Author: Zora Marie (Page 2 of 8)

Sandy Frediani author of Reclamation

A fellow author that has been banging at the stall doors, waiting for their work to hit the shelves as sitting idle does not suite. Sandy Frediani, tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.

I began writing in 1999 when access to a keyboard unlocked the imprisoned stories within the music.

How did you go about getting published?

By accident. I joined an online writer’s group in 1999 and in 2000 an epublisher who was also a member asked to publish my novella Emach’s Story, which is the original title of Reclamation. That epublisher ceased publishing in 2003 and closed his doors in 2006. I decided to change the title, add more to the story and am self-publishing.

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Mark N. Redmayne author of Hybrid: The Great Awakening

The author of Hybrid: The Great Awakening, Mark N. Redmayne, is here with us today. Before we get started, here’s the blurb for his book: 

A complex influenza virus has brought the world to its knees and the USA is under martial law. Growing up with a mix of Human and Alien DNA is not easy but it might just give Aura White the key to saving humanity from certain extinction. Will she save the worldfrom catastrophe? Only time will tell…

I must say, you’re illustrated cover is a bit refreshing compared to the covers that we are all partial to nowadays. So, tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.

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TJ Muir author of Before the Luck Runs Out

The author of Before the Luck Runs Out, TJ Muir, is here with us today. Before we get going, happen to have a cover and blurb for Before the Luck Runs Out image for us? 

Orphan. Homeless. Half-breed.

For fourteen years Jedda’s home has been in the shadows and alleys of Tatak Rhe- city of the wealthy, powerful, and corrupt. He scrounges for survival in dirty clothes that don’t keep him warm; and he relies in his nimble fingers to keep himself fed. But, buried in his blood lies the gift of magic: an invisible hand guiding his life.

Cold and hungry, he nicks the coin purse of the wrong man. Karrahk is, one of the city’s powerful rulers. The man looks into Jedda’s bright green eyes and sees the tawny-skin that betrays waif the hidden heritage. He makes a decision that will change a hungry boy’s life forever.

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J.S. Frankel author of Just Another Quiet Little City

The author of Just Another Quiet Little CityJ.S. Frankel, is here with us today. Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.

I started wrting very late–at the age of forty-eight–got published a year later, and I’m still writing. My son, who was around eleven at the time, saw a cartoon and mentioned something about talking trees, and it gave me the idea for my first novel, The Tower. That started it all off!

Awe, talking trees, oh how they’re dear friends of mine. So, how did you go about getting published?

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Author Interview with Mark R. Hunter

We have Mark R. Hunter, author of both fiction works such as Radio Red and a few non-fiction works, here with us today. Tell us, what do you do?

I’m a 911 dispatcher and volunteer firefighter. I used to be a weekly newspaper writer/humor columnist, until I got downsized to monthly.

Awe, dispatcher, not as easy of a job as many would have you believe. Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing. 

I live in small-town Indiana with my wife/editor/webmaster/cover designer Emily, our cuddly but scary looking dog Baewolf (yeah, that’s the spelling), and Lucius, a cowardly ball python.

I’m not sure I can say what inspired me to start writing: I was six when I dictated to my mother the story of my travels to the Land of Oz (my first fanfiction!) By the time I was twelve I was carving writing time out of my reading time, and by the time I was fourteen I knew I wanted to do it full time. Basically I just love to write stories–and have people read them.

Your wife sounds a bit like me, does way to many things to be considered a sane person… just kidding, kind of. Baewolf and Lucius sound fun, scary looking dogs are the best and ball pythons are pretty cool in their own right. 😉 So, how did you go about getting published?

With great difficulty. I spent many years studying the submission process and publishing industry and collecting boxes full of rejection slips. I got, and then lost, an agent. I wrote in several different genres and was a latecomer to the romance industry, after being convinced by my then-wife to try reading romantic comedies.

Eventually, during a particularly hard Memorial Day weekend in which my daughter totaled my car, I got an e-mail from Whiskey Creek Press with an acceptance of “Storm Chaser”. Being on the edge of exhaustion at the time and after decades of submissions, it was a bit anti-climactic.

Since then my published works have been divided pretty evenly between traditional and independent publishing–they both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Awe, independent publishing isn’t surprising with a wife like Emily. What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?

I *like* to write at home, on my couch. I do write anywhere: During downtime at work, at the kitchen table, in my car, on picnic tables or in shelters while my wife works her saddle barn job at a state park … sometimes even in my office. When my wife was in college I found a hundred good places to write around her campus. A working writer’s gotta write!

I hear you there! What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

In addition to my career as a 911 dispatcher, I’m a volunteer firefighter–and by the time those two and trying to write full time are done, there’s not a lot of time for anything else. Just the same, we try to carve some time out for camping trips–and reading, naturally. We hike a lot, which the dog loves because to him it’s just a longer, more scenic walk.

What’s your all time favorite animal? It can be mythical.

Dogs! I’ve been around dogs most of my life. Lately I’m spending time with horses, but only because my wife works with them. 🙂 I also like dragons, but keeping one of those as pets is murder on your home insurance.

And I thought finding insurance for flying car would be hard! A stone house would definitely be a must with a dragon. So, do you have a favorite myth?

I spent a lot of my reading time as a kid with the Oz books by L. Frank Baum, and it remains my favorite book series. Maybe, since they’re only 117 years old or so, those don’t count as a myth, so I may be mythtaken. Buy hey: They’ve got wizards, fairies, talking animals, even Gnomes … what’s not to myth?

Any advice for authors about book covers?

Marry an artist! It worked for me. Half my books were designed by the publisher’s artists, which is way easier but limits the author’s control–although I don’t have any complaints, because we’ve always worked great together. The other half were designed by my wife, who’s also a writer and has taken great pains to learn and understand the whole publishing process. If you didn’t happen to marry an artist and you’re self-publishing, then my advice is: Invest the money and hire a good artist who understands book covers. People shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but they do anyway.

That they do! As for marrying an artist, one could always just go to college for graphic design and learn to make exceptional covers there. Of course, while I’m thinking about it, let’s look at your cover for Radio Red. 

I like it, it has a nice proportional balance to it (yeah, I might be spending too much time in design classes). So, any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?

To steal a phrase, there are only three ways to market a book that work–but nobody knows what they are. I’ve spent considerable time marketing, and I don’t have a clue what’s working and what isn’t … I just throw a wide net and hope to catch fish. What works well for some and not for others, but either way you have to keep plugging away at it.

I would advise having a blog and a website. Try to gather readers early, way before your book comes out. Appeal to similar interests–for instance, if your book is about a firefighter who solves mysteries, you’ve got an way in the door with both mystery readers in general and emergency services personnel in particular.

Sound advice, yet again. Tell us about your next book project.

It’s about a firefighter who solves mysteries. Okay, I’m only kidding a little! Radio Red came out in March, and later in the year we’re planning to release another romantic comedy, Coming Attractions. I’m in the middle of writing a prequel to my Storm Chaser series, which is indeed about a volunteer firefighter who gets involved in a mystery. (All my published fiction works except Radio Red are set in the Storm Chaser universe.)

In addition I’m working on selling a YA mystery, and polishing a science fiction that might be described as a space opera story. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a new writer crossing genres before they get established, but I’m doing it anyway.

Last question and then I’ll have to run to class. What are you reading now? And toss us some of your links while you’re at it. 😉 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

My website is at

And my Amazon page is

Oh look! A book I’ve actually read (I don’t get much reading time right now). A lot of people complained about the righting style of that one. Apparently the masses don’t like screen plays, who knew? Either way, looks as though I have time for one more question, have any events coming up?

I’ll be at the Avilla Freedom Festival (which, appropriately, is in Avilla, Indiana), on June 22, 23, 24, with an author’s booth. I don’t have the exact details yet, but we’ll have a canopy to protect from the inevitable Indiana scorching sun/thunderstorm.

As a former resident of Indiana, good luck with the weather! Sorry we couldn’t talk more, but it’s time I ran off for class! 


Nita Round author of Knight’s Sacrifice

Today we have Nita Round with us, tell us a bit about Knight’s Sacrifice. 

In short: Only one woman can close the gates to hell. But at what cost? There is a much longer version on my website.

I’ve skimmed over your website a bit, not too bad. Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.

I have always written stories, but no one saw them, except when I turned them into gaming scenarios. Or I wrote technical articles for the business. I suppose I always wrote something, it just wasn’t always fiction. When I stopped working in the hotel I found I had more time available, so I turned back to fiction. Writing, to me, is like breathing, it is something I must do… Or maybe it is more like an addiction. I can’t stop.

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James T. Stewart author of King of a Thousand Suns

Jame T. Stewart here is the author of King of a Thousand Suns, why don’t you tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.

I’ve loved reading ever since I was a small child. My mother was a retired teacher and I was reading at a 3rd grade level when I began first grade. The “Wizard of Oz” was the 2nd movie I ever saw, age 4. In the second grade my class took a trip to the local library. They had ALL the Oz books. I checked out and read them ALL from September through mid December, i.e., before Christmas because my parents bought me the first 10 books for a Christmas present. I read them all many times. (I could tell those by L. Frank Baum were better than those with other authors. I decided I would like to be a writer some day.)

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Jay Shaw the author of The Hunted (Dragonus Chronicles II)

First, as someone has not yet read any of Jay Shaw’s work, let’s look at her blurb for The Hunted for a bit of insight before jumping into the interview. 

Abducted without a trace, Colonel Mark Holden remains in the clutches of Arcadia’s Grand Chancellor – a maniacal dictator who continues to enslave and experiment on X2 humans.

Meanwhile, far away on an alternate reality Earth, Julia Holden lives a life she no longer belongs to. She spends her days rescuing those who cannot save themselves, and pining for her lost love.

Can the Arcadians achieve galactic domination, or will Hayden rescue Mark before his genetic secrets are stolen?

And when Phoenix City calls, will Mark and Julia return to fight for the hunted?

Not half bad if I do say so myself. Now, on to the questions for you, dear Jay Shaw. Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.

Six years ago I’d been going through major life changes and wondering ‘where to from here?’ But it wasn’t until my uncle came to visit and asked a thought-provoking question. What I was going to do with the next phase of my life?

It was invigorating to have someone take an interest in what I felt and thought, and it opened the door for me to ask these questions of my self. I hadn’t done that in a long time.

A week after his visit, an image of a woman wandering along a deserted beach alone; enjoying how nature affected her senses and the peace it gave her, lingered in my mind. As I made lunches, waved goodbye to my children on the school bus, and hung out the washing; her thoughts about her work, her dreams, and her feelings, helped solidify the person she was and who she dreamed to be.

I carried the empty laundry basket back inside, passing by my computer, and I knew I had to write it down. How else would I clear my head for the million-and-one other things we mothers think about each and every minute of the day? So I sat and wrote what would, five years later, become the integral moment in “The Space Colonel’s Woman” and the opening up of an entire alternate reality to explore.

But it was the encouragement from a friend to join 2015 Nano which kicked my author career into top gear. I wrote “Wolfhaven” in a month and published it within three. It was safe to say I’d been bitten by the bug, and could finally answer the question of what I would be doing with this new phase of my life.

I’m glad you found your calling! Now I have to ask, how did you go about getting published?

One day I answered my door to a woman who said she lived across the road and asked if I would like to come to a New Year’s Eve party. I said yes, excited to meet more people in the semi-rural area I’d moved to. It turned out she was a published author and so were many of her friends. They are amazing women, eager to help and encourage. It is with their support and advice I’ve managed to find my way into this world. I’m still new and finding my way, but if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have made it this far.

As far as advice…trust your gut. There are incalculable options, both legit and dastardly, you’ll be spoiled for choice. So start small, establish your online presence, and write, write, write. For readers cannot buy books if they’re not written.

Sounds like you have an awesome neighbor. So, what is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?

Because I write everything by hand, I keep a stack of pads and a cup of pens by my bed and as soon as my eyes open I’m reaching for them. It’s not uncommon for me to be writing before I’ve even sat up. With this method I can average four thousand words a day, which I type up after the teens are in bed for the night and the house is quiet.

And here I thought my 3,000 was good and that’s only on a good day! Now, what do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?

Between being a mum to two teens, I love reading action/adventure, sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, m/m or m/f romances. I have a passion for photography and just purchased a Nikon DSLR which I can’t wait to get outside and use this summer. I love movies, and dancing around the lounge with the music cranked up. And when I’m not doing all of the above, I’m going for walks, and attending two writing groups, or hanging with friends and family.

Sounds like the typical mother, with an added splash of awesome author fun. 😉 What’s your all time favorite animal? It can be mythical.

Real: Snow Leopard. Mythical: Dragon

See, this is why I would have problems picking ^^^ snow leopards are awesome and so are a ton of other animals and that’s before we even look at lovely things like dragons and pheonix. Okay, enough about my slight obsession with animals, tell us about what you’re working on.

My WIP is “The Shifting Tide” – book three of the sci-fi action/adventure romance series Dragonus Chronicles. It follows on from “The Space Colonel’s Woman”, and “The Hunted”. I’m aiming for a February/March 2017 release.

Other projects:

Birthright” – Duality 2.

A sexy wolf-shifter coming-of-age/action/paranormal/romance story following Rawlin Forrester as he rejects the future his mother and uncle arranged for him. Only to discover no matter how arduous and interesting the journey, you can’t run from who you’re meant to be.

“Savage Love” – Endangered Romance series.

The first of four stand-alone contemporary romances. “Savage Love” is set in Africa in the world of rhino-poaching. Jacquelyn Savage, or Jac as she prefers to be known, is ex-Army and training the anti-poacher teams. It’s a hard, gritty, and thankless job, but she’s doing her bit to defend an innocent species from extinction. Hunter Sinclair is Special Forces, hired by the WWF to go undercover in the Asian Cartels. If he can isolate the top-tier buyers, maybe they can short circuit the rhino horn trade.

Sounds like you have a bunch of romance stuff running around. Happen to have any links to share with everyone to wrap things up?

Awesome! Thank you for coming! 🙂 

p.s. her Pinterest is pretty epic… 

Nathalie M.L. Römer author of The Wolf Riders of Keldarra series

Nathalie M.L. Römer is an author of many books, including The Wolf Riders of Keldarra series, Subject (The Utopus Series), The Mystery of Priory Mansion, The Keldarra Series (novella spin-off series based on The Wolf Riders of Keldarra) plus a lot more in progress. That’s a lot, so tell us about your main series. 

My main series is The Wolf Riders of Keldarra, and it’s fantasy set in the land Keldarra. It is the story of Marrida and Alagur, who come from different backgrounds which are at odds with one another. She is a Keeper, a part of the secretive Order of Truth; he is a Wolf Rider, who gets wounded and ends up healed by her. Their chance meeting sets in motion events foretold in a prophesy of more than three thousand years ago, which until now by most is dismissed as “myth”. They discover that the prophesy is a lot more, that there’s a plot going on to bring back the events that caused Keldarra to become enslaved by “the northern invaders”, and by the end of book two war has started in Keldarra and that complicates things even more. In book three and beyond you’ll discover who is behind all these events, and why the Order of Truth is not quite the benevolent organisation it claims to be.

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Character Interview with Ikuko Takenokawa from At Yomi’s Gate

With us today is Ikuko Takenokawa from At Yomi’s Gate. Thank you for joining us, Ikuko Takenokawa. Tell us, do you have any family? If so, what’s your family like?

My late mother and father taught me everything I know about communicating with spirits and yokai. It was a lot to take in, certainly. But they were both very patient. Well, my father was. But then, he’d been raised to be a priest. He was a quiet, peaceful man. But I could always tell there was something hiding behind that smile he put on. Something awful happened to him, but I think it made him kinder as a result, you know? More compassionate to make up for… whatever he saw.

Mother could get frustrated sometimes, but being a spirit medium was never her chosen path in life. She’d prided herself on being an expert swordswoman before the accident broke her back. But I think she learned to accept her new path in the end.

What about your siblings? Do you get along?

*chews her lip* I have several sisters… though I haven’t seen them in years. Well, I mean- I see them every time I try to channel the underworld. Can’t really even keep them away. But it’s been a while since I’ve spent much time with them. I suppose they just miss me. But it’s hard to do my job when they try to drag me into Yomi every single time we meet.

My sister Aoi isn’t so bad, though. I’ve been seeing a lot more of her lately. Maybe I’ll help her come through the portal for a visit. Especially since she’s quite fond of my friend, Fumito-san.


He tends to have that effect on women. Even yokai women.

What’s your greatest fear?

I fear the pollution of my soul. I’ve seen what spiritual pollution does.

*looks around anxiously*

Please don’t tell Takashi-san I said that. I know it hurts him to hear me say that. It’s not his fault his family is forced to work with leather and dead bodies. I don’t think he realizes how much all that death infects their souls. They’ve been so good to me and my friends, though…

What do you hate most about yourself?

*tugs a lock of hair over her eye*

I worry that I’m too naive sometimes. I try, you know? Try to be smart about the world. But I spent so much of my life at my parent’s shrine. I didn’t see the outside world until I helped Miss Sakura escape from Lord Kotoheisei.

I also hate being so tall. I’m at least two heads taller than everyone I know. I feel like a monster sometimes.

What is your greatest strength?

*puffs up a little* well, I would say it’s my ability to communicate with the dead and with yokai. People are so afraid of ghosts. But you just need to talk to them, you know? They’re usually just lost and angry. They just need help.

Yokai aren’t so bad, either. I mean, some of them can be dangerous. But if you know how to reason with them, you can usually get them to leave you alone.

Do you have a weakness?

*blushes* Miss Sakura, I suppose. She takes some getting used to, but she’s got a good heart.

Is there something from the past that haunts you, keeps you awake at night?

*looks at the ground a moment* That night when Miss Sakura burned Lord Kotoheisei’s castle. She was so angry. So full of hate and revenge. He’d done so many awful things to her…

I know she didn’t mean to hurt anyone. Besides him. But…So many people died that night.

*looks into the distance for a moment*

I’m sorry. What were we talking about?

It doesn’t matter. What’s your favorite animal and why?

Baku are a delight. They look like- I guess you call them tapir? Yes, like tapir, except they can fly and they’re covered in scales. And they eat dreams.

I also like giant salamanders. We call them Oshanshouo. I used to daydream about riding one when I was a girl.

Thank you for coming Ikuko Takenokawa, that’s all we have time for. Don’t forget to check out Ikuko Takenokawa’s author at

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