fbpx Skip to content

Tag: association of rhode island authors

[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] 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.

[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!

[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.