Friday, September 24, 2010

John Wills: Gripped by Fear

John began writing professionally after retiring from the FBI. He has published more than100 articles in both print media and online:

· Police & Security News
· Vegas Beat
· The Rap Sheet
· Law Enforcement Technology
· New American Truth

He is a former co-editor of "Suspense Thriller Zine," an electronic magazinededicated to the best suspense and thriller short fiction online, and is an award-winning author of several short stories.
John is presently a book reviewer for The New York Journal Of Books.
He has published a short story in Lt. Randy Sutton’s (Las Vegas Metro PD) latest book: True Blue to Protect and Serve. John is an NCAA approved speaker explaining the dangers of steroids and other dangerous drugs to student athletes. See RoidsAndJocks for more information! He is a former Chicago Police Officer, and has written two Christian-themed police dramas, both part of the Chicago Warrior Thriller Series:  Chicago Warriors Midnight Battles in the Windy City
Gripped By Fear

John offers a situational awareness class, LivSafe, which is available to schools, churches, civic organizations, and neighborhood groups. He also is available to Law Enforcement agencies to present a 90 minute presentation onOfficer Survival. John is a certified Personal Trainer

Welcome, John. Tell us a little more about yourself.

Thanks, Susan. I’ve been writing professionally since I retired from the FBI in 2004. Before joining the Bureau, I was a Chicago cop for 12 ½ years. Both careers have allowed me to enjoy a lifetime of experiences in the law enforcement world. I draw on them to write my novels.

What are your writing goals?

I like to be more than one dimensional, not just known as a novelist, but rather, as a writer. I’ve published over 100 articles about police work, online and in print. I’m also an award winning author of short stories, and I’ve tried my hand at poetry, notwithstanding the fact that I know very little about it.

What is your most rewarding experience during the writing process?

Two things: I’ve enjoyed a catharsis while writing my stories, allowing some pain to flow on to the pages rather than internalizing it. Second, the feedback from readers has been refreshing and inspiring—it makes all the time and effort involved worthwhile.

Tell us about your latest book. Is it available in print and e-book formats?

Sure. My latest book is Gripped By Fear. It is the second book in a series I created, called The Chicago Warriors. Gripped is the story of two Chicago police detectives, a male and female, who track a serial rapist throughout the city, ending with an explosive climax.

Do you think your writing has improved since your first attempt? If so, in what way?

That’s easy: Yes. I’m like many authors who feel their first novel was sub-par. I even say that to people when they ask me about my books. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good read—many people have remarked they enjoyed it immensely and want to know when the next book is coming. I know I have evolved since then. One of the big contributing factors is that I joined a critique group. Getting feedback from a dozen fellow writers is as they say, “priceless.”

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

I’m a Catholic who attended Catholic schools all the way through university. My faith plays a large role in my writing, and is on display in my books. Readers like the hope and redeeming message that can be found in my work, even though I write about the most evil people in society.

Where do you write? When? What do you have around you?

I write wherever I am at. Since I spend a lot of time on the road, I will write at airports, on planes, in hotels . . . but if I’m at home, my optimum writing takes place early morning in the spare bedroom, on the second floor, looking out through a double window.

After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?

That’s an easy one—play with the grandkids.

Any current projects?

I’m finishing up my third novel in the series, tentatively titled: Targeted. I also write book reviews for the New York Journal of Books.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

My website:

John, it has been a pleasure. Continued success!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Dead Practices by Shells Walter

print ebook, kindle eds

$1.00 off of every print edition goes to support Sea Shepard Conservation Society

Shells Walter started writing when she was about 11-years-old. First came poetry. As a person at one time who was shy and had trouble communicating with others, Shells put her poetry into a diary--mostly dark poetry at first that even scared the school she was attending into thinking she might do something awful.

As it turns out, Shells continued with her writing since she picked up her first story by Edgar Allen Poe at the same age. She became enthralled with Horror writing and soon developed a much needed taste for it. Later on Science Fiction followed, along with other genres. Today she still writes stories, flashes, micros, screenplays, plays, novels and novellas. She also freelance writes for a living.

Her interests include learning more about Jack the Ripper. Shells has a few novellas coming soon. And she doesn't plan on slowing down anytime in the future.

Shells, welcome to the blog.

What is your most rewarding experience during the writing process?

I believe it is when I fall in love with my characters. If you don't love your characters, how can you finish the rest of your story?

Tell us about Dead Practices, your latest book. Is it available in print and e-book formats?

Dead Practices is about a lawyer, but not just any lawyer but a zombie lawyer or what is considered a 'Zombie Citizen'.
Zombies have been converted into Zombie Citizens so that they can live with regular people, IE humans. But someone wants to change the zombies back to the way they were, and possibly take over anything they can. The hitch- it is a client of Jerrod's.

Jerrod and his friend, a police officer named Rusty who is also a Zombie Citizen, try and stop this craziness from happening through a wild adventure that also includes a lot of super-glue.

It is for sale as print on, soon to be on other online retail stores such as Barnes and Nobles, Amazon and others. EBook on Sonar4 and also on sale at the Kindle Store for Amazon.

How did Dead Practices compare to writing Bite This or Justice Served. Was it more challenging to write than the others? If so, why?

Dead Practices was a fun journey into the world of zombies with a twist, actually making them do what humans do and have human jobs. Justice Served was more of a chase after someone who was killing with a religious twist, Bite This was with vampires and a priest, with a twist on vampires and religion. I don't think Dead Practices was as challenging because there was less research for this one compared to the others.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

I was shy as a kid based on events that occurred around me. As time went on there were situations or other things that influenced me. All that goes into my writing as a release and it's amazing on what kind of stories one can create. I think a lot of writers do this. For me it becomes almost a diary format.

After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?

I watch movies, read, spend time with my family, and work on volunteer things, read comics. But I don't always find writing intense, since most of the time it is such a joy to be able to do it.

Any current projects?

Currently working on a project with Jessica Weiss and Matt Nord based on a short story of mine. It will be a 3 part novella project where each of us do one novella , putting them all together to form three separate novellas but all coming together for the same theme.

Also, at the time this interview comes out, the sale will be already started, but I'm an onshore volunteer for Sea Shepard Conservation Society and am currently working on a fundraiser to support them via having people donate things such as services or products.

The Sea Shepard Conservation Society helps marine animals and the oceans. They give a voice to the animals who can't speak for themselves and they protect the laws that are there to help the animals and the oceans and non-violently protest those that break the laws. They are located here .

The timing couldn't be better with the diaster in the Gulf.Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

People can go to my website at I'm also on facebook where a lot of information is posted as well.

Shells, thanks for dropping by and we wish you the best of sales with your zombies.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cassandra Jade and Death's Daughter

Cassandra, thanks for stopping by.
Hi Susan, thanks for the opportunity to visit your blog on my tour.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an Australian, more importantly a Queenslander. I love the sun and warm weather and until recently I lived near the coast. Now I have the beautiful red desert surrounding me. My obsession is teaching and writing gives me a much needed break.

What are your writing goals?
My original writing goal was to just finish a manuscript. The idea of being published was just something I joked about but never really planned to pursue. However, once I finished Death’s Daughter, I realized I really did want to have it out in the world and I guess now it is a challenge to myself to see if I can do it again. I love writing and I loved the whole process of seeing something that I began with a few scribbled notes become complete.

Tell us about your latest book. Is it available in print and e-book formats?

Death’s Daughter is available in e-book only. I’d love to see it in print one day but I think in many ways e-book is better for me because it means that anyone can access it.

Do you think your writing has improved since your first attempt? If so, in what way?

My writing has definitely improved. Working with my editor through the rewrites on Death’s Daughter I loved the opportunity to get real and critical feedback on my writing and with every mistake pointed out and every suggestion, I learned so much about writing. I think I’m more critical of my own writing now and I hope I keep learning about writing and improving.

How do you develop characters? Setting?

I always start with the main character and build the world to suit their needs. They need a problem to face and challenges between standing between them and their goals and the setting needs to accommodate that. As far as developing characters, I like to talk to them in my mind and slowly flesh them out as I get to know them before I begin actually taking any notes on them.

Where do you write? When? What do you have around you?

I write at my computer desk in a shared study. My area is about two metres by two metres and includes the computer desk – covered in print outs, note books, to-be-read paperbacks and various pictures, necklaces and other paraphernalia I’ve dumped there for ‘inspiration’ at one time or another. I like to consider it my creatively messy corner. However, my dictionary and thesaurus sit directly beside the computer tower for easy access at any moment.

After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?

Writing is my unwinding time. I work for hours at planning lessons, marking papers, writing unit plans, reviewing educational theory and when I am done for the day I need something to help my mind let it all go. Planning and thinking about whatever fantasy land I’m currently creating is the perfect diversion.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

People are welcome to visit my blog,, follow me on twitter, or they can check out my book, Death’s Daughter: