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Category: Writing

[Plotting About] June 2023 Newsletter

June 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to June!

This is a blog post copy of my newsletter, if you like these posts and wish to get the newsletter delivered to your email instead, click here to join my newsletter. No emails will be sold and I only send out the newsletter once a month.

Local News: Another Pints and Pages event at Narragansett Brewery in Rhode Island on 6/15/23 from 6pm-9pm. This event features 3 Association of Rhode Island Authors. The authors at this event will be: Michael Fine, MD. Jed Griswold and Richard Rezendes.

Television News:

Lockwood and Co has been canceled and before Netflix disappears it due to the Writer’s Strike, I highly recommend going and watching it. If you liked Buffy then you’ll like the television series and the book series.

Silo on Apple TV is perfect. Everyone is raving about it. Go read the series and then watch the show.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 on Paramount Plus drops the middle of June. It’s the second Trek show to get a good first season, the first being DS9. Also, you can now stream all of season 1 for free, legally on Youtube. Go watch the series, it’s fun!

Marvel’s Secret Invasion on Disney + arrives mid-June. This looks fun and probably sets up Marvels in November (just in time for RI Comic Con)

Movie News:

June is a busy month with so much geek movies coming out 1 a week if anyone complains about the box office numbers then someone needs their head examined:

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts – I’m happy to see the Bumblebee sequel, I’m happy to see G1 Transformers. I’m less than thrilled that the Maximals voice actors in ROTB and Netflix series weren’t the original actors from Beast Wars. I know, I know, I should be happy to see the Maximals on the screen but when you can’t tell one voice actor from another in the Netflix series and while I’m happy the celebs voice over actors are there, I’m purist. I’m waiting for Peter Cullen to voice the directions on Waze cuz c’mon.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – First movie was great. Trailers for the second one look awesome.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – It’s been 15 years since the misfire that was Crystal Skull. I holding out hope it won’t nuke the fridge, again. A phrase that shouldn’t even exist.

The Flash – I want to enjoy this. I want to embrace it. Keaton’s Batman returns and a surprise cameo they let out the bag that I won’t reveal here. But the private life of star Ezra Miller hasn’t been so private.

Asteroid City by Wes Anderson looks fun with enough A-List stars to shake a stick at.

Local Convention News: The Warwick Public Library is having. Vendor and Craft Fair on 6/17/23 from 10am-2pm. I’ll be manning the ARIA table.

RKB Writes Author Interview with Katrina Thornley

RKB Picks


Class of ’09 o FX and Hulu: If you’re a Person of Interest Fan then Class of ’09 on FX (Hulu) is right up your alley. The series skips back and forth between 2009, 2023 and 2032 and keeps the plot rolling along quite well. I highly recommend it.

Air on Amazon Prime: Someone mentioned the musical rights for Air must’ve set them back a lot. The movie directed by Ben Affleck includes many A-List stars about the making of Air Jordans in 1980s. It is not Money Ball. It’s an enjoyable and uplifting movie.

eBook Promos

Novels Spotlight!

[Author Interview] Katrina Thornley

RKB Author Interview with Katrina Thornley

Katrina Thornley resides in rural Rhode Island on a family farm that has been in her family for generations. It is situated in the Arcadia Management Area, a location that has greatly influenced her writing. She has had short stories and poems published in numerous anthologies over the years and is currently publishing the Arcadians Collection of Poetry. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2016 with a BA in English. In her free time she enjoys hiking, swimming, and reading thriller novels.

You can follow Katrina through her social channels:

Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramGoodreads  | Website

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I can’t pinpoint what exactly it was that inspired me to write. I think it was a combination of quite a few things. Growing up, my parents and grandfather got me hooked on reading. I loved literature and using the writing of others to create images within my mind. And then I started creating my own stories to use as distractions from life. I suppose that has continued into adulthood.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I tend to enjoy writing outside more than sitting at a desk because I’m stuck inside for my day job all day. I miss the sunshine! I have a small table beside a fire pit under a massive Pine Tree that is growing out of a large rock in our front yard and my chair has a little cup holder and shelf attached to it. It’s the perfect spot to sit in silence. I also go to a local park and sit on a rock that just out into the water to create poetry.

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

I’ve been working on cementing a writing routine, I feel like I have steal hours here and there. I definitely get more writing done between the hours of 5 and 7pm and throughout the day on Saturday. I prefer working in silence.

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

My poetry collections are all inspired by nature and one of my favorite places to go is the Arcadia Management Area. It’s a beautiful place to hike and there’s so much history hidden within the management area. It’s such a wonderful area that truly gets the creative juices flowing. As “Arcadia” means “harmony with nature” I thought “Arcadians” would be a wonderful term for those of us that find peace within the woods, perhaps with a book of poetry.
My novel “Kings of Millburrow” gained its title from the family that seems to run the small town. Their last name just happens to be “King” and the plot circles around the patriarchs seedy past even though he is not the main character. He put things in motion that could not be stopped.

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

At the end of Kings of Millburrow I had to kill off one of my favorite characters. I debated whether or not it was the right move or not, but after receiving feedback from readers I think I made the right choice.

I honestly love writing the scenery for scenes, any scene. I love putting myself into the store and picking out details from the world my mind is creating. Its therapeutic.

What inspired your book/series?

Kings of Millburrow was inspired by a creative writing class at the University of Rhode Island. We had to draw a map of a fictitious world or town and create a story that went along with it. I created Milville which eventually turned into Millburrow. The map led to the creation of a back story of the feud between the Kings and Crofts family and then I heard a Carrie Underwood song that fit perfectly into the plot between Albert King and Randall Croft.

What are you working on next?

I am currently working on a murder mystery set in a small town. I can’t give away too much, but I can promise there is a bit of a plot twist at the end and relationships are torn apart.

What authors or books have influenced you to start writing?

I would have to say J.K. Rowling and her work played a part in influencing me to start writing. Her ability to create worlds and relatable characters is amazing. I have since been inspired by books like Bittersweet (Miranda Beverly-Whittemore) and A Good Idea (Cristina Moracho).

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

I would say my writing is similar to Cristina Moracho and Lee Smith.

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

I have dabbled in a little bit of everything, I have a collection of short stories available that has stories that span through different genres (26 Brentwood Avenue & Other Tales) including gothic thriller and romance. However, I would love to be able to devote more time to a fantasy series I’ve been thinking about for about five years.

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

I enjoy writing both, if I am crunched for time and feel that I need to get a story out I will write a short story. I do enjoy writing novels more though as I can give the characters their full breadth and show readers different sides of them. Kings of Millburrow started out as a 5-page short story about James and Lilly (who was originally named Tristan) and then became this full-length novel to include Lilly’s sister and James’s best friend.

What advice would you give to unpublished writers?

Keep writing and keep reaching out to publishers. The worst anyone will say is “no thank you” and you’re going to hear that quite often. If you choose to self publish, spend time editing yourself before sending it off to an editor. (And reach out to your local mom and pop shops to see if they will carry your book or if you can host an event within their facility!).

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

 I am currently working on 2 projects actually! One of the projects is the 3rd installment in the Arcadians poetry series and this should be available in November of 2023. This collection will again include poetry inspired by rural Rhode Island and the beautiful nature we have to offer, but it will also hold an array of photographs taken during my escapades through the wilderness. I am also working on a murder mystery set in a small town. There isn’t yet a release date for this particular novel, but I am looking for BETA readers if anyone is interested!

[Plotting About] May 2023 News

May 2023 News

Just a heads up, the is a copy of my newsletter that goes out once a month. If you’re interested in joining it, check the sidebar.

Local News: Another Pints and Pages event at Narragansett Brewery in Rhode Island on 5/4/23 from 6pm-9pm. This event features 3 Association of Rhode Island Authors. The authors at this event will be: Heather Rigney, Barbara Ann Whitman and Laurie Heyden.


And talking about Association of Rhode Island Authors (in full disclosure I’m on the board), ARIA’s Writing Academy had our first class and it went well. So well, we’re doing 2 in May! The first class instructed by ARIA’s VP, Tabitha Lord. The class is on May 11th at 7pm via Zoom.

The second class is by J. Michael Squatrito, Jr., he’s ARIA’s President and the class will be in-person on May 25th at 7pm.

Television News:

Well, The Mandalorian finished it third season, Bad Batch finished up their second and third season of Picard nailed the landing even if I have nitpicks about who survived the finale. It’s funny they tried to stay away from the fan service for two seasons and look what happened. They turn into the fan servicing skid and they nailed it. I think this is why Discovery took so long to find itself as a show not for the fan servicing but finding people who liked Star Trek.

The Diplomat on Netflix is worth watching if you’re missing on West Wing-type of show that doesn’t slow down so the audience can catch up.

Silo on Apple TV on May 5th is based on book series written by Hugh Howey. If you’re into sci-fi/post apocalyptic and if you haven’t read the Silo series, I’d suggest tracking it down. The trailers look great and a lot of A-List stars.

Reading News:

I finished up Lockwood and Co. and enjoyed the series. I’m guessing from the lack of news of season 2 on Netflix means no season 2 but you never know, one can hope. It’s unfortunate that with all the attempts to create a Buffy-esque show on Netflix, Lockwood nailed it in the first episode, having a thought out universe helped.

Free Comic Book Day is upon us on May 6th just in time for the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie. May sure to support your local comic book store!

RKB Writes Author Interview with J. L. Doucette

eBook Giveaways






Novels Spotlight

[Author Interview] J. L. Doucette

Author Interview with J. L. Doucette!

Rhode Island based psychologist, J. L. Doucette is the author of the Dr. Pepper Hunt Mysteries. Her new novel, On a Quiet Street, is the second in the series following her award-winning debut, Last Seen. After earning a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston University she moved to southwest Wyoming. The stark landscape of the high-desert, where a constant wind stirs crimes of passion, is the setting for her psychological mysteries.

You can follow through her social channels:

Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramGoodreads  | Website

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I have always loved stories and the beauty and effectiveness of words to convey meaning. The first adult book I read was Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I was moved by the insight the book provided into the character’s internal experience. I wanted to be able to do that.

Describe your desk / writing space. My desk is in front of a large window that overlooks a river. On the desk I have lots of small mementos of Wyoming the setting for My mystery novels.

Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired? I write most mornings. I used to be a night writer, but the timing switched organically for no particular reason I can point to. I like morning writing it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I feel more alive on the days I write in the morning I think because of the mental boost from being creative.

How do you come up with the title to your books? The titles, Last Seen, On A Quiet Street, and Unknown Assailant are all terms I read in newspaper reports of murders.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write? In my last novel there are two love scenes because the relationship between the two main characters progressed to that level of intimacy. These scenes were hard to write because I wanted them to convey the various levels of intimacy experienced. My favorite scene was in the first novel, where one of the detectives visits the crimes scene, which happens to be on the top of a mountain, and he is confronting the desolation of the landscape and the corresponding desolation of the crime.

What inspired your book/series? True crime stories which I then altered and amplified into fiction I am drawn to rime with strong psychological context.

What are you working on next? Book 4 in the Dr. Pepper Hunt Mystery Series. The working title is Innocent Bystander, which begins with an infant kidnapping.

What authors or books have influenced your writing? Tana French, the Irish author The Dublin Murder Squad Series and Jane Harper, the Australian suspense author. author. They both create ensemble characters that develop through the series.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live? A tropical island in the 1930’s

What is your favorite meal? Steak Frites

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer? Coffee, wine

Describe yourself in three words. Curious. Persistent. Resilient.

[Plotting About] April 2023 News

April 2023 News

What a difference a month makes, Picard Season 3 is firing on all thrusters, The Bad Batch finishes up Season 2 with a big episode and for those who read Hugh Howie’s Silo, Apple TV dropped a teaser trailer for the series and it looks really good.

Season 2 of Shadow and Bone dropped on Netflix and while I’d gobbled up season 1, I need to read the books to see how much they changed since there’re been some grumblings about them rushing through season 2 (and the books?) with a possible Six of Crows series in the wings.

Paramount+ has announced Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks and Prodigy renewals and Starfleet Academy while season 5 of Discovery will be the last season of the show.

I’m happy to see Trek embracing its episodic roots with expanded storytelling model aka television instead of attempting another condensed attempt at a movie since we don’t need another Nemesis. Trek, in my mind has always been episodic while the movies only get it right when it’s a movie and not an expanded two hour episode. I’m impatiently waiting for them to give up on Nu-Trek movies even if the actors are perfect, the stories just aren’t there.

The Star Wars franchise is thankfully using Disney+ properly for it’s expanded storytelling even if some of the shows don’t land well i.e. Book of Boba Fett since the condensed format of Episodes 7, 8, and 9 didn’t fair well. I think if they hadn’t gone with the LOTR schedule of a movie per year it’d be different story all together.

All of this feels like geek/superhero overload but for the most part the quality of the television shows have been good. It’s the movies that’re coming in dead on arrival, I haven’t seen a Marvel movie in the theaters since No Way Home and I’ve been a fan since Blade 1.

Movie News:

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: It’s not trying to be Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. It’s a fun, family movie with little swearing, little violence and enjoyable A-List actors knowing full well what movie they’re in. It’s worth seeing and sit through all the credits.





Reading News:

I’ve finished Lockwood Books 1,2+3 and moving onto Book 4. I’m hoping for a season 2 pick up from Netflix. I recommend checking your local library if you’re interested in the series.

I’m coming back to The Atlas Six later, it didn’t click with me.

April 2023 Events

Another Pints and Pages event at Narragansett Brewery in Rhode Island. This event features 3 Association of Rhode Island Authors. The authors at this event will be: Peter A. O’Donnell, Alexander Smith and Mary Catherine Volk.

ARIA Writing Academy Event

And talking about Association of Rhode Island Authors (in full disclosure I’m on the board), ARIA is starting a Writing Academy and our first class will be Pathways to Publishing instructed by ARIA’s VP, Tabitha Lord. The class is on April 5th at 7pm via Zoom.

Book Series Update

Last Crosleigh Standing (LCS) is still being plotted out. I’m trying to figure out if I want to do a novella or a full sized novel. It’s a prequel to Where Weavers Daire and takes place sometime before. You won’t need to read Weaver to figure out what’s going on.

April eBook Promos

Sci-Fi & Fantasy eBooks for everyone!
Looking for a new sci-fi book? Check out these fun ebooks!
A plethora of books looking for reviews!

Ebook Spotlight

[Author Interview] Diane Josefowicz

Author Interview with Diane Josefowicz!

Novelist and historian Diane Josefowicz is the author of Ready, Set, Oh, a novel published in 2022 by Minneapolis-based Flexible Press. A novella, L’Air du Temps (1985), is forthcoming from Regal House in 2024. Her fiction and essays have been widely anthologized and have appeared in Conjunctions, Fence, Dame, LA Review of Books, and elsewhere. She is also the author, with Jed Z. Buchwald, of two histories of Egyptology, The Riddle of the Rosetta (2020) and The Zodiac of Paris (2010), both from Princeton University Press. She lives in Providence, RI.

You can follow Diane through her social channels:

Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website


Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

The summer I was thirteen, I wrote a novel from start to finish on a yellow legal pad while hiding out from the rain—it was an incredibly wet summer—at the Cranston Public Library on Sockanossett Cross Road. What I loved—and I want to be absolutely honest about this—was the way those finished pages felt, their heft and texture. I’m left-handed, so writing in ink results in a smeary, messy page, and I loved that too. In my family I played the role of the unfailingly steady person, the reliable producer of good grades and athletic accomplishments. I wasn’t supposed to have an inner life, to respond in any authentic way to anyone or be unpredictably moved by anything. The page was one place where I could be freely imperfect, even messy. I threw those pages away because I didn’t want anyone to know I’d written anything.

Describe your desk / writing space:

I work at my grandmother’s make-up table, which I inherited after her death. It’s a delicate piece of furniture with thin legs and ball-in-claw feet. I’ve got my own office, with a wall full of bookshelves and a separate work table where books and papers tend to pile up. I’m usually working on a few things at once, and the projects are organized over there.

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

I write in notebooks, so I can jot things down when I’m out and about. I try to write every day, and I make a point of getting a few hours of dedicated writing time into just about every weekday. I sometimes write on weekends, but I like to keep those days free for reading and doing other things that don’t involve screens.

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

My publishers have titled most of my books so far. It’s a marketing decision.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

They’re all hard. Most of my writing happens through intense revision.

What inspired your book/series?

Ready, Set, Oh is a novel that takes place in the late Sixties in and around Providence, Rhode Island. It’s about two families in very different economic circumstances and what happens when two of their children become seriously romantically involved. The Vietnam war threatens one of those children, who is vulnerable to the draft; the other character gets in trouble because she’s pregnant and can’t get the abortion she might otherwise want. They’re in a terrible bind, both as individuals and as a couple, and the story unfolded naturally from their struggle inside this crucible of history and circumstances. I should add that I spent my early adulthood getting a PhD in history of science at MIT. One of my professors told me this: “The five years before your birth are the site of your biggest historical amnesia.” So I had thought a lot about that period, the late Sixties. I wondered what I could actually know about it. My parents had many fights about the meaning of those times; weirdly, so did all my professors. It was as if they were all trying to deal with some huge ongoing invisible trauma. So this struck me. Then, when I began writing Ready, Set, Oh, it was 2003, and the US was slipping into what was, to me, a very questionable and poorly justified war in Iraq. There was a lot of talk, too, about Vietnam, especially as the first casualty reports came back. I realized that war had informed so much of my life and yet, I had spent almost no time interrogating this, thinking about it. But I’d just had a baby, and her arrival sort of drew a line under my ignorance. I was worried about her future while being newly confused about the past. The book came out of those feelings.

What are you working on next?

L’Air du Temps (1985) is coming out next year, and that’s a story of a teenager named Zinnia Zompa who is stuck in a Rhode Island suburb in 1985. Weird things are happening—a neighbor is brutally murdered, everyone’s going crazy trying to make their lawns as green as possible, and Lincoln Continentals are parked in every driveway despite the skyrocketing price of gasoline. Zinnia’s just trying to make sense of it all, and along the way, she has a few adventures. I’m also finishing a revision of a novel about the housing boom and the beginnings of the opioid epidemic of the early aughts, though I would not necessarily say that on the jacket cover. Remember when everyone was in the business of “flipping” houses? There was so much manic energy around that, so much attention paid to it. And yet, behind and beneath it, there was also this wildfire of addiction and despair. How did that happen?

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I went to Brown in the 1990s, when the creative writing program was deeply imbued with the fabulism of Robert Coover, Angela Carter, Rikki Ducornet. These were my first teachers. At MIT I worked with Anita Desai, whose sharp eye for narrative structure helped me clarify the difference between good storytelling and kinds of history I had been reading and writing. I love the moody Europeans: Péter Nádas, Bohumil Hrabal, Stefan Heym, Claudio Magris, Eugen Ruge. As far as contemporaries go, I’m a huge fan of Daisy Hildyard and Helen Dewitt.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I would live in Paris, where I spend part of every year.

What is your favorite meal?

Potato chips and Chardonnay. I don’t have this very often, for obvious reasons, but it is my favorite.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

I once met a powerful businesswoman who made a fantastic recommendation: For dessert, always have coffee and another glass of Chardonnay.

Describe yourself in three words.

A working mom.

[Author Interview] D. R. Perry

RKB’s author interview with D. R. Perry

D.R. Perry writes primarily in Revealed World. These are open UF YA Academy books with diverse characters and cute magical critters. She lives with her spouse, child, and dog in Rhode Island.

This is one geeky author who loves writing for the sense of adventure and wonder. In her books, you’ll find real characters, fantastic worlds, and a handful each of humor and hope.

D.R. hopes you have as much fun reading her books as she did writing them.

Her next book is the fourth installment of Messing Psychic Academy, titled Twisted Fate, releasing on March 15th.

You can follow D. R. through her social channels:

Amazon | FacebookInstagram | PinterestGoodreads | BookbubWebsite

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I was inspired by the idea of magical schools. So many of the books I’ve read in this subgenre are secret, dystopian, or mean-spirited in some way. This led me to create Revealed World, a setting where magic coexists with the mundane. Since everyone’s aware, schools for magi, psychics, shifter, faeries, and other supernatural beings to learn control of their powers are required.

With that world built, I set out to write hopeful books where kindness matters, featuring protagonists who are somewhat (sometimes extremely) different from the usual main character. Each series has an ensemble cast, because Power of Friendship and Found Family are some of my favorite themes.

Describe your desk / writing space.

Variable. I face a number of physical challenges, so I can only sit at a desk about half the time. The other half, I need to recline, lie down, or be in the dark. So, my writing space could be at a desk but also on the sofa with a tablet on a lap desk, or murmuring drafts into a microphone with an ice pack on my head to be transcribed later.

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

Neither. I write when I am able. My good days don’t run on a schedule, so writing time is catch as catch can. Inspiration is also unreliable, rarely coinciding with high function days. I take notes though, so I always know what book I am working on next.

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

So many ways. Puns, song titles, idioms, famous quotes are all fair game. Sometimes, I stitch two or more of those together to make a title. Series names are simpler because they’re named after the magical academy.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

One of the hardest scenes for me to write was in Messing Academy: Being Around. My main character walks in on something he’s personally powerless to stop. Without that scene, I never could have gotten to one of my favorites, the big confrontation at the end of the next book, Everybody Hurts. It’s a huge payoff and totally worth all the effort.

What inspired your book/series?

Messing Academy was inspired by my own personal experience looking for disabled protagonists in speculative genres. Often, the character’s condition is negated or cured with magic or technology. When it wasn’t, they got relegated to support roles, or their story focused on the disability instead of the conflict or adventure.

Ben’s disability comes from an accident, not a chronic illness like mine, but magic won’t fix his legs. He’s still every bit as heroic as other YA protagonists, though. I thought it was important to write a story from that perspective, to create what I didn’t find in print.

What are you working on next?

I am finishing the last bit of Messing Academy, which is the final set of books set in Salem, MA. After that, the next series focuses on dragon shifters. They attend Weir Academy, a high school spanning the border between the USA and Canada at Niagara Falls.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

One of my greatest influences is Jane Yolen. She is so prolific and writes beautiful works in multiple genres for several age groups. Truly an inspiration.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I’m not sure I could leave this world; there’s so much I’d miss. However, if I had the chance to spend a few hours in Ben’s garden on the Sidhe Queen’s side of the Under, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

What is your favorite meal?

That’s a much trickier question than I’d expected. Let’s just say, it’s subject to change.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Coffee. Alcohol isn’t a good idea with the medications I’m on, but if there’s a celebratory toast, wine is the way.

Describe yourself in three words.

Tenacious. Encouraging. Tired.

[Author Interview] JC Brown

JC Brown is a Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy author who loves to whisk her readers away on larger-than-life adventures into fantastical worlds. As a passionate wordsmith since Middle School, she enjoys nothing more than writing page-turning novels that capture readers’ imaginations with werewolves, magic, feisty heroines, and the charming hunks they fall for. From high-octane action and edge-of-your-seat suspense to pulse-pounding reverse harems, you’ll always find something to love in her books.

JC or as her family knowns her as “Mistress of Minions” currently resides in the New England area with her four wonderful goblins, a hysterical husband, and her supportive parents. When not dreaming up her next story idea, you can find her cooking Cuban meals or watching scary movies

JC’s next book, Poisoned Princess: A Dark Reverse Harem, Snow White Fairytale Retelling comes out July 1, 2023.

You can follow JC through her social channels:

Amazon | FacebookInstagram | TwitterGoodreads | BookbubWebsite

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I am a mother of too many children and the wife to a giant toddler. Kidding. My husband is more like a preteen class clown. But he is supportive and makes me laugh. I have always been interested in reading and writing. I can remember the day I found my mom’s old typewriter in my grandmother’s attic, she let me keep it and that what I wrote my first story on. One that will never see the light of day of course, but it absolutely kickstarted my passion for storytelling. As I got older, I wrote fan fiction, and horror stories with my best friend. I write stories about crazy adventures and romance that couldn’t be possible in the real world. I wanted to write things that would help people escape like reading did for me.

Describe your desk / writing space.

My desk is a mess. It’s what I call organized chaos. But I rarely sit at my desk. I do most of my work on my laptop all over the house. My wonderful husband understands my need to move around and bought me a rolling desk. I wheel it all over the living room and kitchen, sometimes I even drag it out into the yard.

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

I wish. I hope to one day when my children are all old enough to fend for themselves and can leave me the heck alone. Right now, I try to write during the day while they are in school, or very late at night while they are all sleeping. It’s basically whenever I have time to write, I will try.

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

That’s a good question and I’d love to tell you, my process. When I figure it out for myself. Really it is just completely random and sometimes it is a struggle because nothing feels right. I still have a few stories I haven’t published because I don’t know what to call them.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

This one was a fairly easy question for me. Some of the hardest scenes I’ve written were in Asmodeus the Gift of Lust. You think from the title its just a nice, smutty, angel and demons’, enemies to lovers’ book but it is definitely much more. It touches on some heavy topics that even the scenes that allude to them are difficult.

Some of my favorites though would be all of the Meeting Scenes in the Sinful Seven Novels. The demons that represent the seven deadly sins all come together and have quarterly meetings to discuss their progress. Shenanigans often happen during these times.

What inspired your book/series?
The Obsidian Crown Series that the Poisoned Princess is a part of just came from my desire to make a spicy fairytale retelling. It is a reverse harem and I wanted to keep the theme of snow white and the seven dwarves so here we are. We have snow white and her seven sexy werewolves. There is no way I could fit all their own character arcs, romance arc and retelling arc into one book so a series is born.
The Sinful Seven Novels on the other hand was a product of my co-author’s mind. However, I will say that it is super interesting to have a series with overlapping time frames and characters, yet still be able to read them out of order if you so choose.

What are you working on next?
I have ADHD so I am almost always working on more than one thing at a time. Currently I am working with my co-author Lena Lane on Leviathan the Gift of Envy, the third installment in our Sinful Seven Novels. I am also working on a prequel of sorts to the Poisoned Princess for the Sigils and Spells anthology that is currently up for preorder.
My writing schedule is packed. When those are finished, I have another a short story in an exclusive anthology for a literary event I will be attending in July, and of course book two of the Obsidian Crown Series.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?
Well, I love Laurel K Hamilton. She is one of my favorite authors and I would say she is one of the reasons that I write. Before I decided to make the leap into self-publishing my big dream was to be published under Penguin Putnam Inc., like her. Some craft books that have really helped me along on my writing journey is Save the Cat writes a novel by Jessica Brody. I used to be a pantser but my ADHD would often take me on what I like to call “side quests” that wouldn’t further the actual main plot and often left me directionless. It helped me to plan a structure, a skeleton outline that even if I take a “side quest” I will always come back to the main quest.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?
Silver City. I don’t even have to think about it. It’s crawling with werewolves and of course you know that I love all the shifters, especially the wolves. I’d be moving in hoping to find my fated mate. (That is of course, If I wasn’t already married to my very human fated mate already lol)

What is your favorite meal?
I love Korean food. My favorite meal is Korean Barbeque. You get to eat so many delicious things and it’s a great experience. But if you don’t count that it’s definitely Rabokki.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?
Why Choose. Coffee is my go too beverage in the morning. Afternoons I drink different forms of tea and water all day. Usually during my editing though ill have a glass of wine because edits are never any fun.

Describe yourself in three words.
I am a self-described “Hot Mess Express”. Ha ha.

[Author Interview] Gledé Browne Kabongo

RKB Writes Author Interviews

Gledé Browne Kabongo writes gripping, unputdownable psychological thrillers. She is the Eric Hoffer, Next Generation Indie, IPPY and National Indie Excellence Award-winning author of the Fearless Series, Our Wicked Lies, Fool Me Twice, and Conspiracy of Silence. Her novel Winds of Fear was voted one of 24 Books to Read During the Coronavirus by Rhode Island Monthly Magazine.

Gledé holds a master’s degree in communications and has spoken at multiple industry events including the Boston Book Festival, Sisters in Crime (SinC) New England Crime Bake and the Women in Publishing Summit. She lives outside Boston with her husband and two sons.

Her new book, Reign of Fear arrives May/June 2023.

You can follow Gledé through her social channels:

Amazon | FacebookInstagram | TwitterGoodreads | BookbubWebsite

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’ve always loved stories and reading. Growing up in the Caribbean, I devoured Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, as well as the Famous Five series by British author, Enid Blyton. Back then, I was around nine or ten years old and wanted to be a journalist, so I studied journalism in college and did some freelancing afterward. It wasn’t until 2005 that I was struck with the writing (fiction) bug.

Describe your desk / writing space.

My desk is L-shaped with lots of drawers. There’s also a ton of space for other stuff besides my laptop; a printer, piles of books, mugs, and a candle. I sometimes burn scented candles when I’m writing.

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

I used to write when inspired but figured that’s not a recipe for commercial fiction success. Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to stick to a routine, even if I don’t reach the word count I set for the day. Every little bit adds up. I’m also trying to embrace writing out of sequence.  I have a nasty little habit of abandoning the manuscript when I get stuck. Instead, I write scenes as standalones and determine where they best fit in the story later on.

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

That’s a fun game I love to play. I write the blurb for the novel first. That helps me to think about the story holistically. The title also needs to align with the genre and give readers an idea of what the story is about.

Sometimes I will look up how many books already have the title I’m considering. The novel I released in 2021, Our Wicked Lies, was originally called House of Lies and I even had the cover done under that title. Then I remembered there was a series on Showtime starring Don Cheadle with the same name, as well as a few books on Amazon.  I changed my book title to Wicked Lies but the competition was still stiff so I added “Our” to the title and that’s what stuck.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

The hardest scenes to write are the big ones that are crucial to the plot and will have a big emotional impact. I spend a lot of time figuring out how to approach those scenes because they’re multi-layered and have major repercussions for the characters and change the trajectory of the story in some instances.

My favorite scenes to write are the ones when opposing characters, i.e. antagonist and protagonist interact. What’s going on beneath the surface is just as important as what they say or do if not more so.

What inspired your book/series?

My Fearless series was inspired by my novel Fool Me Twice. My teenage character, Abbie Cooper, was also a POV character in that novel and I felt that she had so much more to say. Readers liked her so I thought it would be a great idea to build a series around her. Turns out that was a good decision. Some of the most gut-wrenching, emotionally brutal writing I’ve ever done is in that series. I won four book awards which was nice validation. Reign of Fear, the final book will be released in late spring of 2023.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a standalone next, about three friends who are hiding bombshell secrets from their pasts. Someone is threatening to expose the truth unless they confess.

What authors or books have influenced your writing? I think there is a type of storytelling that has influenced my writing more so than particular books or authors. I like big epic stories with compelling characters and plot, multiple POVs, emotional depth and of course suspense. When I was in college, I read James Michener’s novel, Caribbean. That story stayed with me all these years because of the way it was skillfully told. Michener wove a fictional story using 700 years of Caribbean history— history I grew up studying— as a backdrop for a sweeping saga filled with compelling, larger-than-life characters, tumultuous history, romance, and intertwined destinies.

The paperback edition of the book is almost 900 pages in length and I devoured every page because the story was that powerful. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is another one of my favorites because of similar characteristics. That book almost reads like a thriller but again, the storytelling, compelling characters, multiple POVs, themes such as revenge, which is common in thrillers, and the emotional heft all resonated with me.

What is your favorite meal? I don’t have one, but I do like seafood and a good steak.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer? – Coffee, black or tea but it has to be fruit-flavored. I love tangerine, peach and mint, although mint isn’t technically a fruit.

Describe yourself in three words. – analytical, curious, compassionate.

[Author Interview] J. W. Elliot

Welcome J. W. Elliot

James is a twenty-nine-year-old stuck in an older man’s body. He loves to paddle his canoe, shoot his handmade longbows in the woods, make knives, study martial arts, and generally enjoys challenging himself. When not teaching or writing about the real past, he is imagining worlds and histories that might have been, should have been, or may yet be.

James has two homes (though only one house)–the mountains of Idaho and the forests of New England–where he canoes, hikes, camps, rock climbs, and shoots the longbows he makes himself. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife.

His next book: Heirs of Anarwyn, Book III: Shattered comes out in a few months.

You can follow J. W. Elliot through his social channels:

Amazon | FacebookInstagramGoodreads | BookbubWebsite

Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’m a professional historian of Latin American and World History with five academic books published. I also study martial arts, and I love the outdoors and outdoor activities including canoeing, archery, hiking, rockhounding, and rock climbing. I bring all of my hobbies and professional expertise into my fiction writing.

Some of my earliest memories are of my mother reading to me. We had a subscription to National Geographic, which I devoured, and the Reader’s Digest, as well as a bookshelf filled with encyclopedias. So I have always loved stories and knowledge. But I think the real catalyst in me becoming a writer occurred when I was ten years old, and my family moved from Idaho to Oklahoma. It was a very lonely time for me, and I found solace and friendship in the characters I met in the books and comics I read. That was where I discovered J.R.R Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Katherine Kurtz. That experience inspired me to take a creative writing course in high school, and I have been writing fiction ever since.

I dabbled in fiction writing for many years while I went to graduate school and started building my academic career. I often worked on my stories to wind down and relax at the end of the day. Eventually, I started reading them to my kids at bedtime. Their enthusiasm kept me writing—I knew I had to have something new for them the next night. My new series, Heirs of Anarwyn, was created in that give-and-take as I read and my kids critiqued.

Describe your desk / writing space.

I tend to write upstairs in my office surrounded by books with music playing in the background. But I can and do write anywhere. I’ve written in car repair shops, in the car while my wife is driving, on the airplane, restaurants, at church, and under the trees while camping. Writing time is so precious, I take what I can get.

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

I always have at least three books in process at any given time—one I’m editing, one I’m writing, and one I’m planning. I write every day, and I prefer to write in the morning when I can. But since I have a real-world job, I usually have to write in the afternoon or evenings.

My philosophy is that inspiration is not found—it’s created. By that, I mean there is no mystical muse upon which we have to wait for inspiration. I create work habits and processes that generate ideas and inspiration consistently. That’s what I do, and so far it is working pretty well.

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

A title needs to catch the reader’s eye as much as the cover does, so I spend a lot of time trying different ideas for titles. I run them by my beta readers and try to find titles that are intriguing while also giving a sense of what the story is about.

What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

I guess romance scenes are a bigger challenge for me. My daughters constantly tell me I get things wrong, and I have to rewrite them. My favorite scenes are fight and battle scenes. As a martial artist and a historian who teaches a course entitled The Global History of War, I feel pretty comfortable writing those scenes.

What inspired your book/series?

The Archer of the Heathland series came about because I wanted to write a series in which archery was represented in an accurate way. I also wanted to explore the role of family and loss in the shaping of human identity.

The Ark Project arose from the question of what it means to be human in a world where science and technology have superseded biological evolution. It was challenging because, as a historian, I tend to live in the past. I had to do a lot of research to make sure I got the technology and science correct. Even though I made up a bunch of advanced technologies, I think the future I created for The Ark Project is possible. It could actually happen.

The Worlds of Light trilogy came about because I wanted to see if I could create a magic system that drew on the real history of worshipping light with a modern scientific understanding of light. I also wanted to explore the question of how power can corrupt and what choices have to be made to ensure that it doesn’t.

The Heirs of Anarwyn series came to me one day as I was driving through the Idaho countryside. I wondered what would happen if magic wasn’t just an inert power. What if it had both consciousness and will and actively intervened in human lives to pursue its own agenda. I wanted to explore the nature of evil and how it takes root in the human psyche. I started writing it when I was sixteen, and I still haven’t finished.

Walls of Glass struggles to understand nature of racism and what each of must do to confront it. I drew on my own life experiences and my studies of history for inspiration.

The Miserable Life of Bernie LeBaron examines loss, mental illness, and broken families in a heartwarming story of a young man who overcomes his challenges by developing intergenerational friendships. I drew much of my inspiration for the story from own life.

Somewhere in the Mist examines the challenge of facing tragedy and loss in the era of the Great Depression. I wanted to write a story that explored how the past remains with us despite our efforts to hide from it. I found the central idea for this story in the Marion library in a little room dedicated to a ship called the Mary Celeste, whose occupants disappeared at sea without a trace.

What are you working on next?

After I finish the Heirs of Anarwyn series, I plan on returning to Archer of the Heathland world for a spin-off series with two of my favorite characters.

What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I love all great stories. I really don’t care what the genre is. But my “go-to” fantasy books—the ones I return to over and over again—are, of course, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earth Sea Trilogy. I think these stories have a timeless quality to them that spoke to me as a child and still speaks to me as a more jaded adult. I devoured the Terry Brooks Shannara series. Somehow, I missed reading Frank Herbert’s Dune while growing up, but I just read the first book and loved it. So now, I’m getting into that entire series. I really enjoy Brandon Sanderson—especially the Mistborn trilogy and The Reckoners series. I find the Harry Potter series enjoyable, and I’m about halfway through Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.

If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I think I would love to live in Lórien amid the golden Mallorn trees beside the River Ânduin. In the real world I would like to live in the White Mountains near the Franconia Gap.

What is your favorite meal?

Probably ratatouille. My wife makes a killer batch.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

None of the above. I prefer water.

Describe yourself in three words.

Driven. Caring. Fun-Loving.