. Feel free to tell me if you figure it out!

Is there genre you’d like to write but never have?

I don’t have the self-control to want to do something and not immediately give it a try. Whether I keep it up is another matter. I think the chances are good I’ll end up in more of a sci-fi lane at some point, but we’ll see. A mix of sci-fi and fantasy is always a good time.

Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why?

I’m almost exclusively a long-form writer. I have written shorter from time to time, but it’s always a lot harder both to get started, and to finish. I just want something ambitious enough to sink my teeth into, you know?

What advice would you give to unpublished writers?

Think about what you want to get out of your writing and act accordingly. Publishing, whether it’s self-publishing or pursuing trad publishing, isn’t the be all end all—there are a ton of different paths writing can take you down and every single one of them is as valid as all the others.

Do you just want people to read your stories? Are you writing for the joy of it and don’t need anyone to read it at all? Are you doing this mainly to process your experiences? Do you want to engage in a community of people who like the same things you do, maybe even the same existing characters? Do you want to make money? Do you want the satisfaction of just holding the physical copy of your work in your hands? Do you want prestige?

The combination of how much you want different things, as well as how much time, energy, and money you have to put into pursuing them, will lead you in a particular direction. And whatever direction that is, is the right direction for you, regardless of what anyone else has to say about it. It’s also totally fair, and valid, and probably inevitable that that’ll change over time. Always be ready to let that happen.

Do you have a new book coming out? If so, what’s the title and when? “The Vengeance of Vampires”, book 4 in my Urban Fantasy series, will be out on all storefronts by the end of the year.

[Author Interview] A. Keith Carreiro

[RKB Writes Interviews – A. Keith Carreiro]

Keith Carreiro is a multi-award-winning author, as well as a poet and classical guitarist with a lifelong addiction to storytelling. Mountain ranges and coastlines fascinate him, yet he still remains stymied in suburbia. Faith, music, family, friends, and two fur babies help sustain him.

He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His academic focus, including his ongoing research agenda, centers upon philosophically examining how creativity and critical thinking are gained, learned, used, and practiced in the literary, visual, and performing arts. He has taken his findings and applied them to the professional development of educational practitioners and other creative artists.

He is writing a planned nine‒book series titled The Immortality Wars. It is a sci‒fi, fantasy, and spiritual thriller based on Christian themes. The second trilogy, the Pilgrim, is currently being written. The first trilogy, the Penitent, was published by Stillwater River Publications in August 2019.

Keith is passionate about creating worlds infused with science fiction and fantasy. Throw in a little bit of Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Lee Child along with J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, and he is happy to say that these writers are his heroes who inspire him to write stories that enchant, terrify, and hopefully entertain his readers.

You can follow Keith through his social channels:

Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

At a very young age, I fell in love with storytelling. The first stories I heard were told by family members who all had the riveting ability to tell me the events of their lives and our family history. I learned about what life was like for them in the Azores and here in America from the time my grandfather first immigrated to the United States in 1900. These stories took me back in time to the first half of the 20th century. They were also steeped in the music of the islands and Portugal. My grandmother was a well‒known singer of a style of music called cantigas ao desafio, or song duels. Philosophical, sublime, insulting, and cutting straight to the heart or personality of those being singled out for ridicule, these desafios revealed the soul and spirit of the Azorean worldview.

Often, cantodores (singers) would visit my grandparent’s home, stay for hours at a time and music would spill over into our lives with much laughter and delight shared between the musicians, singers and listeners. A musical style called Fado (fate, destiny) would pour forth and the fadistas (Fado singers) present were some of the finest in our area, some even coming from the Azores and the mainland as well to visit with us.

When I was seven, some of the musicians let me join them. I played my American, classical guitar with their Portuguese instruments, consisting of a guitarra Portuguesa, a couple of steel string acoustic guitars, and one to three mandolins. I played this music until I was sixteen.

In the meantime, I became an avid reader and fell in love with the cinema.

These experiences instilled in me a deep love of telling stories. I began to write short stories and then turned to poetry when I entered high school. Years later, I did academic research and wrote about my inquiry into creativity and critical thinking. In 2014, after wanting to write fiction novels, I began writing The Immortality Wars, which is a sci‒fi, fantasy, spiritual thriller based on Christian themes.  These glimpses into life inspired me. I wanted to participate in unleashing the same kind of lightning in a spellbinding tale.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I have turned my living room into a writer’s retreat and office. I am surrounded by books, manuscripts, papers, and art work, as well as outlines of my story ideas that are placed on the two walls next to my desk computer.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

After my teaching is over for the academic year, I usually begin writing in mid‒May throughout the summer and into October. My daily goal is to write a minimum of 500 words.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Creating titles for my books usually involves inspiration: researching an idea that leads to a working title, a memory of a dream providing a suggestion for a title, something said in a random conversation, or something read that sparks key phrases. Listening to music or watching a movie sometimes unleashes word impressions that lead to options for book titles also. Sometimes, they seem to drop into my awareness fully dressed as if they are all ready to go out partying at the nearest library or book store.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?

One of the most challenging scenes for me to write in the Pilgrim – Part I was the one involving a character named Chén Liú. He is one of the greatest beings of his time. His levels of observation, intelligence, memory, physical stamina, fierceness, and combat skills brought him to the pinnacle of his race. He was the first out of one hundred of the most powerful and influential cyborgs to sign the Armistice between humans and machines in 2455 Old Earth Time. I wanted to have the reader see him in his adopted home setting, which is on an exoplanet called Aion that is located between the first and fourth quadrant on the Carina–Sagittarius Arm in the Milky Way. The machines settled on this spiral arm of the Galaxy, which is directly on the other side of the Galaxy from human settlement.

The types of scenes that I love to write are created as if I were a cinematographer. I see them as if they are being filmed. Sometimes I hear a musical score or piece of one that allows me to get a literary signature of a scene.

What inspired your book/series?

When I was a boy my parents let me go to the movie theater to see Ben‒Hur (1959). I was completely in awe of this film. I was completely immersed in watching a powerful human drama set within the time of Christ. I never experienced anything like it. From that moment on, I wanted to see if I could ever write something similar. When I was older I read J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954 – 1955). The same powerful response to Tolkien’s work that I had to Lew Wallace’s (1880) work of Ben‒Hur, as translated by director William Wallace onto the “big screen,” occurred.

In 2014, I felt I was ready to write, even attempt, such a story. I recalled the quote by Arthur C. Clarke, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” It is Clarke’s third law about the future.

I wondered what it would be like if I could somehow bring people from the 18th century, like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John and Abigail Adams, into the 21st century. These folks are people from a fire and horse culture. What would they think of our present day world if they were taken to New York City, Paris, London, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, and Shanghai? Would they think of me as a mighty conjuror or wizard?

Then I thought, What would I think and believe if someone from the 26th century brought me into their world? What would such a world look like? What would civilization become? What would happen to faith? To science? To people?

That scenario became the basis for the beginning idea of the series.

What are you working on next?

I am researching and story boarding the fifth novel, the Pilgrim – Part II.

What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?

J. R. Tolkien, Lew Wallace, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, T. S. White, Stephen R. Donaldson, Terry Goodkind, Frank Herbert, The Brothers Grimm, Lee Child, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and The Bible

If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?

It would be an honor to be compared to any of the writers listed above, but Tolkien seems the best for the worlds he created as well as the story and beings he placed in his tales of Middle Earth.

Is there genre you’d like to write but never have?

There are at least two, one being a crime/thriller story, and the other being historical fiction.

Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why?

I enjoy writing both, but I am passionate about writing and concluding this series. For now, I enjoy writing manuscripts.

What advice would you give to unpublished writers?

I don’t believe I am at the point in my fictional writing life to give advice to other authors or even unpublished writers. However, I do believe it is important that we communicate with one another about our writing journeys, and that we consider advocating for those of our contemporaries who are also scribbling away in like manner.

In 1974, I wrote Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) a heartfelt letter about the impact his book, Theophilus North (1973) had upon me. Much to my delight and surprise, he wrote a handwritten letter to me. He advised that I surround myself with three kinds of people if I hoped to lead a fulfilling life. He believed it is important to be able to teach those who seek your advice and knowledge. At the same time, it is important to be with your peers in order to share the knowledge you have accrued with them. Likewise, it is important to be with individuals who have attained mastery of their art and work. We have much to learn from them.

I would like to apply Wilder’s concept of human flourishing to be the basis for sound advice to other authors and writers. It is one of the reasons I am glad that I am a member of the Association of Rhode Island Authors.

Do you have a new book coming out? If so, what’s the title and when?

Yes, I have a new book coming out called, the Pilgrim – Part I. It is the fourth book in a planned nine‒book series called The Immortality Wars. This series will consist of a trilogy of trilogies. The first is called the Penitent and the third trilogy will be called the Prophet. I will be releasing it on Saturday, September 16, 2023, in Dublin, Ireland where I am scheduled to be a key presenter at The International Dublin Writers’ Festival (15-17 September).

This novel is currently available in eBook and paperback versions on Amazon and Ingram.

[Author Interview] Michael Jovin


[RKB Writes Interviews – Michael Jovin]

I was born in Brooklyn NY but raised mostly in Providence RI. I love to read anime manga, novels, play video games, and Sci-Fi and fantasy genres in movies and tv shows. My love of writing started in high school, and I carried it into college. Though I never majored in writing I took a lot of short story and screenwriting classes to keep up with my interests and explore different writing styles.

You can follow Michael through his social channels:

Amazon | Goodreads | Instagram |

Do you have a new book coming out? If so, what’s the title and when?

I am currently writing my second book in the Beyond the Forest Series called Remnants of LaRa. Hopefully it will be ready by early next year (February).

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

What inspired me to write was the stories in my head. I had and still have all these cool and interesting ideas for characters and plot that I want to put down and create new and interesting stories for others to love as well. I enjoy when people gather together in forums or social media and discuss the plot and lore of what they are interested in. It gives me motivation to write a great story where everyone is talking about it trying to find out what will happen next and why it moves them.

Describe your desk / writing space.

My writing space is all over the place lol, I write from my bedroom on my laptop, I write at work when I have downtime in from of my computer, and sometimes I can write a little on the go on my phone if I have some cool ideas. I try to write mostly in the mornings to early afternoons. Mornings are the best because you feel more refresh and the ideas are not crowed with daily routine stuff yet.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

I try to have a routine as in the time of day I write, but I mostly write when I’m inspired. Sometimes something triggers it like reading something really good or sometimes its just my surroundings and what is going on in the world. My mind lights up and I continue my adventures.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Honestly those are hard lol, but I kind of start writing and let the story create the title. I usually ask myself what is this about and most of the time the title comes about. Sometimes I come up with titles but after writing I end up changing it.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?

The hardest scenes to write are the dialogue scenes when nothing else is happening but the two characters talking. If you add another character it becomes easier because that third character has to pick a side sometimes and that makes it interesting and fun. My favorite scenes to writing are action scenes because you can make anything happen and your characters have to navigate through it all. I write the scenes and I watch as my characters go through them in my head and I just sit back as they amaze me.

What inspired your book/series?

The three things that inspired my book series are 1. Power Rangers, because they were my first superheroes and I enjoyed the team up aspect and loyalty between them in fighting with your friends to stop evil. 2. Star Wars, because I fell in love with that space opera and the roller coaster ride of characters, fighting, scenery, and storytelling. 3. One Piece, because no other story I’ve read has this much world building, story, and heart. The characters, the lore, the places and adventures, and last but not least the fighting and special abilities.

What are you working on next?

I am going to be working on a movie next after my second book comes out.  I’ve had this story I wanted to tell for a while now (10+ years) and now I’m starting to put things together for it.  I’m going to be working on the screen play and get things rolling eventually.

What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?

The books that I have really enjoyed and got me going were Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Stephen King 11/22/63, Ernest Cline Ready Player One, and Lois Lowry, The Giver.  I’m currently reading Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, and Jennifer Fallon, Lion of Senet.

If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?

Before a few days ago I would have said no one, I kind of write in my own style, but recently I have seen some similarities from Jennifer Fallon.  She is 100x better than me, but I find myself looking at the way she uses her words and descriptions and I like them and could see myself going about it similarly.

Is there genre you’d like to write but never have?

I would say maybe horror.  I was a big horror fan growing up and I still like some horror movies and tv shows, but it’s a genre I don’t really get into nowadays so I probably wouldn’t do it any justice.

Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why?

I like short stories, that’s where I started and continued on to long forms of writing in script and light novels.  I like a quick story where you have to tell something compelling and interesting in a limited amount of space without it feeling like you left anything out.  I also like longer stories where it’s like take a seat, get comfy, grab your favorite drink and enjoy the ride.

What advice would you give to unpublished writers?

I would say if you have a cool idea or interesting story that has been brewing in your mind for a while, go for it.  Just write what you have so far and when its all on paper it will free up your mind to fill in the holes and make it better.  But first you have to release whatever you have in your mind and write it down; your story will motivate you to continue and maybe it will motivate others and your story will be in the forums and social media being talked about because they love it so much.

[Author Interview] J. B. Wadsworth

There are a few things I need to confess. As a child, I never read much for pleasure because I was a painfully slow reader. I went faithfully to the bookmobile and library, but rarely finished a book. Then, after I married, my husband read The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Reader’s Digest condensed version) to me and from then on, I took off as a reader, devouring books non-stop when I wasn’t doing my college homework. I learned to love reading and the ability of a good story to transport me to other worlds.

Other things I love—

I love to watch the leaves change from green to shades of yellow, orange, and red as the days shorten and the wind nips at my cheeks. Then, when a gust of wind sends them whirling through the air, raining down or surfing the breeze—that’s awesome, too.

I love sightseeing with my husband, who provides the history behind the sights. I love places with mountains, seashores (the sound of the waves is mesmerizing), rolling hills, manicured gardens, desert sunsets, architecture—you name it.

I love spending time outdoors—even if it’s just mowing the lawn or shoveling snow, but my favorite things to do are hiking, archery, gardening, rock climbing, canoeing, drawing, and just gabbing with my husband and kids.

I love researching for my stories and concocting a blend of history and fiction to produce the finished novel. My favorite part of the research process is spending hours rummaging through nineteenth-century newspapers in the special collections room in the local library and finding some gems hidden in the lines that make my stories more real.

I love being the mother of four wonderful kids and the grandmother of six amazing grandkids. My hope is that they will grow to love reading and writing as much as I do. My recent reads have been by Sarah M. Eden, Julie Klassen, and Josi Kilpack. I also love the works of Jane Austen and Lucy Maud Montgomery—two truly brilliant trailblazers. I feel grateful for their friendship—shared with me through their literature.

You can follow J.B. through her social channels:

Amazon | FacebookGoodreads | Bookbub | Website

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

My mother was a creative writer, as were my grandmother and great grandfather. So I suppose my desire is somewhat innate. I wrote my first story when I was in third grade—some absurd tale about Dracula. (For some reason, I was very obsessed with Dracula at that time.)

Describe your desk / writing space.

I write at my kitchen table, which has to be somewhat organized or else I have to stop and clean up my workspace. I also need it relatively quiet to keep my train of thought as I become easily distracted. I usually play music to match the mood of what I am writing, but it must be instrumental and must be background music, not blaring from my speakers.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

I try to write every day—whether it is on my own work or editing the work of others. I also keep my computer or a notebook handy so I can jot down ideas that occur to me. I’ve also been known to get up in the middle of the night to write down a scene or dialogue that occurs to me because I know I’ll forget my inspiration by morning. Sometimes I read these jottings and wonder why I thought they were inspirational and sometimes they are truly golden.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

This is my true weakness. Usually my sister, who is my beta reader, shoots down my first ideas for titles. Sometimes she even suggests one. I bounce ideas off my family members until I hit on one that everyone thinks works.

What was the hardest scene for you to write?

What types of scenes are your favorite to write? Fight scenes are always my nemesis. They take many rewrites and much consultation. I like to write dialogue and have playful banter take place. Thinking up snarky comebacks is always fun.

What inspired your book/series?

I actually wrote Ninety-Nine White Horses, Book 2 in my Gilded Age Romance series first. The creative seed for this book was planted in my brain the moment I thumbed through the book, What They Say in New England; a Book of Signs, Sayings, and Superstitions, by Clifton Johnson, published in 1896 by Lee and Shepard Publishers. This was way back in 1988. At the time, I was working as a student assistant at Eli M. Oboler Library at Idaho State University. Dusting, shelf reading, and book shifting can become very tedious tasks, so when I came across this gem, I sat down to take an unofficial break. It was then that the superstition about the ninety-nine white horses started to gallop through my mind. That was over thirty years ago, and shame on me for having taken so long to write this story. Some seeds just take longer to germinate, grow, and bear fruit than others, I guess. The Gilded Age has always interested me, and when I began researching it for fun, I knew I’d found my niche.

What are you working on next?

For my next book, I will be following one of the characters from Little Eden to Montana and Wyoming and focusing on an adventure on the copper mining kings and cattle baron wars that took place there around 1890-1900. I am still in the planning stage but am anxious to get started.

What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?

I love classics, like Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, as well as everything Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Elizabeth Kleghorn Gaskell. In my writing, I seek to bring my characters alive as these women did. I also love Julie Klassen’s works. For my upcoming novel, I find inspiration in Kirby Larson’s Hattie Big Sky.

If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?

I would have to say that my novels are a blend of the works of Lucy Maud Montgomery and Edith Wharton—heartwarming, clean fun combined with the outrageousness and selfishness of Gilded Age society.

Is there genre you’d like to write but never have?

I would like to attempt a cozy mystery series.

Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why?

I have found short stories harder to write than a novel. In fact, my book, Pearls & Steel, started out as a short story prequel to Ninety-Nine White Horses, but I found that I needed to tell the whole story of Sheridan Baird and Elinor Taylor. So, consequently, it grew into a novel length story. I think I prefer writing novels because I like to flesh out the stories and their characters and follow them to their end.

What advice would you give to unpublished writers?

Studying how to write a good book has helped me become a better writer and editor. The Great Courses offers a course called How to Write Best-Selling Fiction that really helped me understand what needs to go into a story and where it needs to go in order to be a successful and satisfying read. That was where my schooling in writing began. I’ve since continued to study other instructors, like Dwight Swain, Deborah Chester, Lisa Cron, John Truby, Shawn Coyne, Sol Stein, and many more. By studying the craft, I find my own work improving with every book I write.

Do you have a new book coming out? If so, what’s the title and when?

I have just completed my third novel, Little Eden, which takes place in Gilded Age Newport. It is still in the revision stages, and I hope to have it out later this year. I also completed a short story, Angelica’s Tale, which is a prequel to my first book, Pearls & Steel, and will be out for distribution soon.

[Author Interview] Gage Greenwood

Gage Greenwood is the best-selling author of the Winter’s Myths series and Bunker Dogs, and he’s a proud active member of the Horror Writers Association.

He’s been an actor, comedian, podcaster, and even the Vice President of an escape room company. Since childhood, he’s been a big fan of comic books, horror movies, and depressing music that fills him with existential dread.

He lives in New England with his girlfriend and son, and he spends his time writing, hiking, and decorating for various holidays.

You can follow Gage through his social channels:

Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramGoodreads | Bookbub | Website

 

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write? My mother. She was a poet in the 80s. She had multiple published works, and I always enjoyed watching her clack away at her typewriter. I was an avid reader as a kid, and it didn’t take long before I wanted to tell my own stories just like Mom. Of course, I didn’t get into poetry. I can thank my brother and sister for my love of all things dark and creepy.

Describe your desk / writing space. I write on the couch with the laptop on my lap. Or I sit at the kitchen table and look out the sliding glass door to the woods surrounding my house. One day, I’ll have my own writing office. Until this, this is peace.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired? I write whenever I have free time. I am a stay at home dad, so time shows up at random points, and when it arrives, I have to take all the advantage I can.

How do you come up with the title to your books? I try to think about something that would catch my attention if I scrolled past it, but also something that wholly defines the story without telling the reader too much, making them wonder what THAT title is all about.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?

There’s a scene in Winter’s Myths where the main character has a flashback to his last moments with his wife before she died, and I pulled from my real life experiences with my mother’s last moments. That scene was an emotionally draining scene to write, and I still have trouble reading it.

My favorite scenes to write are emotionally cathartic ones, the kind of scene that shows up just after the tension fully drains the reader, and then I unload on them even more.

What inspired your book/series? Winter’s Myths had a lot of inspiration coming from a variety of places. It all started with the age-old question of “How would our society look under the eyes of someone seeing it for the first time?” It’s a story of a family trying to survive in an apocalyptic Earth, but they were raised underground, never having seen or heard about a car before, or a movie, or much of anything. They have to navigate and survive while also trying to make sense of their surroundings. In the meantime, the father tells his daughter quirky and weird mythologies/fairy tales based on his misunderstandings of our world. I really wanted to write something that mocked humanity in its current state, while also expressing hope and love for it, and I thought the best way to do that was to show it from an outsider’s perspective.

What are you working on next? I have a bunch of anthologies I was asked to submit to, so I am working on some short stories, and after that, I will be finishing up my next novel, “On a Clear Day, You Can See Block Island.” It’s a story about a group of siblings who witness a tragic event in their Block Island home. Years later, they are all still suffering from what they witness, so they decide to go back to the island to confront their past.

What authors or books have influenced you to start writing? Cliche, but it’s hard not to mention Stephen King. I grew up on his books, and Pet Sematary remains one of the most haunting books I’ve ever read.

I would also say Gaiman, who travels outside the bounds of genre in his writing. That’s something I do a lot. I like to toy with genre and tone to create an intentionally jarring effect on readers. A tragedy might be followed up by something completely bizarre and comical, or something whimsical and light might suddenly get struck with something shocking and bleak. My fans joke that I have invented my own genre, and we’ve been calling it DreadPop.

Lastly, Sarah Langan, whose book The Keeper changed the way I viewed horror. It’s not all about the chills and scares. There’s something deeper there, and when you strike it, it follows you forever.

If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?
I’m not sure. I really work to have my own voice. Certainly Neil Gaiman in terms of playing with genre and tone, but I would also say my voice would work well with a lot of comic book artists, guys like Colin Bunn. I write short chapters, big cliffhangers, and books with mini-arcs all hovering under a larger arc’s umbrella.

Is there a genre you’d like to write but never have? I’m toying with as many as I can, but someday I would love to write a really dark space opera. Something wild, long, and epic, but also really horrific and bleak.

Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why? I prefer novels. With longer novels, I get to intertwine so many dots, and it’s always a blast to watch them all connect. With short stories, I have to keep the subplots to a minimum.

What advice would you give to unpublished writers? Writing is one job. Publishing is one hundred. Be prepared to work. It’s hard, but it’s a lot of fun. And make sure you go out of your way to show gratitude and respect to your readers. They are your lifeblood. Writing is a solo job, but publishing is a collaboration between you and the reader. Let them know you’re on the same team, and they will never stop supporting you.

[Author Interview] Rose Grey

Rose Grey’s work ranges from standalone contemporary romance (Not As Advertised) to romantic suspense (Hot Pursuit) to small-town sci-fi romance. The Durrell Brothers Trilogy, beginning with award winning Waiting For You, is a captivating contemporary romance series about three brothers and the women who win their hearts. The Heart Thief is a small-town sci-fi romance, the first in the Valora Series.

Rose’s idea of an emergency is realizing that a long weekend is coming and that the library is closing in an hour. She loves finding cool seashells, knitting sweaters which start out right but inevitably turn out too large, and petting stray dogs. She lives with her husband, the love of her life, and suffers from the sin of boundless pride when it comes to her four grown children.

You can follow Rose through her social channels:

Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads | Bookbub | Website

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

At first, I intended to write just the one book. I swear. I think I thought I would get it out of my system that way. But knowing a character well is addictive. I want to see what will happen to him or her. And there is always at least one side character in each story I want to explore further. Which leads to another book.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I have an attractive, perfectly useful, and ergonomic desk near a lovely window. Instead, I do most of my writing hunched over a small rickety table facing the wall or, on pleasant weather days, at that same rickety table on my front porch.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

I think if one waits for inspiration, one is likely never to accomplish anything. So, I do set expectations for myself which I try to meet. I find I only receive the blessing of inspiration when I have put in the requisite amount of sweat equity.

How do you come up with the title to your books?

Titles can be a challenge. For my most recent book, The Heart Thief, first I thought about themes I wanted to highlight in a title. Then I considered the typical length of fiction titles I saw online and narrowed the list of my possibilities to about a dozen. Finally, I asked trusted author friends for input on those remaining title candidates. I asked them which titles grabbed them and why – that input was invaluable.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?

The hardest scenes for me to write are the dark moments about three quarters of the way through a book. I already know these characters and am rooting for them, so I dislike thinking up ways to cause them pain. Having said that, whenever I am not sure where to go next in a chapter, one sure way of priming the pump is to ask myself, “What is the worst thing that could happen to these characters right now?”

I love writing scenes which show a character growing and figuring something out. One of the privileges of writing is being able to observe a character’s thought processes and motivations from close up. It’s a bit like when I am with young children. If I stay sufficiently unobtrusive, they forget I am there and I can listen in. That is a good way to learn about both children and book characters and about how they see the world and their place in it.

What inspired your book/series?

I am fascinated by the bride boats from World War II. My mother-in-law came to this country on one of those boats. She was already married, of course, but coming to America this way took a lot of courage. I am also intrigued by women who traveled across the United States in the late 1800s hoping to marry virtual strangers. I wondered how that would work on a distant planet in the year 3080.

What are you working on next?

Right now, I am writing the second book in the Valora series. The first book, The Heart Thief, followed the fortunes of a fugitive and the marshal who falls in love with her. The Searcher’s Heart follows the bounty hunter (the searcher) who fails to capture that fugitive. Here is what it’s about:

Being a Searcher is all Jens Nonam has ever wanted. So, when he fails to capture his quarry for the first time in his life, he is shocked. Worse than that, the guild puts him on indefinite leave and because he does not have the funds to take a shuttle back to his home planet, he is stranded in Sector 1065.

Luli Carvanserei is in a bind. If she doesn’t find someone to care for her grandfather until his broken leg heals, she may lose her job. Normally, she would never consider hiring a searcher, even an ex-searcher, especially one as stilted and rule-bound as Jens. But desperate times call for desperate measures and after all, Jens plans to leave as soon as he can earn enough money to buy shuttle fare.

Guild life is the only life Jens has ever known. But as he finds his way through the pitfalls of small-town life, he begins to wonder what making his home in the sector might look like. And if he were to stay, what that might mean for him and Luli?

What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?

Robert Parker (for his exactness and brevity), Ellie Griffiths (for her delicate use of suspense), Kristan Higgins (because her characters seem so human), J. D. Robb (for her gutsy persistence in writing backstories which are not miraculously solved by love), and Jennifer Crusie (because she makes me laugh). I enjoy Mike Carey’s fantasy series about a ghost hunter. The writing is delicious and you feel a bit as though he is whispering the story in your ear with snarky asides just for you.

If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?

I still love, and reread once a year, A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson. There’s an elegance to Ibbotson’s writing and all her characters whether major or minor have depth. But her most important attribute, I think, is that just a story appears to be sliding toward the saccharine, she slips in some wry observation about life or a sharp commentary about a character. This particular book was written in the 1980s. I, too, would like to write books which remain fresh fifty years from now.

Is there genre you’d like to write but never have?

I’ve started to mess with horror, which one would think would be the polar opposite of romance. But in a sense, horror is just a dark reflection of a love story.

Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why?

Recently, I have been writing short stories as palate cleansers when I get stuck on my longer manuscripts. But I do like the long manuscripts best. They give me a chance to explore my characters’ growth more deeply.

What advice would you give to unpublished writers?

Don’t put the manuscript in a drawer and decide writing is a self-indulgence you can’t afford. Go for it. Sit down and write. Then write some more. Notice the bones of the books you read. Ask good questions about why you like or dislike specific books and apply that information to your own writing. Don’t be afraid of criticism – use the criticism that is useful and let go of what isn’t. Aim high. Forgive yourself for being an amateur. It turns out, we are all amateurs

 

Do you have a new book coming out? If so, what’s the title and when?

The Searcher’s Heart, the second book of the Valora Series will be available for purchase by the end of the year.