Spotlight on Writing

Author Discovery ~ Mini Interview with Laura Brown

Please welcome author Laura Brown to the blog! Be sure and add her books to your Goodreads list! Laura’s most recent book A PERFECT MISTAKE from Lakewater Press, was released on November 12th!

 

What author do you compare your book(s)/writing style to the most?

Because I love to infuse humor, whether in my contemporary romances or in my romcoms, I relate a lot to Jill Shalvis. She’s got the heart, and the heat, along with the humor and is always a pleasure to read!

What is your favorite book genre? Why?

Ohh, this one is hard, because I love and write more than one. But I think my ultimate favorite is contemporary romance. I love romance, love the HEA, or HFN that comes with it. With contemporary romance, you get that romance, and the heat, and can get heart-wrenching serious or light-hearted comedy.

What is your favorite television show? Why?

This isn’t currently on, but it still holds the number one spot for me: Once Upon A Time. I got into it during a dark time in my life, and the ever-present message of hope the show portrayed kept me going. Plus, hopeless romantic, and multiple fun romances to follow on the show. I keep watching it on loop!

If you could have written a popular, well-known book, what would it have been and why?

My honest answer here is none. I love reading other peoples’ stories, and once I read their words, it becomes the way the story should be. So I wouldn’t want to rewrite it or take it away from them. I want to stand up and shout about it to others!

Using your most recent book, who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

I’m going with my next book to be published, A PERFECT MISTAKE. My Hero, Cam, is Deaf, and I’m big on accurate representation, but with so few opportunities for Deaf actors, well-known options are limited. So I’d choose Daniel Durant for him (look him up!). My heroine would be played by Blake Lively.

Why should your readers pick your book over a well-known author’s book?

I write about hearing loss in an authentic way. There are more and more books featuring diversity out there, but very few with accurate disability and hearing loss rep. I offer a fun, sexy ride, and my readers will learn a few things about hearing loss along the way!

What is your go-to snack?

Popcorn. Unfortunately, my son has developed the same go-to snack. So late at night, when he’s supposed to be sleeping, I’ll pop myself a snack, and down the stairs comes my kiddo with his hand out!

Purchase A Perfect Mistake from Amazon or Lakewater Press. Add to Goodreads here.

Find Laura on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads

Book Reviews, Spotlight on Writing

Author Discovery ~ Mini Interview with Author Sandra Sookoo

Please welcome USA Today bestselling author, Sandra Sookoo. Be sure to add all of her books it to your Goodreads list!

What author do you compare your book(s)/writing style to the most?

I never compare my writing style to anyone if I can help it. I’m not the “next” someone else. I’m the “only” me.

What is your favorite book genre? Why?

I love reading historical mysteries and romantic suspense. It’s my favorite above everything else, mostly because it helps keep my brain active and sharp. It’s also why I embarked on writing in the genre a few years ago.

What is your favorite television show? Why?

I absolutely love Josh Gates’ Expedition Unknown. It’s one of the reasons I love writing adventure romance. I also watch Carnival Eats on the Cooking Channel, mostly because I can’t believe the host will eat all sorts of fried foods that gross me out. And if we’re talking reruns in order to relax, I watch Big Bang Theory. Even though it’s off the air now, I still haven’t caught up. LOL

If you could have written a popular, well-known book, what would it have been and why?

That’s like comparing myself to another author. If I had written any of those books, I wouldn’t be writing as me, would I? If, or when, my books take off like wildfire, it will be because of what I write and how I write and how well-loved my characters are. I’ve written over 87 books to date in my career, so I’ve fit into my own groove pretty well.

 

Using your most recent book, who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

Maybe Colin Farrell or Henry Cavill.

Why should your readers pick your book over a well-known author’s book?

Because I provide a big-time emotional payoff. My characters are very relatable. And who doesn’t wish to go on adventures all over the world? Especially when you can travel within one of my stories without needing a passport! I like that my characters overcome not only trauma from their past and emotional angst, but the differences between each couple. Plus, my style of writing has a tendency to put the reader right there into the action and keeps them there. I do hope readers take a chance on my books. My stories are like Pringles, you can’t stop at just one.

What is your go-to snack?

Usually some sort of raw nut I can munch on while I write. It’s a low-carb alternative to chips. Although, when I do feel the need for carbs, I reach for sour gummy bears.

 

You can visit Sandra’s website. Or find her on Facebook.

She has a Facebook Author page and group as well.

Sandra is also on Pinterest, Instagram, and you can visit her Amazon Author Page.

She is also on BookBub and if you’d like to sign up for her newsletter: send me an email or PM with “subscribe” in subject line

BookBub Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sandra-sookoo

 

 

 

Book Reviews, Spotlight on Writing

Author Discovery ~ Mini Interview with R.D. Kardon

Please welcome the author of Flygirl. Be sure and add it to your Goodreads list!

What author do you compare your book(s)/writing style to the most?  

There are a few authors whose books resonate. I’ve modeled my heroine, Tris Miles, after Katniss Everdeen and there is a ton of action in my book, so I’d say The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is comparable. There are also quite a few characters pursuing their own agendas, unbeknownst to the heroine in Flygirl, so people who enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn should like reading it. Finally, Paula McLain wrote Circling the Sun about a woman whose love life ultimately disappoints, and then becomes a pilot who takes on a daring flight. There are similarities between that story and Flygirl’s.

What is your favorite book genre? Why? 

Tough question. I write mainstream fiction with a strong action and adventure theme, but I mostly read—believe it or not—crime and detective series. I love Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch) and Louise Penny’s (Armand Gamache) books.

What is your favorite television show?

Currently, it’s Grace & Frankie on Netflix, with Ozark coming in a close second.

If you could have written a popular, well-known book, what would it have been and why?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I can’t believe how good that book is, how well-developed, flawed yet engaging her characters are. And the story. Superb.

Using your most recent book, who would play your main character(s) in a movie? 

Jennifer Lawrence.

Why should your readers pick your book over a well-known author’s book? 

They will be surprised, engaged, angry, filled with compassion, and unable to put it down.

What is your go-to snack? 

Pizza. What else?

 

Follow R.D. on Twitter @rdkardonauthor

Website: https://www.rdkardonauthor.com/

Buy the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Book Reviews, Spotlight on Writing

Author Discovery ~ Mini Interview with Crystal King

Please welcome the author of The Chef’s Secret. Be sure and add it to your Goodreads list!

What author do you compare your book(s)/writing style to the most?

Madeleine Miller. I strive to bring the lost history of food to life in the way that she brings the ancient myths to life.

What is your favorite book genre? Why?

I read very widely across a bunch of different genres. I really want a wonderful story to grab me, overall. But I do tend to drift toward magical realism and fantasy quite often. I love the idea of escaping into different worlds, which is also why historical fiction is so fun for me to write.

What is your favorite television show? Why?

I don’t watch much television, to be honest! When I  do,  I could fall way too easily into the world of binging, and I have books to write! But I do watch Dr. Who, The Magicians, and I love Stranger Things.

If you could have written a popular, well-known book, what would it have been and why?

I don’t find myself envious or jealous of books or authors like that, so this is a hard question. We can only write the books inside of us. But I would love it if my novels eventually find the success and love of say, M.F.K. Fisher’s food writing, or the fandom of Phillipa Gregory, or the popularity of books that find themselves on Reese Witherspoon’s nightstand.

Using your most recent book, who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

Kit Harrington has the look closest to what I had in mind for Giovanni in The Chef’s Secret, although he’d need to acquire an Italian accent to pull it off, I’m thinking.

Why should your readers pick your book over a well-known author’s book?

So many factors go into how publishers decide to promote their books and readers don’t realize that only 5-10% of a publisher’s catalog gets any real promotion. So many incredible books are published, even by the big houses, but don’t get the same love on the shelf as those books. By only going with what is popular, a reader is missing out on some fantastic stories that might appeal to them even more.

My books are about the unsung heroes of culinary Italy. My latest novel, The Chef’s Secret, is about the world’s first celebrity chef, Bartolomeo Scappi, whose 1570 cookbook L’Opera di Bartolomeo Scappi, was a bestselling cookbook for almost 200 years after its publication. We don’t know much about Scappi’s life, so I had a lot of fun making some of that up. It’s a mystery and a love story. Feast of Sorrow is the tale of the world’s first gourmand, Apicius, whose name is on the oldest known cookbook. He died in a totally crazy way and I wanted to tell the story of how he got there.

If a reader loves diving into the historical past, loves Italy, or loves food, they will likely find some kinship with one of my novels. The trick is to not read one when you are hungry!

What is your go-to snack?

Snack? Hmm. I don’t snack much, actually. But if I could, I’d down a bit of gelato or ice cream, every day. My go-to flavor is something with chocolate and peanut butter!

twitter.com/crystallyn

facebook.com/crystallynking

instagram.com/crystallyn14

crystalking.com

You can buy the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Book Reviews, Spotlight on Writing

Author Discovery ~ Mini Interview with Ametra Rayford

Please welcome the author of Duality, a book soon to be sporting a new cover! But my lucky readers get to see the new one here. *UPDATE! Duality was just listed as a finalist Paranormal/Supernatural category with The Independent Author Network!!!!

What author do you compare your book(s)/writing style to the most?

Ira Levin. I’ve read several of his novels – a few more than once – and I love how he was able to include descriptions and set a scene for you without it feeling like a lecture and without detracting from the flow of the story. He provided a stellar example of showing and not telling. He was so good at it that it was hard to see the characters or the setting in any way other than how he wrote it. I saw the movie Rosemary’s Baby before reading the novel. The first time I read the book it felt as though the novel was an adaptation of the movie, rather than the other way around, because the movie plucked so many details from the book and brought them to life. That’s what I admire and try to emulate. I’d love it if my readers could come away with an ability to see, smell, and taste (because I tend to incorporate food here and there) the situations I toss my characters into.

What is your favorite book genre? Why?

I read a lot of different genres, but I love fantasy novels the most. From the time I was in elementary school reading mythology, to high school and stories about Merlin, before David Eddings, R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis, and Tracy Hickman took over in young adulthood – fantasy novels have always been something I go back to when I want to dream. I am also a huge fan of seeing how different fantasy authors craft the limitations that exist within the worlds they’ve created. I love reading about the hierarchy or power structures as they exist in a world that’s otherwise limitless.

What is your favorite television show? Why?

New cover – coming soon!

I haven’t had a lot of time lately to watch television, but my go-to show for years has been Criminal Minds. I have a deep fascination with what comprises the core of a person – what makes them tick. That’s pretty much the premise behind the show. What makes a person transcend from a normal, everyday dude to the UnSub (Unknown Subject)? I’m all over that.

If you could have written a popular, well-known book, what would it have been and why?

Well, I hope that I have written what will become a popular, well-known book. (Ha!) But, if we’re talking about the book of another author, I’d love to have written The Godfather. I am more than mildly-obsessed with mob culture. I don’t know if it’s because I grew up in Chicago and learned about Al Capone at an early age…or if it’s because I was glued to the television during the farce that became the opening of Al Capone’s vault…but, I have been in love with mafia lore since I was a child: The Godfather, Casino, Goodfellas, Hoodlum, The Making of the Mob series – all of that thrills me.

Using your most recent book, who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet.

Why should your readers pick your book over a well-known author’s book?

I’m not sure that they have to. There’s plenty of room at the table, so to speak, and I’ve yet to meet someone who goes into a bookstore and comes out with only one book. With a well-known author, there’s a certain comfort level involved. You may not know the details of this particular story, but you know enough about the author’s work to have a general idea of what to expect. You don’t know what to expect from me. I am a new author, currently working on my sophomore novel, and I haven’t yet settled into a trend. My first novel combined suspense with splashes of horror and spirituality. My next novel is fantasy. My work transcends multiple genres.

What is your go-to snack? 

Sunflower seeds! I can go through a ridiculous amount of them while working on a novel. I’d eat them at work if I could – shell-cracking and all.

You can follow Ametra on her:

Blog

Twitter @AlwaysAmetra

Facebook

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Book Reviews, Spotlight on Writing

Author Discovery ~ Mini Interview with Cheyanne Young

Please welcome the author of The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, The Breakup Support Group, and The City of Legends trilogy. All young adult (YA) stories. At the end of the interview, you can find a blurb about The Last Wish of Sasha Cade. Be sure and add it to your Goodreads list!

P.S. Cheyanne will be at Changing Hands Bookstore, in Tempe, AZ on September 26th at 7 p.m.

What author do you compare your book(s)/writing style to the most?

I never feel quite competent enough to compare myself to other writers, but I’ve been told my writing style is similar to Sarah Dessen (swoon) and Morgan Matson (ultra swoon). My writing style is contemporary, romantic, angsty, and a little funny. (At least, my kid thinks it’s funny.)

What is your favorite book genre? Why?

I am forever a fan of YA contemporary novels. I was a teen mom who had to grow up fast. I often feel like I missed out on all the best parts of those years and that I’m kind of stuck there mentally, as an adult. Give me all the teenage angst, realistic settings, first kisses, and love stories. I am here for it.

What is your favorite television show? Why?

Oh no. I have so many. I adore dry sarcasm and humor, something that can make me laugh after a long day of bleeding my heart onto my manuscript page. For those shows, I love: Schitt’s Creek, The Office, Bob’s Burgers, Kim’s Convenience, Misfits, & Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Don’t ask me to choose one. I can’t.

If you could have written a popular, well-known book, what would it have been and why?

I would have written The Perks of Being a Wallflower because every time I read that book, it feels as though it’s speaking directly to me.

Using your most recent book, who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

Funny you should ask – The Last Wish of Sasha Cade is being made into a TV show right now! I don’t know who will be cast, (and I doubt I’ll get a say in it) but I’ve always pictured Angela Kinsey as Mrs. Cade. For Raquel, I like Kiernan Shipka. I have no idea who could play Elijah, but he better be swoony and broody and adorable. For Sasha, I would love to see Amandla Stenberg play the role.

Why should your readers pick your book over a well-known author’s book?

Well-known authors get a lot of publisher money and promotion spent on them. Their books can’t help but be found and read. Whereas, us little authors do almost all of the promotion ourselves, with our own money. To date, I’ve spent more money promoting my book than I’ve earned on it, and I do it because I believe in Sasha’s story and I want readers to love it as much as I do. So while I love (and read!) well-known books, I always go out of my way to pull one I’ve never heard of off the shelf and give it a shot. You might find your new favorite author this way.

What is your go-to snack?

Coffee. I eat once a day, and it’s usually something terrible for me. But all day I’m drinking coffee. 🙂 Yes, the life of an author is extremely glamorous.

 

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade – book blurb

How far would you go for your best friend?

The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole world, has died of cancer. Overwhelmed and brokenhearted, Raquel can’t even imagine life without her.

And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from beyond the grave?

In fact, Sasha spent her final weeks planning an elaborate scavenger hunt for the friend she would have to leave behind. When Raquel follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha – and now Raquel – knows.

This boy, Elijah, might be just who Raquel needs to help her move on from her terrible loss. But can Raquel remain true to herself while also honoring her friend’s final wish?

 

Cheyanne Young’s compulsively readable breakout novel offers abiding friendship and forbidden romance, along with an incisive look at how class differences shape who we are and who we grow to be.

You can follow her on Twitter: @NormalChey

And visit her website.

You can buy her latest novel, The Last Wish of Sasha Cade on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Spotlight on Writing

Interview with Editor and Author Christina Herrera

You recently started up an editing service, what made you take the leap?

It’s something I have always wanted to do. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and serving as an intern with a publisher helped me feel more qualified. 

Since you read and edit for a living when it comes time to read for fun, are you able to read without analyzing the books?

It’s hard to find a read that I truly enjoy. I’ve always been a picky reader. However, attending all those classes at university helped me look at books with a more critical eye. 

What are some of your “not so well-liked” genres and why?

I am not a fan of horror stories or stories with a lot of language or graphic scenes. I believe that there are many ways to make a novel interesting–and it shouldn’t have to involve indecent content. When a novel is published, anyone is able to read it. I can’t even imagine putting out a book that wasn’t clean because I wouldn’t ever want to pollute the minds of others. Especially since children and younger teens now have access to the internet. 

You live in Tennessee, what is the reading and writing community like there?

I was more involved with it while I was at university. I’d like to become more integrated into local activities, but time never seems to permit me to do that. There are local authors around, but I believe we are very few in numbers. I know there are local RWA meetings in Nashville and Atlanta. I’m about two hours from both of those locations. Someday I would love to attend one of their meetings. 

Is there a book that you wished was made into a movie but has not been done?

I’d love to see my sister’s books become a movie. Her name is Cindy Ray Hale, and she’s the writer of the Destiny series. 

Since you’re also a writer, is it easy to catch your own mistakes in your manuscripts?

At first, it was a struggle to edit my own work. But over time I became better at fixing whatever went wrong. I used to not be able to notice plot holes in my stories, and sometimes, I still don’t. However, I have become better over the past several years at revising, editing, and applying feedback to my work.  

Do you listen to music while you edit, or do you have to have the room quiet?

I love to make YouTube playlists dedicated to the theme of each story. I have written a couple of scenes while I listened to music, but I prefer to write in a quieter environment.

Is their one genre you wish you could write in, but know it will never happen?

I started writing a fantasy with strong romantic elements a few months back. But I wrote it during a busy semester at school, so I only got through the first 40 pages or so. Sometimes it feels like it will never be finished. And yet, at the same time, I really believe that if I did finish it that it could truly be good work. Only time will tell. 

 

You can follow and contact Christina regarding her editing services by checking out her:

Newsletter, Blog, Author Facebook Page, Editing Facebook Page, and Twitter.