An Interview with ME Purfield

Kicking off another week of interviews with ME Purfield.  It’s gonna be a short intro today because my to-do list is more monstrous than normal.  So here’s a description of ME’s book Party Girl Crashes the Rapture.  From the description it sounds like an interesting older YA read.

It’s Lorelei’s last year of school and she has no plans for the future. Well, she does plan to drink, smoke weed, bang boys, and get as far away from her abusive mother as possible. What else is there to do in a small New Jersey town?

But when the seizures start, Lorelei enters a Technicolor dream world where she meets a pink-eyed little girl named Darby. She has something important to tell Lorelei. Something about a murder.

Lorelei doesn’t want to deal with Darby and does all she can to forget about her. She even goes as far as finding love and a possible future. But Darby is persistent, so persistent that she starts breaking into Lorelei’s reality.

Now she must solve a murder and face a dark secret in her past that could reveal a truth so horrifying that death could be the only way to forget it.

Okay, Grace. I gotta run.  Sorry about the quick hand-off.

Sheesh! That’s like the lousiest intro ever.

Hiya, ME! I promise it’ll get better from here. It sure can’t get any worse, right?  Now your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

Muse? What Muse? The only Muse I know is Throwing Muses, kid. Anyway *sideway glance* I’m writing a second book in my Miki Radicci series. The first one will be out in May this year. Just another adventure of a 16 year old girl who’s a famous artists and also has the psychic ability to experience other’s pain and death. And you know, she solves mysteries. *yawn*

 Omigosh, why are you yawning?  Psychic abilities and mystery sound exciting to me. And I’m curious too—are you like Miki or one of your other characters?

What? Listen, if you are writing your characters as yourself, then you better be writing a memoir or something. But since you’re looking at me like (yeah baby) then I’ll say Joni Corso, the lesbian No Wave guitarist who is the protagonist in Breaking Fellini. Except I’m not a girl, or a lesbian, or a guitarist. I think.

Hmmm…I’m one of those; two tops.  But I also feel compelled to point out to you that I’m not a writer. I AM A CHARACTER.  Sorry for yelling.

Okay with that cleared up, let’s move on, shall we?  What’s your favorite book of all time?

You’re killing me.

I can’t do that. I’m an Angel.

Let me see here. I would have to say Robert McCammon’s Swan Song. It just fills me with awe and hope and tells the ultimate story of good and evil with all it’s oniony layers.

The onion-y part sounds kinda interesting.  I’m not a reader, but will let my author know. 

So ME, we’re gonna change directions. In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?

Er, um. A guy who reads comics? Yeah. chicks love that in a guy.

Ha! Now I’m beginning to understand how you’re like Joni. If you and your character could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)

Hmm, I guess Elvis and Kurt Cobain don’t count. They were seen last week.

Elvis and Kurt are in Paradise, silly.

You know, I would love to see The Cramps. Although Lux Interior is the dead one in the group, the band is no more. He was such a showman and really brought feminism to no wave, rockabilly punk.

Well it is Heaven, so Lux can have a back-up band.   But before you can see Lux, it’s confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?

Writing main characters that scare people, using words LOOK and SIGH too many times, er, and maybe cursing too much. But the writing devil loves me for these things.

The writing devil loves you for the scaring and cursing bits, however I’m pretty sure he’s not too fond of the LOOK and SIGH thing either.  Just guessin’, though, as I haven’t actually met him.  

Which makes me wonder — are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?



Because why would I want to spend my life retreading what others are doing? Plus, there’s a thrill in taking risks and people enjoying those risks.

Hurray!  We have something in common, ME.  I knew I would find it if we looked hard enough. It’s inspiring to me!  Oh, what — other than your Muse, of course — inspires you?

Oh, life. Experimental fiction. People. Music. Current events. I guess I’m a sensitive person.

Even more in common! Yay! So, what themes do you write about or what do you want readers to take from your books?

I would hope that readers hate my main characters in some way in the beginning, but by the end find some kind of connection and respect towards them for what they went through. People should be like books. We should work past first impressions and really dig into getting to know and understand them over time.

100% agree. And, that’s sort of how this interview has gone, ME.  Last question, now that we are respecting each other and everything.  Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel?

Yeah. Tell her to get off my back and give me my monkey. I miss that little guy.

Sorry, she’s not gonna do that, but maybe if you dig in and really get to know her….

Hey Everyone, ME is an onion-y kind of guy (the layer thing) and I bet his book Party Girl Crashes the Rapture is like that too!  Here’s where you can find it:


And if you’re into peeling back the layers, you can find him at:

My author is nowhere to be found, so signing off for her ‘til tomorrow. 


May 7, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . author interviews. 1 comment.

An Interview with Kea Alwang

Hey all, We’ve got another week of great author interviews with Grace Lightbourne, the quirky Angel in Training character from my new novel Winging It!

Today we have Kea Alwang, but before I turn her over to Grace, here’s a little about her YA novel Treehugger.

 For fourteen-year-old Chloe, planet hopping is a gift. Righting the wrongs of the multiverse on behalf of a mysterious life form is a privilege. Leading a double life has its perks. Being Earth-born, however, simply bites.

Chloe knows she will never fit in when high school starts; that’s a given. It’s not like she can reveal her true self and her unusual abilities on Earth anyway. She used to be okay with that, as long as her two best friends were part of her extraterrestrial life, understanding her the way nobody else could.

That was before those friends vanished. That was before some jerk displayed her underwear on his head.

Now two-thirds short of feeling whole, Chloe becomes an enemy to herself just as a terrifying nemesis threatens to resurface. Can she fight through weakened skills, fearsome flashbacks, and evolving relationships to meet her future head on? Does it really matter what world you’re on when trying to find yourself?

Okay Grace, you’re on.

Hi Kea, Thanks for stopping by.  I love that the character from your book inhabits two worlds, because that’s a bit like me, so your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on? 

My muse is cooperating these days as I work on Book Two of my Based on a Dream YA fantasy series, title TBA. She/he/it used to mess with my head from time to time while writing and editing Treehugger, but I think we’ve ironed all out of that nonsense for the next installment. (Apparently, most muses don’t like it if you threaten to dip their wings in cake frosting. Of course, I’d never do that to an angel!)

If I had my wings, I’d let you put frosting on them.  Alas…

Still, I’m glad that your relationship with your Muse has improved. Are you like her? Or one of your other characters?

 I think I split-siphoned myself off into the three main characters, then added extra stuff to each one. Chloe (Star) has my sarcasm and highly values true friendship, but her courage and strength does not come from me. CK has my sense of loyalty, but again … his courage is his own. Leada has my love of nature and deep desire for justice and peace. As to her diplomatic talents? Well, I have no idea where they came from. Actually, if you combined those three characters into one person … that’s the sort of person I would like to be!

Aww…that’s really nice and anything is possible!

A lot of the authors don’t like this next question, but I have to ask it anyway. What’s your favorite book of all time?

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. It really pulls at me with its many themes: loneliness, longing for a sense of home, love, friendship, loss. I just love the way the author takes me from one emotion to the next. Her characters always seem to do the best they can with the lot they are dealt.

Oh, I’m so glad that was not a tough question for you.  Here’s another that pretty easy too.  In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?

Empathy, sincerity, and the courage to reveal both attributes. He’ll stand up for his beliefs to the point of letting them lead him down the wrong path. But most of all, he has to have some sort of tortured soul, out of which the above mentioned qualities are demonstrated, proving he can rise about it all. Telling me he has a nice strong jaw and good build can’t hurt, but they are not absolute requirements. (And they say we women ask too much! Pshaw!”) 

I like your swoony-guy.  You had me with sincerity…or maybe empathy.  Anyway…if this sincere, good-build, swoony-guy took you to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)

Jim Morrison, who I only developed an appreciation for recently.

Yeah, Jim broke on through to the other side.  

I imagine you’ve seen some good concerts in the hereafter? What do you recommend?

You know what? Angels don’t get to go over to paradise very often because we’re so busy working, but I hear George Harrison and John Lennon put on a divine show! 😀

Okay…Kea. Confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?

I don’t use a real outline. I’ve tried and they just tick me off by confining my imagination. My muse doesn’t like them either (she used to hide them on me.) That always made me feel like a poor excuse for a writer until I read an interview with Anne McCaffrey. She never outlined. She said something like, “{paraphrasing} Why do I want to know how the story ends before I get there? I’d be bored.” Since I’ve learned that not every writer uses an outline, I’ve felt better about it.

It’s good that you’ve forgiven yourself.  Besides, plunging isn’t really a sin, you know?  It’s just bending the rules.  So, are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?

I’m not sure I should be admitting this to an angel, but I think I’m in the middle of a transformation from one to the other.


I’ve always followed the rules, but these days I allow myself to rebel against rules that hold me back–unless my rebellion could hurt someone else. I mean, I’m not going to go feeding the animals at the zoo, robbing banks, or ending sentences with commas. But the next time someone tells me I can’t jump a line after six other folks have done so, someone’s going to hear about it. There’s law-abiding, and then there’s doormat.

Amen.  Guardian Angels are kinda like doormats in Heaven. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to skip training and go straight to Earth.

Now, what other than rebellion (just kidding) inspires you?

Ellen DeGeneres. I can’t say she inspired me to write, but she did inspire me to publish. See, it’s not easy to put yourself out there in the form of fiction. Will your parents be horrified that you wrote that romance scene? Will strangers think you’re half-baked based on your characters? Will a friend back away because they think you’ve based an unflattering character on them? One day, while debating whether to publish Treehugger or just keep the story for myself, I happened to watch Ellen’s antics on Ellen. It hit me: Now there’s a person that takes a chance every time she gets on that stage. One minute she’s risking a corny joke. Next she’s talking about strong beliefs without being shy about it. Then she ventures into a silly stunt. And through it all, she’s genuine. She puts her unique self on display, come what may. Now I’m sure not everybody likes her, but there certainly are a lot of viewers who love her! So what did I really have to lose?

Yep!  Being yourself is pretty darn important and though I hadn’t really thought about Ellen as an inspiration for that, it completely makes sense. People love her because she is herself. So is that your theme or Treehugger?  And if not, what do you want readers to take from that book?

I want readers to take away an appreciation for the idea that status quo should not define status … that there is nothing wrong with not standing with the crowd. I witness so many kids getting caught in a desperate attempt to be like everyone else just to avoid the pain of not fitting in. I want Treehugger to highlight the importance and thrill of becoming who you are meant to be and finding others who will accept you for who you are. 

Cool! So that is your theme!  Okay, last question. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.

Oh yes! My friend Michael’s cat snuck out of the house yesterday, and he can’t find the little guy. Mike lives alone and “Basil” is like his kid. So if you can get a little scavenger hunt going, I’d really appreciate it! Mike is like my brother and I kind of feel like my nephew has gone missing.

Mentioned and I hope this worked out already! Thanks for stopping by, Kea! 🙂

Hey everyone, Kea’s book Treehugger is available here:



And you can find her all over the web:




Twitter: @kea_alwang

Thanks Grace and the interviews tomorrow you should come back to talk with Aliya Anjum.

April 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

An Interview with Sheila Horgan

My author is multi-tasking this morning, so she asked me to just go ahead and get started. So….

Welcome, Everyone!

Today I’ll be interviewing Sheila Horgan, author of the best-selling Tea Series.  Here’s what readers are saying about these books:

The Tea Series books have homespun messages with likable, relatable characters.

These books are a fun, light great escape that allow you to join O’Flynn family, who will welcome you with open arms.

With more than 70,000 copies sold, they have become a popular fast, fun read and the boxed set of the first four books: Hot Tea, Sweet Tea, Iced Tea and Green Tea, offers four full-length novels that lead serially from one to the next.

And a bit about each book!

Hot Tea – Cara O’Flynn finds herself in an unusual position. She’s quit her job and can afford to take a few weeks to find a new career. Plus her roommate has run off and left her with an empty room to fill. If she can just accomplish those two tasks before her mother finds out she has no income and no one to help pay the bills, she’s in good shape.

The problem – Cara didn’t plan for three careers in as many days, nor did she anticipate the new guys that dropped in her lap. And then there’s her sister Teagan, while always helpful and funny, she can be a bit annoying at times.

When you’re Irish, all things (good and bad) come in threes. It’s inevitable. Cara should have remembered not to forget that part.

Cara and Teagan bring laughter, intelligence and family tradition to every experience they encounter.

Sweet Tea – Cara and Teagan are dealing with wishes come true. The good news is that each of them has found the man of her dreams, unfortunately this is not news easily broken to their traditional mother. Further complicating their lives, they find themselves in the middle of a serial murder investigation; worse still, Cara may have come to the attention of the murderer.

With their lives spinning slightly out of control, some of it good, some of it not, Cara and Teagan depend on each other, humor, their family, and their not so common sense, to keep them going.

Iced Tea – Cara and Teagan are dealing with wishes gone awry. The serial murderer, if there is one, is still out there. The new guys are supportive, as is the family, but there is a limit to how involved Cara and Teagan want the people they love most to be. Knowing there is a serial murderer in your sphere of influence is disorienting. What you do has consequences, but that doesn’t mean you see them in advance.

The crazy cop is around more than ever. There is a wedding to be planned and although Cara has always been the organizer of the family, she’s not even kept in the loop.

Life has been spinning out of control for some time and now it’s up to Cara and Teagan to put it to rights.

Green Tea – Cara and Teagan are more determined than ever, but determination without focus doesn’t get you very far.

There is a wedding just days away. A time to celebrate and enjoy family and tradition, but Cara keeps her distance as situations outside of her control threaten her in ways she is just beginning to recognize.

Cara and Teagan finally get to the bottom of one mystery, only to find another much closer to home.

So Sheila, you already have six books in the Tea Series.  Six! Your Muse is doing a wonderful job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

I have several going at once. I’ve written about half of the next book in the Tea Series, Summer Tea. I’ve also taken three of the (mature) women from that series and started another series (the Girls series). Adeline, Anna (Morgan’s great aunt) and Carolyn (A.J.’s grandmother) are all off for an adventure in Las Vegas. Yes, that would be Sin City. I also have a book out called Consequences that is very different than the Tea Series and I’m writing the next in that series, Promises. And in my free time I am writing short stories and another series called The Auntie Series, the first book is Kaitlyn.

It sounds like your Muse is very busy and hmm…I wonder if you should go to Vegas with Sibel Hodge.  For research, y’know?

Okay, which of your characters are you most like?

When I was younger – Cara. Wait, Teagan. Hold on, I’m old now, maybe their mother, Mrs. O’Flynn.

HaHa!  I love that you’re a bit like all of them!  So, what’s your favorite book of all time?

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Oh, I love that book and I’m not even much of a reader. Now…this next question is a bit different.  In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?

 Intelligence. Humor. All the physical stuff will fall into place if he has a good brain and attitude.

Really? Fall into place?  If you say so.  

Let’s imagine for a moment that you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see?

A rock concert in Heaven? That explains thunder.

Ha! So true!

Um, I’m not really a big rock fan, but I’d love to see Whitney again. Whole and happy.

She sings like an Angel and I could hook you up with Adriana Ryan on that concert.  When the time comes that is.  The time now is *drum roll* Confession Time! What’s your biggest writing sin?

I’m dyslexic. My issues aren’t as much sins as they are justifiable mistakes. My real sin is in getting so busy doing other things that I don’t sit down to write.

Aww…dyslexia isn’t a sin, Sheila, and I’m sorry to learn about that, but you must be a very determined woman to tackle a career in writing. Kudos to you. 

Now as for the second sin—it sounds a tennsy bit like procrastination, but don’t worry we’re looking at forming a support group.

Next question:  Are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?

Rule follower. I am of the opinion that if the rules is screwed up enough that I can’t bring myself to follow it, I need to put in the effort to change the rule.

I’m writing that down, “work to change bad rules.” Okay, what — other than your Muse, of course — inspires you?

Life. Age. Wisdom. Laughter. Babies. Old people. Nature. I’m easily (a)mused.

I love your list!

And, what themes do you write about or what do you want readers to take from your books.

Life. Age. Wisdom. Laughter. Babies. Old people. Nature…

Ha! And I still love your list!  Final question—is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.

Other than that whole hundred million dollar lottery thing?

You can check with JA Beard for the rules on this.

Well, say hi to my mom. Tell her I miss her every day. My sister too. And thank you whoever is in charge for letting us keep Daddy longer. He’ll be 90 in June.

This answer makes me all squishy inside. It’s the sweetest request yet and I’ve already passed it along. Thanks for stopping by, Sheila.

Hey everyone, you can find Sheila’s books here:


Or find her around the web:

Twitter: @caraoflynn

Sites:  and

April 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

An interview with James Todd Cochrane

If you’re just joining this series of posts, we’re about half way through and here’s the scoop. The character Grace Lightbourne, an impulsive and sometimes brazen Angel-in-Training from my novel Winging It!, is interviewing authors.

Ordinarily, she usually slacks on her homework, so I’m exceptionally proud of her diligence.  Today, we’ve got James Todd Cochrane, author of the teen adventure series Max and the Gatekeeper. Before I cut Grace loose, check out this description of the first book.

A war has been waging for centuries; a magical and technological battle between good and evil. This conflict will affect life everywhere, but not everyone is aware it exists. When twelve-year old Max Rigdon is sent to stay with his grandfather for the summer, he unwillingly enters the fight.

The day Max steps off the bus he is marked with an evil curse and immediately becomes the target of evil men and creatures with designs on ruling the universe. Not only does this curse cause Max physical pain but it allows his enemies to track and find him. He soon learns that the reason for this unwanted attention is because his grandfather is the keeper of a gateway; a powerful machine that makes travel to hundreds of strange unknown worlds possible. The enemy will do anything to gain possession of this power in their quest to control all worlds.

With the help of his friend Cindy and others, Max must quickly learn the necessary skills to survive if he is to avoid the deadly trap that has been planned for him and his grandfather. A trap that has been decades in the making with Max as the missing piece. If successful it will change life as we know it.

Okay, Grace.  Here’s James

*to Shel, whispering* I heard what you said about me. Thanks, I think.

 *to James, cheery* Wow!  I could almost hear music playing behind the product description! The book has very high stakes, so your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What are you working with them on now? 

My Muse is telling me the 4th book in the Max and the Gatekeeper Series. If fact, I was actually really sad when, the other day, my Muse told me I had to kill off a main character. I actually felt the pain the other characters were going to feel, but I must obey my Muse.

Oh no!  Is your Muse a bully?  I hope not.  Okay, which of your characters are you most like? (hopefully not the one getting the axe!)

I actually see myself in a lot of my characters. Max is a teenager and I see a lot of me in him from when I was that age. 

Oh, that’s good, because I’m pretty sure Max isn’t gonna bite it.  Should I change the subject? Is the death thing getting depressing?  Okay. New topic. What’s your favorite book of all time?

Lord of the Rings, Return of the King.

Excellent!  And that book had some swoony-worthy characters, which is a really super lead-in to the next question.  In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?

Being a guy myself, I haven’t ever thought about that. Don’t know that I have any swoony-worthy characters, but if I do that’s cool.

It most definitely is cool. 😀 Here, let me ask you an easier question.  If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see and just to be clear, you have to pick someone who is dead?

Does it have to be a rock concert? I’d love to listen to some great composers. If it has to be a rock concert, I’d have to say Elvis.

No, it doesn’t have to be a rock concert, and composers – practically all of them – are performing. But if you decide to go see Elvis, there’s already a group of authors going. (Heidi Hall, Marie Symeou and Cate Dean).  

Okay, Confession time, James Todd Cochrane. What’s your biggest writing sin?

I don’t create outlines or time lines. I totally rely on my Muse to tell me what to write. Sometimes, my Muse amazes me on how things get tied in together.

Yep, and just so you know, that’s basically the job.  Now, would you say you’re more of a rule follower or a rebel? Why?

I’m more of a rebel. I don’t like to be told what to do. I like advice but I’m going to do things my way. 

Except when it’s your Muse?  Because you said you “must” obey, but you might have been kidding around.  And when you don’t obey, are there other things that inspire you?   

Books, movies, news, experiences etc…

That sounds like everything, which is very cool.  So, what themes do you write about or what do you want readers to take from your books.

That there is really good and evil in the world. You can be a force for one or the other, but there are consequences to our actions.

That’s a very important truth and I hate to bring up the killing thing again…oh I’d just better zip my lips.  Final question, James. Is there anything you’d  like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? Cause I totally have contacts.

Keep up the good work.  🙂

Hardly anyone acknowledges that! You probably made your GA’s day!

Okay everyone, check out the Max and the Gatekeeper books here:


Barnes and Noble:

For signed paperbacks.
And keep up with James on-line:

Thanks, Grace and James (who is a very nice guy, not a killer like Grace assumed. : D  See what I mean about her personality?). Tomorrow the series continues with chick-lit author Sibel Hodge,  so hope to see you back then.

April 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

An interview with Cate Dean

My author is MIA this morning, so we’re just going to leap right into the interview with Young Adult author Cate Dean. 

But before the questions, a little about her novella, When Walls Can Talk.

A missing prince. A haunted castle. A dangerous man bent on ruling the kingdom – whatever the cost.

When Rosamond and her friend Dan head out on her birthday to explore an abandoned and haunted castle, they expect to find only a ghost or two. Instead they discover the missing prince, and stumble into the middle of a violent, desperate bid for the throne.

In order to save the injured Prince Jaren, and themselves, Rosamond must reach beyond her own violent past to find her courage, and Dan must find the way to his true self.

Their only help is a children’s story come to life: an ancient sorcerer whose soul has been trapped in the walls of the castle for centuries.

Can they keep the prince alive long enough to bring him home safe?

Can they defeat the man who would be king?

A Fantasy Novella – approximately 65 pages

Hi, Kate.  I love the idea of a haunted castle! Your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you.  What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

 Funny you should ask. My next project involves a guardian angel, name of Jackson Poole. Maybe you’ve seen him – he’s been there a while, since he has failed at every assignment he’s been given so far – tall, dark hair, grey-green eyes, a bit of a charmer . . .

 No, I haven’t met him, but it sounds like maybe we have a few things in common…which, actually makes me wonder, which of your characters are you most like?

I am most like Shane, one of the main characters in my YA book coming out this summer. She is fiercely protective, a little too impulsive, and takeslife head on – no matter what it throws at her. And it throws buckets.

Hmm…come to think of it, Shane sounds a little like me too.  I need to warn you – the next question is not popular. What’s your favorite book of all time?

Oh, that’s a tough one – but I will go with A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. My fifth grade teacher read it to the class, and it introduced me to fantasy/sci fi. I still have my well-read copy.

Yes! That is one awesome books for kids.  Okay, were gonna do a 180 degree turn  on the topic here. In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?

He has to be funny, hands down. And caring, and considerate of other people. And adventurous, and willing to take a risk. Oh, and blue eyes and dark hair wouldn’t hurt, either.

Adventurous is excellent!  And do you know what would be a great adventure?  A rock concert in Heaven, that’s what!  If you could go to one, who would you want to see?

 Buddy Holly and Elvis sharing the headline, with John Bonham on drums  now that would rock!

That is an unusual combination, but it would be awesome to see Buddy and Elvis perform “Stairway to Heaven.”

Confession time! What’s your biggest writing sin?

Not getting everything about the story out of my head and on to the page. Thank Heaven for beta readers. 😉

Awww…Heaven says, “You are welcome, Cate Dean. 😀  So tell me, are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?  Why?

I am a rebel – always have been. It’s the reason I chose to go indie.

I’m a rebel too! And by indie, you mean independent, right? Do you think ‘cause I skipped school and went straight to Earth that that’s kinda indie too? ‘Cause I do. Anyhow…other than rebellion and your Muse, what inspires you?

My travels, more than anything. I go to England on a regular basis, and I’ve been to Australia, Scotland, Ireland, and most of the US. But I am really inspired by what I see, experience, and feel when I’m traveling in England. There is so much about that place that speaks to my heart.

Things that speak to your heart are important when you speak from your heart.  That’s my Angelic advice for today. 🙂  So, what does your heart want readers to take away from your books?

That we can all make a difference, no matter how small. That we are special, and that we matter. That’s one of the reasons I write more YA than any other genre. With four nephews, I want to shout those – in my books, I can weave them into a story, and give the reader a chance to take that into their real life.

Aww…that is really sweet. And kinda’ Guardian-ish. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian?  I’ll put in a good word for you.

Excellent! Can you tell him I’m going to be needing all of his attention? Because I have big plans ahead, and I need to know he’s got my back.

Okay, but you should know. He or she is supposed to have your back ALL THE TIME. Still, I’ll let them know.

And all you readers out there! You can find Cate’s book here:


And get to know her better, here:

my website:


Facebook page:

Thanks, Grace.

To be honest, I’m pretty much in shock about how reliable she’s been, but we have a lot more great inteviews coming up, including James Todd Cochrane tomorrow.

April 24, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . author interviews. 3 comments.

An interview with Marie Symeou

Hello everyone, it’s Monday and Grace has another week of interviews scheduled.  First up is Marie Symeou, singer/songwriter and author of the YA novel Age of Dreams.  Before I turn things over to Grace, here’s a quick description of her book:

A gripping coming of age drama of fame, addiction and love, which takes the reader on a deeply absorbing journey.

It’s the 1980s and Nicola James’ dream of becoming a famous singer has come true. But the pressures of the music industry combined with the emotional baggage from her childhood turn her dream-come-true into a nightmare.

On a soul-searching journey, which takes her to hell and back, Nicola must find a way to conquer her troubled past and decide who she really is, and what to love and being loved truly means.

Hey Grace, stop goofing off, get over here and please interview Marie.

Okay. *huffs* Hi, Marie. Can we talk about your Muse for a sec? What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

My muse has been great to me lately, and I’m so glad because I had a bad case of writer’s block a few weeks back. I’m now back to working on Book 2 in my vampire trilogy Blood Of The Gods. I’m going to be writing a script in April for ScriptFrenzy and am also working on a cat memoir.

Sounds like she went on an Intermission (that’s what we Angels call vacation).  Glad to hear both you and she are back to work.  Now, are you like any of the characters she helped you create?

I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not, but I am mostly like my character Nicola in Age of Dreams. Since this novel is semi-autobiographical then it’s no surprise really!

Semi-autobiographical means you’re brave! The books about me are like that too, semi-autobiographical that is.  So, is your favorite book based on actual events and if not what is it?  

Wuthering Heights. I just love it. I don’t know why. It’s just so different from other books and also the way the story is told is so original. The language is very deep and emotive, which I love. Some of the references to violence aren’tt so good, but it’s a great novel nonetheless.

What a great romance!  In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?

I like a man to have nice eyes that really speak to you – the windows of the soul. Dark hair is great too, though I’m not that fussy about hair color. I prefer longish hair too.

If you ask me – which I know you didn’t – but this guy sounds like Heathcliff. 😉 Now I know you’re into music, so if you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)

Great question! Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison on lead vocals, Jimi Hendrix on lead guitar, Keith Moon on drums, John Entwistle on bass. I think Janis Joplin should be on vocals too.

That line-up sounds like Heaven!  JA Beard wants to see Jim Morrison and Heidi Hall wants to see Elvis, so maybe they could come with us? (And, BTW, good call on Jimi and Janis)

If we want to get to Heaven that means it’s confession time.  What’s your biggest writing sin?

Sometimes I’m too lazy to write. Description gets me down too. I worry about it constantly. But the thing is, I don’t like over describing things. As a reader I tend to skip long scenes of description because I like to use my imagination, plus it slows down the story.

Psst…that is several sins, Marie.  But since you are so good at confessing, you definitely get to go to Heaven. Now, would you say you are more of a rule follower or a rebel? Why?

I don’t like rules and rules were meant to be broken! For example, there are too many rules about writing that it gets so confusing and can really mess with creativity.

I agree — rules can be a pain! But maybe you’re better than me. I only have four and I still manage to break them.  However…when you don’t follow rules, sometimes inspiration follows.  What, other than your Muse, inspires you?

Music. I am so passionate about it. It evokes all the emotions in me. Nature also helps, but living in the city it’s not so easy to come into contact with (which really depresses me). One day soon I hope to be moving to the country.

You should meet my author Shel Delisle. She’s all about music. I, on the other hand was fleeing Gabriel’s choir when I headed to Earth.

Can you tell me what themes you write about?

My themes are quite dark. In Age of Dreams I deal with family breakups, depression and alcoholism. But it’s not all morbid. It’s a journey of self-discovery. As for my vampire novels, they are actually quite spiritual. Not in the religious sense because I’m not into religion at all, but I do write about the possibility that love is eternal and that there is life after death and reincarnation. I also deal with death and grief, and fate and destiny.

Great themes, especially love is eternal.  Before we finish the interview, is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel?  

Please, Guardian Angel, help me sell enough books to open my own cat sanctuary out in the country! And I’d love a nice house too!

Oh – I think you just told him (or her) and what a nice request!

If you’d like check out Maries’ novel, you can find it here:

 AGE OF DREAMS on Amazon

To connect with Marie on-line, here are the spots:


Blog :


Then, tomorrow I’ll be back with another interview with…um…

*Shel whispering* Cate Dean,  Grace.

Yeah, Cate Dean.  So come back then, everyone.  

April 23, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . author interviews. 1 comment.

An interview with Jack Blaine

Hi Everyone.  My author hasn’t had her coffee yet, so she said to go ahead without her.  Today I’ll be interviewing Jack Blaine, author of the very popular YA dystopian novel Helper 12. If you haven’t already read it, you should read this next paragraph.  If you’ve already read it, you know it’s great and you can just skip ahead to the interview part.   

Helper12 works as a Baby Helper in Pre Ward, the place where babies spend their first six months of life before they’re tracked for vocations and sent to training. She does her job well, and she stays out of trouble. But one day, the Sloanes, Society members who enjoy all the privileges of their station—family unit clearance, a private dwelling, access to good food and good schools—come to “adopt” one of the Pre Ward babies. The Director makes a deal and the Sloanes walk out with a brand new child.

They also walk out owning Helper12—the Director sells her to them, and there’s nothing she can do but go. At the Sloanes, Helper12 enters a world where people should be able to enjoy life—with high position and riches come the opportunity for individual freedom, even the chance to love—but that’s not what she finds. The Sloanes are keeping secrets. So is their biological son, Thomas.

Helper12 has some secrets of her own; she’s drawing, which is a violation, since Baby Helpers aren’t tracked for Art. And she’s growing to love the child she was bought to care for—at the same time that Ms. Sloane is becoming disenchanted with her impulse baby buy.

When all your choices are made for you, how do you make some for yourself? Helper12 is about to find out.

Wow, Jack!  Your Muse did an incredible job with Helper 12.  What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

Next up is a novel called Twitch, which will be out very soon.  It is told from the point of view of a minor character in Helper12, and it follows her story in the same world.  I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.  And I LOVE the cover.

The cover is super cool!! And I love that it’s a companion to Helper 12.  With two books to choose from, which of your characters are you most like? 

Hmm.  I don’t really think I’m most like any of them.  They each have their own individual set of characteristics and while there may be nuggets of me in there somewhere, I’m always surprised at how they just seem to develop their own personalities.

My author would probably agree with you on this, because she has very little to say about what I do. 😉 So if you won’t pick a character, maybe you’ll tell us what’s your favorite book of all time?

Oh my, I can’t pick just one!  I am a big fan of so many different books.

That’s very diplomatic and a nice quality to have!  *behind a cupped hand whispering to everyone else* I hope Jack answers a question soon.  Let’s try this one.

In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy? 

Yikes.  That’s an interesting one.  I think it’s the inside more than the outside.  If a guy is brave, and a good person, with integrity and maybe a bit of charm, he’s swoon-worthy in my opinion.

*behind hand* Hurray! He answered.

I can go along with that, except my swoony guy has a little goin’ on outside too.  😉 Okay, this next one is a fun and easy to answer:  if you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? And you have to pick someone who has passed on, y’know?

Freddy Mercury.

Oh. My. Governor.  Do you know the author Emily Ward?  Because she’s a fan too, and I interviewed her last week, and so maybe I can introduce you.  But before I do that, we should focus on your interview and we are just now getting to the the good stuff .  Please confess you biggest writing sin!   


*Whispers behind cupped hand* Me too, Jack, me too.  So, are you more of a rule follower or a rebel? 

Rebel for sure!

YAY!! Yayyayyay!  Jack, you are the first to admit to rebellion. And the first to use so many exclamation points too! Me, personally? I love exclamation points and I’m always breaking rules, and sometimes it even gets me into trouble!  Like I get in trouble with my editor when I use too many exclamation points! So why are you a rebel?   

I don’t often do anything just because I’m “supposed” to and I often do things other people find odd or unusual.  I also tend to question authority, which I think is something we all need to do more often.

YAY!  And, I bet you don’t have to deal with the Archangel Michael like me.  Talk about authoritarian. Anyway, now I really want to know what inspires the rebel in you? 

Ideas.  I love to find ways to tell a fun, adventurous story while still incorporating important themes and ideas.  I get the best reader emails because of this!

Aww…I love that answer and reader email is equally nice. So what themes do you want your readers to take from your books?

I  like to explore dystopian worlds, and how easy it would be for us to get there.  I also like to think about what makes something “right” or “wrong” and what it takes to do the right thing in a bad situation.

Dystopian novels are so popular right now and it’s probably because sometimes things on Earth can get pretty screwy.  At least that’s this Angel’s opinion.  Hey, speaking of Angels, is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? 

Yes!  If you could ask my Guardian Angel to find a way to stop all that procrastinating I do, it would be great!

*whispers again* You know what, Jack? I’m not sure I’m the right one to help you with this, but it’s definitely on my to do list. 

Hi, everyone, a completely caffeinated Shel here.  Helper 12 is an outstanding novel  and I’m very much looking forward to reading Twitch.  Here’s where you can pick up your copy.


Barnes and Noble:

Or keep up with Jack here:



Hope you stop back tomorrow when we have Grace’s interview with Adriana Ryan.

April 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

An Interview with Kate Avery Ellison

Hi! It’s me—Grace.  My author is sleeping in, so she left me in charge.


Today we have Kate Avery Ellison, author of the YA novel, The Curse Girl and the newly released Frost. Here’s a little about it: 

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.

Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

That sounds pretty incredible to me, Kate, which means your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

Well, let’s see. I just released a new YA fantasy/dystopian, Frost, featuring some a snowy world, monsters, and a forbidden romance. It’s the first book in a series called The Frost Chronicles, and I’m already hard at work on the sequel, Thorns. I’m also working on a novelette/novella that could be described as “a paranormal retelling of Robin Hood.” And of course, I have a zillion other projects on the back burner.

A zillion?  Are you sure? Because that’s a heck of a big number.  And if it’s an exaggeration, then which of your characters are you most like?

Tough question! I am a little bit like Bee from my novel The Curse Girl because we both like to talk things through and find a logical, workable solution to problems. I’m also a little bit like Ivy, a secondary character from my newest novel Frost, because we’re both daydreamers who get into trouble for not paying attention.

What did you say?  Oh, yeah…daydreaming. Been there, done that. When you’re not daydreaming, do you like to read, and, if so, what’s your favorite book of all time?

Another tough question! I don’t think I could narrow it down that far, to be honest, but one of my favorite YA fantasy novels of all time is The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley is a close second.

Sorry about these tough questions and I haven’t got a clue who came up with them. It definitely wasn’t me—but I wrote this one!  In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?

I like smart guys–geeks, nerds, or just plain intellectual types. Nothing turns me on more than a guy with wit and intelligence. Of course I’m also a sucker for dark, wavy hair and a smirking, Han Solo-esque smile.

Can you keep a secret?  I have a thing for a smirker and he’s promised to take me to a concert.   If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)

Taylor Mitchell. She was so young when she died, and her death was so tragic (eaten by coyotes!)… I kinda feel like she needs another chance to perform.

What the—????? I’d never heard of her, but after checking on YouTube all I say is her Guardian Angel must have been in some hot water over that one. And she does have a very nice sound. 🙂   

Okay…confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?

I refuse to completely give up adverbs, although I try to keep them to a minimum. 🙂

Ha! Love that. And your answer makes me think I already know the answer to the next question–are you more of a rule follower or a rebel? Why?

I’m definitely more of a rule follower. It’s partly the way I was raised, partly my personality. But at the same time, I’m one of those envelope-pushing, out-of-the-box thinkers who likes the challenge the status quo. So I chafe at the rules and petition to change them while following them, I guess you could say.

Especially when it comes to adverbs, I guess. 😉 (Just kidding)

Okay, what — other than your Muse, of course — inspires you?

Odd and unexpected combinations of people or story elements that end up working–like the whole Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter thing. Unexpected or unconventional situations inspire me to see how I can build a story around them.

I’m definitely a fan of unconventional.  Like, did you know I skipped school and went straight to Earth?  Hmmm….but enough about me. I really would like to know about what themes you  write about or what you want readers to take from your books.

I find myself drawn to themes of trust, betrayal, and adversaries-turned-friends (or lovers). I’m sure there are all kinds of deep, psychological reasons why I am fascinated with these subjects. I think one of my strongest “messages” that I want people get from my books is the idea that people can grow and change, jerks can learn compassion, timid shy people can find courage. Don’t ever write someone off forever just because they don’t click with you immediately. They might turn out to be your best friend. I also ALWAYS want to communicate the idea that love is powerful, redeeming, and worth everything you risk for it.

Aww…I really love those themes.  Now, last question. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? I can do it all casual, if you want.

I have a new treadmill desk and sometimes I write while using it. Writing while walking isn’t THAT hard, but I’d love to avoid getting a sprained ankle 🙂

The treadmill desk sounds awesome.  Consider your request passed along.

In addition to the treadmill desk, doesn’t Kate’s new book Frost sound awesome?  You can buy it practically everywhere.


Barnes & Noble:



And, keep up with Kate’s zillion *winks* projects in all these spots:




April 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

An Interview with Emily Ward

It’s Day 2 of the interviews and I’m excited to have Emily Ward here today.  She’s the author of Finding Fiona and the recently published, Promising Light, that is set in a world with shape changers and royals.

Here’s a peek:

Grace began a secret courtship with Dar for the thrill of doing something against her father, the king’s general. She hadn’t planned on falling in love with him. When Dar suddenly leaves her, she searches for answers, reluctant to let him go.

Everyone seems determined to keep the truth from her—until she’s kidnapped by Dar’s family. They’re shape changers who claim she can break a curse set on them ten years ago by the Protectors, a group of noblemen determined to stifle magic in the name of safety.

Torn between two worlds, Grace isn’t sure who to trust. If the curse endures, Dar’s family could die out forever. But to help them, she’ll have to leave behind everything she knows.

Book One of The Protectors Series. Set two years after The Protectors prequels

Okay. Take it away Grace.  That’s my Grace, not Emily’s Grace:

Hiya, Emily! I noticed your Muse is doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

Right now, I’m working on the sequel to my fantasy novel Promising Light. It has lots of political intrigue, romance, and there’s a war brewing between the shape changers and the royals. Plus my characters get into all kinds of troublesome situations that seem impossible to get out of. Sequels are fun, but hard because you want it to be just as good as the first one! At least, *I* think the first one is good. . .

Oh, it already sounds really good when you mention shape changers and royals.  So, which of your characters are you most like?

Probably Grace, the main character of Promising Light. I was pretty naive when it came to boys (oh, man, did I make some dumb mistakes, but I am super lucky to have my husband now!), passionate, determined. These days, I feel a little more level-headed, but we both still have some growing up to do. Grace is confused at first in Promising Light, torn between the shape changers and the royals, but through the story, she really finds out what she wants and she firmly decides what she believes is right and wrong. I feel like we have a lot in common in that aspect. I went through a similar struggle — not with a magical family and a curse they thought I could break — but with my spiritual beliefs and worldview.

Omigosh, my name is Grace, too. What a coincidence! But, I’m never confused like your Grace, at least I don’t think so, um…what was the next question?  Oh, yeah. What’s your favorite book of all time?

All time? Oh, gosh, that’s so hard. Well, I really like the Bible (I swear I’m not just saying that to suck up ;), but if we’re talking fiction. . .The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Such beautiful prose, great story, a heart-wrenching ending. It really made me think about the power of words.

“Suck up” Ha! That cracks me up. Hahaha—okay, I’m gonna check out that book about the thief.  Pretty sure my author has that one.  

Now, in your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?

Someone who treats others with respect (especially the person he’s romantically interested in). Funny, smart, noble, brave. Maybe has a few secrets and mystery to make things interesting, but there are a few books where the best friend definitely trumps the secretive new guy. Good looks don’t hurt, either 😉

*swoon* Yep, that sounds pretty good.  So, if you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, like with that guy, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)

Queen with the awesome Freddie Mercury. Although that doesn’t really work because not everyone in Queen is dead. . .do you think people could do everything else while Freddie sings? Because that would be AWESOME. If not, then Michael Jackson. Equally awesome.

I can guarantee you that Freddy has an awesome back-up band until the rest of Queen gets there.  Okay—Confession time! What’s your biggest writing sin?

I tend to forget setting and description. I see the place in my head and I have to force myself during revisions to explain where the characters are and what’s going on around them. And what they look like, instead of mentioning hair color once in the beginning and then completely dropping it.

That doesn’t sound very big.  Huh, what’s that? Hold on, my author is interrupting. *rolls eyes* She says, “That’s what second drafts are for.” Sheesh, she’s annoying. Anyway…are you more of a rule follower or a rebel? Why?

Overall, I think I’m a rule follower. I follow the speed limit, pay my taxes, mind my p’s and q’s. I was about to say I do my homework, but I really only do it if I’m going to get graded. I sometimes rebel against society’s values. For example, I’d take a good book over reality TV any day (that reminds me, I need to catch up on America’s Next Top Model). My opinions may not be popular with a lot of people. So maybe I’m a closet rebel? I rebel when it counts? Maybe I’m just trying to make myself sound more badass than I really am.

You sound a little like me, which makes you a teeny bit bad ass. Oh, and I almost rebelled in a closet one time, but that’s a long story.  Involving Victor. Hmm…maybe another day?  Better to get back on track.  What — other than your Muse, of course — inspires you?

Good books and talented authors! I love reading a great book and thinking, ‘Wow, I could write a story like that!’ When an author really makes me care about the characters and what happens to them, I try to analyze how they did it and apply it to my own story. There are some stories that just fill me with energy and I’ll go write a couple thousand words. Susan Bischoff’s Talent Chronicles series, The Hunger Games, Tomorrow When the War Began — they all inspire me to write just as well.

Aww…that is really, really nice.  And as far as themes—what do you write about or what do you want readers to take from your books?

The Protectors series deals with prejudice and bigotry quite a bit. There are magical families in this world and one in particular, the shape changers, are being persecuted. I love writing about the dynamics between the oppressive class (the Protectors, the royals) and the oppressed and how they deal with the problems they have to deal with. I have a few other novels that deal with the same issues of bigotry. I drew a lot of inspiration from the Civil Rights era and countless other examples of bigotry in Earth’s history.

I try to emphasize the power of family and love in my books as well as forgiveness and reconciliation. I love restoring broken relationships and watching my characters overcome their obstacles either with the help of loves ones or out of love for them. I hope people are inspired by that to think about the special people in their lives. And to consider that we’re all people and deserve respect, regardless of what we look like or what our culture or gender or age or fill-in-the-blank may be.

Yes to all that! And fill in the blank is important too. Okay, last thing. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? I’ve got a special cell phone and could give them a call. 

Tell her to take care of our plane as we go to Europe! My husband and I are going to Spain and France (as I’m sure she knows) and I’d like to get back home to see our kitties. And tell her (him?) thanks for having my back.

Will do.  You have a wonderful flight and trip, Emily.


Hi all, doesn’t this book sound awesome? You can find it here:


Barnes and Noble:


And to get to know Emily better, please go here:

Website: ;

Blog: ;


Hi everyone,

We’re going to take a break on Saturday and Sunday, but we’ll be back Monday  with author Kate Avery Ellison.  In the meantime, this is the last day Winging It! will be at 99 cents and you can grab it here.

April 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

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