Author Spotlight- Interview with Sci-Fi Writer James R. Norwood

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

My website is I’m on Twitter @jrnorwood and Facebook I’m marginally on Instagram at jrnteach.

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


My book is called “A Trio of Worlds.” It is a Sci-Fi novel set about a hundred years into the future. I got started with this novel a few years ago when I sat down and wrote the first fifteen pages from an idea I had about an astronaut being stranded in space. I put the idea away and from time to time I would think of it or re-read it. I remember often thinking how great a story it could be. I finally decided to finish it when my wife asked me what I was interested in. It took me only a few weeks of writing to finish the first draft. 

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

I would like to promote my newest novel, “A Trio of Worlds.” It is available on Amazon as an eBook or Kindle Unlimited, a paperback on Amazon, or an audiobook on Audible or iTunes.

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

I’d have to say my favorite book, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, is also my favorite movie, although it’s technically a mini-series. I’ve read the novel several times and once out of curiosity, I emailed Ken Follett to ask him about the possibility of a movie. To my shock, he emailed me back. He told me he didn’t have any current plans for an adaptation. Fast forward a few years and I found out that Starz was going to have a mini-series based on the book. Without even talking to my wife, I subscribed to Starz so I could watch it! I like to think I was the reason the book was adapted and that my question sparked Mr. Follett’s imagination. I’m sure I’m wrong though.

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

One of the strangest things I’ve observed as I wrote the first book and began work on the second in the series is that my characters really surprise me by their actions. I know that they are my own imagination, but when I’m “in the zone” of writing, my characters behave as if they are real, and sometimes what they say or do blow my mind. I don’t think I connect with them in the sense of them being like someone I know in real life, but I do feel like I connect with them because I can never wait to find out what they are going to do next!

What are you reading right now?

Right now I am reading “The Hollow Crown” by Dan Jones.

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

I always try to set a goal of writing at least 2,000 words per day when I’m working on a project. I find this is not an unreasonable number to reach. Sometimes I don’t quite get there, especially on days like today when the scene I’m writing requires more research. Some days I write far more than the goal. It all depends on where I am in the story and how good I feel about what is happening with my characters.

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

I often see this question and I always think of myself. I would tell anyone who wants to write to just write! Put the words down on paper. You can always revise or rewrite your work, but it is incredibly satisfying when you realize that you actually wrote an entire novel. In the words of Dory from “Finding Nemo,” – just keep swimming!

What projects are you working on right now?

Right now I’m about 22,000 words into my second novel. It is a sequel to “A Trio of Worlds.” I’ve tentatively named it “Rise of the D’lai”, but as with Trio, the name could change. I originally called Trio “The Negotiator” until I had a moment of inspiration driving to pick up a swag bag from my employer. I expect to be finished with the rough draft in another month or so and then the hard work of editing and all that comes with that starts up! 

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

Thank you James for a wonderful interview!

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Author Spotlight- Interview with Historical Fiction Writer Elizabeth Martina

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

I live in the mountains and have plenty of beauty surrounding me. It is mostly calm except for my 75 lb Bernese Mountain dog, Hansel, and a husband who has many projects going all the time. My two adult children live far enough away that they can’t just stop in. But my son is now collaborating with me on my latest book.

I write historical fiction novels and novellas. I write a blog on my website ( which talks about almost anything historical. For example, I have an ongoing series on Founding Mothers (women colonists of the 1600s) and an ongoing series on clothes and hairstyles from the past. These blog posts also show up on my Facebook page, “ElizabethAMartina, author” and my Twitter account, @eamartina.

I love getting letters and comments, which can be sent to or to my website.

What genre do you write in?

I am all about history. Historical fiction, cozy mystery historical fiction, and straight history.

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

I am a genealogist as an avocation. My latest WIP is a result of research into the past for several people. The characters are there, in history, waiting for me to introduce them to the world. I often adapt real events into plots for the real characters. I was a fan of the Nero Wolfe detective series in high school and watched every detective TV show years later. I have gotten a few plot ideas from those shows. These plot ideas have been used in the Hadley Sisters Mysteries series. Promotion!

A year ago, I needed a break from a serious project. One day I was thinking of my college years living in Boston and how Boston looked before I got there. I had developed an affinity with Nero Wolfe detective stories and wanted something in that style, a cozy mystery with a slight bit of humor. My mind wandered and I had a story about two socialite sisters who get involved in criminal investigations. The time is 1939. The place is Boston. The sisters, in their early 20s, live an idyllic life. It is something out of a movie of the era, with lovely homes, beautiful clothes, and maids. But the girls are too intelligent and curious to live that life. A murder in the first book changes their world and they learn how to research and use gossip to get answers. It doesn’t hurt that they are dating Boston police detectives.

The sisters are very much the two sides of me, serious and organized (Betty) and impetuous at times (Kate). I have to be careful of their conversations and keep them in character. They have become my friends and I can tell what their reactions are going to be long before I get to a conversation.

The books are the Hadley Sisters Mysteries. The four books are The Matter of a Murder of a Maid, The Matter of a Missing Stutz, The Matter of a Misplaced Document, and, due out in June, The Matter of a Distressed Dressmaker. The books are short, 25,000-31,000 words, making them an easy weekend read. All are available in ebook and paperback at Amazon.

Amazon links for the first three:

The Matter of a Murder of a Maid

The Matter of a Missing Stutz

The Matter of a Misplaced Document

What was your favorite childhood book?

My interest was in biographies for children and the Betsy-Tacy series, by Maud Hart Lovelace, in elementary school. These two solidified my historical perspective. I also learned that I loved the ongoing series.

How did you get started?

Brought up in the US, but influenced by stories about my Italian relatives who immigrated half a century before, I learned the art of story-telling from my grandmother. Although I have always written stories, I really got started writing when my grandmother died. I wanted to write a story about her sad childhood. When I showed it to my mother, her initial comment was, that’s not how it happened! It turned out there were half a dozen variants in the family. So, I learned the art of genealogical research to find the real explanation. And ended up writing a book about a murder. My great grandmother’s murder. It is my first book, The Ragman Murders, which is also available at Amazon, by the way. After that, I was hooked on genealogy.

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

I am Italian, which means I think about food and cook more than occasionally. How I have stayed slim all these years is nothing short of a miracle. No matter what book I have written, there is always at least one scene of people eating or cooking. The first book described getting ready for an Italian Christmas Eve dinner as the characters prepared salted cod. I can cook anything Italian but I am not too good at cooking meat. I let my husband take care of the steaks. That is on my bucket list of things to learn.

What projects are you working on right now?

Four novellas later, I am putting the two sisters, Betty and Kate Hadley, on hold while I take up that more serious project, again. This is a little-known piece of history, telling the true story of the colonists who were the second and third generations in Jamestown, Virginia, and how they expanded the colony. The men and women who comprised those generations were determined to fight and win. Many are larger than life characters. There were two political upheavals during that time that no one knows about. Analyzing those upheavals gives us insight into the next 200 years of politics and slavery in the southern US. This may grow into a series of historical novels, although I haven’t decided yet.

Thank you Elizabeth for this lovely interview!

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Author Spotlight- Interview with Fiction Writer Jon Bolitho-Jones

What would you like to promote?

Well, I would like to promote my book When the World Falls Down. It’s a quirky YA Fantasy story – Douglas Adams meets CS Lewis and the film Labyrinth. Link found right here:

I am also here to promote myself too! I am a writer/actor from the northwest of England. Here’s my Twitter handle: @JonBolihtoJones. and here’s my writing website:

What does success look like to you?

Oooo that’s quite a question. For me, it would be making a full-time living from my books and my writing, interspersed with a bit of performance too. It’s also having people enjoy my work and being recognized as a writer.

What genre do you write in?

Fantasy. Well I mostly write YA fantasy but I’m also trying my hand at Science Fiction and Horror – the genres often being mixed together.

What was your favorite childhood book?

That would be the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. Absolutely brilliant. If you know Animals of Farthing Wood or Watership Down, well it was basically that but with swords, lots of fighting, and classic fantasy tropes.

How did you get started with writing?

In some ways, I have always enjoyed making up magical, fantastical worlds, though it was only when I was 11 that I began to write them all down. After lots of false starts though I started When the World Falls Down, completed it and then wanted to share it with the world. When it comes to actually create a story and getting it down in a Word document I generally begin by coming up with an idea, or simply choosing one from my bank of ideas. I then write out a loose chapter by chapter plan and then start writing and getting it done. I do a bit each day, approximately 2,000 words, and so steadily it gets written. The first draft is usually a mess so then it goes to the editing stage, which is pretty long, but that’s where the real work begins.

How do you attract new readers?

Generally what I have tried so far is posting blog articles and free short stories. Along with that, I engage with people on social media when I can, especially on Twitter. Pretty much everything is done online really.

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

Yes. I tend to write from my own emotional experiences, so there are little parts of me found in almost all of my main characters. However, my lead is actually based on my wife.

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

It has to be when someone reads my works and really enjoys them. Positive reviews are great, though I also like sitting and chatting about the lore, characters, and mysteries of my book with anyone who is interested.

How do you make sales as an author?

I’m not quite sure so far. I’m still experimenting at the moment. I’ll let you know when I find out!

What are you reading right now?

The Hobbit. I’ve just finished Anthony Beevor’s book about the Spanish Civil War though. I know – very different material.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Fantasy, SciFi, and historical non-fiction

What is your favorite comfort food?

Chocolate, though on savory days cheese. I am also a sucker for charcuterie boards.

Who are your top three favorite authors?

Tolkien, Walter Moers, and Terry Pratchett

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

Happy accidents maybe? In reality, I draw inspiration from everywhere whether books, films, TV shows, videogames, moments, personal experiences, and then gradually ideas form into something tangible in my head. These are then written down in “ideas” documents so I don’t forget them. Some of these ideas actually get combined too. I have a character (and race) in my book who was originally intended for something else.

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

That’s another tricky one… My answer – all the food! I like cooking and it’d be nice to know how to make everything and know exactly what goes well with each other for dinner parties.

What do you like to do for fun?

I am a big geek really, in particular miniature wargaming. I collect Warhammer, and though I’m not a great painter, I like to put them together, create new characters and frightening new worlds. I also like board games, reading, and old-school video gaming (no Fortnite or Call of Duty for me!)

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

Get on that social media as soon as you can. Even if you’d don’t have a book out, start building up that author platform and making connections. Also, prepare for disappointment and rejection, find good reliable people to read the work that gives you honest feedback, and keep pushing on with your writing and creating.

What helps you to stay motivated and keep writing?

I would say stubborn determination and the thrill of creating new stories and worlds. I write for fun too sometimes.

What projects are you working on right now?

I’ve actually just finished the 2nd book of my other YA fantasy series. Only the first draft though, so it still needs a lot of work. Along with that I am also querying my manuscripts and reading a short story for a competition. Perhaps most importantly I am in the very early stages of publishing the sequel to When the World Falls Down.

Thank you Jon for a wonderful interview!

To connect with Jon and read more check out these links~

When the World Falls Down –

Our Little Patch of Paradise –

The Clown in the Basement –

Website –

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Interview with Author Steven Day

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

I live in Portland, Oregon now but I spent my twenties hitchhiking around to meditation centers and traveling all over America and Internationally. I was looking for the meaning of life and trying to figure out if God exists.  It was an incredible time, meeting and helping people, and going on crazy adventures. I found meditation and yoga, and lots of drugs, and sex, and rock and roll (and kirtan and techno) too. It was a wild ride and I felt like Jack in the Titanic most of the time, leaning over the bow of the ship screaming, “I am the king of the world.” I did eventually find the answers I was seeking, which is a miracle in and of itself, and something I wouldn’t trade for the world. 

After more than a decade of insanity, I moved to Portland to settle down and to be around artists and to learn to write. This city has always been an inspiration and the lifestyle has always been a good fit for me. I’ve been based here since, and I think after a lot of work, I’m starting to become a better writer. 

I’m 38 years old now and I just finished my first novel, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, which I’m giving away for free on my website: We’ve never been able to legitimately do something like give away a book and have it be available to every human with a computer or phone or tablet before and I wanted to be a part of that and also just to be heard and to get read. When I put the website and book up we were all in quarantine and there was of course a chance I could have died and I kinda bucket listed the book out into the world. Fingers crossed for the Netflix adaptation and the big publishing contract for the next two. 

The book, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, is the story of a female playwright, Jessie, who becomes famous for a highschool play she wrote and produced. It’s about her struggle to find herself and to contribute something deep and real and powerful in a world that is only interested in shallow, empty, entertainment. She is the artist of integrity struggling through poverty and slamming into the patriarchy and going up against it with everything she has. 

It’s also my attempt at working in a literary form created by John Stienbeck. He created the form for Of Mice and Men, the play/novelette, and then he used it subsequently, turning it into what he called the play/novel, for Burning Bright. My version is elegantly called, the limited series/novel, which is the modernized version of the form, the idea being adaptation by one of the streaming giants eventually. 

What is your favorite food?

As a fledgling creative, I’ve been working in the restaurant industry here in Portland, so I’m a little bit of a foodie but also a flexitarian who doesn’t cook much meat. That being said, chicken wings! Really really fucking hot chicken wings are my favorite food. I love hot sauce in general and I do shots of it sometimes. It’s a drug. Capsaicin, which is what makes hot peppers hot, is my favorite drug, and I’m a junky for it. 

What foods do you crave all the time?

People might hate this response but I crave salads with oil and vinegar and kombucha and blue cheese crumbles for lunch and then I just always crave yogurt and granola. I probably have an addiction to vinegar which is why I love hot sauce too, because they are mostly vinegar based. I also really crave super super hot chicken wings. Here in Portland we have this wing place called Fire On the Mountain, and they have a chicken wing challenge. You eat 12 of the el hefe wings in 18 minutes and you get a picture of yourself on the wall with your burning bright lips. It’s my favorite place in Portland, and that’s saying a lot in a city with great food. 

What is your favorite comfort food?

Pho. Mac and Cheese. Chicken wings, fries, blue cheese, and celery sticks.  

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

My answer to this is a little controversial but I always answer with a question. Can you play an instrument or can you draw or paint? Or do you have any other creative abilities? If you answer yes to either of those questions you should seriously consider them both. Writing is really hard and takes years to get good at. If you write a novel you’re going to spend six months to three years writing and then the world won’t magically line up to read your book. 

Books require long commitments from the author but they also require long commitments from the audience. The audience has to give you their time and it can take days, weeks, or months to read a book. A song is a couple minutes long. You can look at a painting in a matter of seconds. Books are different. It’s the hardest medium. Period. 

So, the question is, how much do you love the writing itself? Because if you’re just looking for some kind of creative success and you can write music or paint a picture, visual art doesn’t require much commitment from the audience or nearly as much commitment from the creator. I’m very close friends with multiple professional painters and musicians. My friends who are great painters spend about eight to a hundred hours painting a picture. A writer will spend that much time on a short story. It can take thousands of hours to write a book. Writing is a long slog. 

If you love the writing process and you don’t care what happens, you just have to write, then welcome to Hell. You’re at least in interesting company. 

What helps you to stay motivated and keep writing?

I still believe that of all the creative mediums, writing is the most powerful. Writing can change people’s lives and it can change the world. It’s worth every moment of my time just on the chance that I might create something that makes the world a better place. It’s worth sacrificing my time and energy for that possibility. I believe in the power of the written word. It has, and will continue to shape and change human history. Every movie, every video game, article, essay, book, they all depend on the written word. 

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

When I was fifteen I read Alan Watts book, The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, and it completely derailed my life. I spent most of my teens and twenties on the spiritual quest to find enlightenment. To my own satisfaction, I found God and Truth and my work is trying to be a modern, pop cultural expression of timeless truth and spiritual wisdom but in a fun, sexy, hip way, that doesn’t bore the audience…and isn’t preaching or preachy. 

What are you reading right now?

Twitter. All the news everywhere online. My own work. I’m my biggest fan and my worst critic. 

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

I’m a morning pages person. I wake up and have coffee and I sit and write for at least an hour. If I’m working on a longer project, like a novel or screenplay, I follow coffee with a snack (yogurt and granola or nuts and fruits) and tea and I write and snack and drink tea for two or three hours until lunch (usually three hours but if I get lost in it, sometimes it’s five hours.) I eat salad or a sandwich for lunch and then I like to go on a walk or hike for about an hour/hour and a half. If I’m writing in the city it’s usually a bike ride. 

During the walk or ride, the whole time I’m writing in my head, working things out, taking notes on my phone. I’m pretty obsessive when I’m deep in a project. I usually break the story on these walks, meaning I fully flesh out the plot and figure out what happens where and when. These walks/rides are integral to my process. All my best ideas come from them. I come back to my desk in the afternoon and sit in front of the computer (I love to type. That’s how I do it. I don’t like to write with a pen almost at all) and I write for another two-three hours. 

Then I’m usually tired so I have dinner, and then after food I go on another bike ride or walk, working out whatever needs to be worked out in my head, and then I come back in the evening, and sit down for another two hours or so. During this time I get really creative. I write in my most poetic in the evening. Sometimes I drink wine at this time. Or beer. But I write better on wine. It makes me really French and lovely. 

I also read at night for one or two hours when I’m doing the bulk of the words on paper draft. Once I finish the words on paper draft and move on to the editing phase, I do a lot of drafts, which involves reading my work over and over, so during this part of the process, I don’t read at night because I have been reading all day usually and my eyes are too tired to read.  During the editing process, I like to watch movies or drink wine and listen to music. If I drink too much, it hurts my writing the next day, so I try to be careful. 

When I’m doing something long, I write every day for five to fourteen hours a day, until I become exhausted and I have to take a day off, which is about once every ten days. I tend to isolate myself when I’m doing a longer project because I’m a monomaniacal person. I give everything to whatever’s in front of me. My process might not be the healthiest but it’s mine. I’m obsessed with my characters. I love them and I live with them and they become my reason for living. They become the only thing I care about. They become my life. 

What projects are you working on right now?

Currently I’m trying to turn writing into a legitimate career by building my brand on the internet. Using social media and just trying to get my work and name out there. I want to write a bunch of novels and screenplays but the amount of work that it takes, I realize I need an audience and support or it’s just not feasible over the long run. So, instead of just writing I’m trying to connect with the world. That’s what I’m doing here right now. I probably should have started this process years ago but I’ve been obsessed with trying to do something different stylistically and philosophically so I have just been writing. We’ll see if I get the things made the way I want them to be made or what happens. We’ll see if I did it all wrong and backwards. 

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

My work is an attempt to create modern philosophical fiction that isn’t boring. Stuff that is fun, and sexy, and deep, and real. I think of my stuff as hyper-realism or surrealism sometimes, but I don’t know if that’s the perfect description. My goal is to entertain you and then blow your mind. To just completely blow your mind. So let me know what you think. Let me know if I blew your mind. 

Find me @:

Thank you  Steven for such a great interview!

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