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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Interview Purple

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: ‘Hades’ Gate’ by D.J. Doyle

I thoroughly enjoyed this grim little horror short.

DJ Doyle Hades Gate

This is an excellent short story. Doyle has done an excellent job of building the suspense and the reader’s awareness of the sinister before making them gasp and recoil as the action heats up.

The characters are all very believable, and will remind the reader of people – or, at least, types of people – they know. Their banter and conversations draw the reader in, building familiarity with the characters so that by the time the story really gets going, the reader has an emotional investment in their wellbeing and fate. This heightens the tension as the story develops, and increases the impact of the climax of the story.
Acorn Award I Golden

I thoroughly enjoyed this grim little horror short, and have awarded it a Gold Acorn.

Get your copy here.

 

Book Review: ‘The Blue Serpent’ by Claire Buss

This is a little gem of a book that is well worth reading.

Claire Buss The Blue SerpentHaving recently read and loved ‘The Book Thief’, I was keen to read this brand new collection of flash stories by Claire Buss. They are very different than her excellent novel, but they are great stories nonetheless.

Each story is a brief vignette of a life, a mind, a heart, a soul. Some of them are lighthearted and entertaining, others are much more sobering. I found ‘Possibility’ to be very poignant, while ‘Once Upon a Time’ turned out to be a very powerful commentary on our society that was further developed in ‘Data Stream’.

I appreciated each of these stories for its own qualities, and for the way it made me think about things other than the demands and worries of a busy day. I enjoy reading short stories when life is hectic, and this book has filled bill perfectly.  Acorn Award II Silver

This is a little gem of a book that is well worth reading, and as such, it has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Author Interview: C.H. Clepitt

Book Squirrel chats with author C.H. Clepitt about books, writing, and life as an Indie Author. 

 

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Book Squirrel chats with author C.H. Clepitt about books, writing, and life as an Indie Author. 

Welcome! It’s great to have you here!

Thank you!

What inspired you to write?CH Clepitt Patience Is A Virtue

I am inspired to write because I have something to say.  You can make some serious points through fiction without seeming preachy, as long as you do it right!  There are usually some very serious topics underlining my humour.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

That’s tough because I’m a fickle beast! Usually the most recent thing I’ve written is my favourite, because it’s buzzing around my brain.  The most recent thing I have written is a submission for an anthology, and it’s very different from what I usually write, but it went down well with my beta readers, so fingers crossed it gets accepted.

CH Clepitt The Book of Abisan

What are you working on writing now?

I have several projects on the go right now. I am working on my sequel to The Book of Abisan, which has a working title of The Smuggler’s Daughter, a sci fi thing that has the working title Crazy dreams, and the third in my Lineage series, which is being released on Kindle and Audible.

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

I don’t like to eat when I write, having to eat is annoying when you’re in the middle of creating, so whatever’s quick.

CH Clepitt Lineage Of Blood

Who designs your book covers?

I do my own book covers. They are a part of my brand. You can recognise a C H Clepitt cover a mile off. When I have enough I want to make a meme, because it’s what all the cool kids are doing.

What’s your favourite kind of music?

I like most music as long as it doesn’t disturb my zen. I spent some time writing for an online music magazine call Rockonnection where I would interview and review themed metal bands, so my tastes have become pretty eclectic!

Forest, country, beach or city?

I’d like the country, if it weren’t for the people! Anywhere quiet is good for me.

Maybe you should consider a treehouse! It works for me!CH Clepitt Everything Is Better With A Cape

Great idea!

What’s your favourite TV show?

I am a bit of a binge watcher, and enjoy anything with a good story, but all time favourite show? Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nuff said.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Sister Act.

CH Clepitt Lineage

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

A vet. Doesn’t everyone?!

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Talking to people and marketing!

Before you go, where can we get copies of your books?

All my books are available on Amazon.

And did I hear right that you’re giving a book away over Easter ?CH Clepitt I Wore Heels To The Apocalypse

Yes! I’m giving ‘I Wore Heels To The Apocalypse’ away that weekend.

That’s better than a chocolate egg!

Really?

Sure. Chocolate is not good for squirrels. I’ll be sure to grab a copy.

Thank you! I hope you enjoy it.

I’m sure I will. And where can readers find you on social media?

I’m on Twitter  and Facebook .
Great! Thanks for being here with us today.
Thanks for having me!

Author Interview: Chloe S Flanagan

Welcome to Book Squirrel’s interview with romance novelist Chloe Flanagan.

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Welcome, everyone! Today I’m chatting with romance novelist Chloe Flanagan. Welcome, Chloe. 

 

Thank you for welcoming me, Book Squirrel.

 

What inspired you to write?

 

I think I’ve always felt called to write, but didn’t really start doing it seriously until the last couple of years. I was blessed to get work that involved writing and have also formed some friendships with very creative people. They’ve helped give me the encouragement I needed to pursue my goals.

 

What are you working on writing now?

 

I’m working on a sequel to my first novel. The working title is A Time for Every Matter. I’m super excited about it because it will feature the major characters from the last book and develop some of the characters that were only minor at that point. It will be released in the spring.

 

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

 

M&Ms. There’s nothing like a multicolored sugar buzz.

 

Oh, I like the peanut ones! 

 

No surprises there! You’re a squirrel, after all.

 

You’re very observant. 

 

Thank you!

 

Who designs your book covers?

Forward to What Lies Ahead 7 final flattened.jpg

The whole team was extremely helpful and generally awesome.

It’s a great thing when you find someone who is great to work with.

 

It really is!

 

What’s your favourite kind of music?

 

Vintage Jazz! Ella Fitzgerald is my favorite singer. If I ever get a time machine, I’m heading back to one of her concerts.

 

Forest, country, beach or city?

 

City. I love activity, people watching, and diverse take-out options. I went to college in New York City and I always felt like the whole city was part of the campus.

 

What’s your favourite TV show?

 

I Love Lucy. Don’t think I need to ‘splain that one.

 

What movie can you watch over and over again?

 

“What’s Up Doc?” starring Barbara Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. It’s the last great screwball comedy. So hilarious!

 

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

 

For literature in general, I love Jane Austen. I’ve read all the novels, but my favorite is Emma. I read it once a year.
For Christian Fiction, my favorite author is Sarah Sundin. Her World War II novels are inspiring and entertaining.
For Indie Fiction, I really like Staci Stallings. It amazes me how prolific she is.

 

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

 

Writing is a solitary activity, so you’d think being an Indie author would be like loneliness squared, but that’s not true. If you do some searching, you can find an amazing community of supportive and creative people. Case in point: the Book Squirrel.

 

Aw, shucks! *blushes* 

 

I’ve never seen a squirrel blush before.

 

That’s true of most people, I suspect.

 

Tell me, Chloe, where can we find your book?

 

It’s available on my Amazon page.
And where can readers follow you on social media?

 

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

 

Thanks, Chloe! It’s been great chatting with you!
Thank you, Book Squirrel!

 

Author Interview: Eva Pasco

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

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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.