Author Spotlight- Interview with Thriller, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi Writer Rohan Elliott

Tell us about yourself and how we can connect with you (links, website, social pages)

Hi there everyone, I’m a West Australian writer that’s been writing in my spare time for almost a year now. I currently write short stories in a bunch of different genres but mainly Thrillers, Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

I’m also currently working on my first novel following the treasure hunter Chloe as she embarks on a globetrotting journey looking for the lost Spanish ship The Esperanza.

Asides from my short stories, I also do a weekly blog called The Writers Scrawl that covers everything pop culture with lists, reviews, first impressions and some more serious discussion pieces sprinkled in.

If you’re looking for some feedback on your work or some developmental editing, I’ve got that as well.

The links for all these here.

What would you like to promote? (Add links, description, photos)

I’d like to give a shoutout to the wonderful folks at Retro Replay. Not only do they have a great team of volunteer contributors to their blog (myself included) they also have a great podcast and weekly videos on YouTube and their site that you can check out here

What genre do you write in?

My short stories are a wide range of genres but I’ve got a couple of thrillers, some fantasy and sci-fi and even an adventure and horror stories. I enjoy writing in different genres as each has its own tropes and expectations that I can use and rework into something new and exciting.

How did you get started?

This entire adventure started back in high school, year 12, when we had a creative writing assignment to write a short story based on a prompt. We had ten weeks to work on the project and with a week to go I had no idea. I ended up panic writing my story in a couple of days and ended up getting the second highest mark in the class.

My teacher made a couple of notes that she enjoyed the story and that sparked a realisation in me that I could actually write. Then after high school, I ended up looking back at my short story and rewriting. That story eventually made it to my website as Hard Drive after quite a few rewrites and edits.

From then on, I’ve just been writing ever since and decided to start my website and blog almost a year ago.

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading a bunch of books at the same time all at different stages of completeness. The main ones are Frank Herbert’s Dune, Matthew Reilly’s The Tournament, and indie author Marco Ocram’s The Awful Truth About The Sushing Prize.

Who are your top three favorite authors?

1.    Matthew Reilly: I’ve had the opportunity to meet him twice now and his interview with Matt and Alex on Triple J is part of what inspired me to become a writer. His books were the first time I’d seen someone do fast paced action writing and made me realise that sort of writing can be done.

2.    Neil Gaiman: I first picked up Good Omens a couple of years ago and finished it within a couple of days. After that I bought American Gods and Stardust the very next day. His world and characters are always so unique and interesting to follow throughout the entirety of his books.

3.    Craig Silvey: A fellow West Australian author that’s not as prolific as the other two on the list (3 books over his career so far) but each of his books are at their heart, deeply personally stories for the characters that are genuinely heartbreaking in a way that I’ve never seen from any other author.

What is a typical day of writing look like for you?

At the moment I work full time so the only time I get to write is either after the work day at the afternoon, evening and night in some cases as well as the weekend.

I’ll normally try and write in bursts with some music or videos in on the background instead of dead silence.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?

The main piece of advice is not mine, but it is probably the most vital piece of advice you could offer to someone.

Don’t try and chase trends and write what you think people will want to read. Readers will see right through you and your book will fade into obscurity.

Instead, write what you enjoy reading and what you want to write. It may not get as much attention but readers will see your passion and the genuine love you have for your story and not dismiss it out of hand.

Thank you Rohan for this wonderful interview!

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Author Spotlight- Interview with Christian Romance writer Doralyn Moore and her book- Seventy Times Seven

Tell us about yourself and how we can connect with you.

I have a Master of Education degree from the University of Toronto and over thirty years of experience in social services, working with diverse populations. This has informed much of the storyline of Seventy Times Seven. I have also been involved for many years in Christian ministry, both as a home group leader and as a lay pastor. 

I hope that the journey of the characters in Seventy Times Seven will encourage readers to consider seriously the life-changing news of salvation through Jesus Christ and to trust in the goodness and faithfulness of God. I live with my husband in a small community east of Toronto, Canada. Our two boys are married and we have five beautiful grandchildren. 

The best way to connect with me is through my website at

How did you get started?

Reading is a pleasure for me and there is seldom a time that I do not carry a book around with me. I have even been known to carry a book to a major league baseball game, which put a big frown on my husband’s face.

One day as I was reading a book, I thought to myself, “I can do this. I can write a book.” Little did I know then how challenging it is to write a novel. But the thought put a seed in my mind and soon after that, I began writing. However, life got in the way and I put the writing aside for many years. When I retired, I pulled out the old manuscripts and began revising them. I have since self-published my first Christian romance entitled, “Seventy Times Seven”, released in March 2021.

How do you come up with plots or characters for your books?

Over thirty years of working in the social services field have allowed me to meet people of diverse cultures, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds, and beliefs. Their personalities and stories have become a melting pot in my brain and from that concoction come the characters and plots for my books. They do not come from one specific person but from a melding of many.

My husband and I love to travel and have had the privilege of visiting interesting parts of the world. Interacting with the people in those countries, learning about their culture, and hearing their goals, dreams and values also play a role in shaping my characters.

What projects are you working on right now?

I am currently working on a three-book series called the Victory Series which follows a family from when the children are young to after they have left the nest. The struggles the various family members face, such as problem gambling, drug, and alcohol addiction, and cancer have the potential to tear them and their family apart. But through the goodness and grace of God, they are led to Jesus, the healer, and the One who sets us free.

The first two books are in the revision stage and I am currently half-way through the first draft of the third one.

What is your favorite thing about being an author, writer, and blogger?

In addition to working on the novels, I post at least once a week on the blog which is part of my website. In the blog, I share some of the things I’ve learned from walking for many years with Jesus.

What I like most about writing, whether it’s a book or a blog is that I have the opportunity to connect with people all over the world to share the Good News that Jesus saves and loves them unconditionally. It’s what motivates me each day to get up in the morning, head to my computer, and write. It’s a privilege I do not take lightly.

Thank you so much Doralyn for this wonderful interview!

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Author Spotlight- Interview with Science Fiction and Fantasy Author A. L. Kaplan

Tell us about yourself and how we can connect with you.

Born on a cold winter morning in scenic northern New Jersey, my stories and poems have been included in several anthologies and magazines. Recent publications include the debut novel, Star Touched, and Wolf Dawn, a short story. I am the Maryland Writers’ Association’s President and I hold an MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. When not writing or indulging in my fascination with wolves, this proud mother of two lives in Maryland with my husband and dog. Visit me at my website:, Twitter: @alkaplanauthor, and

What would you like to promote? (Add links, description, and a photo!)

Star Touched

Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population. Her power to heal may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or stay and fight for the new life she has built? Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends…and herself.

Wolf Dawn

A Hidden Past – A Deadly Secret

Gifted with the ability to wolf-talk, Kara has lived with the wolves since she lost her memories eight years ago. Now at sixteen, snippets of her past send her searching for answers.

But the warm welcome she receives in the human village hides more danger than life with the pack.

What is your favorite movie that was based on a book?

Hands down, Lord of the Rings. One word spun through my head, as I left the theater, awesome. I reread the entire trilogy when I got home, and again before each of the other two movies. As soon as it was available, I bought the director’s cut on DVD. They’ve been watched and re-watched countless times.

What genre do you write in?

I write mostly science fiction and fantasy. Sometimes a blend of the two. I’ve also been known to scribble out a depressing poem or two.

What was your favorite childhood book?

Looking only at books I read in early middles school or earlier, there are three books that top my list. Two of them were by the same author. Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, and Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. Apparently, I have a thing for kids surviving on their own. (I also love the musicals Annie and Oliver.)

How did you get started with writing?

I’ve been creating stories for as long as I can remember, but didn’t start writing until late in high school. Even then, I kept it to myself. My ‘artistic’ handwriting and ‘creative’ spelling used to get in the way. Instead, my ideas became the subject for my art. (MFA Sculpture) I have a lot more skill and confidence now.

Do you connect with any of the characters in your book?

There are bits of me in most of my characters, but I hope I never have to experience what I put them through.

How do you make sales as an author?

I do best at in person events, but also promote online. 2020 was a rough year. All the conferences and book fairs I had schedules were canceled because of covid-19.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I read mostly fantasy, but with try anything my youngest daughter recommends. She knows what I like.

What inspires your writing? / How do you come up with plots or characters for your book?

I’ve gotten a lot of ideas from dreams and nightmares. There are at least three scenes in Star Touched born from this source. (Read chapter 3 for starters.) Sometimes a song is the inspiration. “Mathematical Shield” grew out of Carrie Underwood’s “Little Toy Guns.” Every time I heard the story, the story played out in my mind. Now if I could only find a market for it….

What do you like to do for fun?

I have too many hobbies for my own good, but I love reading and hanging out with my dog. She loves agility.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?

“Never give up. Never surrender.” Oops. May have stolen that from Galaxy Quest. Seriously, though, just keep writing. Even if it is the same word over and over. Eventually, it will morph into something with wings.

What projects are you working on right now?

I’m working on several short stories, a sequel to Star Touched, and a YA Fantasy.

Thank you A. L. Kaplan for this lovely interview! Be sure to check out her books and social media pages.

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Author Spotlight- Interview with Gay Erotic Romance Writer Mychael Black

Tell us about yourself and how we can connect with you.

I’ve been writing as Mychael Black since 2005, though I took a year or so off. I’m back at it now, though. In terms of social media, I’m on Facebook (through my author page) and Instagram.

What genre do you write in?

As Mychael Black, I write gay erotic romance. In terms of actual genres, it’s all over the place. I think I’ve written just about every major genre except steampunk.

How did you get started?

Though I’ve been writing since 2005 professionally, I started writing as a kid. I just didn’t publish my first story until 2005 as Kay Derwydd. I eventually changed my pen name to Mychael Black, and the rest is history, so to speak.

What is your favorite thing about being a blogger, writer, or author?

Making up worlds. I’m a sucker for worldbuilding, especially in a fantasy setting. That said, I also love getting lost in my characters’ lives and (hopefully) enriching my readers’ lives.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Definitely fantasy. Fave fantasy author is Tolkien. I read The Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy when I was nine. Been hooked since.

How do you come up with plots or characters for your book?

In all honesty, my characters come first. I just wind up with random people in my head who decide they want their story told, so I do. I could probably count on one hand the number of stories in which the plot came first.

What is a typical day of writing look like for you?

*laughs* Not sure any of my days would qualify as ‘typical.’ I don’t write every day, though I should. When I DO write, the headphones go on, the music starts, and I get completely lost in the story. Usually to the point where people in the house have to stand somewhere in my line of sight for me to even notice them.

What do you like to do for fun?

I’m a crocheter, actually. Just started learning months or so ago, but I’ve already amassed a hoard of yarn. And, true to my ADHD brain, I have several projects going at once. I also do a good bit of PC gaming (namely RPGs), and I’m quite addicted to Youtube Reddit vids.

What is something about yourself most people don’t know?

Probably that I’m multilingual. I’m a bit rusty but relearning. German, Welsh, Hawaiian, Spanish. In that order, pretty much. I know more German than the other three, can read a little Welsh. Hawaiian is slow-going but going. And Spanish… it’s on the backburner, but I’ll get back to it eventually.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?

Don’t write to the market. Write what YOU want to read. Write what you LOVE. Like any artform, writing is subjective. You can’t (and won’t) please everyone. When you write what you personally love, the reader will feel it.

What has influenced you the most?

So many things, really. Music, fantasy literature, movies, the people I see. That said, music plays a HUGE role in all my work, be it as a soundtrack or actually worked into the story itself.

What helps you to stay motivated?

My motivation is more… compulsion. I HAVE to write. I have no choice. It’s in my blood.

Thank you, Mychael for this wonderful interview!

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Author Spotlight- Interview with Fiction Writer Andrew McDowell and his Epic Fantasy Novel- Mystical Greenwood

Tell us about yourself and how we can connect with you.

My name is Andrew McDowell. I am an indie author living in Maryland. I’ve written and published fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and I’m also interested in writing drama. Anyone interested in learning more about my writing, or my tips on the art of creative writing, can visit my website and blog at You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and Goodreads.

What would you like to promote? (Add links, description, and a photo!)

I would like to promote my epic fantasy novel, Mystical Greenwood.

Dermot is a fifteen-year-old boy living in the land of Denú who has always longed for something more in life. His life changes when he encounters a gryphon and a mysterious healer. Drawn into a conflict against one determined to subjugate the kingdom, Dermot and his brother Brian are forced to leave their home. A legendary coven must now reunite, for they are Denú’s greatest hope. In the course of meeting unicorns and fighting dragons and men in dark armor, Dermot discovers a deep, sacred magic that exists within every greenwood he crosses through, but his own role in this conflict is greater than he suspects. Can he protect those he loves, or will all that’s good be consumed by darkness?

It is available in paperback, Kindle (and Kindle Unlimited), and Nook.

Amazon | B&N | BAM! | Goodreads

The cover art is also available on Deviant Art. You can buy prints, canvases, mugs, coasters, mousepads, magnets, postcards, and greeting cards.

Finally, anyone interested in also seeing anthologies and literary journals that feature my shorter works can visit my Amazon page (everything there can be found on Goodreads too).

What inspires your writing?

My writing has been inspired by a wide variety of personal interests that I’ve had throughout my

What genre do you write in?

I like to write in different genres because I don’t want to confine myself or be typecast. Some of the anthologies I’ve contributed to were in fantasy and horror. But I hope to dabble some more in those and many others (mystery, science fiction, historical fiction, etc.).

What was your favorite childhood book?

That’s a hard one to answer because I’ve enjoyed a number of books in stories when I was a child. I’ve always loved the stories of Dr. Seuss and Beatrix Potter, as well as those of Reverend Wilbert Awdry (my favorite childhood TV program was indisputably Thomas & Friends). Other titles that stand out from my childhood include Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. I also always enjoyed reading books about animals; one that particularly stands out was A Whale is Not a Fish & Other Animal Mix-Ups by Melvin Berger.

How did you get started with writing?

I remember that I started writing stories when I was eleven. They were little stories, typically one page. I shared them with friends and teachers; I fancied myself a writer, but I didn’t take it all that seriously. That all changed when I sat down to write a novel at age thirteen. The more time I spent on it, the more dedicated and passionate I became about it. That was when I was definitely going to be a writer and seek publication.

Do you connect with any of the characters in your book?

I think I do connect with the main character in Mystical Greenwood. I have described Dermot as the Nature lover in me, and like him, I seek purpose in my life.

What is your favorite thing about being a blogger, writer, or author?

What I like the most about being an author is that it gives me a sense of purpose in my life outside of anything that one could possibly consider ordinary or routine. I get to share my passions and outlook through my stories. In being a blogger, I get to share my insights into the writing process and offer tips and advice for others; even those who aren’t writers have told me they have enjoyed getting a window, via my blog, into what it’s like to be a writer.

If you could have superpowers, what would they be?

I would love to have the ability to shapeshift into any animal I wish.

How did you get published?

Mystical Greenwood was published by an independent press called Mockingbird Lane Press. I’d heard about them through an author I met at the Maryland Writers’ Association (of which I’m a member). I queried them, and they were the first to offer me a contract.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?

My father gave me this advice once: the important thing to remember is to tell a story and tell it well. Seek to tell a good story first and foremost, and do it for yourself, not because you want to be rich and famous. Believe in yourself and your writing, and don’t give up.

What projects are you working on right now?

I’m working on the sequel to Mystical Greenwood. There are some other writing projects that I’ve worked on it partially, but I’m trying to focus primarily on the sequel right now.

Any other information you would like to include for our readers?

I have Asperger syndrome, which is a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. It is hard for me to understand slang and vocal tones sometimes. I tend to take things seriously. But that is something I am always trying to work on.

Thank you Andrew for a wonderful interview!

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Author Interview with Tenkara Smart and Her Book She Named Me Wolf

Tell us about yourself and how we can connect with you. 

I write under the name of Tenkara Smart, a first name given to me by my husband which in Japanese translates to ‘descends from heaven.’  I love to connect with other readers and writers on Goodreads and Facebook.

What inspires your writing?

I believe that we are all vibrational beings and that our souls travel through many lifetimes.  I was inspired to create fictional books based on these ideas, focusing each novel on how a human, in each incarnation, deals with the struggles that each lifetime can bring.  I was also inspired by stories from my husband’s life as well as others I have known, pulling this all together to create six books in my series, The Many Lives of Wolf. 

In book one, She Named Me Wolf, I was inspired to share this story because of the way that Wolf deals with abuse from his alcoholic father.  Wolf’s response and coping mechanisms are special and magical, and I hoped that other people who have been in an abusive situation might connect with Wolf’s story and find inspiration from his inner strength, wisdom, and how his powerful imagination helped him to overcome the odds.

What does success look like to you? 

 Every time a person says they enjoyed She Named Me Wolf and that they look forward to reading the next book in the series, that is success to me.

What was your favorite childhood book? 

I loved the Judy Blume books, especially, “Are you there God?  It’s me, Margaret.”  As a girl going into teenage years, it was impactful to me physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I also loved reading The Chronicles of Narnia and getting lost in the enchanting, magical worlds of Narnia.

How did you get started with writing? 

 With a degree from San Diego State University in English Literature as well as post-graduate work in creative writing/copywriting, I ended up working for 20+ years in customer service and operations for a major running retailer in the USA.  Eventually, my husband and I agreed that I could quit my job and devote my time to writing.  His work took us from Southern California to Qatar and now to Australia, and I write when I feel inspired, which is at least several times per week.

Have you connected with any characters from books you have read?  

Recently, I really connected with Eleanor Oliphant from the book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.  I didn’t connect with her because I am socially isolated but because of her humorous, candid insights, many of which she had the guts to say outload.  Though I could relate to her thoughts and comments about the world around her, I would never have the guts or the honesty to say them out loud and I admired that about her.  I loved how Eleanor’s ‘mind’ created her reality and it wasn’t until she had a paradigm shift that she really began to live and enjoy life.   

How do you come up with plots or characters for your book? 

 First of all, as crazy as this sounds, I have been living with a ghost for over five years now, and she lets her physical presence be known in my house on a regular basis, so the paranormal part of my novel came easily to me.  Additionally, I have had deep, spiritual experiences with my husband that have revealed to me certain truths, and I am fictionalizing those things I believe in my books, especially about one soul reincarnating through different lifetimes.  

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out? 

 Take the time to find your mentors and experts.  Jumping into a giant ocean of writers, with so many who are excellent at their craft, make it difficult to market your book and get noticed.  Make sure you get help, especially a brilliant cover design and editor, and maybe an agent or publisher to help ensure your wonderful story and writing have the best chance to get discovered!

What projects are you working on right now? 

I am working on the second book in my series based on the life of a samurai warrior named Junsaku, planned for release next year.  Also, I am working with a ghostwriter and considering turning my book into a screenplay.  In my opinion, She Named Me Wolf would be an incredibly powerful, on-screen experience especially because of the ghosts and the animals, using live-action screen effects as seen in the new ‘Jungle Book’ or ‘Lion King’.

Any other information you would like to include to our readers? 

 If you should decide to read She Named Me Wolf, just want to say THANK YOU and I hope that you enjoy this story of friendship, survival, and the power of imagination.

Thank you Tenkara for a great interview!

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