Category Archives: Author of the Week

Author of the Week: C.C.Cole, Gastar Series

This week author of the week is C.C.Cole author of The Gastar Series.

C.C.Cole is an independent writer and these are self-published novellas.  She’s also a book reviewer. Check out her blog at: http://www.shevata-cccole.blogspot.com

Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet – https://joeyavniel.wordpress.com/category/author-of-the-week/ , and visit my new post about my coming book: Drama with Mama.

A review from Amazon: Act of Redemption – While reading this book, I found myself transported to the fantasy land of Gastar, with all its many exciting and mystical characters. The book has a Conan the Barbarian meets King Arthur vibe, with an old school, Saturday morning TV show type flavor; that I enjoyed so much as a child. The characters were totally engaging and lifelike. This is a must read for all my fellow Dungeon and Dragon fans, but be warned, once you start reading the book, you will not be able to put it down. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

About the series: Gastar Series is a series of four novellas when completed. The first, First Book of the Gastar Series was published in 2009, and the second Children of Discord was published in 2011. The third, “Point of Return” should be out by fall 2012. The novellas are medieval dark fantasy/action/adventure that follow teen assassin Shevata as she travels through the history of the city of Gastar to seek redemption for her past actions and to re-gain her soul.

I asked C.C.Cole (pen name) a few questions:

How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
I usually mention a strong female lead character in a dialogue-driven, action novella.

Is there anything you can tell me about your book that no one knows?
Some may know this, but the first edits of “Act of Redemption” had Shevata a much darker character than she is now.  That’s a statement to those who’ve read it.

What life experiences made you write your book?
I began writing fiction as a creative outlet following the death of my sister following a domestic violence incident.  None of the characters represent her or the situation.  I’ve done several blog and radio interviews about domestic violence, but I keep the details of her death private. I’ve written an article about it in my blog, “The Tragedy Behind the Gastar Series.”

How close are the events and characters in your story to real events and characters?
Shevata is a former child of war, so her creation is loosely based upon the many societies that use children for soldiers, as in WWII or the Khmer Rouge, just naming a couple of examples.  The antagonist charcter Zermon in “Act of Redemption” is based on my older brother’s personality, but not the evil part.  It’s now a family joke, when he gets obnoxious, we call him “Zermon.”

What was your happiest moment as an author?
When I got my first positive input from readers, through conversation and reviews.

What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
My audience is for people that like action, strong female leads, and less romance.  The novellas have numerous non-human characters, such as dragons, demons, and vampires, with a medieval backdrop (swords, daggers, castles, etc), so audiences with that preference tend to like the books.

When did you know you were going to be an author?
I thought I would become a writer someday when I was around 10 years old, decades ago.

If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
I’d tell them that I hope they like a fast-paced action story, because that’s what the novellas are.  These are not epics; the center of the story is the lead character.  I ask them to tell me if Shevata isn’t “bad” enough, but nobody’s said that yet.

Which author influenced you the most?
Michael Chrichton, with his style in “Timeline.”  The book is much better than the film.  He tended to break situations inside chapters, and as the chapters change, may/may not stay with the same group, thus creating a thrilling page-turning ride.

Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
I’m not sure what that would be, but I will say I write without expectation.  While I like success as much as any other author, I prefer to enjoy the journey and not use my energy to count how much money I make or make dreams of “Harry Potter-level” success.

What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
Shevata referred to blood-drinkers (vampires) as stupid.  Simon, the vampire, says, “We’re not stupid.”  She said, “Yes, you are.”  They may not seem funny written that way, but editors and readers mention that line often to me from “Children of Discord.”

If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?
I’d follow the example set by King Solomon and choose “Wisdom.”  Whether one is religious or not, wisdom gives the better chances of a favorable outcome regardless of the situation.  Shevata’s “super power” is telekinesis, so she can enhance weaponry with her mind, making her a nasty adversary.  Wisdom she definitely could use.

What’s next?
After the final two Gastar novellas are finished, I’m considering a medical thriller, which is more mainstream.   I hope I’ve developed enough maturity as an author to accomplish it.

Author of the Week: Tammie Clarke Gibbs, The Counterfeit

This week author of the week is Tammie Clarke Gibbs author of The Counterfeit.

Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.

Review from Amazon: Great read! The Counterfeit was filled with twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed every minute of it! I hope a sequel is in the works.

About the book: Historical Romantic Suspense from the author of the Kindle Bestselling Gothic and Time Travel Romance, ISLAND OF SECRETS
Sometimes the Road to Justice is filled with Compromise…
Jeremy Loud is good at what he does.
As a Secret Service Operative he’s quick on his feet and a master of his emotions.
Then, he wakes up naked, disoriented and in physical pain to find a mysterious woman busy at his stove. His first mistake is assuming she’s a barmaid. His biggest mistake is underestimating her ability to get into trouble. Soon he realizes his assignment to infiltrate and bring to justice the infamous Quincy Davenport and his band of counterfeiters might be easier than keeping one strong-willed and beautiful redhead out of trouble.
Magen MacGuire is determined to find the man responsible for her father’s death and make him pay.
Then, her plans go awry and a case of mistaken identity leads her to the last thing she expects; a mysterious stranger she could easily fall in love with. She makes a choice to right a wrong, but in her case doing the right thing isn’t viewed as proper and gets them both into even more trouble.
The odds are against them, but can they find the love of a lifetime before their secrets are exposed and if they do can they overcome the lies?
Check The Counterfeit on Amazon

Tammie Clarke Gibbs

Tammie Clarke Gibbs

I asked Tammie a few questions:
Q: What inspires you?
A:
Real Love. Whether it be romantic love or the type of love really close families know intimately, love is a motivator and thus inspirational and dangerous all at the same time. Writing about the deep bonds created by love is something I can be passionate about.

Q: What was your happiest moment as an author?
A:
So far there have been two really special moments. The first was when a very prominent former book publisher for one of the big six, one with over 30 years experience in the publishing industry, read my novel and said she “looked forward to seeing me on bookstore shelves soon”. The second really special moment so far was on the 14th of Sept. when my debut novel, ISLAND OF SECRETS was the #1 Bestselling Gothic Romance on Amazon.com.

Q: What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
A:
All readers are ideal, but I realize that all readers aren’t going to like my books. Much in the same way that we don’t get along with everyone we meet, our books not speak to everyone. I have lots of folks who love my books, others who don’t like them at all. I’m no different, when I read I respond to certain authors and not to others. So, my idea reader will be one that my books speak to.

Q: What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
A: One of the funniest is out of THE COUNTERFEIT… “I was NOT cooking your coat!”

About the author: Tammie Clarke Gibbs lives in a small South Georgia town where you can still see the occassional tractor on the road and pigs and cows occassionally break loose and run alongside the road. Tammie is married and has one son and a pampered puppy who doesn’t realize she’s a dog and tries to walk upright like the rest of her family. In Tammie’s home even the family pet has her own column in a regional magazine. Tammie’s debut novel, ISLAND OF SECRETS was the #1 Bestselling Gothic Romance on Sept. 14, 2011. THE COUNTERFEIT is her second published work of fiction.

Follow Tammie at:
http://www.tammieclarkegibbs.com
http://twitter.com/tammiegibbs
http://authortammieclarkegibbs.blogspot.com/

Author of the Week: Georgia Saunders, Home Street Home – The Virginia Beach Chronicles

This week author of the week is Georgia Saunders author of Home Street Home – The Virginia Beach Chronicles
Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.
Living in NY I see many homeless people in the streets. Sometimes I stop for a second to give them some change. Sometimes I feel sorry for them, especially when the weather is really bad. But until recently I didn’t know their story; until I read Home Street Home – The Virginia Beach Chronicles. In rich language, Saunders gives us the story of different people, that many times had normal lives, until unfortunate circumstances took them to live in the street.
One of my favorite things in the book was seeing reality from different point of views, while learning the sad history of each one of the many characters.
Another thing, was the writing. For example: “The rain music changed pitch, going an octave higher as water beat the window with
new intensity.”
Or this paragraph:”There was nothing Ella liked better than to start the day quietly with coffee and a good book. She reached over for the tome. A spider ran out from under it and scurried down the side of the mildewed basket. Ella stooped to have a closer look. It was about half an inch long with long legs and had a distinctive violin shaped marking on its cephalothoraxes. Was this the spider that Olivia had told her about? – the one whose bite was supposedly so dangerous?”
Once you read this story, you’ll never look at homeless the same way. I highly recommend it!

I asked Georgia a few questions:

Georgia Saunders How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
How would you fare if you suddenly became homeless?  Take a virtual journey into the parallel universe of life in the vicious streets and find out.

What life experiences made you write your book?
During my own three years of homelessness, I often despaired of finding a means of income that would allow me to become housed.  That’s when I thought of writing about homelessness.  I also found writing a way of blocking out much of the extreme unpleasantness of being cooped up with too many people in too small a space, like a commercial chicken in a wire cage full of birds. People tend to start pecking at each other when their personal space is too small – just like the poultry does.

How close are the events and characters in your story to real events and characters?
The characters in my book are fictional representations of the types of people I found in the homeless community.  Often I took the personality of one type and put it into the body of another – keeping all of the characters from being based on any real individual, and at the same time, reminding readers familiar with the community, of several different people my character represents.  I used the same technique with events.  A good example is the beating in the woods that opens the novel.  While similar beatings are a regular occurrence in the community, you would not find that particular beating on the police roster for that date.  However, my fictional beating scene was real enough for a homeless man with a web of scars across his face to tell me with emotion in his voice, that I was telling “his” story.  I felt really fulfilled as a writer when I heard that.

What was your happiest moment as an author?
Not one, but many instances such as the one above, where a homeless person who’d read or heard me read portions of the book thanked me for writing about the horrors they’d felt no one would ever hear or care about.  That is what makes the whole project worthwhile for me. 

What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
Really anyone who still has a heart is going to be my ideal reader.  I love when readers tell me the book has opened their eyes to what really goes on in the streets and they are energized to help end the horror of homelessness. 

When did you know you were going to be an author?
I kept telling myself that I knew I was a great author as soon as I started plans for the book.  It was part of my self-hypnosis schpiel that I modeled after books in the library by famous hypnotists.  In addition, I made a daily written conversation with my “supportive self” in my writer’s journal part of my writing routine and would continually tell myself I was a great author who insisted on the highest standards.  But I didn’t really know (“for real, for real”, as we say here in the streets) until I held that first beautiful proof in my hand. 

If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
I don’t think I would want to talk to them while they were reading.  I think my characters say it all much better than I can. 

Which author influenced you the most?
If I must choose only one, I will say Charles Dickens.  But I studied the art and technique in many famous writers’ works as I wrote.

Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
Oh Gosh, that’s a hard one.  That I went to the Oceanfront boardwalk one winter day and King Neptune noticed me and allowed the ghosts of the past to come up from his realm and tell me the history of Chesapeake Bay?  The resulting illustrated poem The Oceanfront is Mine Today is HERE: http://homestreethome.yolasite.com/the-oceanfront-was-mine-today.php
Or that I would shamelessly plug my poem about Virginia Beach during an interview with a nice gentleman?  No,…Almost any one of us will do that.  Smile.

What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
I don’t have a funniest line.  But one of my favorite passages from volume I of Home Street Home occurs when Ella, my heroine from the middle class just learning to live on the streets, goes to the shelter to take a shower.  She’s describing the people in there, and New Jersey Louie is pretty funny (dry humor).  It got a big laugh when I read it to some homeless women one night in the winter shelter.  They said it was “spot on”.

The only one who didn’t laugh at Wilson’s joke was the
hard-eyed heavy white man sitting across from him; a
former hit man of fine professional prospects gone wrong
in life due to drink. Before his fall into debasement he’d
had a promising career as a leg-breaker. His face, set on a
big mutton head, was a cross between a Bowery bum and a
Mafia soldier. It had begun to sag in every point that
should have been firm and was topped off with thick wavy
hair gone to slate gray. He was a man running off
reputation. Where he’d once been a terror to some criminal
heavy weights, he was now reduced to pulling a few
desperate folks into hustles as worn out as the heels of his
fake alligator shoes. That’s what drink does to a man. His
street name was New Jersey; some added his Christian
name to it and called him New Jersey Louie.

If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?
Well, I used to play at being Super Girl, and at that time I rescued many Barbie Dolls and small plastic green soldiers from certain death at my brother’s hand; but then, she had so many super powers.  I guess I’ll choose the flying.  That was always so much fun – to run down the long hallway with my red cape flying behind me.  LOL   Yes, I’d like to be able to fly.  Think of the gas savings – and no more tickets!

What’s next?
My next project might actually be a non-fiction – the biography of a woman on the beach who has spent many years giving out clothes and food to the poor without asking for a thing in return.  I painted a portrait of her already. I admire truly unselfish people who do things for others without going around tooting their horns about it (as so many will do). Then I have a novel set in the Black Hills stewing, but that is still under wraps.

ORANGEBERRY TOUR STOPS FOR HOME STREET HOME
Nov 12, 2011 Saturday Half of the first chapter of Home Street Home
http://nikolpurviswriter.blogspot.com/2011/11/weekend-author-spotlight-georgia.html
Nov 13, 2011 Sunday Pandora’s Reading Room
http://bookblogs.ning.com/group/pandoras-reading-room/page/orangeberry-book-tours-home-street-home
11/20/11 Sunday Review of Home Street Home and a Tell All interview
http://kptoz.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-review-home-street-home-virginia.html
http://steepedinbooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/georgia-saunders-opens-up.html
11/27/11 Sunday Review of Home Street Home and a Short Interview
CLOCKWORK Nancy Cudis’ Review of Home Street Home and Guest Post…My Secret? Talking to Myself.
http://www.nancycudis.com/2011/11/book-tour-review-guest-post-home-street.html

NOT ORANGEBERRY TOUR
Interviewed on DTTLA by James Wallace Birch. http://dttla.posterous.com/author-interview-georgia-saunders
Guest Post on SHILPA MUDRAGANTI’s Blog – Reality Can be Stranger Than Fiction http://smmirza.blogspot.com/2011/11/reality-can-be-stranger-than-fantasy.html

Follow Georgia Saunders at:
Website – http://homestreethome.yolasite.com
Facebook Fan Page – http://facebook.com/homestreethomebooks
Twitter – http://Twitter.com/HomeStreetHomeY
Blog – http://steepedinbooks.blogspot.com
Purchase Page at Amazon Subsidiary Company for Volume I – https://www.createspace.com/3595544
Purchase Page at Amazon Subsidiary Company for Volume II – https://www.createspace.com/3615068
Purchase page at Amazon Subsidiary Company for Volume III – https://www.createspace.com/3615115

Author of the Week: Shawn Lamb, THE HUGUENOT SWORD

This week author of the week is Shawn Lamb author of The Huguenot Sword.
Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.

I asked Shawn a few questions:

Q: How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
A: Think only Dumas has Musketeers? Think again for swashbuckling adventure.

Q: What was your happiest moment as an author?
A: A mother told me how her daughter waited a whole year to see if I would return to a home school convention. As soon as the daughter saw my name on the list, she circled it to be the first booth to visit and buy my other books.

Q: What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
A: I gear all my books towards those who want good, stories about memorial characters without all the sex, language and inappropriate material becoming so pervasive in books. There are more people – kids and adults – who want to read clean books than publishers are willing to acknowledge. That doesn’t mean I don’t tackle hard issues, because I do, I just don’t cross the line.

Q: When did you know you are going to be an author?
A: I’ve wanted to be an author for years. I began writing when I was a teenager. In fact, The Huguenot Sword is the first book I ever wrote when I was 16. I got my first professional break back in the 1980s when I wrote for the Filmation animated series BraveStarr. This was the same studio that produced He-Man and She-Ra. I learned a lot that translated well to my fiction writing style.

Q: If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
A: Enjoy.  Stories should be enjoyed and, if done well, leave a lasting impression.

Q: Which author influenced you the most?
A: Where The Huguenot Sword and historical fiction is concerned, Dumas, naturally, but also Taylor Caldwell, John Jakes and Mary Stewart. I love the style where the characters are so immersed and involved it is hard to tell them from the real people.

Q: Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
A: I trained for the Olympics under Ralph Faulkner, the once Hollywood fencing/fight master for such stars at Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn. I was also considered as the fencing stunt double for Bo Derek in a pirate movie, which unfortunately got cancelled.

Q: What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
A: Nigel was antsy.  It’s from the Allon series and seems to get a chuckle from those who read it.

Q: What’s next?
A: In 2012, I plan to release 2 more in the Allon YA fantasy series and another historical fiction for adults set during the English Civil War.

Thanks Shawn for your answers.
Learn more about her book here:

http://www.allonbooks.com/huguenot_sword.html

Author of the Week: John Zunski, Shangri-La Trailer Park

This week author of the week is John Zunski author of Shangri-La Trailer Park and Cemetery Street .
Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.

If an author falls in the woods, can he write a book about it?

John likes to hear comments from potential readers,  so he’s  going to give a free copy of Cemetery Street or Shangri-La Trailer Park (your choice) for anyone who leaves a comment!

Let’s check the Blurb before we get some answers from John:
If an Indian falls in the woods, can you hear him scream? Dora Shear did, and her life was about to get interesting. After Maistoinna Standing Bear tackles a tree, Dog Shear Dora – as she’s known in the trailer park – is left to pick up the pieces. Only she’s up to no good.
Uncover the secrets of a Jewish love triangle, why the IGA checkout lady trashes a car, why a trip over the coffee table is better than Novocain, and more importantly, the difference between a Canadian Passport and a Kentucky Waterfall. Hop on board with Maistoinna for a crazy forty-eight hour ride through the world’s most dysfunctional trailer park.

WARNING! Don’t read if your are: A) easily offended B) politically correct C) like everything nice or D) believe in the Easter Bunny!

And now for some answers from John:
John Zunski

Q: If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?
A: Instantaneous transformation of thought into perfect sentence structure. How cool would that be? You could think a story and it would be composed perfectly upon the page. Imagine, every thought for a story, character, being clear, concise, and aesthetically  pleasing.  Prolific doesn’t begin to describe the results or how I’d feel.

Q: What was your happiest moment as an author?
A:  Without a doubt, the moment I finished the first draft of Cemetery Street. The feeling was rapturous. At that moment I knew the story was trapped upon the page. It wasn’t going anywhere. I no longer worried about not completing the story. I even remember the date – 5/3/01 at 4:44 AM.  With each successive title the feeling is more a sense of relief.  Seeing Cemetery Street go life was up there, but not as high as getting good reviews, which, still don’t top that initial magical moment.

Q: How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
A: In my best Mobster voice: “You read-a my book or I –a  break – a your legs, capisce?
– oh wait, I can’t say that, they’ll find out I’m really in the witness protection program.    I’m only joking…  “Readers need to do the talking, otherwise I’ll sound like a used car salesman. I hope that readers connect and form relationships with my characters and their stories.”  Inside the quotes rest 137 characters.  I sweated that one out.

Q: What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
A:  Again, I’ll let the ideal reader speak for themselves.  This quote was taken from Publicbookshelf.com    “wow it’s so powerful and moving. I laughed out loud I cried silently. I prayed with james and became carefree with shannie. I saw what my life would be like in her eyes she encouraged me. I feel in love with Count and mourned his passing. I skydived with James. I felt his sorrow and rejoiced at the burning of the monument. I loved it, such a powerful touching novel. probably the best I have ever read thank you -Jennifer ” The characters and story resonated with this reader.  That’s what I wish for every time someone reads either Cemetery Street or Shangri-La Trailer Park.

Q: If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
A: Absolutely nothing. Talking would do the story a disservice. I’m already speaking to readers via the prose.

Q: Which author influenced you the most?
A: Can I copout and claim three?   1) Stephen King – because it’s about the story  2) John Irving – because I love his characterization    3) Carl Hiaasen  – because he makes the absurd seem plausible.   But, if you held my feet to the fire, I’d have to say Stephen King.

Q: Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
A: My perspective of the world – be it my occasional, rampant cynicism, my insane optimism, my experience and my ability to take a metaphorical hiccup in my life and translate it into a heart attack upon the page.  I like to think that within the confines of my stories, no one lies as well to their readers – but, I know that is a pipe dream.

Q: What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
A: That’s a pressure packed question… and it’s so flippin’ subjective.  I have many, put it depends on my mood.  Not to mention it’s a dangerous question, since I have such a cracked sense of humor.  I’ll share two and let the reader decide.
The first is from Shangri-La Trailer Park:  “Native American, Indian, it’s all the same to me,” she said.
“Indians wear turbans and ride flying carpets,” Maistoinna snapped. “Native American’s wear baseball caps and drive pick-up trucks.”
The second is from Dirty Bum for President:  (The Dirty Bum’s (Robert) running mate is Irving Richard Knightly. This is a slogan from the campaign.) “Vote for Robert and get Dick Knightly.”

Q: What’s next?
A: For someone who hasn’t read my work, I hope they find their new favorite Author. For those who’ve read Cemetery Street, I hope they read and enjoy Shangri-La Trailer Park.   For the eBook world I’ll be releasing Dirty Bum for President on July 4th 2012.  In early 2012, Cemetery Street will be released in paperback. In the realm of writing, I’m working on Cemetery Street’s sequel – Montana Rural.

Check out John’s books on Amazon:

We’ll finish this week with a Snippet:  
Eyes ablaze, a bear came at night. It lumbered into camp, earth shaking under claw. In the light of a crackling campfire its shadow flickered upon the trunks of conifers. Its breath swirled about its snout before rising into the night. Fast asleep, Maistoinna (My-stween-a) Standing Bear was oblivious of the ursine’s presence – or maybe he wasn’t. Either way, he turned his back on the bear.
Maistoinna wasn’t concerned about a bear invading his camp. He was experienced camping in bear country and took precautions. The Blackfoot Indian was fond of saying: “If a bear’s crazy enough to slash his way into my tent, I’m crazy enough to have a nasty surprise waiting for him.” This night, Maistoinna didn’t pitch a tent, choosing instead to sleep under the stars.
The cinnamon bear nosed closer, firelight betraying a deep gash upon its shoulder. Around the wound dried blood matted its fur. A normal bear might pause to paw at this rock or that, maybe uncovering a tasty treat. This bear seemed different; slowly, deliberately, he moved toward Maistoinna. Hovering over the sleeping Blackfoot, the bear paused, studying his quarry as its steamy breath belched skyward.
When Maistoinna rolled onto his back, the bear pounced. With a primordial grunt, it nudged Maistoinna with a giant paw, startling him from sleep. The echo of Maistoinna’s bellow rolled over the treetops.
The bear pinned Maistoinna and lowered its snout. “Shut up!” the bear growled, engulfing Maistoinna with putrid breath. “Sweeny, Shut up! It’s me,” the bear shook Maistoinna’s shoulders.
Terror filled Maistoinna’s eyes as he struggled to free his arms, his breath rapid and shallow under the bear’s weight.
“Calm down, calm down, it’s me.”
Maistoinna squinted, recognition settled over him.
“Sorry to scare you, cousin, but it’s the only way I can get your attention,” the bear said. “It’s happening again,” it warned. “Do something about it! This time, do something! Don’t let another eagle fall.”
Maistoinna awoke with a start, his heart pounding. Next to him, embers from the dying fire glimmered. “A dream, only a dream,” Maistoinna mumbled. Confused and weary, he sat motionless, scrutinizing the tree line. Far from his Browning, Montana, home, Maistoinna was camping along the Appalachian Trail in northeastern Pennsylvania, in the midst of a solo quest at conquering the two thousand-mile trail.
Shaken, Maistoinna snuggled into his sleeping bag. For the first time in his adult life, he didn’t feel at home in nature. He suddenly feared the dark and what lurked within; he wished to be in a motel room, in a comfortable bed under a warm blanket, watching this week’s million-dollar movie.
Somewhere in the night an owl hooted; Maistoinna jumped. He gave up his attempt at sleep and climbed out of his bag. Sitting before the campfire, he watched morning light chase darkness across the sky. His mind grappled with the bear. What was he saying? Did the eagle mean what he thought? What was with the bear’s wound?
These things once would have been intelligible to Maistoinna, but lately—ever since his nephew’s accident —many things seemed incomprehensible. Maistoinna was frustrated that he didn’t understand the bear. He related to bears better than women. He knew bears—women, well… he understood bears.
As a boy, his grandfather told him that their clan was directly descended from the great bear. Even then Maistoinna admired the bear’s arrogant swagger. “They’re always smiling,” a young Maistoinna told his grandfather. Unknown to Maistoinna, his own smile resembled that insolent smirk.
Real-life encounters with bears didn’t shake him the way this dream had— not even the time a black bear caught Maistoinna with his pants down. The sun shined brilliantly upon the jagged Mission Mountains as Maistoinna answered nature’s call. He was squatting behind a stand of brush when he heard the bear lumber nearby. It swaggered across an opening in the trees, busily foraging with its snout to the ground. Not until Maistoinna moved for his pepper spray – set upon a stump five feet away – did the bear notice him. With teeth clacking, the bear moved towards Maistoinna.
In his excitement, Maistoinna forgot to pull up his pants and fell over himself. He hit the ground with a thud—pepper spray out of reach. Snorting, the bear closed. It caught whiff of Maistoinna’s scat and lowered its snout. After a brief investigation, the bear scampered away.
Maistoinna never told a soul, he found zero humor in the story. That’s not to say that Maistoinna didn’t possess a blistering wit, he did, as long as others were the target.
As the sun rose above the Appalachian forest, Maistoinna dumped his remaining coffee on the fire and closed camp. He faced the long day ahead of him with a sigh. Hiking was an ordeal in the Mid-Atlantic summer time soup.

Margaret A. Millmore, Doppelganger Experiment

This week author of the week is Margaret A. Millmore author of Doppelganger Experiment

Doppelganger Experiment

Doppelganger Experiment

 

Doppelganger Experiment

After more than four weeks in a coma, Jane woke up to find several things wrong; she didn’t remember the last three years, she was married to a man she didn’t know, and frightening dreams were infiltrating her sleep. But were they dreams or memories? As she struggles to recapture a life she doesn’t remember she discovers clues that lead to flashes of memories and the discovery of horrific experiments that end in murder… and something worse than murder.  A psychological thriller based in San Francisco.

 

 

 

I asked Margaret a few questions:

How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less? As an avid reader of thrillers, I am always looking for a fresh new voice and story. My goal in writing Doppelganger Experiment was to present a villain that was new and unusual and to surprise the reader with the twists and turns, and of course the ending. I want to keep the reader up late at night, unable to stop turning page after page. Based on the feedback I’ve received, I think I achieved that goal.

What was your happiest moment as an author? I’d have to say having a publisher offer a contract on the book.

What can you tell me about your ideal reader? Someone who enjoys thrillers and suspense filled novels.

When did you know you are going to be an author? I don’t think I ever did, I wanted to be writer when I was quite young, but things changed, life changed and I went in a different direction. Now that I am writing and I’m published, I’m still surprised it’s happening.

If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them? I couldn’t do it, I’d give the whole story away and that would just ruin it…

Which author influenced you the most? Stephen King and Ray Bradbury were certainly the most influential writers for me. But it’s more of  what than a who, books in general influence me and because I read so much, I feel each author brings something new to my perspective.

What’s next? I have a novel that I wrote three years ago, I’d put it away for a variety of reasons, but I’m hoping to revisit it soon and possibly have it ready for publication in the next few months. I’m also working on another manuscript, but I’m afraid it’s too new to really discuss at this point.

 

Margaret A. Millmore

I was born and raised in Southern California; I moved to San Francisco in 1991 and currently reside there with my husband.  Reading is an addiction for me, and one I’ll never give up.  I’ve had an active imagination since childhood and often made up stories that I only told to myself.  After ending a successful career, I found myself with the time to pursue those stories, and the floodgates opened.  I love just about every kind of story, but especially fiction, throw in some supernatural or paranormal overtones and I’m in heaven.  I am the grandniece of Irish author Benedict Kiely and the second cousin of Irish author Sharon Owens.

www.margaretmillmore.com

http://www.margaretmillmore.com/featured_authors

http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002915649470

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/margaret-millmore/4/a6b/6a9

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/margaret-millmore?store=book&r=1

http://www.amazon.com/Doppelganger-Experiment-Margaret-Millmore/dp/1937593207/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318857839&sr=8-1#_