One on One with Jonathan N. Pruitt

One on One with Jonathan N. Pruitt

We warmly welcome Jonathan N. Pruitt, a lifelong educator, former scientific researcher, and author of the engaging fantasy novel “The Amber Menhir”. Pruitt is not just a spinner of tales; he is a weaver of deep insights and biting humor, his stories imbued with the rich experiences gleaned from living in diverse global corners, from South Africa and Namibia to Australia and Canada. These experiences are deftly woven into his debut work, offering readers a narrative that is as emotionally true as it is fantastical. Through his writing, Pruitt prompts readers to explore the complexities of good and evil, shedding light on the murky, indistinguishable areas between the two. “The Amber Menhir” is a reflection of its creator: wise, witty, and unafraid to probe into life’s grey areas. Join us for a conversation with a man whose words are spells, casting long, enchanting shadows that linger. We got to know him better, take a look:

  1. One word that describes you?

Impish: inclined to do slightly naughty things for fun; mischievous.

Though I’m a people-pleaser by nature, I do enjoy gallows humor and a dark comedy on film and page. Is there a manic character high on cocaine about to fight a rattlesnake? Well then, sign me up.

  1. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of composing a book is editing. Writing a first draft resonates with my work ethic and drive. I work some amount of time, and I get to watch a story unfurl and a wordcount accumulate. But that story I’m writing isn’t any good. In fact, it’s probably pretty bad. I always have plans for how a story will go. I’ll seed those suspected events, and then… they just won’t happen. Something else more organic in terms of plot will emerge. Subsequent drafts are spent tidying up the mess and slaying superfluous words. It’s like sawing off a literary foot so that I can reach a antidote before the story’s poisoned to death.

  1. Any ritual like a specific scented candle, preferred writing place, or drink that you kept through writing? 

Uh, no. I write everywhere and anywhere. I write at bar tops, restaurants, coffee shops, hiking trails, airplanes, and while Catholics write their biology exams. When I’m not physically writing, I’m still writing, because I mull over plot knots and story arcs, even while dreaming. Maybe one day I’ll only deign to write in a salt cave while receiving a massage and smelling jasmine, but it certainly isn’t today.  Though that does sound nice…

  1. If there is a movie adaptation of your book, who do you think would be perfect for the lead roles? 

Hmm. I think Anya Taylor-Joy would make a superb Tara Langcraw. Frosty, austere, and ready to be laid low, I think Tara resembles many roles Taylor-Joy has brought to life. As for gristly old Ms. Ash, I think maybe Kathy Bates could be fun. Ms. Ash is a cynical aunt who isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty, or bloody, for that matter, and expresses an aptitude for chastising foolish behavior. If Ms. Bates can deploy a believable British accent, then I’d love to have her in the role. I’m betting she can. Chesa is an apparently sycophantic servant with a penchant for poisoning her scholars. She possesses a capacity to torture, and even delight in it, but is herself tortured. I think Gong Li would be amazing in such a role. I can already see her drowning some smug scholar that she’d rendered catatonic. Halle Bailey really impressed me in her performance in the reboot of The Little Mermaid. With the weight of so much expectation and acrimony upon her, Bailey succeeded in bringing Ariel to life once more, though admittedly not with either the script or supporting cast I’d have wished for her. That optimistic fervor and wide-eyed hope is something critical for the role of Peony.  The sweet, stammering Roland Ward is harder to dream-cast. He’s hulking, careful, intelligent, and is quick to internalize the stress of others. It might sound off the wall, but I’m sort of allured by the idea of James McAvoy in the role. Gods know he has a considerable acting range, though he would need to put on some weight. I wonder if he’d be willing…

  1. If you weren’t famous, what would you be up to right now?

I think I would enjoy being a therapist. I love people and I enjoy hearing their stories. The real versions, I mean. I would love to be able to help people acknowledge their flaws and strengths, and then leverage them to reach their dreams. I’ve dug myself out of a fair number of pits. I think my toolkit could be generalized to help others too. I hope so, anyone. That might even be a hidden part of my books.

  1. When did you decide to write this story and why?

I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy novel, or three. It was unescapable that, if I did, its plot would occur in an academic setting. It’s all I’ve ever known, really. I know the virtues and vices of the ivory tower and its subjects as well as any. Write what you know, right? Add a cutesy macabre humor, and something like The Amber Menhir was inevitability. I hope that people enjoy reading it at least half as much as I loved writing it.


  1. How did you come up with your title?

For the longest time the working title was “A Sinking Monolith”, but that made my PR and marketing folks spin their heads around and vomit up pea soup. Seems that title registered as a bit too depressing, or so they said. The series isn’t truly depressing at all. It deploys a dark humor and tongue-in-cheek satire, true. But hope and the power of the human spirit shine all the brighter in such a setting. So, as a compromise, we all agreed that the setting, The Amber Menhir, served well enough as a title.

  1. What is your ‘if you don’t like this, you can’t be my friend’ book?

I don’t have such a book. I like a diversity of authors, genres, and perspectives. Jemisin, Mieville, Sanderson, Martin, Maas, Butcher, Rothfuss, and Rowling are all contemporary fantasy authors I love, though each for different reasons. But I can enjoy other fare from Ayn Rand to Gore Vidal. My friends and allies range from animal activists and post-humanists to evangelical objectivists. They’re all welcome on my next hike or camping trip. I accept people as they are and can love the good and bad in them all.

  1. What has been your favorite comment/review so far about your book?

“…it is such a hotbed of murderous ambitions and dangerous political scheming that it makes a pit of vipers look like a basket of kittens. With the academic setting and three young student heroes, you could perhaps draw a parallel to Hogwarts, but only if the Harry Potter series had been produced by Hammer Films or penned by Stephen King.” – National World book reviewer.

I mean… what’s not to love about that? All the better, it’s fairly accurate.

  1. Which fictional character would be most exciting to meet in real life?

Ursula the sea witch, naturally. I dig ladies with a plan, a path forward, and who engage in self-love.  All the better if they’ve survived and grown from trauma, like being ostracized from a kingdom of gaunt mermaids, and they’ve learned the ins and outs of a good contract. Ursula, you’re welcome on my adventure any time; we’ll make appropriate accommodations to have you.

Part 2: Are you ready for our rapid-fire questions? Let’s go. 

  1. Sun or Snow?

Sun. I’ve lived in rainforests and tropical deserts for much of my life. Heat doesn’t touch me the way it does normal people, though I suppose that means I’m more likely to die from it. Que sera sera.

  1. Write in silence or write with music?

I usually write in busy public places with earplugs. So… manufactured silence, I guess.

  1. Money or Love?

Love. I mean, I like money too, but I like it for its ability to solve the problems of those I love and enjoy the light of this world, which isn’t always so pleasant.

  1. Cats or Dogs?

Cats. The more floofy and capricious the better. One day, if I go completely round the bend, I’ll have a (rescued) savannah cat in my house.

  1. Beach or Ski Trip?

I’ve seen a lot of rich people in the infirmary at ski lodges and that **** just looks dangerous to me. And cold. Beaches wins by default, though I’m not one for sitting still.

  1. Love Song or Rock?

Get real. Have you seen me? It’s thudding disco anthems for the win.

  1. Formal Dinner Date or Home Cooked Dinner Date?

Let’s just go to dinner. I’ll buy.  I mean, we can cook together as an adventure and all, but Uber Eats is likely in the cards thereafter. I’m a miserable failure as a cook. But it’ll make a good story.

  1. Real Tattoos or Henna?

Real tattoos. I’m not ready to join Kabballah yet. Though I do like the look of that mystical red string…

  1. Work from Home or Office?

I work from the trail best, during a picnic aside a scenic overlook. But I work from anywhere and instinctually must.

  1. Super strength or Invisibility?

Invisibility, of course. I like assessing matters from the shadow, watching, documenting, and biding my time. I’ll only ever confront a matter when the time is right, and under my ideal terms. Is that spidery? Maybe so.

Want more author interviews, check out the next one.

P. L. Hampton: Scribe of Shadows and Secrets!

P. L. Hampton: Scribe of Shadows and Secrets!

Clear some space on your bookshelf and brace yourselves! P. L. Hampton is the literary maverick sending shivers down spines straight from Seattle. A maestro in melding family sagas with ancient enigmas, Hampton’s pen is mightier and murkier than ever. While he educates by day as a college professor and chases that coveted JD, by night, he crafts tales that echo with whispers from the shadows. Dive deep into “Shadowland” and emerge transformed, wondering where fact ends and fiction begins.

Q If you could give your book to one person in the entire world to read, who would it be and why?

I know this question asks what person I would give my book to, but at this current time in America, I would give my book to a library. The reason is so everyone can have the opportunity and access to read it. American history is a rich history made up of so many colorful voices. It is necessary we hear all the voices that come together and make up this beautiful tapestry we call America. 

Q How did you come up with your title?

The title of my novel deals with the gray area the main character, Aaron, finds himself in regarding his familial situation, his inner struggles, and the mystery shrouding the supernatural and spiritual journey he finds himself on. 

Q When did you decide to write this story and why?

I started writing this story roughly a decade ago. The inspiration for this story came from my wife, Tonya. She had awakened me one night professing to have seen the shadow of a man in the living room. Fortunately, there was no man actually in my house. Nevertheless, the thought of a shadowy figure lurking in my home sent my imagination racing. I started writing Shadowland that night.

Q What has been your favorite comment/review so far about your book?

My favorite comment came from my sister. She loved how the novel weaved African, African American history, spirituality, and horror into this enthralling tale.

Q What is something you learned while writing this book?

. I learned about the richness of African history and spirituality. I wanted this novel to be as authentic to African history and spirituality as possible. Thus, the reason it took me some time to write this novel.

Q Who is your celebrity crush?

I would not per se call it a crush. Instead, I would call it admiration. That would be former President Barack and Michelle Obama. They carry themselves with dignity, grace, and yet they are very relatable.

Q Which fictional character would be most exciting to meet in real life?

Urbi Houna. Hands down. I found it very hard to not let this character take over Shadowland. In reading the novel you will find out why. She is such a rich character. That is why I feel compelled to give Urbi, her own story.

Q What is the most useless talent you have?

That’s a good question. I’ll have to think about that one.

Q What got you into writing?

My father recommended I read Watership Down by Richard Adams as a teenager. I was fascinated by the journey of these rabbits to find a home of their own. Octavia Butler also was a huge inspiration in compelling me to put my words and ideas down on paper.

Q. Coffee or tea?

A. Coffee

Q. Dinosaurs or princesses?

A. Dinosaurs

Q. Laptop or phone?

A. Laptop (Old School)

Q. Mountain or Beach?

A. Beach

Q. Beer or Vodka?

A. Neither. I don’t drink.

Q. Fame or Fortune?

A. Neither. I chose happiness.

Q. Love or Money?

A. Love! Every day, all day!

Q. Sky diving or Scuba diving?

A. Scuba diving. The finality of jumping out of a plane and the parachute not working scares you know what out of me.

Q. Scented Candles or Inscense?

A. Scented candles. Candlelight is so serene and peaceful.

Q. Red Meat or White Meat?

A. I don’t eat beef or pork. I’m a chicken and fish guy.

Grab your copy now available on Amazon.

Ready for another author interview?

Susy Smith – Crafting Dystopian Chaos

Susy Smith – Crafting Dystopian Chaos

Attention, bookworms and lovers of all things thrilling! Meet Susy Smith: not just an author, but a veritable scribe of suspense. Our dame of dystopia doesn’t just write stories; she conjures worlds. And with a title like “curriculum specialist for the Kanza Tribe” under her belt, you know she’s packing more than just ink in her quill.

Beneath her writer’s cloak, she’s armed with the resilience of every protagonist, the linguistic sorcery from her English degree, and enough storytelling mojo to leave readers on the edge (or even falling off) their seats!

Her claim to literary fame? “Asylum,” a spellbinding saga that didn’t just win hearts, but the 2020 Writer Con crown too. But she didn’t stop there. Susy’s sequel, “Ascendant,” plunges even deeper into the human psyche, making us question: are we reading the book, or is it reading us? Let’s learn more:

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why? 

– I would love for my books to be turned into a movie or a Netflix series! I’d pick Tanner Buchanan (He’s all that) or Chase Crawford for Jace Cooper, and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies) with dark hair for Lacy.

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?

– I don’t want to get old! Sadly, it’s happening anyway. The older I get the faster time seems to go. I didn’t use to get the old adage, ‘youth is wasted on the young,’ until I turned 50. Then I was like, ‘yeah, I get that.’ My brain still thinks I’m 20. Unfortunately, my body doesn’t agree!

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?

– I’d like to see the younger generation think for themselves and not take what they see and hear on social media/TV/news on its face. There’s always more to the story than what’s being told. School is not set up to teach kids to think for themselves and that’s doing them a disservice.

Q What makes your book unputdownable?

  • I think it’s suspenseful enough to keep readers turning the page, at least that’s something for which I strive. I think the characters will stick with the reader as well.

Q Tell us something about you that no one else knows

  • I’m left-handed and proud of it!

Q What book has made you cry, why?

  • When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was Where the Red Fern Grows, and I cried each and every time I read it.

Q What is your dream vacation? 

  • I’d really like to spend some time in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. Some of my ancestors come from those places. I’d like to learn some Gaelic and some of the druid culture while there. After that? I’d love to spend some time on a white sand beach, doesn’t really matter where, Fiji, Maui …

Q If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

  • This is a tough question. I’m not going to go all selfless and say world peace, but I’ll list the first three things that come to mind:
    • For my kids to live happy, prosperous lives.
    • I’d like to live a long time, myself.
    • I’d like to know the secrets to the Keys of Solomon.

Q Who/What is your biggest inspiration in your writing?

  • The biggest inspiration I have when I write is music. One of my favorite quotes is “I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music …” by Albert Einstein. My musical tastes are eclectic. I might get hung up on a folksy song by This Wild Life then turn around and listen to Bad Omens – which is what I’m stuck on now. I enjoy making playlists for my books and characters.

Q If you could give your book to one person in the entire world to read, who would it be and why?

  • If I could give my book to anyone in the world, it would be my Nanny. She walked on long before I published Asylum, but I think she’d like to know I’m writing which is something she always wanted to do. She encouraged my love of reading from a young age, buying me books every time she got the chance. I dedicated Asylum to her.

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Movie or TV Series?

A.  TV Series

Q. Long walk or long car ride?

A.  Long Walk

Q. Comedy or Drama?

A.  Comedy

Q. The city or the country?

A.  Duh, Country

Q. Baking or Cooking?

A.  Baking

Q. Margarita or Cosmo?

A.  Neither

Q. Holding a Puppy or Holding a Baby?

A.  Puppy

Q. invisibility cloak or sparking skin?

A.  Invisibility cloak, no question

Q. Coffee or tea?

A.  Tea

Q. Dinosaurs or princesses? 

A.  Dino’s

Q. Laptop or phone?

A.  Laptop

Find a copy now on Amazon!

Want more fun? Take a look at this author interview next.

Worlds Best PopPop? Meet William Stevenson

Worlds Best PopPop? Meet William Stevenson

William “PopPop” Stevenson, Ed. D.
: The Rockstar of Kiddo Lit!

Ladies, gents, and tiny fans with crayons in hand, meet William Stevenson: a former award-winning accountant turned children’s book superstar.

Once elbow-deep in spreadsheets, now he dives into epic time-travel escapades, all inspired by the mischievous glint in his celeb-sidekick grandson. They’ve salsa-danced in Ancient Egypt, jet-packed through Greece, and turned Rome upside down, all before bedtime!

Their hottest release? “Ricky’s Triple-Whammy Dream Trip to Egypt, Greece, & Rome” – a tale that screams Hollywood adaptation. With shades perpetually perched atop his head, and a following that rivals A-listers, William Stevenson is not just telling stories; he’s making history. Catch him at the next red carpet – just follow the trail of glittering picture books and swooning toddler-fans!

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

Ayn Rand has affected my life more than any other author.  Two of her influential books are THE FOUNTAINHEAD AND ATLAS SHRUGGED.

Q. Give us the scoop about your book.

The stories are based on actual history written on a foundation of love.

Q. Can you tell us three fun facts about you?

– I am responsible for changing how taxpayers pay their income taxes.  The payee was changed from the Internal Revenue Service to the United States Treasury.  I felt Americans would feel more patriotic by sending checks to the United States Treasury.

– Joan, my childhood friend of 60+ years fell in love after we both lost our spouses to Alzheimer’s disease.

 – I was on the planning and implementation teams of two new community colleges: one in New Jersey and the other in New York.

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?

For the role of PopPop, I would select Tom Hanks who is known for both his comedic and dramatic roles.  He is very talented and highly respected.

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?

Life should be lived on a foundation of love, respect, and honesty.

Q What makes your book unputdownable?

The result of the love between a grandfather and grandson is very compelling.

Q Tell us something about you that no one else knows

I believe that the love between Joan and me has been visited upon us from beyond our Earth.

Q What book has made you cry, why?

LOVE STORY crushed me emotionally due to the death of Ali MacGraw’s character.

Q What is your dream vacation?

I am living my dream vacation.

Rapid Fire Questions:

Q. Movie or TV Series?

A. TV series

Q. Long walk or long car ride?

A. Long Car Ride

Q. Comedy or Drama?

A.  Drama

Q. The city or the country?

A.  The Country

Q. Baking or Cooking?

A. Cooking

Q. Margarita or Cosmo?

A. Margarita

Q. Holding a Puppy or Holding a Baby?

A. Holding a Puppy

Q. invisibility cloak or sparking skin?

A. Invisibility Cloak

Q. Coffee or tea?

A. Coffee

Q. Dinosaurs or princesses?

A. Princesses

Grab your copy now on Amazon!

Check out another exciting author interview here.

The Inner Workings of Korynn Newville

The Inner Workings of Korynn Newville

Meet Korynn Newville, a dynamic artist, designer, and environmental activist. With a master’s degree in architecture from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor of Design from the University of Minnesota, she is a rising star in the field of architectural design. Korynn’s unwavering commitment to sustainable building practices shines through in her professional projects, where she ingeniously transforms common construction materials into breathtaking works of art. Fuelled by her belief in the power of imagination to solve problems, Korynn’s captivating drawings serve as her voice, telling stories that connect her passion for the environment with her writing pursuits. Her new book is a masterpiece to behold and we had to get to know her better.

  • What would be a good theme song for your life? – 1 theme song! That is tough. I’d have to go with the Amazon Production start-up song. Not really a song, but I like that it’s building up all the pieces of the buildings. It’s implying that it takes work for these productions, but the viewer is going to get something new and great.
  • What would you name your boat if you had one? – The Golden Child. I have two older brothers and we are always throwing around who the actual child is. Of course, no one ever wins, but an amazing boat for all of us to share would definitely win.   My husband and I do have a boat, a small fishing boat, we call it the bathtub because it’s as if we put a bathtub in the water and plugged the drain.
  • Which fictional character would be the most exciting to meet in real life? – Minions, all of them. I just think that it will be a very fun day. Also, they could get into some trouble, but they seem like they would be good best friends to have.
  • What is the best/worst purchase you’ve ever made? – Ice roller for your face, hurts so good.
  • What are some things that sound like compliments but are actually insults? – Tough one, I hate passive aggressive which is the entire state of Minnesota where I am from. Could it be a telling sign why I left?
  • What’s a body part that you wouldn’t mind losing? – ? The other day I heard from someone that we have two kidneys just in case someone else might need one. I’d lose a kidney to save someone.
  • What’s your biggest screw-up in the kitchen? – Ooof, I think mine is only relatable to people with allergies. I have EoE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis) and I’m allergic to a lot of foods. Nothing makes me lose my marbles more than when I cook a meal, only to realize I accidentally used something I’m allergic to or the recipe calls for something I don’t have to substitute with. You may be wondering, you are allergic, how do you manage that? I’m just human and forget, it’s strange. Something I am so fearful of, and I forgot to triple check things sometimes.
  • What’s the worst commercial you’ve recently seen? – I feel like there are a lot of bad ones because I can’t think of any, which means none of them are memorable.

Part 2

  • Q. Movie or TV Series?  – Movie, it was to be a really good series to keep my attention span. If it is really good, they take up too much of my time!
  • Q. Long walk or long car ride?  – A long car ride going far away to lead to a long walk
  • Q. Comedy or Drama?  – Comedy! Nothing beats laughing and being silly.
  • Q. The city or the country? – ?  Grass is always greener, I live in a rural mountain town, so I crave the city. I lived in Chicago and craved mountains. I’m 50/50 and it’s annoying.
  • Q. Baking or Cooking? Baking!
  • Q. Margarita or Cosmo? Margarita all the way.
  • Q. Holding a Puppy or Holding a Baby? Puppy, I have two.
  • Q. invisibility cloak or sparking skin? Invisibility cloak but could be persuaded if I knew what sparking skin was.   

Check out Indiscernible Elements: Calcium on Amazon now! Want to get to know another great author, check out Randi Braun.

Randi F. Braun Tells Us Something Major

Randi F. Braun Tells Us Something Major

What makes your book a must-read?

The rules of the Old Playbook aren’t working for women at work. Women have goals and dreams that can’t wait for systemic change in our workplace: we need a New Playbook to help us thrive right now.

If you could give your book to one world leader, who would it be and why? 

I’d give it to our Vice President Kamala Harris. Not because she needs it but because I admire her so much. She’s already modeling so many of the tools within the New Playbook, like pursuing your most audacious goals, leading intuitively, and owning your message.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?  

Getting from the first 30,000 words to the second 30,000 words nearly killed me. Once I got over that hump, I practically sprinted to the finish line. There were moments at word 36,000 or 42,000 that I truly wanted to give up. There were even days I cried, because writing is so stunningly raw and emotional — even when it’s non-fiction! I’m so glad I didn’t … but it was REALLY tempting.  

What is the most exciting story you tell in your book? 

This book has been described as “life-changing advice shared one wildly entertaining story at a time” and story that really encapsulates that for me is the very first one I tell in the book. It’s about a woman who complains she has “no desire.” In fact, “she can’t even remember the last time she was in the mood” … but she’s not talking about what you think she’s talking about: she’s talking about a bad case of low work libido. Unfortunately, too many women have it and there’s just no little blue pill for that. All the stories in here are totally human and often hilarious. I love how much fun women tell me they have when they read this book.

One word that best describes you


Any ritual like a specific scented candle, preferred writing place, or drink that you kept through writing

I’m religious about my morning walk in the woods. Apparently, Thoreau was onto something after all…

If there is a movie adaptation of your book, who do you think would be perfect for the lead roles? 

Can we get a Time Machine? If so, a young Barbara Streisand. I’ve been told my whole adult life that I look like her and she has the tenacity, joie de vivre, and confidence that embodies the New Playbook.  

What can this teach to a motivated and mission-driven population of writers?

One of my writing mentors, Eric Koester, told me: getting through your manuscript is like getting through a migraine. Asking for an extension just prolongs the pain. The only way out is through.

What advice can you give to a woman who wants to thrive?

Get clear on who you want to “BE” and the “DOING” part will come with ease. It’s advice my own long-time coach LA Redding once gave me and it is a theme across every chapter in this book, from reclaiming time to quieting your inner critic and building boundaries.

Are you ready for our rapid-fire questions? Let’s go. 

1. Hats or Caps – Hats

2. Thinker or Doer – Doer

3. Would you rather find your dream job or win the lottery – Dream job… I did just write a book on work!

4. Street smarts or book smarts – street smarts

5. Do you prefer social time or alone time – social

6. Love or friendship – what’s one without the other?

7. Salty or sweet – sweet

8. Do you prefer driving or flying – flying

9. Stilettos or Flip-flops – flip flops

10. Summer or winter – summer

For more author interviews.

Rebecca Inch-Partridge Gives the Scoop about Escaping the Dashia

Rebecca Inch-Partridge Gives the Scoop about Escaping the Dashia

What makes your book a must-read?

Escaping the Dashia, is a twisty, rollercoaster ride, set in a Star Wars style universe. A fun escape (excuse the pun) from reality. But judging by the reviews, people seem to love the protagonist, Twyla as much as I do. Nothing’s better than going on an adventure with someone you love spending time with.  

If you could give your book to one world leader, who would it be and why? 

I’d like to give climate change activist Greta Thunberg a copy of my novel. She reminds me of my protagonist Twyla in so many ways. I really admire her fighting the system. Twyla’s fight against her family’s criminal organization seems very similar.

3. What was the hardest part of writing your book?  

Not giving up! I wrote the first draft of Escaping the Dashia when I was the same age as the protagonist, 15. When I told people I wanted to become a professional author, well meaning adults would say, “That’s nice. But how are you going to pay the bills? You’ll need a day job.” I set writing aside and became a responsible adult with a day job. But the story wouldn’t go away. I needed to tell it. So I rewrote it six times, and came close to getting it published a few times. And each time the deal fell through, I felt like quitting. Thankfully, my husband, son and daughter-in-law encouraged me to try one last time, and I landed a publishing deal with Black Rose Writing.

What can this teach to a motivated and mission-driven population of writers?

If you can’t not write, don’t let anyone tell you to give it up. As a writer, writing is how you express yourself. It is a need. Do it because you love it. Don’t worry so much about getting published, making money, and turning it into a business. If you write what you love, then you’ll have something you want to share, and you’ll be motivated to learn the business end. But there is no quicker way to kill your love of writing than to start off trying to write what you think will sell.

What is the most exciting story you tell in your book? 

Twyla does not want to be forced into becoming a Dashia—think psychic vampire—so she plots an escape, not just for herself but for her friend, Dovain. If they’re caught, Dovain will be executed by Twyla’s mother. It’s a real action scene—complete with a hovercraft chase—that was so fun to write and apparently readers really enjoy it. 

One word that best describes you. 


Any ritual like a specific scented candle, preferred writing place, or drink that you kept through writing? 

First, I never write in the same office space where I do my freelance editing. Second, I always have music playing while I write, and it matches the mood of the scene I’m writing. The music from Pirates of the Caribbean is my action/fight scene background. Danial Rodríguez’s “We will go on,” is reserved for death scenes of characters I like. (Yes, characters die on fairly regularly basis.)  

If there is a movie adaptation of your book, who do you think would be perfect for the lead roles? 

Mackenzie Foy or Ann Hathaway for Twyla. For her mother, Cate Blanchett. Noah Schnapp would make a perfect Dovain. There’s something so bird-like about him, and Dovain belongs to one of the avian races of the Paraxous Star Cluster.

What advice can you give to women writers to empower them?

When I first tried to get published, I was told that I’d need to use a penname since no one would buy science fiction written by a woman. Forget that! Women are in the genre to stay. Then, I was told, only female readers would read a book with a female protagonist. Wrong! Hunger Games, blew that out of the water. Ursula K. LeGuin, C.J. Cherryh, Octavia Butler, and Andre Norton plowed a road for women in science fiction, all you have to do is be brave enough to follow them.  

 Are you ready for our rapid-fire questions? Let’s go. 

1. Love or Power? LOVE!!!!!!

2. Are you more cautious or bold? BOLD!!!!

3. To be an independent woman or a damsel in distress? I want to be an independent woman, but chronic health issues sometimes puts me in the role of damsel in distress. If it wasn’t for my husband, I’d probably be dead by now.

4. Street smarts or book smarts. Book smart.

5. Do you prefer social time or alone time. Social time. I need people to charge my batteries.

6. Salty or sweet. Sweet. I am a chocoholic.

7. Cats or dogs. Both.

8. Are you more of a thinker or a doer. Doer. There is nothing I hate more than sitting around talking about the same thing at meeting after meeting instead of just getting up and doing it.

9. Summer or winter. Summer. I hate the cold.

10.  Do you prefer driving or flying. Driving. But due to health issues, I should say, “Riding.” My wonderful daughter-in-law, does most the driving to conventions.

Find more author interviews here.

The Children’s Author You Need to Meet Kelly Anne Manuel

The Children’s Author You Need to Meet Kelly Anne Manuel

What makes your book a must-read?

My books are must-reads because they manage to combine fascinating elements, lyrical cadence, and experiential wisdom into a complete package. This magical combination will feel somehow familiar, and the reader will wonder where they have been all along. The books have an ability to reach in and touch the soul of a baby as young as eight months to a mature adult of eighty-years.

If you could give your book to one world leader, who would it be and why? 

I would love to give all my books to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. I can’t help but feel how heavy the weight on his shoulders is to carry.  If any of the books could provide relief for even the shortest split second of time, that would be something.

What was the hardest part of writing your books?  

The hardest part of writing the books was actually when I had to provide 31 synopses for the publication process. My goal of communicating what all the books are and can do to a decision maker was a very serious undertaking. I wanted to just say, “read them and you’ll know.”

What is the most exciting story you tell in your books? 

There are 31 stories, so I am better at sharing the most exciting theme that resonates through all the books.  The theme is a flip side approach to common phrases, events, and words. It is my belief that this perspective carries with it a newfound freedom that will be instrumental in navigating life today.

5. One word that best describes you. 


Any ritual like a specific scented candle, preferred writing place, or drink that you kept through writing? 

It’s funny that I had purchased some items for another project that ended up being instrumental in the creation of the 31 books that are currently published.  The items were a threefold display poster board, a rainbow assortment of Sharpies, and brightly colored sticky notes.  I utilized them to organize the bones books that were coming so fast.

If there is a movie adaptation of your book, who do you think would be perfect for the lead roles? 

One of my absolute favorite actors of all time is Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. Even as a narrator only it would be magical. I could definitely see Connie Britton in some way bringing the books to life.  Why not Hugh Jackman? He is “The Greatest Showman,” and the books are a great show. Finally, Jason Bateman, just because he is Jason Bateman.

What can this teach to a motivated and mission-driven population of writers?

To all the motivated and mission-driven population of writers  I say “now is your time!” Detach as much as possible from a desired outcome, because that can block the all important flow of creativity that resides in your true self from surfacing. It is all there for you and in you.  Decrease as much noise as possible in both your external and internal world so you can hear what your own soul is telling you to share with the collective.

What motivated you to write 31 books?

I was motivated to write 31 books the moment they entered my awareness.  They more or less insisted on becoming my singular focus as they were and still are living and breathing creatures. I felt their importance in every cell of my body.  I fully dedicated myself to bringing them to life as I knew the childhood collective was calling for them. I am honored to have answered that call. 

Set 2: Are you ready for our rapid-fire questions? Let’s go. 

1. Rainy day or Sunny Day – Rainy

2. Beer or Cocktail drinks – Cocktails

3. Love or Power – Love

4. Beauty or Brains – Brains

5. Street smarts or book smarts – Book smarts

6. Do you prefer social time or alone time – Alone time

7. Fresh food or fried food – Fried food

8. Summer or winter – Winter

9. Cats or dogs – Dogs

10. Salty or sweet – Salty

Check out the series on Amazon. For more author interviews, check out Anika Savory.

Anika Savoy Discusses The Ghost In Her: Ungilded

Anika Savoy Discusses The Ghost In Her: Ungilded

What makes your book a must-read?

The Ghost in Her gives readers a much-needed escape. It is sad in parts, gritty in other parts, but also whimsical and fun. For historical romance readers looking for a well-researched and substantial story, the book is sure to please. For readers interested in all things paranormal, it will stretch their imaginative limits with a cast of eccentric ghosts, fairies, a villainous dragon posing as a head nurse in a lunatic asylum, and a crusty one-eyed witch. Many readers have told me that they could not put it down.

As an aside, a cabinet maker was working in our kitchen last week. I asked him, “What type of books does your wife enjoy?” He sheepishly replied, “She’s going through a ghost phase right now. It’s odd. She can’t get enough of ghost stories. I know this sounds weird, but she is also really into insane asylums at the turn of the century.” I laughed and said, “Have I got a book for her!”

If you could give your book to one world leader, who would it be and why? 

I would give it to President Zelensky’s wife, Olena. She bravely remains in Ukraine with her children and spends most of her time with them in a bomb shelter. President Zelensky has described his wife and children as “Moscow’s Target No. 2.” I would like Olena to slip into the magical and mystical world of Maggie O’Connor, circa 1888, and have some fun. She deserves an escape. 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?  

Cutting out many chapters, including an entire subplot that consumed about 80 pages of the original manuscript. I was happy with the writing. It was good. However, the subplot and deleted chapters distracted from the main plot (Maggie’s spiritual journey and her romance with Gershom.) You can find some of the deleted chapters on my website,, in the Explore section titled, “Chapters that did not make the cut.” 

What is the most exciting story you tell in your book? 

I think the opening chapter is extremely exciting. Maggie is faced with a life-or-death situation, and she must make a split-second decision on how to react. She encounters a tall, dark, and handsome man, Gershom Moscowitz, on that fateful night. He hides her away in a cozy alcove of a local tavern and sparks fly! 

One word that best describes you. 


Any ritual like a specific scented candle, preferred writing place, or drink that you kept through writing? 

I wrote most of The Ghost in Her in a private “study room” at the local public library. I had to get away from my co-dependent mini-Aussie shepherd who won’t allow me to concentrate at home. When I step into that little room tucked away on the second floor of the library, I know it’s time to get to work. Woe to the person in the next room if they start to loudly talk on their phone!

If there is a movie adaptation of your book, who do you think would be perfect for the lead roles? 

American-born Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (Mary, Queen of Scots) for the part of Maggie O’Connor. I loved her in Brooklyn. She has gorgeous blue eyes and dark brows, with long silky blonde hair. She has a Celtic feel to her.

Jewish actor Ansel Elgort (Fault in Our Stars) for the part of Gershom Moskowitz.With a height of 6’3, Ansel perfectly fits the role.

Billy Crystal for the part of Leo Moskowitz. He would bring great energy and humor to the role!

Donald Sutherland for the part of Monsieur LaFontaine.

What can this teach to a motivated and mission-driven population of writers?

Write what you love. Find time periods in history that interest you. Find subject matters that fill you with curiosity and excitement. For example, I’m very curious about the underbelly of the Gilded Age, paranormal happenings, near-death experiences, and the existence of ‘spirit guides’ and ghosts. If you are immersed in the story, your readers will be too.

What advice can you give to those who want to write about historical romance?

Three tips: research, research, research! Many of your readers are very well read and they know if you are being lazy with the historical details. Also, copious research will inspire you. For example, I found a picture book about The Great Blizzard of 1888 in NYC at the library and included many details from that research in my blizzard scenes. I wasn’t planning to have Maggie trapped in a blizzard, but after coming across that book, I thought, “Yes! Let’s have Maggie get trapped in her basement apartment during the Great Blizzard of 1888.”  

Are you ready for our rapid-fire questions? Let’s go. 
1. Love or Power – LOVE
2. Coffee or Tea – COFFEE
3. Beach or Mountain – BEACH
4. Candles or Incense – CANDLES
5. Street smarts or book smarts – BOTH, I truly can’t decide.
6. Do you watch shows one episode at a time or binge whole seasons – ONE EPISODE
7. Do you prefer driving or flying – DRIVING 
8. Summer or winter – SUMMER
9. Salty or sweet – SALTY
10. Cats or dogs – DOGS

Check out more historical fiction, with Mark J. Rose.

Meet Mark J. Rose Author of The Architect

Meet Mark J. Rose Author of The Architect

What makes your book a must-read?

I guarantee that you’ll be inspired. Matt Miller is a hero, and there is something healthy about being immersed in a hero’s journey. A hero has convictions and fights for what is good and right. We need examples of this more today than ever.

If you could give your book to one world leader, who would it be and why? 

Justin Trudeau seems to have all the pieces to become an inspiring leader, yet he comes off as milk toast. It feels like he never got into a fight as a kid on the playground. I’m sure Trudeau could up his game by reading the Matt Miller series. Ha!

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

It was finding the time with everything else that was going on. Over the last few years, many personal things needed attention, including joining a startup biotech, my father dying, and getting remarried.

What is the most exciting story you tell in your book? 

Without giving away too much, the most exciting story is Matt Miller trying to find his way back to his family.

One word that best describes you. 


Any ritual like a specific scented candle, preferred writing place, or drink that you kept through writing? 

I get up most days before 5:00 a.m. and write for as long as possible before going to my day job. I do all my writing at the kitchen table. The new puppy is doing her best to disrupt my routine, though.

If there is a movie adaptation of your book, who do you think would be perfect for the lead roles?

I’ve always imagined Ansel Elgort as Matt Miller and Chloë Grace Moretz as Grace.

What can this teach to a motivated and mission-driven population of writers?

Don’t wait for inspiration. The most important thing for a writer is butt-glue. Sit yourself in a chair and don’t get up until you’ve written at least a double-spaced page. Putt together enough double-spaced pages, and suddenly you have a chapter. It begins to snowball after that.

What can you advise another scientist who wants to write?

Two things:

Don’t quit your well-paying scientist job to write full-time. You need resources while you learn the trade of writing. The requirements might seem trivial at first, like time to sit and write, the internet, and a laptop, so it’s easy to think you can let your spouse worry about the bills for a couple of years. It will get much pricier when you want to travel to a writer’s conference, take a class on writing, or hire an editor or an artist. You don’t want to be strapped for cash when these decisions arise. Writing is an expensive discipline that will take 7-10 years to master. It’s going to cost money to learn this trade, and there will be a long time before you see a return

Find someone in your life that is supportive of your writing. A good muse is hard to find, but once you find him/her, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Are you ready for our rapid-fire questions? Let’s go. 

1. Money or Power – Money

2. Physical strength or Mental strength – Mental strength

3. Expensive presents or homemade presents – homemade presents

4. Beauty or Brains – Beauty

5. Love or friendship – Love

6. Salty or sweet – Salty

7. Do you prefer driving or flying – Driving

8. Cats or dogs – Dogs

9. Summer or winter – Summer

10. Would you rather fly or have super strength – Super strength

Find your copy of The Architect on Amazon now.

Want more author interviews? Check out The Meatrix here.