Friday, October 21, 2011

John Lindermuth's FALLEN FROM GRACE

John Lindermuth, author of Fallen From Grace is my guest today. Welcome, John.

JRL:  Thanks, Susan.
Tell us something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.
JRL: I’m as curious as that proverbial cat. Part of that stems from my experience as a journalist, but I think the seed was there long before. I’ve always been intrigued by the word ‘why?’

How many books have you written?
JRL: Nine published, two more under contract and probably an equal number either stuck in a drawer or discarded.
What books or authors have influenced you?
JRL: I’ve always been a voracious reader and I believe every book read influences us to some degree. I’m constantly finding new writers to admire. Perennial favorites among contemporaries would include James Lee Burke for his lyrical prose, Ruth Rendell for her psychological insights and Elmore Leonard for skill in dialogue. I’d like to think I’ve been positively influenced by some of the authors whose work I admire and, yet, have developed my own unique voice.

What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
JRL: To me, the greatest reward is having a reader tell me they’ve enjoyed my books and want more. I’d probably go on writing even without the feedback, but the incentive is like the right spice in a bowl of chili.

Tell us about your latest release, Fallen From Grace, published in March by Wild Oak, a division of Oak Tree Press.
JRL: Sylvester Tilghman is sheriff of a small Pennsylvania town at the end of the 19th century. It’s a family trade. His father and grandfather have had the job before him. Arahpot is normally a quiet town and Syl’s major concerns of late have been finding a new deputy and convincing Lydia Longlow, his longtime girlfriend, to marry him. But when a stranger is fatally stabbed and another resident dies of arsenic poisoning, Tilghman finds himself in danger. And worse—Lydia is pushing her obnoxious cousin as candidate for deputy.
Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
JRL: Available in all those formats.
What are some of the problems you faced while plotting a series with ongoing characters?
JRL: Fallen was not written with the intent of launching a new series, but comment from readers/reviewers indicates an interest in having me do that. We’ll see what prompts I get from Sylvester and company.
I believe it’s as much the influence of those characters clamoring to be heard as the intent of the author which does result in series. I know that was the case with my Sticks Hetrick series (four books out, another under contract and one in progress). The biggest difficulty with a series to my mind is having the character/characters continue to grow and not become stagnant. Readers are certain to let us know if we don’t notice.
How do you develop characters?
JRL: I’m more of a pantster than an outliner. My outlines—if they can be called that—are generally so brief, just a scattering of words to serve as reminders of the direction I’m going, they’d be totally meaningless to anyone else. I usually start with a specific character in a situation and proceed from there.

How do you choose your setting?
JRL: All of my published books have taken place in settings I’m already familiar with—places I’ve lived, visited or thoroughly researched.

We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
JRL: I have a webpage and blog and I participate in all the usual social outlets—Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linked-In, etc. I’m also a member of the Posse formed by Sunny Frazier, a group of writers who keep one another apprised of blogging, learning and other opportunities. I don’t have a formal mailing list, but I do have an increasing list of people who I keep informed of what I’m doing. I also submit release to media in my area and keep in contact with area libraries. Unfortunately, there are currently no bookstores in my immediate area, so I have to rely more on personal contacts, library programs, festivals and the like.
Can you tell us about current or future projects?
JRL: Whiskey Creek Press will publish The Limping Dog, a stand-alone mystery, in March 2012 and Practice To Deceive, fifth in the Sticks Hetrick series, later in the year. I also have a story in Four Of A Kind, an anthology scheduled for release in 2012. Meanwhile, I’m working on several projects, including a sixth Hetrick mystery.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
JRL: My website:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jessica Acosta's THE FORETELLING

Jessica Acosta, author of The Foretelling: Quest of the Auras, dropped by for a visit.
Jessica, please tell us something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.
I think readers would be surprised to learn that, not only am I passionate about writing, but also science. I am currently attending college to study Anthropology, which is the study of everything human: past civilization, present urban settings, evolution, and much more. I am hoping to focus more on the Ethnographical aspect of Anthropology, which means I would study the culture of different existing civilizations, most likely small tribes. One of my greatest aspirations is to study a tribe in the Rain Forest. I am very eager to learn how they live off the land and am hoping to write a book about precisely how important our Rain Forests are, to us and to its inhabitants. Save the Rain Forest, save the world!
What books or authors have influenced you?
A few big names that stick out are the famed J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis. They both created an entirely new world that everyone fell in love with, which is greatly inspiring and is exactly what I strive to do with my own writing. I’m also not afraid to say that I am a TwiHard fan (Go Team Edward!). Stephanie Meyer is an amazing writer. But her stand-alone book, The Host, is by far my favorite from her collection; maybe one of my favorite books of all time. Even the third time reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I almost cried when I found out it is going to be made into a movie! I’m also a fan of John Connolly, Douglas Adams, and, being a lover of science, I adore Charles Darwin works.
What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
I would have to say that the most rewarding experience of writing is that feeling of control, the feeling that nothing can hold you back from the ideas floating around in your mind just waiting to be put to paper (or computer). When I write, I am oblivious to everything around me. Anything negative that I may be dealing with at a given time disappears when I’m sitting at my desk generating characters, plots, entire worlds! It’s almost like writing creates a balance to my life. I’ve spent almost my entire life writing; it’s who I am.
Tell us about your latest release, The Foretelling: Quest of the Auras.
The Foretelling is about a very introverted young woman named Jamie who, along with her brother and his best friends, starts a new life in Las Vegas, NV. On a hiking trip, Jamie and Brandon (her brother) fall into a hidden cave where they discover one of the most beautiful rocks they have ever encountered. Soon after, they are both attacked by a mysterious creature in the darkness, almost losing their lives. It isn’t until a few months later that they realize whatever it was that attacked them…changed them, and they soon discover a secret, hidden society of humans who can transform into mythical creatures. Jamie’s life is turned upside down when a prophecy is revealed to her; a prophecy, if not fulfilled, could end the human world in a bloody battle between races; a prophecy in which she is the star of; a prophecy known as The Foretelling.
Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
Yes. It is available both in print and ebook format.
It can be found in print at: CreateSpace
It is available on Smashwords in numerous formats:
Also on Amazon Kindle,
What are your protagonist’s strengths? Flaws?
Jamie has a very great weakness that she practically wears across her forehead. Self-doubt. She is also an introvert, which makes her very shy and guarded, but rivaled to her self-doubting demeanor, all of that looks like an ant compared to an elephant. She is told she is in a prophecy by many different entities: friends, strangers, Gods and Goddesses even! And, yet, she still finds room to doubt all of them. But that weakness makes for a very interesting inner battle.
I would have to say her strength is her selflessness. Even though she doubts herself, she pushes through all of it for the sake of everyone else. She isn’t a leader, but she does her best to lead nonetheless. She doesn’t believe she is the one The Foretelling spoke of, but she still tries to succeed in the mission for the safety of the entire world. That is a lot to be put on one person’s shoulders, but she deals with it. It is one of her most endearing qualities to me.
Can you tell us about current or future projects?
I am very excited to be working on the sequel to The Foretelling. I am not an outline type of writer; I tend to just write with an idea of what is going to happen and make changes as necessary, so when things sort of come together on their own, it’s such a great feeling. That’s exactly how the sequel, Yellow Horizon: War of the Auras, has been right from the beginning. It will be a joy when it is finally finished.
My project after that is going to be completely different than the Aura Series. It is going to be starring the Devil, so, naturally, it will be very dark and twisted, indeed. I cannot wait to get started on that one.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
All information about me as an author, about my books, blogs, etc., can be found at my website:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Victoria Heckman!

Victoria Heckman, author of BURN OUT, is my guest today, and it's her birthday! So we're having cake and ice cream while we talk. Welcome, Victoria, and Happy Birthday!

Thank you so much, Susan! The cake is awesome and the ice cream is homemade, isn't it?

Only the best for my guests.
Tell us something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.
My idea for the animal communicator character in BURN OUT came because I have always talked with my animals the way Elizabeth does.  And they do talk back... : )

OKAAAAY! I'm not making any comment about that since I hear voices myself (wink-wink).
How many books have you written?
3 in the K.O.’d in... Hawai’i series, 1 in the Coconut Man Ancient Hawai’i series and 1 animal communicator which WAS supposed to be a stand alone, but my fans are demanding another, so I suppose that’s my newest series!
What books or authors have influenced you?
When I was a kid, I read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and The Three Investigators, but since there wasn’t YA back then, by the time I was 12 I was reading Agatha Christie and Erle Stanley Gardiner.
What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
Selfishly, when someone I don’t know and am not related to, says they loved something I wrote!
Tell us about your latest release, BURN OUT.
Released a year ago, it’s doing well.  BURN OUT features Elizabeth Murphy and her fire fighter husband, Tig.  They live in a small (unnamed town) on the Central Coast of California.  She is an animal communicator (not pet psychic!) who carves out a small income serving local pet owners. However, when a temporary data entry position opens at the Fire Department, she accepts to earn a little extra money and be closer to her husband.  She notices a pattern in the frequency and severity of fire fighter injuries and when Tig is hurt on the job, Elizabeth intensifies her investigation.  However, her witnesses are animals and they don't have a great track record with reliable testimony on the stand.

Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats? 

Were any of your books more challenging to write than the others?
Kapu-Sacred.  The first Coconut Man Mystery of Ancient Hawai’i.  That one was calling and calling.  I did 2 years of research before I could write a word.  I still didn’t have a character, although I knew he would be male and a Hawai’ian.  (K.O. is female and caucasian.)  I met an intriguing character on a research trip to Kauai.  I thought I was researching the next K.O., but no....  So, it was at least four years before Coconut Man came into the world!
What are some of the problems you faced while plotting a series with ongoing characters, Victoria?
Keeping track of things book to book.  Yes, I have logs of character traits, but in between books, etc, I lose track of the logs... I know, I know!
How do you develop characters?
The characters come to me, much like you’d meet a new *real* person. Then as I work with them, I discover new things. 
How do you choose your setting?
There was never a question of Hawai’i being my place.  I went to college there and didn’t leave until about 15 years ago. I worked closely with the Honolulu Police Department and had a great friend who became my source.

What are your protagonist’s strengths? Flaws?
She wants to save the world.  She bites off more than she can chew, and will do anything for a friend.  Yes, those are both her strengths and weaknesses.  She is loyal to a fault and believes in the law and her role in upholding it.  An ongoing conflict is that she is white in that world, and very much an outsider however long she lives there. 

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
Of course, Hawai’i is the home of my heart and I spend time there researching and revisiting old haunts.  K.O. happens to love the restaurants and hiking spots I do, so that helps! 
We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
I attend conferences and conventions. I spend time in libraries and Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.  I teach workshops and belong to a local performing hula halau (group) and they invite me to participate in things, so I have the Aloha Spirit even far away from the Islands.
Can you tell us about current or future projects?
At the moment I am helping our Sisters in Crime Chapter-Central Coast- launch their newest anthology, “Somewhere In Crime.”  Mystery and suspense short stories of historical fiction or time travel.  I am also figuring out the newest Elizabeth Murphy (animal communicator) book.  I am a middle school teacher so during the school year, I can’t create a novel.  That will happen next summer after I lay the ground work now.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events? or friend me on Facebook!
Thanks for the interview, cake and ice cream, Susan.

It was my pleasure, Victoria.  I hope the rest of your birthday is filled with special treats.
Now when can I expect my plane ticket to Hawaii? (joking!)