Author Interview: Samantha Bryant

Interview Red

Hello and welcome to another Author Interview by Book Squirrel. Today we’re chatting with Samantha Bryant, author of the Menopausal Superheroes series. 

meandbook

Hi, Samantha. It’s lovely to have you here.

Hi, Book Squirrel. I’ve never chatted with a squirrel before, so I’m excited.

I’m a very exciting squirrel. 

I bet you are.

So tell us, what inspired you to write?

I’ve written nearly as long as I can remember. It probably started with a love of reading, but it was my first grade teacher who put me on the path to becoming an author. As a handwriting exercise, Mrs. Alsdorf had us first graders copy out classic poems in our nicest hand, illustrating them in the margins, and collecting them in a special folder made out of wallpaper scraps.

That was my first encounter with many classic poets: Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, etc. I fell in love with the sounds of the words and when I told Mrs. Alsdorf how much I enjoyed the poems, she knelt down next to my desk (not a far reach for her: she was very short) and said quietly and seriously, “You know, you could write poems of your own, if you wanted to.”

And I did. I don’t really write poetry anymore, except occasionally for myself, but I still love to read it, and I credit that early love of poetry with helping me craft beautiful prose and teaching me that I could write my own pieces.

That’s beautiful. Great teachers are so underrated!

Thanks! I agree!

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

That’s usually the thing I have just finished writing. There’s a glow over something when it’s fresh, and you can’t yet see any flaws it might have. Though it is also a lovely lovely feeling when you re-read something you wrote some time ago and think, “Hey, that’s pretty good!” I’m proud of all my work, even the work I now see flaws in. Choosing a favorite is rather like choosing a favorite child, so I refuse to choose!

all covers

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Oh my. That’s a hard choice. According to my Goodreads list, I’ve read 44 books this year. I have a yearly goal of 52 (one per week) and I usually exceed that.

I’ve read a fair number of classics because I co-host a classics book club at my library. Of those, Moby Dick is the best one I’ve read this year. I think I’m finally old enough to truly get the book. I saw the dark humor and wit this time, and the poetry.

My neighborhood book club reads mostly literary or historical fiction. Of these, my favorite this year has been Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell, which explores Doc Holliday and the Earp boys from the inside. I’m not generally much of a western fan, but Russell won me over with her beautiful language and strong emotional connection to what these men might have felt.

I’ve made a point of reading books by people I know this year, other writers I know online or from the southern convention scene. Many of them are indie writers, which can often mean a read that steps outside the box and takes a daring or creative turn in the narrative. My two favorites (I know, I’m totally cheating on how many books I say are my favorite) are Reenu You by Michele Berger and Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley. Interestingly, both of those books have quite a lot to say about racial politics, so while a scifi story about a hair relaxer gone rogue and a murder mystery set in an alternate history South Africa may not seem to have much in common, they are exploring some of the same issues.

I do love reading more than quite possibly anything else . . .except maybe writing, so I could go on for quite a while about what I’ve loved reading.

What are you working on writing now?

I was invited to be a part of a book bundle by a writer friend. It’s a collection of young adult, post-apocalyptic, romance. I couldn’t resist that challenge: three things I’ve never written, so I’ve been working on a story, though it’s come out more dystopian than post-apocalyptic. It’s working title is Thursday’s Children, and it follows a sixteen year-old track star named Kye’luh Wade, her cousins, and some other young people she collects along the way as they run away from government persecution to save themselves and rescue their parents. I don’t know if I’ll finish it in time to be a part of the bundle, but I’m grateful to my friend for prompting me to try something new. I’m really enjoying writing it.

What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?

I am especially annoyed by narcissism. It comes across in many ways: condescension, man-splaining, pontificating, failure to listen, aggressive driving, line-jumping, etc. But they all strike me as part of the same basic problem.

Patricia O’Neill, aka The Lizard Woman of Springfield, from my Menopausal Superhero series has proven a fun character to grind these particular axes with. She is a no-nonsense woman, with a secret soft spot for underdogs and a bit of a hero complex. Transforming into a giant bulletproof dinosaur did not soften her caustic demeanor. Of course, like many of us, the behaviors that annoy her in others are also found within her, so Patricia is continually coming face to face with the problems her own narcissism causes even while she takes down the bad guys, either with her claws or her wit.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

I have a few perennial favorites. I watch The Quiet Man once a year and am suckered by the chemistry between John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara every time. I love the entire story line of the man wounded by tragedy returning home to make a fresh start and in the process making his peace with his past.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I’m a fan of fall. Since I’m a schoolteacher, fall is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts for me in at least that aspect of my life. It’s also when the weather cools down enough for me to wear my cozy sweatjacket, but hasn’t yet become so cold that I have to zip it up or find a coat. I’m a tree-person, in that I feel most at peace among trees, and fall is definitely a showcase season for trees, with all their colorful finery on show. Then there’s all the fall pleasures, like hot cocoa, pumpkin flavored everything at the bakery, Halloween, hay-rides and corn mazes, and jumping into piles of raked leaves. Fall is definitely the best. I missed it horribly when I lived in Alaska where the seasons were pretty much “green”, “white”, and “brown.”

Are there many nuts in Alaska? 

You’d be surprised!

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Emily Dickinson speaks my soul more often than anyone else I’ve ever read. I’ve been reading her all my life and even though there’s a finite amount to read, I still find something new in her words every time.

Neil Gaiman combines darkness and whimsy to write seemingly dark stories with a hopeful core. He also loves fairy tales, ghosts, and magic as much as I do.

Stan Lee created so many of my favorite heroes. He could also balance preachy-ness with exploration of moral issues and placed his characters in difficult situations to let them shine. He shared my soft spot for the underdog, too.

Name three people you admire, and give reasons.

As a child, I had a mild obsession with Helen Keller. I researched her life for a speech contest, and read everything our library had about her. Her story is a fantastic inspiration, a reminder that every person has value and needs only the right opportunity to learn to shine so the rest of us can see it. As a teacher, I see how easily her life might have come out differently if not for the support and love she received and I try to offer that love and support to those around me. Her writings are deep and thoughtful and full of kindness and generosity of spirit. The world is lucky to have them.

Josephine Baker according to Wikipedia was “an entertainer, activist, and French Resistance agent.” Shouldn’t we all live to have a biography like that? She was important on so many fronts, fighting for freedom and equality both as a performer and as a human being. She used her art to make a difference and took risks throughout her varied career. She’s a reminder that “safe” isn’t always best.

My great-grandmother Lena Wilhelmina Wurth Taylor. Grandma Lena had it rough in a lot of ways. She was a child of recent German immigrants in rural Kentucky during a time when that could get a person beaten, imprisoned, or killed. She lived nearly all her life just on the respectable side of poverty and pulled herself and her family along through sheer iron will and indefatigable hard work. She married late and lost her husband early, spending more of her life widowed than she had as a bride. But she was determined to maintain her independence and did so until the last day of her life. Strong minded and stubborn, sure of herself, and fierce in her loyalties, she was not an “easy” woman by any means. She could be intimidating, but she would fight tooth and nail for those she loved. I aspire to be as self-sufficient in my own way as she was.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Time-management. I want more out of my day than is possible to squeeze most days. I want to write all the words, enjoy all the light, appreciate all the people, enjoy all the love, and still get enough sleep, exercise, and eat delicious things. Most of the time, I feel in a constant push-pull of life’s currents trying to keep my footing on slippery stones. I’d love to feel that I *really* have my balance.

Money. I am fortunate in my life in many ways and our family does not struggle for food or pleasant shelter or even for some frivolous pleasures, but like many middle class folk, I still often feel hampered by financial considerations, unable to pursue opportunities I want or take on work I would find fulfilling because I can’t “afford” to. I would love to have more freedom of cash flow. Unfortunately, I’ve chosen two less-than-lucrative fields in teaching and writing, so I will have to find my riches emotionally rather than in my bank account.

Thanks for being here with us today, Samantha. 

You’re most welcome! It’s been fun!

Before you leave, can you tell us where we can follow you on social media? 

Sure thing!  You can find me at:

newsletter:http://eepurl.com/bwgsxD

Amazon author: viewAuthor.at/SamanthaBryant

Blog: http://samanthabryant.com

Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/samanthadunawaybryant

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mirymom1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/mirymom

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SamanthaDunawayBryant/posts

Tumblr: http://mirymom.tumblr.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9j-KqaCAp8UYrVAWejQZ-g

 

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Author Interview: Betty Mermelstein

Interview Red

Hi folks! I’m back again with another fantastic Indie author interview. Today, I’m chatting with multi-genre author, Betty Mermelstein. Welcome, Betty!

Thanks, Squirrel!

Tell me, Betty, what inspired you to write?

I have always loved to read and was interested in learning vocabulary and grammar even in elementary school, so I decided I wanted to tell my own stories with the written word.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Gone With the Wind: oh, the drama!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Since I was nine, I wanted to be a teacher because of my love of learning. I kept that desire and got my college degree in teaching. I retired after having taught preschool, elementary, and junior high.

Wow! Kids of all sizes!

That’s right!

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

You have to be willing to find the support as you struggle to format your books to get them self-published (especially as an ebook), find a means to advertise your books, and work your way through technology as you set up and maintain a website/blog. However, you don’t give up!

That’s right! Don’t give up!

*Betty and Squirrel give each other high fives*

What’s your favorite season?

It’s a toss up between Fall and Spring. I was born in the Fall, and it feels comfortable to me: the smell of leaves on the ground, the brightness of the foliage, the crispness in the air (of course, I haven’t lived in a climate that supports that for many years, but the memories make it palpable!). Spring makes me shiver inside with anticipation of newness and opportunities. It shows its beauty in its blooms and rejuvenates my soul with its breezes.

Oh! I love fresh blooms! It’s like… every bush is a salad!

Right…

Yeah. Back to the interview…
What the best book you’ve read this year?

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. I love historical fiction, and this one is set in WWII in France and New York, following characters who are part of the Ravensbruck concentration camp.

What’s your favorite thing you have written?

That’s a hard one. I also write poetry and short humorous essays, some of which have been published. I guess I feel most accomplished in putting together my collection of short stories that deal with relationships, entitled Seven for Reflection.

What are you working on now?

I mostly continue with my short humorous essays for my blog on Tumblr. There’s always something I experience in my life that I can poke fun at.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled in Canada, Europe, and around the U.S. One of the best trips was last year when I returned to our family’s summer cottage on a lake in Michigan with my husband and sisters. We connected with extended family and proved that you can go back!

What are two things in life that you wish were easier?

I wish my expectations (which covers a wide range of situations) could be met more than they are. I always tell myself my expectations make me delusional! I also wish I could learn things more quickly, especially in technology. In my twenties, I thought I could learn anything: again, delusional!

Thanks for joining me today, Betty! 

Thanks for having me, Squirrel!

Betty Mermelstein’s books can all be found at Amazon, and you can follow her blog on Tumblr

Author Interview: Debbie Manber Kupfer

Interview Cobalt

Hey everyone, your favourite squirrel is back with another fabulous author interview!

Today I’m talking with Debbie Manber Kupfer, author of some great books all about paws!
Hi Debbie! Obviously I’m all for promoting great paws… tell me about your books?

Hi Squirrel! P.A.W.S is a series of Young Adult fantasy books, which features a secret institute of shapeshifters hidden deep beneath the Jewel Box in Forest Park, St. Louis.

Oh. Not about actual paws then… that’s a little awkward.

I also have stories in several anthologies, including FauxpocalypseStardust, Always,
Winter Wishes, and Sins of The Past, and I’ve published a book of puzzles, Paws 4 Logic, with my son Joey.

Hey, that’s awesome!

Thanks!

That’s a cool accent you have there. Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?

Well, Squirrel, I grew up in London, but since then I’ve lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis.

Hey, I’ve got a cousin in St Louis! What do you do there?

I work as a writer and a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. I live with my husband, two children and a very opinionated feline.

Cats, huh?

Yeah.

So, Debbie, you sound busy! When do you find time to hoard your food for winter?

*laughing* I believe that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

What inspires you to write?

Anything and everything. I’ve been writing ever since I was small and find that many of my everyday experiences end up in my stories. Also I’m an avid people watcher and often write interesting folk I see into my books.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

Probably P.A.W.S. As it was my first published book it definitely holds a place in my heart. It was where I first was introduced to my characters who have since become old friends.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

E.A. Copen’s Guilty by Association, an awesome urban fantasy. I’m currently on book 2 of her series.

What are you working on writing now?

I’ve got book 4 of P.A.W.S. which is going to be called Londinium out with my beta readers at the moment, so in the meantime I’m getting a start on book 5. I wrote the first 30K words during Camp NaNoWriMo and hope to continue writing at least 1K words a day.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

The best, but also the saddest, was the last time I traveled with my father before he passed away. My daughter and I traveled to London (where I grew up) and met my parents there. (They lived in Israel at the time). For my dad it was his last hurrah. He knew it too and he loved that trip and especially getting to spend time with his granddaughter.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a journalist. I went on to do a gazillion different things including teacher, secretary and market researcher, but writing was always in the back of my mind. I never did work in a newspaper, but I’ve been a puzzle editor for Penny Press and today divide my time between writing fiction and writing puzzles so I’ve sorted ended up in the field I wanted as a kid.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

Spring and autumn. Not fond of extremes in either heat or cold. Missouri’s weather this year has been rather odd though. We didn’t have much of a winter and have had some really hot days in March and April. Global warming, I guess.

That climate change stuff is bad news.

It sure is!

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

JK Rowling, Douglas Adams, and Terry Pratchett.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

It takes a village to publish any book. You need an editor, beta readers, a cover designer, and a support network of friends to keep you grounded. You can’t do this on your own.

It’s fun, truly it is. And really rewarding too. I started off traditionally published at a small press. It was a good start, but switching over to indie was the best decision I could have made. I love having control over my work. Release dates, prices, covers, sales. Everything. Yes it can be frustrating too, but it’s truly worth it.

Plus the indie author community is beyond awesome. I’ve made so many good friends since I started this journey. Writing can sometimes feel like a lonely pursuit and it’s true that a lot of the magic takes place behind closed doors. But once your books are out there having a network of author friends to cross-promote with is invaluable.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Getting more readers and getting more reviews!

If I had a nut for every time I heard a writer say that, I’d be a happy squirrel!

I hear you.

 

Where can we find your books? 

The P.A.W.S. Saga – P.A.W.S., Argentum, Umbrae

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N34LR1F

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N34LR1F

And paperback everywhere – if they’re not in your local store or library, you can ask them to order them.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

Paws4Thought: http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/DebbieManberKupferAuthor

Twitter: @CiciCat42

Author Interview: Leah Hamrick

Interview Purple

Welcome to the Book Squirrel’s “Nuts About Writers” series of author interviews.  

The Book Squirrel sat down recently to interview Leah Hamrick, author of ‘Spell Caster’!

Leah Hamrick Spell Caster

Hi Leah, it’s great to meet you

Hi! It’s great to meet you, too.

Thanks! Shall we get started?

Sure!

Okay… Tell us something interesting about yourself.

Well, I’m addicted to wildlife.

*gasp* You mean… you eat them?

No! I just love them! I love anything that crawls and moves and makes noise…

Phew! That’s a relief!

…but, my favorite is the whole other world that is below the water surface.
Hey, sorry I gave you a scare there. You’re a cute lil’ thing!

Nawww shucks! It’s okay. 
So tell me, what does “being creative” mean to you?

Being creative to me means to just do what you do best. Draw a stick tree if that’s all you got, LOL!

I wonder if stick trees have stick nuts… probably not much food on those!

And cute little stick squirrels!

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Things that have happened in my real life. I love mixing that in with my writing.

That makes the writing much more meaningful, I agree.
Do you have any current or future projects?

Oh hell yeah. Tons. I am currently rewriting my five star novel, Frost on my Pillow, which is a New Adult Paranormal Romance. Then, after that, I have to finish the second book in the series, not to mention write all these short stories for my amazing publisher’s numerous anthologies!

Leah Hamrick Frost On My Pillow

That sounds like it keeps you busy!
If you could just feature one title, what would it be?

‘Frost on my Pillow’… but sadly, it is not for sale at the moment.
It will be soon, though, so hopefully y’all decide to check it out, and fall in love with it as many already have.

Okay! I’ll have to make sure I follow you on Amazon and social media so I know as soon as it’s out!

Great idea! You’re a clever squirrel!

But your other books are totally great, and the cover of Spell Caster… wow! It’s gorgeous.

Aw, thank you! That’s so nice to hear. And yes, my other books are all on Amazon, too.

What is the relationship between your speaking voice and your written voice?

LOL! I just got asked this yesterday, I swear to everything that is holy. I see my speaking voice as how I write. How I write is in first person past tense… BUT, I do NOT have two POVs in a chapter. Let’s say… like if I wrote “He said, leaning back onto the couch.” that is just solely what my character is seeing. There is NO TWO POVS in my work. It may seem that way, but that isn’t how I write. If I want two POVs, I’ll just label another chapter and start with another person’s POV.

Labelling it is a great way to keep things clear.
What is the best advice you have for other authors?

Don’t let bad reviews get you down! They help sales, because it’s going to make others curious about why they feel that way, when the rest of the reviews are four to five stars. Sometimes, you will get someone jealous and they’ll mark all your books one star. I had it happen to me. But, just think of it this way. Are they really–after buying one of your books and hated it–going to go out and get another one?

No, I didn’t think so either.

Who is your favorite author? And why?

I love Jennifer Armentrout! Her writing is so amazing, and she knows how to add paranormal with romance and suspense and a mixture of different things that make me squeal. If anyone asked who I am inspired by as a writer, it would be her.

If you had to pick one book to live inside, which would it be?

Obsidian from Jennifer Armentrout!

What is the biggest flaw in your writing?

Total LOL moment. But, sometimes I switch tenses throughout the paragraph. I never catch it either.

That can be tricky! Thank God for editors, eh?

Where can we follow you on social media?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kookycharacters

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spellbindingbooks/

Amazon Page: Author.to/LeahHamrick

Author Interview: Nancy Quinn

Interview Red

Nancy Quinn Go West

 

Hi, booklovers! It’s great to be back!

Today I’m interviewing Nancy Quinn, author of ‘Go West, Young Woman’. 

Hi Nancy, it’s great to have you here.

Hi, uh… Book Squirrel? Squirrel?
What should I call you?

Sure. You can call me anything except late for dinner.

Haha , okay!

Tell us, Nancy, what inspired you to write?  

Books have always been such an influence in my life; I secretly wondered if I would ever write one. I had greatly admired the books written by James Herriot, and being a wildlife artist and having a love for animals, I enjoyed the stories of his encounters and relationships with dogs, cats, and livestock.  As I grew older and began to have my own experiences with both domestic and exotic wildlife, I often thought my own true stories might make an interesting read.  When my husband and I moved our family from Washington, D.C., to a rural mountain in Montana, I felt I finally had a story worth sharing in written word.  My debut book, Go West, Young Woman! tells of our adventures living with our new neighbors – wolves, cougars, and grizzly bears.

Wow. Scary! Any squirrels over there that haven’t been eaten yet?
You bet there are.
Phew! Okay, sorry for the distraction. Next question…

What are you working on writing now?

I am currently writing the sequel to our story.  It covers the next five years of our western experience.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I still adore the pioneer stories like Little House on the Prairie and the Nancy Drew mystery series, so much so that I read them with my daughters.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?  

I enjoy writing about nature and the behavior of animals, so I try “painting” a picture with my words.   I think some of my best writing describes the weather and climate here in Montana – thunderous summer hailstorms, water-colored sunsets of ever changing hues, and autumn frost twinkling on golden brown leaves.  Other favorite topics include my “conversations” with animals, and their discussions with each other.  It’s fun to describe their unique personalities by expressing their thoughts in words.

What’s your favorite season? Why?

Summer!  Summer in Montana is warm and dry.  We don’t have much humidity here, and I can stay outside for longer periods of time.  The rolling mountains have shed their blankets of snow, the green grass is cool underfoot, and we can pick wildflowers throughout the meadows.  After the morning rain passes over the mountains, we can see a rainbow or two.  I get to spend more time with the horses, enjoy a different sunset every evening, and marvel at the night skies so intense with stars.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

Prior my husband retiring from the United States Air Force, we were investigating where we wanted to live, so we decided to take a trip out west and see a part of the country unknown to me.  We rented a mini-van for a month, and spent that time exploring Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.  We traveled at our own pace and explored countless towns, looking for one to call home.  The feeling of freedom from not having a schedule, combined with the scenery of the wide-open spaces and the self-reliant and self-assured people we met along the way, are memories I hold very dear.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Spy Handler, a Memoir of a KGB Officer. I enjoy true stories and this book is a fascinating memoir by the Soviet agent who recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, two of America’s’ most infamous traitors.  I also am a fan of Sherlock Holmes, so any story, book, or movie involving the fictional sleuth is a must read or see for me.  Did you know there’s a recent book about Holmes and Watson visiting Montana?

Really? That’s quite a fascinating idea!

I know! That’s why I mentioned it.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

I love the movie Overboard with Goldie Hawn.  It has some hysterical one-liners and situations that make me laugh every time.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a vocalist and win a Grammy Award!  As a young woman I studied voice and learned opera with a retired instructor from Julliard.  I used those skills to sing in night clubs, much to her chagrin.  I sang professionally for a few years and even generated some mild interest from MCA records.  Since I was never offered a contract, and it was hard juggling music with a job in law enforcement, I decided to pursue my art, and later my writing, as a career.

 Name two things in life that you wish were easier. 

I wish marketing my book was easier!  I also wish I didn’t have to be so careful with my diet; I used to be able to eat anything without gaining weight.  Now, I find myself passing up some of my favorite foods (is chocolate a food group?) for the sake of my health.

I’d love to know more about your book…

You could watch my book trailer!

Great! Where’s it hiding?

It’s on Youtube!

It’s on SquirrelTube?

Uh… I’ve never heard of that.

Oh. Awkward….
I’m keen to read your book, Nancy. Where can I get a copy? 

It’s available on Amazon or at Hellgate Press, where it’s currently on sale!
Or, you can get personalized autographed copies at www.quinnwildlifeart.com .

Hellgate Press… is that a fire sale?

Haha, no!

Okay. Where can we find you online?Social Media Logos Cutout

My Website: https://nancy442.wixsite.com/quinn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancyquinn0/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancyQauthor

Thanks for being here with me today, Nancy.
See you soon!

Bye for now, Book Squirrel!

 

 

Author Interview: M Pepper Langlinais

Interview Lime

The Book Squirrel was excited to sit down recently and chat with multi-genre author, M Pepper Langlinais. 

M Pepper Langlinais The_Fall_and_Rise_of_Peter_Stoller

 

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?
I think my favourite is still The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller, maybe because I spent the most time on it. Almost three years from start to finish.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I’m not sure I can pick any one favourite. I can say Watership Down by Richard Adams had the greatest impact, though.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Well, we’re only to April, but I think the best thing I’ve read so far is Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I wish I could write like that.

What are you working on writing now?

A lot of things! The sequel to my YA fantasy Manifesting Destiny, another Regency romance, and a YA contemporary retelling of Hamlet.

Ooh! They both sound great! I’ll have to follow you on Amazon and Goodreads so I know when you release them. 

Great idea!

Yeah! I wish more people – and squirrels – did that!

Me too!

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

My friend Abby and I went to London, and that was a lot of fun. But that’s tied with a really great family vacation at Disneyland. I don’t think I could choose between those two.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

There are a lot of them, but Young Sherlock Holmes will always be my favourite. I can watch the Indiana Jones movies over and over, too.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually wanted to work in film or television. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, though. I just knew I wanted to be part of that industry.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I like spring. I like that it’s getting warm and the flowers are blooming but the kids aren’t out of school yet.

Mmm. Spring… yummy flowers, juicy buds, and fresh fruit! Spring makes me a happy squirrel! Oh… erm… right. 

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Well, I know I was inspired by John Le Carré when writing Peter.
I’d say I’ve been influenced by Neil Gaiman a bit, even though I don’t write the same genre. (Well, someone did call The K-Pro “Neil Gaiman for girls.”)
And I suppose Sir Arthur Conan Doyle inspired my Sherlock Holmes stories.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Losing weight and avoiding traffic.

When you find the answers to those, let me know, eh?
And speaking of finding things… where can we find your books? 

The easiest thing would be to visit either my site at http://pepperwords.com and look under the Books tab for all my books and places to purchase, or go directly to my Amazon page at https://www.amazon.com/M-Pepper-Langlinais/e/B008FBOSPE/

Where can readers follow you on social media?

Social Media Logos Cutout.png

I’m on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mpepperlanglinais
Twitter at http://twitter.com/sh8kspeare
Instagram as http://www.instagram.com/p_stoller 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/MPepperLanglinais

 

Thanks again for joining me in my tree today! It was great getting to know you!

You’re welcome! Thanks for the chat.

Nuts About Writers – Eva Pasco

Interview Orange

Welcome to the Book Squirrel’s “Nuts About Writers” series of author interviews.  

The Book Squirrel sat down recently to interview Eva Pasco, author of “An Englightening Quiche”. It was his first real interview, so he was a little nervous, but he found Eva so charming that it didn’t take him long to feel as though he’d known her for months.

What inspired you to write?

Already a proficient typist by the age of nine, courtesy of my mother, the catalyst which served as my writing inspiration occurred when I was 12 years old.  A malfunction in the electrical wiring caused our doorbell to ring automatically. This prompted me to compose, “The Mystery of the Midnight Doorbell,” a short story involving secret codes and a smuggling ring.

My overactive imagination soon spurred several mysteries and serial spy thrillers under the auspices of a fictitious organization—I.N.T.R.I.G.U.E.  Who knew I had a leg up on the popular Sixties TV series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.!

In high school, I wrote a romance novella which earned its place on a library shelf.  The book, a sheaf of orange typing paper fastened together with mod magazine cutouts on the cover, caused quite a stir until it disappeared.  The bulldoggish librarian who reluctantly allowed my Chick Lit in the library at the urging of several classmates, told me it was stolen.  Years later, when thinking back, I believe she trashed my enterprise.

The rigors of college, and the demands placed on a rewarding teaching career, shelved further creative writing ambitions until I retired from the profession. With time on my hands, midlife restlessness reactivated my dormant imagination. Thus far, as a result of that revival, I’ve written two books in the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

At this point in time, it’s my second novel, released in September, 2016—AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE. Life’s hairpin turns predisposed me to put the manuscript aside, resume where I left off in spurts, and at one point, I’d contemplated scrapping the project altogether.  Fortunately, I got perturbed with myself because I’m not a quitter and my characters deserved the life I’d planned for them. No small feat to pull off a novel resonating with small-town life and an assortment of characters, I bask in the sunshine of reader reviews, most of which highlight this aspect—“ I felt like I could walk down the streets and actually have a conversation with some of the characters.”

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

My all-time favorite book is ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë for its intense and brooding portrayal of the tragic and consuming nature of love.

 What are you working on writing now?

Not so much writing, but conceptualizing the characters and plot twists and turns as they fabricate and incubate in my mind for my third Contemporary Women’s Fiction novel with the working title, ‘Aida’s Fishing Season.’

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

My kind of vacation is day-tripping, alluded to in one of well over 100 Memoirs I’ve written, “Day Trippin’—“My fondest recollections growing up in the Sixties settle upon those day trips taken during my father’s two-week summer vacation. Thinking back, it was hardly a vacation for my parents. My mom would load the picnic cooler with utensils and food staples road-ready for my father to cook on the portable stove at a campground enroute to our destination.  Throughout most of the decade, from our Rhode Island point of origin, we traversed all over New England and beyond in our Plymouth Suburban station wagon.”

There’s nothing like a day trip by car, setting out early in the morning and stopping for breakfast before navigating oneself along the highways and byways off the beaten paths.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Without any hesitation—‘Casablanca,’ which, incidentally, plays an integral part in ‘An Enlightening Quiche.’ The characters are not cookie cut and come into their own morality over the course of the film, something I try to achieve with the main characters in my novel.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I love autumn for its spectrum of colors and crispness in the air.  Whether by coincidence or synchronicity of chance, many of my most sacred moments in life have occurred during this season.

Oh, me too! And the nuts… oh! the nuts! Erm… where was I?
Ah, yes.

Name three people you admire, and give reasons.

Straight from the Acknowledgement page of my second novel:

My mother and namesake, Eva, for her unwavering faith and pride in my literary accomplishments cultivated by reading stories to me when I was a toddler.

My late father and namesake, Pasco, for the independent streak he instilled in me.

My sister, Gina, for encouraging me to pursue my dreams along untrammeled paths.

 What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

From my perspective: Being an Indie author allows me the freedom to write about any subject matter in the manner I see fit without editorial censorship. That aspect is very liberating.  Be prepared to struggle to sell “one” book a day, week, or month at a time despite working your butt off to do so through various marketing strategies. Be prepared to spend more money than you’ll ever earn because you believe in the merit of your book and want people to read it.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

1 – Surviving on one’s own.  There’s very little wiggle room for screwing up when there’s no backup.

2- Coping with changes that may not necessarily be for the better.

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Where can we find your book?

Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01LX9UXWV

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/hm23t6w

Authors Den (Signed Copies): http://tinyurl.com/jkmqhpa


Where can readers follow you on social media?

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/EvaPasco
Thanks, Eva! You’re amazing!