Author Interview: ML Sparrow

Book Squirrel chats with ML Sparrow, author of sci-fi, fantasy and romance for both YA and adult readers.

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Book Squirrel chats with ML Sparrow, author of sci-fi, fantasy and romance for both YA and adult readers.
Hi, ML. It’s great to have you here.

Thank you for having me, Book Squirrel!

Why don’t you start by telling us what inspired you to write?

From a young age I loved writing, so I can’t actually remember what inspired me to start; I’d scribble stories about animals in notebooks and draw pictures to go with them. Thankfully, I stopped doing the pictures when I realised I’m awful at drawing! I guess I wanted to write stories like the ones I loved to read, since I’ve always been a bookworm!

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

ML Sparrow No Rest For The Wicked

That’s such a hard question! My stories are so different, not just different genres but different character types and writing styles, so it’s hard to choose a favourite because I like them all for different reasons. Sin, from Ghetto, is my favourite hero so far. Red Days and A Tangled Web are important to me because of all the things I learnt whilst researching them, since they are based on true events. However, No Rest for the Wicked holds a special place in my heart since it was the first story I ever completed, so I’ll go out on a limb and say that one is my favourite so far.

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

So basically you’re asking me what my favourite book is? I both love and hate this question, because I can never answer it but at least I get the chance to talk about books!
My favourite authors are Nalini Singh, Cherise Sinclair and Kresley Cole. I’m constantly re-reading their books and I mark upcoming releases on my calendar so that I can dive straight into it the day it comes out.
In classical circles, The Iliad is one of my favourite books, but I also like Wuthering Heights, though not for the reasons most people like it – I DO NOT think it’s a romance, I just enjoy how horrible all the characters are.

I could go on and on, but I won’t! If you want to know more about my favourite books, I talk specifically about them in my interview with Ryan Lieske.

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

Since we’re just a few months into 2018 and I’ve only read a few books so far, I’ll let you know about my favourite books of 2017 instead.
I read loads of great books in 2017, the ones that really stick out are Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole, Cress by Marissa Meyer and the Captive Prince trilogy by C.S Pacat.

For a full list of my favourite books from 2017, check out this blog post.

Hey, that’s great! I’m going to follow your blog!

Oh cool! You’ve really got it all going on, don’t you, Book Squirrel?

The most bookish – and technologically savvy – squirrel in the forest, at your service.
*takes a bow*
What are you working on writing now?

ML Sparrow PlayerI’m currently working on two things at the moment. Primarily I’m focusing on Flirt, the second book in my What Happens on Campus Series. It’s a NA contemporary romance which starts with Player and is set at a university in Texas. However, I’m also working on Raw, which is a sexual, psychological thriller.

I like how varied your books are. I’m sure you never get bored that way!

Very true.

Do you have a favourite food or drink that helps you write?

Food and drink are my nemesis whilst I’m writing! I love to snack and I’m addicted to fizzy drinks, so I’m trying to cut that out whilst I’m writing, because although I enjoy it, it’s really not very good for me!

Who designs your book covers?

I’ve worked with several cover designers for my books, but my favourites are Damonza and Deranged Doctor Designs; they create amazing covers and are really great to work with, both professional and friendly. Their prices are on the more expensive side, but it really is worth paying for a professional cover for your novel. Despite the saying, people really do judge books by the cover.

Yes, I think that’s true.
What’s your favourite kind of music?

I’m sure everyone probably says this, but I listen to all kinds of music, whether it’s classical, rock or pop. It really just depends on what mood I’m in! Currently, I’m going through a country phase so I’m listening to lots of Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood.

Forest, country, beach or city?

Although I’m living in Tokyo, I’m really more of a country girl. I love a nice, hot beach holiday, but if I have to choose somewhere to live and money was no object, I’d pick the country, near a forest for long walks with all the dogs I plan to rescue. 🙂

That’s lovely, although I hope you’ll train them not to chase squirrels.

I’ll do my best!

Much appreciated!
What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

Most people my age seem to hate going on holiday with their family, but I absolutely love it. I’ve been travelling by myself and seen some amazing places such as Japan, Mexico and Sri Lanka, but nothing beats going away with my parents and sister, whether it’s a short beach break or camping, I just enjoy being with my family. For me it’s not about the location, it’s who you’re with that make the holiday special.

What’s your favourite TV show?

Asking me what my favourite TV show is, is almost as dangerous as asking me about my favourite book! Some of my favourites are One Tree Hill, Poldark, The Vicar of Dibley, Supernatural (although I stopped watching after the 6th season, I still love the earlier ones) and The Big Bang Theory. Also, I’ve recently discovered Grey’s Anatomy and am totally hooked!

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

I’ve always wanted to be an author, except for when I was very, very young and I wanted to be a farmer. I’m beginning to think becoming a farmer may have been more lucrative than becoming an author, but I just love writing too much to stop!

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I love summer, for the simple reason that it’s hot. Having lived in England until recently, the weather is pretty unreliable and it rains even in summer, but at least there’s a chance of sunshine!

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

I have the quote ‘Decide what to be and go be it’ by the Avett Brothers tattooed on my arm. It’s one of my favourite quotes because whenever I feel like giving up, or I feel like I’m getting nowhere with my writing, I look at it and it reminds me to keep going until I get where I want to be.

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

Being an author (whether it’s Indie or otherwise) is a vocation; much like working with animals and children, authors write because they love it, not, for the most part, because they make lots of money!
Therefore, leaving a review, even if it’s as simple as ‘I really liked this book’ makes such a difference. Not only do reviews increase the chance of other people buying the book but they are also great for the author to read. Personally, I love all the reviews I get, good or bad. I know not everyone is going to like my work and if a bad review is constructive I know where I went wrong and what to improve in the future. I recently had someone comment on one of my Twitter posts that she loved the book in question (A Tangled Web) and that simple comment made my whole day!

Understandably so!
Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

  1. Getting up in the morning.
  2. Editing; although it’s necessary I really, really hate editing!

Where can we find copies of your books?

My books are all on Amazon, and there’s more information about each of them on my website.

Where can we follow you on social media?

I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Gooodreads.
I also have a great website where readers can contact me, and everyone is more than welcome to visit.

Book Review: ‘Reflections of a Scurvy Bastard’ by Joseph Ferguson

Joseph Ferguson is destined to become recognised as a master poet.

Joseph Ferguson Reflections of a Scurvy BastardThis collection of poetic vignettes and observations is absolutely brilliant.

Ferguson writes with a very strong sense of realism and a degree of world-weariness in his profound poems that work like snapshots of different events and memories. He has a gift for creating vivid images that transport the reader to another time and place, and making it seem absolutely real. More than once I found myself completely mesmerised by the incredible writing in Ferguson’s poetry.

When Joseph Ferguson’s poetry is recognised as ‘classic’ and he is regaled world-wide as a master poet, it shall come as absolutely no surprise to me.Acorn Award I Golden

‘Reflections of a Scurvy Bastard’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Author Interview: Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi

Book Squirrel chats with sci-fi author Emanuel Andrei Costuchi.

Interview Orange

Welcome, folks! Today Book Squirrel chats with Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi, a Sci-Fi writer from Romania, part of the European Union.
Hi Emanuel, welcome!

Thank you for having me, Book Squirrel!

unnamed What inspired you to write?


I became writer because I love the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?  

I was a consumer like everybody, this means I watched movies, I read books and I played computer games, but one day I decided to create my own Sci-Fi universe. So was born the space opera Starship “Apple of Discord”.

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

I love to read and I have read a lot of books, no matter of genre.
My favorite Sci-Fi book is “Roadside picnic” by Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky.
My favorite Fantasy book is the “Rune Swords” series by multiple authors like Clayton Emery, Rose Estes, Tom Wham, J.F. Rivkin.

What are you working on writing now?

I finished the first three volumes of my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord” on November 11, 2017 and now I am looking for a publishing house. Starship “Apple of Discord” is about the adventures of a man from Earth, named Adam, who will meet alien civilizations and technology.
I plan to write more volumes, because my saga isn’t finished yet, and I have other projects too. I want to write another Sci-Fi novel called The Independence, and even Fantasy books.

Who designs your book covers?

This was me. For my Sci-Fi book The Restoration, which is published on all Amazon websites, I used free images from Internet and the cover template provided by CreateSpace.
I paid an young artist from my country to draw the redhead android, which I want to use it as my cover for my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord”. His name is Cosmin Benchea.

What’s your favourite TV show?

This would be Games of Thrones, but I love Vikings and Star Trek too.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

This would be Star Wars: Rogue One. Although I love Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Vader, Obi Wan, Yoda and many other heroes, I think Jyn Erso is great too.

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

I have a nice story about this, which is posted on my Amazon Author page. My maternal gradma asked me this too, and I answered that I want to become a cowboy. My grandma mocked me and said that I want to become a cattle herder. I read comics at that time and my favorite character was a lone ranger. Still is. I said “cowboy” because I was to young to know the word EXPLORER.
I didn’t became an astronaut like Yuri Gagarin or Neil Armstrong. Or the next Jacques Cousteau, Steve Irwin, or “Bear” Grylls. I have some health issues with my heart. I was born like this, but I don’t complain about that. I take medicines daily.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

Another one is created by me:  “If you can’t provoke any emotion, there’s little point in writing.” – Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi

I like that!

Thank you!

Where can readers follow you on social media?

If readers would like to contact me, I would love to hear from them. I personally read and respond to all inquiries.
I have a website, and I am on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram. I also have another page on Facebook for my book.

Fantastic! And where can we buy your book?

It’s available at Amazon.

 

Author Interview: Richard Paolinelli

Book Squirrel chats with Richard Paolinelli

#AuthorInterview
#IndieAuthors

Interview Cobalt

Book Squirrel sat down recently  to chat with sci-fi author, Richard Paolinelli.
Welcome, Richard.

Thanks, Book Squirrel. It’s great to be here.

You’re right. It IS great to be here! 

*both laugh*

Tell me, Richard, what inspired you to write?

 Even as a kid, when we would be moving to the next stop (my Dad’s drilling business moved us all over the country), I would pass the time by writing these little stories in my portion of the back seat. I’ve always enjoyed writing about the worlds and characters I created.  

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

From The Fields

 My non-fiction sports history, From The Fields, because it not only told the story of high school football in my home town of  Turlock, California, it also shared some of the town’s history off the football field. In a way, it was the best thing I could do for my hometown. So many people have reached out to me since it was published to thank me for doing it and to share their experiences with the events in the book.

What are you working on writing now?

I am helping finish ‘Eerie’, the final book written by my friend Gibson Michaels, who passed away last year before he could finish it. It would have been his fourth book and we want to make sure his readers get to read it. I am co-writing a western novel with Jim Christina, with whom I co-host an online show about writers and the craft of writing – The Writer’s Block on LA Talk Radio. I’m editing one of the 11 books in the Planetary Anthology series (and have stories in several of the others) and I am helping start up a new organization for professional creators in science fiction and fantasy, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Creators Guild. By April I am hoping to start my next sci-fi novel, When The Gods Fell.

 Who designs your book covers?

 Aside from Escaping Infinity, which I had a great cover artist do for me, I have actually designed every cover of the books I have written on my own to this point. In the future I’ll probably still do some but try to find a cover artist for others.

Forest, country, beach or city?

A small town in the country. I’m finding that the older I’m getting the quieter and less hectic I want my surroundings to be.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

I’m going to lose my man card over this, but answer is: The Princess Bride.

I’ll lend you my squirrel card if you like. Nobody ever questions if we’ve got nuts. 

Hey, thanks!

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

 Oddly enough, what I am today, a writer. I dabbled briefly with being an astronaut but I don’t do heights so good and that is a pretty big issue for an astronaut to have. So that didn’t last too long.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

Winter, especially when it is snowing in a rural setting. There’s a clean beauty to fresh snowfall and the cold air in a clear blue sky that really appeals to me.

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

 H.G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe as early writers I read and enjoyed in my youth. Jack McDevitt is the third because after I read his novel, Time Traveller’s Never Die, I became a fan of his work. I discovered his path to becoming a novelist at a later age was similar to my career path and that inspired me to try to give fiction writing another try at the age of 46 – which was the same age he was when he started. A highlight for me was being a part of a Sherlock Holmes anthology and we have corresponded a few times since it was released. Him saying he really liked my story in that anthology was something I’ll not soon forget.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

 We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away.” – G’Kar (Babylon 5)

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

 It is not an easy path to walk by any stretch of the imagination. It is not without its pitfalls and perils. There is no guarantee of success. But the rewards, at least to me, are well worth it. No one else has any semblance of creative control over your work other than you and when success does come it will taste sweeter than the finest wine.

Where can readers find your books?

All my books are on Amazon.

And where can readers follow you on social media?

You can find me at my website, on Twitter and on Facebook

Thanks for joining us today, Richard.

Thanks for having me!