Author Interview: Eva Pasco

Author Interview: Book Squirrel chats with Eva Pasco, author of contemporary “lit with grit”.

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Interview Cobalt

Book Squirrel chats with Eva Pasco, author of contemporary “lit with grit”.
Welcome, Eva! Eva Pasco - author

Book Squirrel, seeing you go nuts over authors, I’m in the right place. Thank you for the warm welcome!

It’s great to have you here. What inspired you to write?

Already having typewritten a mystery and a spy series by the age of twelve, and composed a romance novella in high school, I shelved my creativity during college and throughout my teaching career in elementary education. On my last day of school, I left a handwritten farewell note to my colleagues near the sign-in area of the main office. Many of the teachers let me know how much my note moved them. At least two told me I should write a book.
Inspired, I revived my dormant imagination. In 2007, I published my first novel in the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction, based on my fragrance addiction—Underlying Notes. Several years later, in 2016, I published An Enlightening Quiche, where I incorporated aspects of my summer job at a bookbinding factory to the fictitious, impoverished mill in the story.

Wow! An author by twelve! That’s impressive!

I guess so!

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

ScreenHunter_437 Feb. 03 11.37Always enamored with my latest published work, I’d have to say my favorite at this point in time is “Mr. Wizardo”. This novella is part of the co-authored collection of reimagined fairy tales for grownups, Once Upon a Fabulous Time, in collaboration with the Indie Fabs: Aliya DalRae, R.M. Gauthier, J.B. Richards, Lyra Shanti, and Joanne Van Leerdam.

Oh, I just got my copy of that! It looks fabulous indeed!

It really is!

I can’t wait to read it. What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

Thus far, my steadfast answer is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The effects of intense suffering between two passion-driven characters with a toxic love-hate relationship who torment themselves, each other, and those around them tug at my heartstrings.

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

Although the year has just begun, I will give a shout out to my current read. I’m 79 per cent through ‘Sandhills’ by Alan Vanderoot. It is a Contemporary Coming-of-Age that nails the protagonist’s teen angst living with a verbally and physically abusive father, and the outlet he finds to come into his own.
I also want to heap praise on the latest published paranormal short in the “Fallen Cross” pack, ‘Bitter Challenge’ by Aliya DalRae.

Oh, I’ve read ‘Bitter Challenge’! That’s a really great series. 

Isn’t it, though?

What are you working on writing now?

At the onset of 2018, I began writing my next Contemporary, Aida’s Fishing Ground. I’m currently in the midst of drafting chapter 2.

Who designs your book covers?

Now that I am going full-tilt boogie as an Indie—none of this hybrid stuff for me any longer—it’s Renee Gauthier, courtesy of her enterprise, R.M. Designs. Her covers and banners are fabulous!

Forest, country, beach or city?

It always has and always will be the beach!

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

One of my pet hates is that “exploitation” for monetary gain, power, or control whether perpetrated by usury, intimidation, pretense, lying, cheating, humiliation, preying…
As of yet, I haven’t brought it to light in my writing.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

My all-time favorite movie to watch over and over is Casablanca because it reinforces that there are no painless resolutions in life. The choices we make often come at a personal sacrifice of love and happiness.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

Hard to choose, but I’ll cite this one by Khalil Gibran—“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”

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

No two Indies are the same, therefore there is no well-trodden path which leads a writer to becoming a successful author. Success is based on your own criteria and not anyone else’s.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

I wish it were easier to recover from heartbreak.
And, although, I have been blessed with good health thus far—I wish ageing were easier.

Those are sobering thoughts indeed – and you have expressed them beautifully.

Thank you. You’re a lovely squirrel.

Careful, you’ll make me blush! Tell me, Eva, where can we find your books?

They’re on Amazon and you can also get signed/personalized copies at Authors Den.

 

Where can readers follow you on social media?

I have a Facebook Page: where people are welcome to follow me, and I’m on Goodreads, too.
I also have a blog titled Eva’s Bytes – An Indie Author’s Blog on WordPress.

Thank you for being here today, Eva. 

It’s been fun! Thank you, Book Squirrel!

Book Review: ‘When Leaves Fall’ by C.A. King

A powerful and emotive short story that is well worth reading.

C.A. King When Leaves Fall
‘When Leaves Fall’ is an emotive and powerful story that will remain relevant as long as neglect and prejudice exist.

The author has cleverly crafted a story that positions the reader to empathise with Ralph and abhor the way in which he is treated long before all the facts of his situation are known.

This is a great short read that one can enjoy in less than an hour and still be left with something significant to ponder. It’s an ideal “busy person” or “busy day” read.

Acorn Award II Silver

‘When Leaves Fall’ has earned a Silver Acorn award.
Find it on Amazon.

Author Interview: Lisa Hofmann

Book Squirrel chats with Lisa Hofmann, author of fantasy and medieval dark fantasy books. 

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Lisa Hofmann Books 4

 

Book Squirrel chats with Lisa Hofmann, author of fantasy and medieval dark fantasy books. 

Hi Lisa, welcome! 

Hi, Book Squirrel! Thanks for having me here!

I love chatting with authors, so it’s great that you’ve joined me today. Tell me, Lisa, what inspired you to write?

I’ve always loved to write, but I never had the courage to really do more than outline my ideas and set them aside for “some other time” before I discovered that indie publishing isn’t so complicated that I couldn’t learn to do that. The concept of submitting my work to a big publishing house put me off the entire process for a long, long time, thinking that the odds were stacked so high against someone with no background in the industry, I truly believed it would be next to impossible to ever get a book out there via the usual channels. I’m a teacher by profession, and I worked at the local university for several years, translating non-fiction specialized books, and that made it seem so unlikely I’d even be any good at writing fiction, never mind fantasy fiction – until a friend began to encourage me, telling me that the little dabbles I was putting on a free reading site were really good, and worth working with.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

I think I always like the book I’m currently writing best, but I have to say that my favorite story as such is the one I most recently published. It’s a dark fantasy novel titled Trading Darkness, which is set during the time of the witch trials near my own home town. There are historical elements in it which really took place, and the setting is real, of course, and I really lived inside the main characters’ heads for the time I was writing this. Not only is it my most recent publication, though, but also my oldest work. I began outlining this while I was still attending university as a student majoring in (local) Women’s History. I think it took me over 20 years from the first draft to actually publish it.

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

I think I’d have to differentiate there in terms of genre. I like reading Horror, and I love anything by Stephen King. Blaze would be way up there on my list, next to Koonz’ Lightning. YA Fantasy: Reckless – The Golden Yarn by Cornelia Funke. Historical: John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

Legacy of Hunger by Christy Nichols, who is an indie author. I like reading books by fellow indie authors, and I remember this one because it was quite captivating.

What are you working on writing now?

The third book of my fantasy series. It’s a medieval fantasy fiction about a group of people who have magical talents, though nothing I’d define as sword-and-sorcery in the classical sense. It’s more about the conflict that arises in that particular society, and it’s very character-driven.

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

Definitely chocolate. And cappuccino.

Who designs your book covers?

I usually have an idea, or choose the basic raw image from a stock photo site myself, and then I look for someone who I think can work it out for me. I’ve worked with different artists over the past two years.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

Rock music, but I also like classical music, and movie scores.

Forest, country, beach or city?

Always the beach. But not the Mallorca kind. I prefer the rugged west coast of Ireland.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

Ireland, of course. I try to go there with my family every other year. It’s the quiet, the landscape, the ocean, the people. It’s just the perfect place to wind down.

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

Arrogance. I think you can find it in most of my villains.

What’s your favourite TV show?

I don’t really watch a lot of TV, but I do watch most episodes of Game of Thrones when they air here (that can take a while in Germany). I like the quality of that production – the actors are great, and the computer generated images are awesome.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Hm… National Lampoons Christmas Vacation annually. But The 13th Warrior was great, and I must have seen that about five or six times now.

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

A teacher or a pilot. I was too short to become a pilot.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

Summer. I really, really, really hate snow.

You should try hibernation! It’s great!

That’s a very good suggestion!

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Cornelia Funke for the get-up-and-go, Stephen King for the success, and any and every indie author for the guts to go and do what they do.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

“There is magic within every beginning, and it protects us and help us to live.” – Hermann Hesse.

Name three people you admire, and give reasons.

I admire so many people for various reasons, but it’s never anyone famous. It’s people I’ve met who deal with their lives in ways that I find inspiring, so I try to adopt their way of handling things for myself.

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

That it’s difficult to find the time to write while you’re working in your day job and taking care of those everyday things that arise when you have a family with children – you’re always in between things, and you have to set priorities. Very few indie writers are able to make a decent living from their books, and I’d love for both readers and writers alike need to know that someone who does this is investing a lot of “stolen” time, sweat, and money in their work. Readers seem to expect to get lots of books for free or really, really cheap nowadays, due to the huge choice of books on offer on the internet, but that is ruining the market in a big way, really, and you get what you pay for – both readers and writers do.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Just two? *giggles* No, I love my life just as it is. I wouldn’t change a thing, except for maybe that I’d love to have more time to write without developing a bad conscience for not having done this, that, or the other properly or more patiently with or for the most important people in my life: my kids.

Where can we find your books? 

My books are all on Amazon. They’re available in English and in German.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

I have a website, and I’m also on Facebook.

 

Book Review: ‘Reaper’s Folly’ by Nikki Landis

A fascinating exposition of a truly evil mind.

Nikki Landis Reapers Folly
Not since C.S. Lewis’ brilliant book ‘The Screwtape Letters’ have I read such a fascinating exploration of a truly evil, devilish mind, where even his demon followers are the victims of Darkness.

 

‘Reaper’s Folly’ delivers a powerful and emotionally charged story that brings the reader face to face with evil in its darkest forms. Landis’ writing  and story craft is magnificent, with some profound moments of macabre terror. The greatest horror, however, is the realisation that it may, in fact, be true.

 

Acorn Award I GoldenThis terrific book has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence.

 

Find it on Amazon.

Author Interview: Rebecca Lloyd

Book Squirrel chats with Rebecca Lloyd, author of dark fiction and magical realism.

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Book Squirrel chats with Rebecca Lloyd, author of dark fiction and magical realism.
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Welcome, Rebecca! It’s great to have you here.

Thank you, Book Squirrel!

I’m a big fan of the darker side of fiction. What is your favourite thing that you have written?

My novella Woolfy and Scrapo, available from The Fantasist Magazine, and it’s because, even though the characters are just a pair of gloves, their love for each other, as brothers, is very deep, slightly troubled, but happy. This book along with my novel Oothangbart is very different from my usual literary horror material because they celebrate innocence.

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

Right at this moment it would be Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam, although I could have as easily chosen something from Walter de la Mare or Kevin Barry.

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

The best book I’ve read this year is Lamb, a book which some people were very much against. What a brave writer to have written that and so beautifully.

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

Although the distribution of your books might be a whole lot less than if you were an author with one of the gigantic publishers, there can be a great deal of pleasure in writing for a quite small body of readers, and pleasure as well in having a rewarding working relationship with your publisher if it is a company that is careful and respectful of its writers. Very few writers make much money from their books anyway whoever the publisher is, and so there’s a lot to be said for being involved with decent thoughtful independent publishers and those people they employ to do the artwork and editing. A lot of people might not agree with this thought… but it could also well be a blessing not to be tangled up with literary agents, those gate-keepers of the big publishing houses.

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

A biologist, and then later on someone who studied parasites. First I became an ecologist and then a medical parasitologist which led me to Africa, which led me to writing.

What inspired you to write?

My very moving and humbling experiences of working as a medical parasitologist in a remote hospital in Tanzania. I wrote my first novel as a result of that work but I’m pretty sure no-one would want to publish it…. it being a very uncomfortable read, and equally sure that I wouldn’t want it published. But it was a great writing exercise.

What are you working on writing now?

I’m thinking about starting something new, having just finished a novel, but I haven’t settled on anything for certain yet. I wrote a horror story called What Comes? that was published in my collection Mercy and Other Stories with Tartarus Press, and I was thinking it could be expanded into a novella and that I should have a go at it. [I always get scared that if I stop writing for too long that I won’t be able to do it again.]

Who designs your book covers?

Usually my publishers have had their own book cover designers and although they will run the idea past me to make sure I like it, I haven’t had a lot of involvement with that side of things. But my novella Jack Werrett the Flood Man with Dunhams Manor Press included illustrations inside and a book cover by the artist Dave Felton, and he worked very closely with me always being careful that I liked what he was producing. Then the amazing and very crazy book cover by Steve Novak for my collection The View from Endless Street [WiDo Publishing], was stunning and I loved it immediately, and still do. Oh! And I nearly forgot that I did design the book cover for my novel Oothangbart with Pillar International Publishing in 2014 and I loved doing that.

Name three people you admire, and give reasons.

I admire the wonderful perfectly mad Irish writer, Kevin Barry for his magical and breath-taking ability with words and language. I admire that strange, highly intelligent man Doctor Samuel Johnson, [1709 -1776] for his wit and kindness to the people he knew and hung out with, not the least of which was the twisted weird guy Richard Savage, poet and liar. I admire President Obama for all he tried to do for the US, the way he attempted to civilise it, and for his elegance and sophistication in a very ugly job.

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

I don’t think I’ve got a pet hate; there are a few little behaviours that I really dislike such as when cold callers phone me and call me Mrs Lloyd as if even if you weren’t married to anyone you wouldn’t mind being called Mrs anyway, but to my way of thinking that title makes me less than I am because it implies that I belong to someone, and I resent the idea of that hugely. On that same note, I did once use an entire argument that I had with a man in my short story Fetch which is in my collection Ragman and Other Family Curses published by Egaeus Press. I can tell you that it felt so very cathartic to have created something useful out of that argument. I also modelled the main character on the man himself and since I knew him well, I had his pomposity really accurately drawn in the story. [He never read it, nor ever will].

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

I think that is yet to come, and every Christmas I go away on holiday to another country, so I’ve got plenty of chances to arrive at the best one in time. But one of the most useful was a holiday in Sicily in a little town called Cefalù which was where the terrible Aleister Crowley tried to set up a religious retreat. I was working on Seven Strange Stories, my second story collection for Tartarus Press and I was in need of one extra story to finish it. It was co-incidental that I happened to be holidaying in that town, but it occurred to me that because I had always been fascinated and horrified by Aleister Crowley, that he could be the subject for the last story. It was pretty hard to write, but very inspiring to stare down at the ruins of the ‘Abbey of Thelema’ and imagine Mr Crowley and his followers doing their thing in there. [I didn’t break into the place, not my style, and there are so many photos of it online that I didn’t feel the need to… besides I didn’t want to give myself the creeps!]

That’s fascinating and spooky at the same time!

I know!

Where can readers buy your books?

My books are all available on Amazon.

That’s great! Everyone knows how to find the ‘Zon.  Thanks for being here today, Rebecca!

Thank you, Book Squirrel. It’s been fun!

Meet a New Author: Rebecca Langham

Today, I’m talking with Rebecca Langham, whose debut sci-fi novel ‘Beneath The Surface’ launches on January 15th. 

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Today, I’m talking with Rebecca Langham, whose debut sci-fi novel ‘Beneath The Surface’ launches on January 15th. 

Hi Rebecca, it’s great to chat with you. 

Hello, Book Squirrel! Thanks for having me!

What inspired you to write?

When I was about four years old or so my mother enrolled to study at university, having always wanted to attain a degree but finding it difficult with four children. A couple of years later, she undertook an honours degree and did a lot of work to write a major research thesis. She took me with her to conduct interviews and I also sat in on a lot of her lectures when she struggled to find a babysitter. I didn’t quite understand what she was writing, but I knew that whatever it was it would be long, interesting, and fabulous. So I wanted to be a writer too, even though what my mother produced back then was the history of a major Australian corporation and nothing at all like the fiction I imagined myself writing.Rebecca Langham Beneath the Surface

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

‘Beneath the Surface’, my sci-fi novel that is being released on 15 January 2018. This is the only full-length novel I’ve completed so far and, after all that hard work and many difficult lessons learned, it’ll always have a special place in my psyche.

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

I love so many books, shows, movies and songs! It’s so hard to choose. As far as novels go, I absolutely adore Michael Cunningham’s use of language in ‘The Hours’. Fannie Flagg’s ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café’ also really stayed with me. Those are some of the most memorable and heart-wrenching characters I’ve ever seen on the page. I adore the film adaptation as well, but so many rich stories from the book were left out of the film.

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

I’m terrible at just choosing one answer for questions like this. ‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville and ‘The Surgeon of Crowthorne’ by Simon Winchester were both thought-provoking reads that I became very emotionally invested in this year.

What are you working on writing now?

I’ve just started the second book of my sci-fi duology. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the first draft, but my goal is to try and have it finished by the middle of the year so it can be published about a year after Book I.

Who designs your book covers?

Natasha Snow. She is amazing!

I’ll say! That cover is magnificent!

Thank you!

What’s your favourite TV show?

As always, I would struggle to just name one. Amongst my favourites are Battlestar Galactica, Xena: Warrior Princess, Jane the Virgin, Orphan Black, Farscape & Wynonna Earp.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

There are a few of these. The main ones I can think of are Labyrinth, Willow, and A League of Their Own.

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

A writer. It’s taken me a while but I’m finally getting there.

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Octavia Butler

Bryce Courtenay

Sarah Waters

Where can we find your book?

The best way to support me as an indie author is to go straight to the publisher – NineStar Press – where you can actually preorder the e-book and get it early!
You can also find the Kindle edition on Amazon.

You can pick up a physical copy from major retailers, including Amazon and Book Depository.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

FB – https://www.facebook.com/RLanghamAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/rlangham85

Website – www.rebeccalangham.com.au

Book Review: ‘Hope’s Well’ by India Emerald

A mysterious and interesting short story.

‘Hope’s Well’ tells the tale of Verity Buckthorne and her fascination with a mysterious well near her home.

The reader develops quite an insight into the working of Verity’s mind by reading her diary entries, which makes the story interesting on a psychological level as well as a fictional one.

The tale is crafted cleverly, with a slow build toward the climax and suggestions of other mysteries along the way. It has a lovely reminiscent sense of times gone by and old-fashioned charm, achieved by the author’s development of both characters and setting.

‘Hope’s Well’ is a short but substantial read that will please lovers of mystery and speculative fiction.

Acorn Award I GoldenBook Squirrel has awarded Hope’s Well a Golden Acorn.

Find this book on Amazon.