Author Spotlight- Interview with Constantine Dhonau and his Poetry Memoir Collateral Intentions

Bio: Constantine was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, and raised by his mother and his aunt. A wholesome Boy Scout and frontman for Tampa ska/punk band: H1N1, he attended St. Petersburg College for his Associate of Arts and New College of Florida for his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He escaped to Colorado in 2015 where he served with AmeriCorps and later pursued his dream to become a wilderness therapy field guide, completing 550 field days.

He enjoys writing,
tea, cooking, brooding, dancing, yoga,
astronomy reprehensibly long walks, movies, being outdoors
etc. & such forth.

Blurb:
THE ARGONAUTS (Nelson) meets SEE A GROWN MAN CRY/NOW WATCH HIM DIE (Rollins) in this raw & rattling Memoir-meets-Chapbook spanning more than 10 years of writing [50k words]! Rummagings of journals, shoebox scraps, forgotten notes, and letters to loved ones come together to tell one writer’s coming-of-age and his quest for unconditional self-love by dissecting his darkness. Each one-year chapter explores love, regret, identity, existence, ambition, depression, and the insanity of it all, neatly coming to a close with Constantine Dhonau’s fireside banter of contextual backstory for each chapter.


Author Website: https://constantinedhonau.com/
Here’s a FREE GALLEYhttps://booksirens.com/book/E8XP6L8/HKCQFP9

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Here are a few opinions (and I’d love to hear your honest thoughts too!):

“…a veritable gift of living poiesis for the soul…a divinely inspired offering of transparent truth and personal revelation born from a life-transforming encounter with all too often denied, and at times necessarily despised parts of oneself.”

“…exactly the kind of unpretentious yet sophisticated document that serves as both a spiritual handbook and an inspirational artifact.”

“Without fail, the compelling images, thoughts, and feelings, expressed through the self explorations of a young person straddling the thresholds of adolescence to adulthood have provided potent learnings into understanding what’s most important – how to be wholehearted and genuinely human.”

“Even now as I read the first page I laughed out loud. I think if you choose to buy this book, I believe you may find something in it to make you wonder, make you laugh, make you want to be a better person, and make you appreciate life just a little bit more.”

“…it peels back layers and defenses in one’s own psyche and relays the message of vulnerability that is universally common in being human and necessary in the journey of self-love.”

What is the name of your book and how did you get started?

Collateral Intentions started as a personal project to compile my writing from all the little stores I had it socked away, mostly scrawled across journals. In the process of retracing pages of myself and my life, I would casually talk about it with friends and strangers and I started getting requests to buy a copy once it was finished. Through the editing process, all these poems and letters still felt a bit “unsupported”. It didn’t seem enough to bring a comprehensive collection together. I started to get questions from readers, “How did you come up with this?”, “What was happening in your life?” and it clicked: poetic memoir hybrid. Each chapter is about one year of my life and ends with a snippet of what that year entailed: lessons learned, love risen and lost, developmental breakthroughs, the wild unknown, and the like. Now, it’s all polished and shiny for your dazzling, hungry eyes.


What inspires you?

Darkness has historically been a primary source of inspiration. For one, I am NOT a morning person. Never have been, probably never will be. I’m quite at peace with that. When I was a child my mom and I had daily fights in the morning to get me roused and moving. When I was a late teen my girlfriend and I had nocturnal flying squirrels as pets. I was typically one of a handful roaming my college campus in the hours before dawn. Darkness is peaceful for me. I also draw upon interior darkness. Those gritty, gristly places that are uncomfortable. I try to be with them when they come knocking and give them a voice, lest they end up trying to control me after ignoring them. That inner darkness brings me wisdom and understanding if I can meet it with acceptance. 


What does success look like to you?

Success as a writer means being able to look back at what I’ve created with surprise and delight. Success as an author means getting the book to a point that it begins to sell itself, generating passive income even in the most meager amount. Success as an artist means continuing to challenge the norms we live in, to shine a light on them enough to invite the question, “Are you sure this is what you want to be doing?”


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

Fight Club. One of the few movies that was as good or better than the book. I personally like the movie even more. The cinematography and soundtrack are fast-paced and alternative enough to keep me engaged beyond the long-winded rants Palahniuk has a tendency to fall into. Of course, it appeals to my baser inner-teen and the end gets me every time. The Pixies owe a great deal to that movie and vice versa. 


What genre do you write in?

I’m a poet. There. I said it. Feel free to let out your groans, facepalms, and long exhales. Poetry is accessible for me. I enjoy conveying complex things with elegant simplicity. More than that, it’s a habit similar to dieting. I’ll get really deep into it until I fall off then come back for a New Year’s resolution.


How do you attract new business?

Currently, I’m going around town and around the woods hiding copies of my book with bookmarks that have contact & payment information on them. Those are the places I like to go so I figure I should take it to the places I like so like-minded folk might find it. Plus, I just like hiding things and easter eggs and whatnot. It’s been fun (:


If you could have superpowers what would they be?

Teleportation. Hands-down, 100%. It would be so efficient. I could go anywhere instantly. See everything, eat anything, anywhere, any time. No travel time or costs. I could take people with me for instant squad vacations. With the right equipment, I could go to other planets, galaxies, maybe even dimensions. UGH. Yes. I would be a Teleport. And a cool one too, like Nightcrawler, who leaves this dark cloud whenever he poofs. 

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

Write what you like. Otherwise, readers will never get to decide whether or not they like your writing because you’re so busy trying to please everyone else. 

What helps you to stay motivated?

Acceptance. That kind of “wherever you go, that’s where you are” philosophy that meets each challenge and triumphs as a small step on a larger journey. I give up trying to understand everything all the time and what does it all mean? and I just smile when things do make sense or I get the feeling that they will soon.

What projects are you working on right now?

I won’t go into terrible detail…well, in fact, I won’t go into detail at all. I’m working on something completely different from Collateral Intentions. It’s something equally as dear and important to me. I’ve also got thoughts of a series very closely related to Collateral Intentions.

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

This is my first book. I self-published. Full-disclosure. Poetry is a tough sell. People often want chapbooks of their old favorites or anthologies of the greatest of the great. Memoirs? Equally challenging. If you’re not Oprah Memoirphrey or Matthew McMemoirhey or some recovering homeless heroin addict who became a millionaire, people aren’t particularly interested. Combine the two and phew, I’ve got my work cut out for me. That said, we live in an extreme country in extreme times and increasingly extreme generations. It can be nice to come back down to earth and feel that connection that comes when someone’s not so different from us.

Thank you for having me!

Thank you Constantine for this lovely interview!

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Author Spotlight- Interview with Thriller Writer Oneal Walters

What would you like to promote?

I would like to mention two projects. The first mention is about my recent book, The Empty Couple, which is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The second mention is more like an announcement, I am starting the writing process for my next book at the end of 2021.

 How do you make sales as an author?

In Canada, my sales are from word of mouth. In the US and UK, my sales are primary from Amazon ads. I sell more books in the US and my book was also 4th in ranking in the Domestic Partner category on Amazon. 

How do you come up with characters for your book?

First, I focus on the protagonist and antagonist of the story. In the case of The Empty Couple, the protagonist is Ruth and she lives with her boyfriend, Michael; who is the antagonist. It’s a unique structure because they are living as common-law partners; so for Ruth, the person you love the most is also the person who threatens your life.

 What influenced you the most?

I’m influenced by sales rankings. I’m influenced by great stories. I’m influenced by growth. I’m motivated by my family. I’m most influenced by my desire to materialize the visions within my head.

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

Let’s assume if you are a writer you enjoy writing. After the primary advice of research and write. I would say the second most important element to master is the ability to market and advertise your books. This is a must.

What is your favourite thing about being an author?

I enjoy writing a great story that hasn’t been told before. I enjoy the internal debate on whether to build a series or start with a new story. I enjoy hearing my son say, “daddy your name is on these books.”

Thank you Oneal for this lovely interview!

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Author Interview with Tim Cagle

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


I am a retired medical malpractice, products liability, and wrongful death attorney living in the Boston area. I grew up in a small town south of Kansas City and moved here in 1968. I attended Kansas State College played college football and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States army. After the army, I attended Suffolk University School of Law in Boston and
got my law degree.


During law school, I spent some time playing in bands, singing at weddings, and working as a single performer in nightclubs. I have also written hundreds of songs, even though many of them suck worse than a turbo-charged Hoover upright. I also spent some time in Nashville, writing songs, scoping out bars, and trying to break into the music business. Unfortunately, that time ended before I got my big break and I discovered that I would always be a songwriter trapped in a lawyer’s body. After law school, I started my own law practice and began working as a trial attorney. I was also a law professor for many years and taught courses in Torts, Evidence, Medical Malpractice, and Negotiations.

My wife’s name is Linda. She is a former senior vice president at one of the leading teaching hospitals on the East Coast and genuine inspiration. As a plaintiff’s attorney, you can imagine how much of a hit I was when I accompanied her to the Christmas party with all the physicians. We have been married for thirty-five years and live in North Andover, Massachusetts.


I can be found on social media as follows:
Facebook: Tim Cagle
Twitter: @timcagleauthor
Instagram: timcagleauthor
Linked In: Tim Cagle
Website: www.TimCagleAuthor.com

What would you like to promote?


MY BOOK LINKS:
“WHISPERS FROM THE SILENCE” Amazon: https://goo.gl/EVvYQZ
“UNEXPECTED ENEMY” Amazon: https://goo.gl/joxZLH
“CLASS OF TWO” Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/y2bsfgkt

I was lucky enough to have three books traditionally published since 2017. My first was
WHISPERS FROM THE SILENCE about country singers and songwriters. That was followed by my first medical/legal thriller, UNEXPECTED ENEMY, about a woman who gives birth to an interracial child after she gets the WRONG SPERM at a clinic. My third book CLASS OF TWO is the story of two lawyers, one black & one white, college
roommates & football All-Americans, who go to trial against the country’s premier heart surgeon. Maybe that’s why my favorite question from readers is why I’m a Boston malpractice lawyer, but still I wrote my first book about Nashville songwriters. I always say it’s because people love books about goddess women, hot guys & sizzling music but would beg for a lethal injection if I wrote about hearsay!

What inspires your writing?


My education, training, and experience have given me an insight into writing for the medical/legal thriller genre. During my career, I have cross-examined numerous doctors and watched them explode in anger because they were being called to account for their actions in front of a jury. I have also looked into countless numbers of eyes of patients who will never be the same after their bungled medical treatment. Patients such as the 38-year-old vice president of a bank, who had just lost her second breast and would soon lose her life, because her doctor told her she had fibro-cystic disease, not cancer, and not to worry. Or, the 39-year-old who presented with blood in his stool and was told not to worry, it was only hemorrhoids, until five years later he was diagnosed with stage IV adeno-carcinoma, and would soon leave a wife and two daughters under ten years old, without a husband and father. Or, the parents of a two month-old boy, who went in for surgery on a tortioned testicle, and left the operating room as a eunuch, because the surgeon used the electro-cautery to compromise the blood supply to his only functioning testicle, causing it to die, and leaving him in a state of castration.

Writing seemed to be a natural outlet because of the empathy I felt for my clients whose lives were changed forever by medical mistakes. Many of my clients suffered catastrophic damages and there is no way to compensate them for their injuries. Therefore, I feel honored to dedicate my writing to those all those whose paths crossed with mine, especially those lives that will never be the same.

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


The Godfather by Mario Puzo. The screenplay by Mario and Francis Ford Coppola was stunning and the dialogue is so crisp and precise, I have been known to quote certain scenes verbatim.

What genre do you write in?


I have two medical/legal thrillers out and one romantic comedy about songwriters who fall in
love in Nashville.

How did you get started with writing?

I started drafting stories years ago but was working 80 to 90 hours per week and did not have the time to bring my stories up to publishable standards. So, I waited until I retired and have been able to publish three novels since 2017.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?


Being able to tell stories that desperately need to be told.

What are you reading right now?


I have just finished STRINGS-BOOK TWO-ATONEMENT by Andrea Rendon and DOGGONE DEAD by Dane McCaslin. Both were excellent reads by two terrific authors.

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


My main characters are based on myself and the events in my life during various stages. For example, J. W. Steele, my main character in WHISPERS FROM THE SILENCE is me as a young man (sometime during the late 1800s, I think). The characters in UNEXPECTED ENEMY are composites of doctors, lawyers, and ancillary persons. This novel is based in part on the time my wife and I went for infertility treatment including in vitro fertilization. Jake Skylar, the co-protagonist in CLASS OF TWO is also based on my career as a medical malpractice trial lawyer, while Aubrey (Ace) Evans, his law partner, and former teammate and roommate, is a composite character of my football teammates and United States Army comrades. I also went to college during the 1960s and witnessed firsthand many of the events of racism and discrimination that I described in CLASS OF TWO. It was a turbulent time to be certain, and today, every time I think we have made some progress in inequality and race relations, I also feel the stark realization that we still have, as Robert Frost once said, “Miles to go before we sleep.”

What do you like to do for fun?


My years as a musician have helped me give something back, as now I teach guitar and songwriting to my neighbor’s teenage daughters. Taylor Swift is their favorite singer, and they asked me to teach them songs from her and Miley Cyrus. Unfortunately, the closest I came was James Taylor and Billy Ray Cyrus so they now refer to my repertoire as “Civil War campfire songs”. My theory about the power of words blossomed when I taught them a three-part harmony version, which blended the lyrics from Taylor’s “Stay, Stay, Stay”, with those of Maurice Williams, whose biggest 50’s hit was called “Stay”, and inspired covers by the Four Seasons and Jackson Browne. Teaching them has also convinced me this is what songwriter Lori McKenna meant when she wrote about helping who’s next in line, in the Grammy-winning hit she wrote for Tim McGraw, called ‘Humble and Kind’.” That’s why I have found whether I’m acting as a songwriter, a lawyer, or just a guy, words are what matter most. As Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb of the BeeGees once told us in their mega-hit, “Words” are the only thing we have that can take our hearts away.

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


My first book, WHISPERS FROM THE SILENCE is based on the time I shut my law practice down right after I passed the bar and went to Nashville to write songs. It’s also a tribute to songwriting and all the nights I wrote songs by staying up all night waiting for the sunrise, while gulping stale coffee and watching coals die in a fire, as I stared at the shadows on the wall while begging the silence to whisper the lyrics to me. That’s also why I believe that every situation in life can be explained by a song title or lyric. This belief was enhanced when I was cross-examining an expert witness at trial and he told me he believed the defendant had no choice but to treat the patient, my client, exactly the way he did. That was when a vision of Elvis popped into my mind and I asked the doctor, “are you saying he was caught in a trap and couldn’t walk out?”

What advice would you have for new writers who are just starting out?


Never, never, never give up. I published my first book at 71 years old.

What projects are you working on now?


I have two works in progress. One is about a 70’s/80’s band that reunites after their business careers are in their twilight. The other is about a plastic surgeon and Viet Nam veteran who is accused of identity theft and murder, and how his life was based on a lost love when he was just a seventeen-year-old kid.

Other information and a thank you to my readers.
I would also like to extend a shout-out to all my readers and say, “thank you for picking my books. I know you have more choices today than ever before and I am extremely grateful that you chose my novels.”
Also, as some of my favorite songwriters/singers might say, I hope that WHISPERS FROM THE SILENCE helps you “PUT SOME DRIVE IN YOUR COUNTRY.” AND I also hope that my thrillers, UNEXPECTED ENEMY and CLASS OF TWO, fill up your senses like a night in a forest or a walk in the rain. So, as one of my all-time favorite groups, ABBA, once said, I hope that if all my readers have to do the same again, they will, my friend, “TAKE A CHANCE ON ME.”

Thank you Tim for a great interview!

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Interview with Novelist and Poetry Author P.J. Lowry

Let us know a little about yourself and how we can connect with you via website, blog, books, and social media sites.

My name is P.J. Lowry, and I reside just outside Toronto, in that beautiful great white north known as Canada. I have a BA in English language and literature from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I’ve been seriously writing and self-publishing novels and collections of poetry since 2005. I am also a lead writer for River Comics, as I’m currently writing eight different titles for this indie publisher, from Superheroes to historic icons like George Washington. I’m making some really groovy stuff for RC that is totally badass.

You can connect with my work and with me on social media at the following URLs:  

What is the name of your blog or book and how did you get started?


I have multiple blogs, as I post material on WordPress, Tumblr, and even Open Diary which thankfully reopened a few years ago after a four-year hiatus. I was on OD since 2000 and had over 4000 entries when they closed up shop. It broke my heart, but I welcomed it back with open arms and I’m happily writing there again. My blog on Open Diary is titled “Fear and Loathing in Steel City” and my username is Peter_24601. It’s a bitchin blog, one that I enjoy updating as often as I can. Any kind of writing is good to keep the fingertips warm for momentum.

As for my actual books, I’ve been writing fiction and poetry since I was twelve. I wrote my first full novel when I was fourteen, but it was bad, so very bad. No one’s ever going to see that book, not while I’m alive at least. It’s on a five and a half-inch floppy, so good luck accessing that relic.

My writing thankfully has greatly improved, and I have many works posted on Smashwords, Kindle Direct, i-tunes, Scrib’d, etc. When you google P.J. Lowry most of those accounts will pop up. You can access my comic books at rivercomics.net. I like to jokingly refer to it as our all you can eat app with all the comic books you can consume for $1 a month! I dare you to find a better deal in our industry, cause you can’t!

What is your favorite food?

I am a big foodie, and for me food makes the world go round. What is more fun than sitting at a table with people you love and sharing a meal together? Talking about your day, finding out what’s going on… there’s nothing better! I’m that guy who can sit down with anyone in a cafeteria or pub and easily strike up a conversation with him/her while breaking bread. I’m a huge social butterfly and I totally get that charm and charisma from my Dad. He is the most outgoing and friendly person I know, and that rubbed off on me.

But I’m avoiding the question, which was to list my favorite food. If I had to pick just one, I’d have to say roasted chicken with potato salad on the side, and coleslaw with gravy too. That would be my go-to meal if I had to pick just one. When I’m in the mood for something spicy, a good jerk chicken makes a nice, sassy substitute.

What foods do you crave all the time?

Whenever I’m writing, I like to have something on hand to nibble. I like having something small around to chew on while I’m pondering something, or at a crossroads with whatever I’m writing at the time. I love to write with a big cup of tea or a soda-like Dr. Pepper. Those are the things I crave whenever I’m writing.

What is your favorite comfort food?

When I attended Memorial University, I ended up staying in St. John’s for almost ten years. During that time I became immersed into the local cuisine, and one meal from Newfoundland is my hand down all-time favorite comfort food: Jiggs Dinner. My sisters-in-law made an amazing Jiggs Dinner, which consisted of boiling a decent amount of veggies in a huge bot with a huge piece of salt beef. The flavor of the beef goes right into the veggies, and side that with a bread pudding and cover all the beef and veggies with gravy, and you what you have is heaven on Earth. You’ll never see me eat turnip and cabbage faster than whenever I had Jiggs Dinner. It’s amazing!

If you could learn how to make any food what would it be?

I haven’t tried yet, but I want to learn how to make beef wellington. It looks very intimidating. I’m going to be taking some cooking classes. One day I will attempt to make the wellington, and if successful… you’ll see pics on social media and my blog.

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

The writing. The ability to put down words and share those thoughts with the world. I’ve been a writer since I was twelve, and I have no intention of stopping no matter how little or how much success I find. I like using these words to connect with people, fellow writers, and even bloggers. To connect with the world, and when my days are done I hope that the words I leave behind will connect with and inspire future generations. So my favorite thing about writing is the connection it brings. The ability to share a story with those who I might never meet and tell them a story.

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

Just keep writing, it doesn’t matter if you write a whole chapter, a paragraph, or just a few tweets. Any words are better than none. Keep your fingertips warm and just keep going. If you get stuck with one project, put it down and work on another. When you feel that momentum coming back, then you can go back and take another crack at that one you’re stuck with and try to get it back on track. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you’re going, as long as you’re moving forward you’re going in the right direction. Just. Keep. Writing.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to play games online to stimulate my brain. I play World Of Warcraft and I also play chess online with people all over the world. I like to read, watch television and watch a ton of movies. I also like to hang out with my kids and do fun things with them like check out a movie, go to the dome for a ball game, etc. Your kids are only young once, so spend as much time with them as you can before they become too cool to chill with their parents. That day is coming, so get ready for it.

What helps you to stay motivated and keep writing?

Motivation comes from many places. Sometimes I look at a picture differently and a idea can just pop into my head. Some days it’s the dream of being a wealthy author and buying hundreds of classic cars like Clive Cussler. Sometimes my motivation comes from my bills arriving and giving me a well needed kick in the arse cause I don’t want my cable to be disconnected. There’s many ways someone can be inspired, so find one that breathes life into your fingertips.

How do you attract new readers?

I’m trying to use free websites like Wattpad, Booknet and a few others to offer some of my works for free. The goal is to get readers so hooked up my stuff that they’ll want to pay for it and help me earn a little cabbage. It’s working a little bit. I’m also very active on social media, and try to be as user friendly as possible.

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

You mean besides the previous reference to Clive Cussler and his classic cars? My Dad has all of Cussler’s hardcovers, and because of that I’ve been reading his works since the 80’s. On the back of every hardcover a big picture of Clive with a classic car from decades ago and he looks amazing in them. I love Clive’s writing, and the amazing adventures of Dirk Pitt, but it was seeing Clive with all those expensive cars that convinced me writing might be a decent career worth pursuing. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be as cool and successful as Clive, but I’m trying. Mr. Cussler passed away a short time ago, and I have a few of his books. My favorites are Cyclops and Inca Gold.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I don’t mind reading any genre, especially if someone recommends something they enjoyed reading. If I had to pick one, I would say I’m a sucker for a good suspense or mystery. I’m a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. I’m actually creating and writing a comic book based on Sherlock Holmes, so I’ve spend the last year reading a lot of Doyle’s work, and going back to all those amazing stories is the best research I’ve ever done. Zero arm twisting required.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading a few pretty interesting books. Countdown 1945 by Chris Wallace is about President Truman and the events leading up to the dropping of the atomic bombs in Japan. It’s a very fascinating read, and I love reading books about history. Another book I’m reading is Don’t Burn This Book by Dave Rubin, and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I recently got a copy of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins but I haven’t started it yet. I think I’m going to pick it up after I finish Neverwhere.

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

One of my favorite books of all time is Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, which later become one of my favorite movies called Field of Dreams. In my opinion, it’s a true classic. Kinsella wrote amazing baseball books that would make great movies. I hope they make a movie about Magic Time, which was another great Kinsella novel.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I listen to a lot of music from all genres. What I listen to depends on what kind of mood I’m in and what I happen to be doing. If I’m cleaning dishes or tidying up the house, I’ll have something heavy put on like Metallica, Twisted Sister, Def Leppard, etc. I don’t mind listening to other genres like country, pop, classic rock. When I’m writing, I can’t listen to any of them. The only music I can listen to when I’m writing is instrumental only, music with no lyrics. If I play anything with lyrics, I ended up singing along, get horribly distracted, and no writing happens.

Here’s a great tip for all the writers reading this: movie soundtracks. When I’m writing, not only will I listen to film scores, but I will pick scores that match the genre that I’m writing. For example, if I’m writing a western then I’ll listen to the soundtracks of films like Tombstone, Unforgiven, etc. If I’m writing a fantasy, I’ll listen to great fantasy soundtracks like The 13th Warrior or Lord of the Rings. If you can find the right film score that compliments your work in progress, it can and will make an enormous difference in your daily word count.

Who are your top three favorite authors?

Besides the two I’ve already mentioned, those being Clive Cussler and W.P. Kinsella, another writer I really like is Gordon Korman. Gordon was one of the first authors whose works I started to consistently read. I remember eagerly reading his Bruno & Boots series when I was in grade four, enjoyed each story, and laughing at the wild adventures of those crazy boys. I haven’t read any of his recent works, but I have all those older books I used to read when I was younger. Another writer I really like reading is Tony Parsons. I’m more of a fan of his earlier works as well, such as his Man & Boy books. I found so fascinating to read because I was in the middle of a divorce when I first picked them up.

If you could have super powers what would they be?

My favorite hero growing up was Superman, so that’s the powers I’d want. The ability to fly, super strength, heat vision, etc. It would be amazing to be Superman and save the world whenever necessary. Bullet proof skin kinda helps too. Just saying.

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

I am a nocturnal writer, so I do all my best work at night. Somewhere around ten or eleven at night (when there’s nothing good on tv) is when I’ll start working on my projects. I’ll spend most of the evening working on comic scripts, novels, poetry and other things. Usually I’ll get exhausted and end up crashing in bed around five or six in the morning. I will then wake up somewhere around one or two in the afternoon, and after having breakfast I’ll work again until five in the afternoon. I’ll take a break until eleven and start the process all over again. That in a nutshell is how I get my work done. It’s very chaotic but it seems to work for me.

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

I suffer from an autoimmune disease known as Ankylosing Spondylitis. I was diagnosed with this brutal ailment in 2012, and have been trying my best to work around it. The best way for be describe A.S. is that it’s like arthritis on crack. It’s very painful and the treatments I take only treat the symptoms, not the disorder itself. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy because some days are okay but there are others when I need a cane to walk. It’s an illness that isn’t well known, but if you’d like to know more about it, you can find some more information at this site: https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/arthritis-types-(a-z)/types/ankylosing-spondylitis

What projects are you working on right now?

I am working on a lot of projects, so many that I don’t know how I juggle most of them. Something ends up getting neglected and I end up feeling bad about it. At the moment I’m working on three novels, two non-fiction projects, one new collection of poetry, and several comic books. The only way I can do this is by making a weekly schedule and sticking o it. So my plate is kind full, but that’s alright. Keep those fingers busy and keep writing.

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

To anyone who has taken the time to read this, thank you for putting up with my long winded answers. This is nothing compared to what kind of a chatterbox I am in person. Scary thought, I know.

To those who have read my work online or purchased any of my works, I offer my sincerest and most humble thanks. When something is sold, I notice it. When someone leaves a note on Wattpad or any other reading site, I see that too. My love language is words of attrition, so if you want to make me feel good, leave a note. I love seeing them and will often reply to them as well. There is also so much more to come! I’m working on some amazing projects that I am very eager to finish up. Thank you for your patience, it shall be rewarded!

Thank you P.J. for such a great interview!

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Author Spotlight-Interview with Elsie McArthur

Let us know a little about yourself and how we can connect with you via website, blog, books, and social media sites.

My name is Elsie McArthur and you can find me on-

What is the name of your blog or book and how did you get started?

My first book is called ‘The Back Up Plan’ and was released in January 2020.

My second novel is called ‘Love, on the Rocks’ and will be published on the 20th August 2020.

I’ve always written stories, scribbling them down and coming up with random ideas. I started writing more seriously five years ago when I was on maternity leave with my first child.


What is your favorite food?

My favorite food! That’s such a hard question! I love to cook and bake. My favorite meal would probably be spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread and a nice glass of red wine. I have a major sweet tooth though, and pretty much constantly crave chocolate!

If you could learn how to make any food what would it be?

One food I’d love to know how to make is authentic french pastries, like croissants and pain au chocolat. I’ve made full puff pastry once before and it was incredible, but so much work.


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

My favorite thing about being an author is having an outlet for all the random musings that pop into my head on a daily basis!

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

For new writers who are considering going down the self-publishing route, I would recommend really putting in the research when it comes to marketing and promoting your book.

I pretty much just shoved mine on Amazon and hoped for the best! It’s only more recently that I’ve been building a platform on social media and looking into other avenues to advertise my work.

How do you attract new readers?


Recently, I’ve been trying to attract new readers by doing a bit more self-promotion online (I was a bit embarrassed to do this at first!) and also reaching out to lovely bloggers like yourself who are willing to do features or reviews for indie authors.


What is your favorite genre to read?

My favorite genre to read is probably chick-lit, which is what I write. I also enjoy a good crime thriller or mystery. I need to be in the mood for it though. Generally, I prefer my reading material to be happy and feel good.

What are you reading right now?


Right now I’m reading a paranormal romance by a fellow Indie Author, Eva Alton. I don’t tend to go for paranormal stories as a genre, but it’s paired with a lovely contemporary romance which I’m really enjoying.

What projects are you working on right now?

At the minute, I’m sort of juggling three projects, but they’re all at different stages. The first is a historical romance – a foray into a slightly different genre for me! The second is a follow up to ‘The Back-Up Plan’, but I’m not sure if I’ll proceed with this. Some readers asked if there would be a sequel. This got me thinking about it, but I wouldn’t want to do it just for the sake of doing it. I need to be sure that I have an interesting story to tell.

Independently of the first book so that I’m able to develop the characters in meaningful ways. The third is really my main focus at the minute – it’s another chick-lit book. It’s set in the Highlands of Scotland called ‘The Accidental Laird’. I’m really excited about this one and hoping to have it finished and published before the end of the year, so watch this space!

Thank you  Elsie for such a great interview!

If you are a fellow writer, author, or blogger and want to be featured with your own interview on this blog go to https://noshwithchefjulie.com/contact/ for all the details!

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Author Spotlight-Interview with Screenwriter Tara J. Stone

Let us know a little about yourself and how we can connect with you via website, blog, books, and social media sites. 

I’m a screenwriter who decided to cut out the middleman and get my stories straight to the people. Instead of shopping them around to producers, I self-published two of my screenplays.

paperbacks/e books: BERGMAN MANOR and THE DETECTIVE’S SECRETARY.

You can find more information, including a list of retailers where both scripts are available.

website tarajstonewriter.com

Follow me on Twitter (@tjswriter).

What is the name of your blog or book and how did you get started? 

I got started with screenwriting as a student at John Paul the Great Catholic University. I’ll never forget my first screenwriting class, where our major assignment for the term was to write a spec script for our favorite TV show. I wrote an episode of Smallville, and I’ve known ever since that a screenwriter is what I wanted to be when I grow up.

When I was a senior, I wrote a feature film that actually got produced (RED LINE), but the genre wasn’t a great fit and I think the script suffered for it.

After that, I focused more on period scripts (anything 1920s-1940s), and that’s where BERGMAN MANOR and THE DETECTIVE’S SECRETARY fit in.

I’m also making my first foray into novel writing — I just finished my first draft of my first novel, and it’s been way more fun than I even imagined.

What is your favorite food? 

Potatoes, prepared in any way.

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

Don’t take notes from readers and editors personally, and find people who know how to give objective critiques. Learn to tell the difference between those objective critiques and notes that are really just a matter of taste.

What do you like to do for fun? 

I enjoy reading, watching old movies, hiking, and trying out different craft brews.

What helps you to stay motivated and keep writing? 

The act of writing itself is something of an adrenaline rush. I don’t usually need much motivation when I’m in the middle of a project. In fact, I usually have to remind myself to stop and eat and sleep once in a while during that part of the process.

It’s when I’m between projects that I most often struggle with motivation. Coming up with that next story idea is daunting, and I have to make myself sit down and hammer out the logline. Once I have a polished logline, I get back into adrenaline rush mode.

What is your favorite genre to read? 

My favorite genre to read is fantasy, which is odd because I could NEVER write fantasy. I’m amazed at the imagination it takes to build a world. My brain isn’t that big.

What are you reading right now? 

I’m finishing a series by D.K. Holmberg right now, and I’m about to jump into Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I’m also eager to start Jeff Wheeler’s latest book. It’s actually weird that I haven’t started it yet. I usually read his stuff the day it comes out, but I’ve been too busy this time around!

I try to always have some spiritual reading in progress as well, and at the moment I’m about halfway through Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

 The better question is what kind of music do I NOT listen to. Seriously, when I put my library on shuffle, the next song could be anything from Mozart to Frank Sinatra to Hall & Oates to Kanye West.

I should give a special mention to film scores though, especially if the composer is named John Williams. The only kind of music I really can’t stand and won’t listen to under any circumstances is metal.

Who are your top three favorite authors? 

Can I break it down by genre? My three favorite living fantasy authors are Jeff Wheeler, Sever Bronny, and Jordan Rivet. But let’s face it, the king of all fantasy is J.R.R. Tolkien. Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë are two of my favorite classic authors.

Thank you Tara for such a great interview!

If you are a fellow writer, author, or blogger and want to be featured with your own interview on this blog go to https://noshwithchefjulie.com/contact/ for all the details!

To read more author interviews click here https://noshwithchefjulie.com/category/author-interviews/