Author Interview: David Estes

Thank you David for granting me this amazing interview. Yes, I am patting myself on the back here. 😉 I really think we have done a great job collaborating to make this possible and I hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I did.

Q: How did your love of literature come about?
A: First off, thanks for having me come on your blog to answer some questions. Great first question! I fell in love with books at a really young age. I really have to credit my mom, because she started reading to me when I was too little to read on my own. She was a great storyteller and sometimes made up her own stories, many of which could have been made into books!

As soon as I learned to read, I grabbed every book in sight, devouring them like cupcakes! I even won a contest in second grade by reading the most books! By age eight I’d read The Lord of the Rings half a dozen times, and by twelve I’d read every Agatha Christie book my dad had.

I never looked back and as I grew up and went out on my own, my favorite place to go was the library. I’m a book-addicted nerd through and through!

Q: What inspires you most to write?
A: I love storytelling and bringing out emotions in people. There’s a certain thrill to having a story to tell and then telling it to the best of your ability. Shaping character’s lives, putting roadblocks in their way and then letting them tear them down is so fulfilling. And I love that feeling at the end of a long writing session when I know I’ve written the scene the way I wanted them to be. Of course, when my readers finish one of my books and tell me they cried or laughed or were on the edge of their seats, well, that makes all the long hours and stress more than worth it!

David EstesQ: As you are now a full time writer, what would you say is the best part of living your dream?
A: Wow, tough question, because there are so many awesome things about it! I like the way you said it—“living your dream”—because that’s really what it is for me. The best part is waking up and knowing I have readers who actually care about what I’m about to create. When I open my laptop, a cup of coffee beside me, pondering worlds beyond our own, worlds that are only in my head, I know that I’m doing it for my readers, many of whom are friends.

Q: You have written both children’s and YA novels. Was aspect of the transition of writing in these two categories was the most difficult to overcome?
A: The characters’ voices. While writing you always have to be mindful of whom your audience is. Ensuring that your younger characters actually sound their age is crucial and can be extremely challenging if you’re switching between young adult and children’s on a regular basis. But that’s all part of the fun of it!

Q: Congratulations on having reached and surpassed your one million word count. Now that you have overcome that right of passage as a published author, what hurdle are you planning to overcome next?
A: Wow, thank you very very much! It was a huge milestone for me, not only because of the experience I gained along the way, but also because it increased the size of my backlist to 8 YA books and 4 children’s. Having such a variety of books under my name really helps to increase my readership. My next hurdle is finding a publisher. Although I love many many aspects of being an Indie author and am so excited I’m able to do it fulltime, I would love to partner with a publisher that shares my vision to get my books out to an even broader audience.

Q: What can we expect to see from you in the future?
A: If there’s one thing that’s certain for me, it’s that I’m always in the middle of a new project while trying to publish my old projects. Well, given I’ve just published the sequel to Fire Country, I’m working on the third book in the series, Water & Storm Country. The first draft is complete and with my beta readers, so I’m just waiting in anticipation for their feedback. To keep me occupied while I wait, I’ve begun work on the 4th book in the Dwellers Saga, which will consequently double as the 4th book in The Country Saga. Because the two sagas are sister series, they’ll come crashing together in the 7th and final book in the combined series, titled The Earth Dwellers.

After that, I’ve got plenty of ideas for my next series, but one in particular stands out; however, I can’t be too forthcoming with information at this time. Just know it has an awesome title and will combine more than one genre within YA! I’m more excited about my new series than anything else I’ve written so far!

Q: If you can have one lasting impression on your readers what would you want it to be?
A: That I’m just like them! My Goodreads fan group, which has grown to over 1,200 members, doubles as a YA Book Lovers Group, because first and foremost I’m a lover of books. Just because I write books doesn’t mean I’m any different from my readers. I get excited about new book releases, cry at the sad parts, and laugh at funny lines. That’s why I’m so interactive with my readers, chatting with them every day. I feel like I get way more out of the relationships than they ever could from me writing a few books for them.

Q: Being that you are now in the Spotlight, are there any parting thoughts you would like to share?
A: Just that I feel privileged to have met so many awesome people, like you, from my journey to become a fulltime Indie author. No, more than privileged—blessed. The people I’ve met along the way have proven in a million ways that there are good people in this world who are selfless, kind, funny, and down to earth. I love all of you!

Q: Where can your readers follow you?
A: Thank you so much for having me on your awesome blog!! I pledged when I started writing to always respond to readers, and love getting comments and questions, so please contact me using one of my favorite social networking sites below. As always, happy reading!!

Where you can find David Estes hanging out:
Goodreads Fan Group:
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:

Other YA Books by David Estes!
The Dwellers Saga:
Book One—The Moon Dwellers
Book Two—The Star Dwellers
Book Three—The Sun Dwellers
Book Four—The Earth Dwellers (coming September 2013!)

The Country Saga:
Book One—Fire Country
Book Two—Ice Country
Book Three—Water and Storm Country (coming June 6 2013!)

The Evolution Trilogy
Book One- Angel Evolution
Book Two- Demon Evolution
Book Three- Archangel Evolution

Children’s Books by David Estes
The Nikki Powergloves Adventures:
Nikki Powergloves- A Hero is Born
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Council
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Trappers
Nikki Powergloves and the Great Adventure
Nikki Powergloves vs. the Power Outlaws (Coming in 2013!)


Author Interview: Cindy C. Bennett

As many of you know, Bennett is an amazing author whose work I have been devouring this Spotlight. She seems to always manage to write novels that are captivating, relatable, romantic and all out amazing. Cindy has provided me this wonderful interview which I hope you all enjoy! Also don’t forget that the giveaways for Immortal Mine and Geek Girl are open until the end of the month. Enjoy!

Q: What was the first story you wrote that gave you the maybe I can do this for a living’ feeling?
A: I’d have to say Geek Girl, which was actually the second book I wrote (following Heart on a Chain). I’d really written both of them for my daughters, but after I finished Geek Girl, my daughters asked why I didn’t have them published, and it occurred to me that I should.

Q: Name one random thing about you your fans are not likely to know.
A: I have an irrational, deeply disturbing fear of spiders (and most creepy-crawly things, really). Not just an “eww, there’s a spider” kind of fear, but the kind of terror so deep that I can’t even pick a dead one up to flush it. If I see one, I spend the rest of the day thinking that they’re crawling all over me. It’s crazy, I know. I know I’m bigger than a spider and that, with the exception of the poisonous ones, they can’t hurt me. Doesn’t matter. Just speaking of it now makes me shiver.

Cindy Bennett

Fav Five

1. What is your favorite pastime? Hanging with my kids, watching TV or movies or playing games with them.

2. What is your favorite film? Ever After

3. What is your favorite novel? Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale (which is not at all within my preferred reading and writing genre)

4. Favorite season? Fall

5. Favorite place to write? On my couch, surrounded by noise, family, and dogs

Q: What was the first YA book that you read that helped mold your love of this genre?
A: I’m not sure which I read first, but around the same time I read Twilight (Stephenie Meyer), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (JK Rowling), Eragon (Christopher Paolini), and Dreamland (Sarah Dessen). I was amazed there were so many great books available for teens. I fell immediately in love with the YA genre and began reading it almost exclusively, which lead to my deciding this was a genre I could write.

Q: Of your many published works, which one is closest to your heart? Why?
A: Heart on a Chain, probably because it’s the first completed novel I wrote, which began as a labor of love for my daughters. To this day it remains my best selling novel – though Rapunzel Untangled is giving it a run for it’s money.

Q: If you can have one lasting impression on your readers what would you want it to be?
A: I hope my characters stay with them, at least for a little while. I hope something within the story spoke to them and made the characters sympathetic, empathetic, or at least feel like a friend.

Q: Lastly, being that you are now in the Spotlight, are there any parting thoughts you would like to share?
A: I want to thank Tiffany for the opportunity to hang out on her blog for a while. I hope you all get a chance to read as much as you’d like, and that if you happen to pick up one of my books, you enjoy the journey while you’re in one of my worlds.

Q: Where can readers follow you?
Twitter: @cinbennett

Author Interview: David McAvoy

I recently read and loved McAvoy’s novel Swords & Sails: The Legacy of the Red Lion and have been looking forward to picking his brain since. I hope you guys enjoy the interview, which by the way, I think is amazing. Check out my review for his novel by clicking HERE and if your still curious to see what all the rave is about click HERE to read the first chapter on Amazon. Also be sure to click HERE to add it to your TBR shelf on Goodreads.

McAvoy is pretty awesome and would love to hear from you guys. So be sure to look him up and tell him how much you enjoyed his interview. You can find him on Facebook and on Goodreads.

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: Well, let’s see. I’m 26, a former law student, and I live in Jonesboro, Arkansas with my partner, Roby, and our “kids”-a great dane, a siamese cat, and a corn snake.

david mcavoy
In trying something new, lets do Fav 5’s
1. What is your favorite pastime?
I love spending my time outside and in nature, but I don’t get to do that as much as I used to these days. Reading and writing are of course right up there with that.
2. Favorite film?
This is always a hard one for me to answer because I feel like I change my favorites every day. To me, Schindler’s List is probably the greatest film ever made. Then again, I also like things that are just meant to be fun, like a Batman movie or a Japanese monster flick.
3. Favorite novel?
Anything by Charles Dickens, particularly Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. I’m also a huge fan of Anne Rice novels, namely Queen of the Damned.
4. Favorite author?
As I said above, I’m a fan of Anne Rice. Her books were what first inspired me to want to write when I was in high school and I think I’ll always have a special regard for her because of that.
5. Favorite pirate?
Well, if you mean historically, I’ve loved the stories of all the women who took to piracy. They’re extremely interesting people and it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. If you mean fictionally, I’d have to go with the characters from One Piece. (I’m curious as to how many of your readers are as nerdy as I am and will know what that is without looking it up.) If you mean from Legacy, my favorite character is Captain Wolfang. He was a real treat to write.

Q: Where did the idea for Swords & Sails come from?
A: I really don’t know-the genesis for the story just kind of walked into my head one night and wouldn’t leave me alone. Eventually I found myself toying with the idea and expanding the story and characters and I began to think that there was a niche for it out there as, let’s face it, how many pirate novels are there? Last year was really hard for me-law school didn’t pan out for me, my grandmother passed away, and while I was dealing with all that I just kind of threw myself into writing Legacy of the Red Lion. Edward Reynolds and the rest of the crew were really helpful to me in that time, and I’ll always be thankful for them.

Q: What is your vision for Swords & Sails as a series?
A: I plan for Swords & Sails to be a series with a fair number of books to come chronicling the adventures of Edward and the crew of the Cerberus. It’s going to be a long, fun journey, and I hope you and other readers will enjoy the trip.

Q: I described Edward, the protagonist, as ‘a strong character. He is honest and headstrong and fights for what he believes in.’ How much of yourself did you put into his character?
A: Well I’m really glad you like Edward as he is meant to be a fundamentally decent, good, and likeable character. I didn’t set out to put any part of myself into him or anyone else in the story though. That’s probably for the best too. I’d doubt I’d have what it takes to be a pirate. 😛

Q: In my review, I said that Swords and Sails reminded me a bit of Harry Potter. With that being said did you have any movie, book, story or idea that you drew inspiration from for this novel?
A: Multiple sources but all in small doses if that makes sense. The story itself is meant to be original and keeping it fresh and unique was hard with all the pirate lore Disney has incorporated in the POTC series, but here and there I did pick up inspiration for different elements in it and some of it came from surprising places. For example, one of the characters in the story (and one who will be important in future stories) is the Crimson Pirate. I wanted her to be the greatest pirate in the S&S universe and as I was working out what she would look like the image that kept popping into my head was a character from my childhood, Carmen Sandiego, and so when I wrote the description of the character in Legacy I based her red clothes and raven hair on Carmen’s look.

Q: What has been your most treasured memory after having finished this novel?
A: The reactions I get from kids make this worth while. I had a mom tell me that her kids were now incorporating Edward and the rest into their pretend play. That really got to me. I had another mom send me a book report her daughter did on the story. That’s now my most treasured review. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really hoping this is a successful series, but if it’s not I will still be happy that it may have inspired those kids in some way.

Q: Do you have any works in progress?
A: Yes. I’m currently working on the sequel to Legacy. Let’s call it Swords&Sails II for the time being. It will pick up where the first story left off following Edward in the aftermath of the events of the first novel into an entirely new adventure. More details are going to be released a little later this year so keep an eye out.

Once again, thank you for this amazing interview David! I hope you guys enjoyed it and be sure to look him up by clicking on these links Facebook and Goodreads.

Spotlight Interview: James Agee Jr.

James Agee Jr. Has granted me this amazing interview. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did and be sure to check out his links and follow. Also, I hope all of you great readers enjoy your holidays!

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: I am a college student who is studying English in the hops of teaching it someday. My free time is spent writing, reading, and taking pictures with my Lomography and vintage camera. I have a passion for literature and hope to continue writing for years to come.

Q: Can you tell us where your love of writing originated?
A: My love of writing originated back in elementary school, my lover for literature in general did. In the fourth grade a teacher of mine read the book Because of Winn Dixie to my entire class. I don’t know why, but something about that book stuck with me. It was just a good story full of truths about life, and I liked that. My best friend and I liked the book so much that we each bought a paperback copy at the local bookstore and nicknamed it “BOFWD”, I have countless times realized that the abbreviation that we gave it does not make very much sense, but it did at the time. I guess you could say that my passion for literature started then and as far as writing, I have always wrote stories and it has simply been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

James Agee JrQ: I have learned that you love photography. Of these two creative outlets which do you enjoy the most and why?
A: I think I probably enjoy writing more than photography. It’s really a close call since they are so similar in my opinion, but in writing you can create literally anything that you want to whereas in photography you can only work with your subject to a certain extent. I love them both, but the freedom that is associated with writing for me is the best of all.

Q: What inspired you to write your first novel?
A: I had a lot of influences when I wrote my first book, Jim. I was at a point in my life when so much was changing in regard to my education, friends, family, etc. and it just made sense to create an alternate reality where people had problems but were still able to cope with life. For me it was just a way to put all of my emotions at the time into words and characters that were not directly me.

Q: What books have most influenced you?
A: A few books that have influenced me the most would without a doubt be: Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson, and the Bible. All of them for different reasons of course. Because of Winn Dixie because it was the book that sparked my passion for literature. The Picture of Dorian Grey because it opened my eyes to classic literature and made me realize that the extraordinary and the ordinary so often make the perfect combination. The Fault In Our Stars because of the emotions that it seems to evoke in just about everyone who reads it. Steve Jobs because I have always admired his drive for success and determination when it came to his work and to get a behind the scenes look at the mind behind Apple was such an experience. The Bible because it has always been a strong foundation for my life and my go-to book for all of life’s problems. Books in general have such a powerful effect on me that it is hard to just choose a few, but if I have to pick, those would be it.

Q: Are you currently working on anything?
A: I am actually working on a brand new book! Until now it has only been mentioned to a select few people, but I think this is a great time to make the announcement! My new book is somewhat based on the crazy people that I have met, the unexpected and almost unbelievable experiences I have had, and discovering that people really are quite extraordinary. It’s a work of Fiction and currently has no set date of publication since I am taking my time with it to ensure that it is as perfect as I can make it. I can however tell you that a name that I have been playing around with for the book’s title is, Bontrix. The name is derived from a very prominent character in the book. I wish I could say more, but right now so much is up in the air about the story itself.

Q: If you can have one lasting impression on your readers what would you want it to be?
A: I would want my readers to be able to say that I was able to at least make them think after they read my books. It would be fantastic if they could take some emotional experience, new thoughts, or just the memory of a good story from my books, but I am leaving that up to my readers. I want my readers to remember that I have a passion for literature that I would love for the world to share.

Q: Lastly, being that you are now in the Spotlight, are there any parting thoughts you would like to share?
A: I believe that the only way to understand and know about things is to truly experience them, be it in the for of a book or an actual real life experience. When I was working a very crappy part-time job one summer at a grocery store pushing buggies I composed a quick poem that I have yet to publish or share, but that I think has some truth in it. I would like to share that here!

The irrational thoughts of a rational man
Are thoughts that will never be known
For a rational man who thinks these thoughts
Will always live alone

Basically, we all have hopes and dreams that need to be shared with the world. Keeping those to yourself is never a good thing. Share your ideas and thoughts with the world, it’s not crazy, it’s what people were made to do. Communicating with others is a brilliant ability that humans have, it just makes sense to use it. Write a book, a blog, paint a picture, do something to show the world who you are, because you are wonderful, everyone is. Thank you!

Q: Where can readers follow you?
A: Readers can follow me at any of my online profiles, including my personal blog!

Goodreads –
YouTube –
My Blog –
Twitter –
Instagram –
Amazon –

Spotlight Interview: Cassandra Giovanni

1. As a child what did you wish to be when you grew up? A writer, and at one point a vet, farrier and a professional jockey (I went through a horse phase, but throughout it I always wanted to be a writer)
2. What’s your favorite movie of all time? Oh, I don’t know. Comedy: Easy A; Drama: Sherlock Holmes (the first one); Jane Austen Movie: Emma
3. Who is your favorite author? Jane Austen
4. What is your favorite pastime? Photography and advertisement design
5. What is one of your favorite quotes?. “Being human explains everything, but excuses nothing.”

Q: What led you to sit down and write your first novel?
A: I was fifteen, and the thing about writing for me is, if I don’t do it, it drives me insane. I literally can’t think of anything else, and I have to write it. I have about 5 novels that I started that way, but never developed into anything, then I have the ones that did. I love those ones. I wrote my first full length novel when I was fifteen as well. It was about a girl who loved horses and dirt bikes and you better believe there was a hot guy thrown in there.cassandra giovanni

Q: You are the author of two published novels: Walking in the Shadows and In Between Seasons. Which has been the hardest for you to write and why?
A: Honestly, writing usually flows out of me naturally, but with In Between Seasons when I edited it I kind of lost touch with my complete writer. I was reading a lot of “edit yourself into print” books and in the end I cropped out who I really was. I learned a lot with that novel, though, about whom I was as a writer and to stand up for what I really thought was right. I also learned to keep every copy of my original novel once I started the editing process because I don’t have the original version, so I can’t really compare it to anything. I still think In Between Seasons is a great book, and I am definitely a “show not tell” writer, but could it have been better? Yes. Could Walking in the Shadows be better? Yes. Could whatever I publish next be better? Yes. Nothing that is published is ever perfect, but we can try to get as close to it as possible. I aim to show continually growth throughout each novel I publish and to designate myself as a unique writer that you know it’s Cassie Gio when you pick it up.

Q: What are you currently working on at the moment?
A: Muahaha. That’s a secret! 😉 I was working on my first New Adult novel, Let the Fates Decide until I woke up one day from a dream and HAD to write it. Now, my fingers are on fire, and that’s why I got up at 4 AM today because I don’t have enough time for anything and I need to write, for my sanity, of course.

Q: To date, what has been your favorite thing about being a published writer?
A: Connecting with readers—I cannot say how much I value my readers, and the realization that people “fan” me. I literally do a little dance each time someone “fans” me on Goodreads. It feels absolutely amazing. A few weeks ago one of the clubs I am involved in ran an interview with me and then readers started to comment, and it was so great to get to talk to people who want to read my novels, to hear their thoughts and communicate with their enthusiasm. I’ve actually copied the whole thread and keep it here to remind me when it gets tough, why I am doing this.

Q: If you can have one lasting impression on your readers what would you want it to be?
A: That hard work will eventually get you were you want to be. Am I there yet? No, but I hard pressed believe that my drive will get me there someday. You can’t forget why you are doing something, and you need a good support system to keep you grounded. When I get stressed my husband reminds me why he stopped playing music, and that he doesn’t want that to happen to me. My mentor is only a phone call away when I get a bad review, and my parents are saints. As readers, realize how very important you are to the author, especially indie authors like myself. You can make our careers catch on fire.

Q: Lastly, being that you are now in the Spotlight, are there any parting thoughts you would like to share?
A: Wow, I think that personal advice is to do what you have to, but always make room for what you love. Work hard, and you will get there even if it’s slow, it will be worth it in the end.

Q: Where can readers follow you?
And on Goodreads:

Spotlight Interview: Dianne Gray

As many of you know, the lovely Dianne Gray is our Spotlighted Author. She has granted me this great interview and I hope you guys enjoy it! Be sure to stop by one of her pages (listed below) and say ‘Hello’. 🙂

Q: Can you give us a quick summary of who you are?
If I go by my twitter profile I am “Author, dream catcher magician and writer of The Everything Theory”
So I guess you could classify me as an author. I have five novels under my belt. Three of these have won national or international writing awards. My latest novel The Eleventh Question was published in late October and (as far as I know) it hasn’t been put forward for any awards. I say ‘as far as I know’ because when ‘Soul’s Child’ won the You Write On Book of the Year Award in September, I actually had no idea it was in the running! It was a fantastic surprise.
I’ve been published by Harper Collins, Harlequin and Ginninderra Press – but in 2011 I decided to get into self-publishing. I found this gave me a lot more freedom to write what I please, when I please and how I please and I’ve never looked back! My writing is very flexible. I write about anything I’m interested in or thinking about at the time and I don’t stick to a particular genre. It may sound selfish, but I write for myself and not to an audience. If the audience reads and likes my work, it’s the icing on the cake for me. I’ve always been a great believer in keeping true to what’s in your heart and not looking outside for what you think other people will like. You’re never going to be able to please everyone, so you’re better off doing what YOU like.

Last week I ‘gave up my day job’ to pursue my dream of writing full-time. Normally, I would take a long holiday once a year to just focus on writing, but now I can spend all my time getting those new ideas out of my head and onto paper.

Q: What is the biggest lesson you have learned about being a writer in your 16 year career as one?
1. Never give up. I know this sounds clichéd, but it is so true. I remember when I entered one of my short stories into a small local writing competition. It came nowhere – but I knew it was a great story. Instead of throwing my hands in the air and giving up on that story I entered it into a big international competition. I was shocked when it won, but it just goes to show that different people like different things and just because someone doesn’t like a story it doesn’t mean it’s not a good story and that no one will like it. That’s the beauty of writing, as long as you like what you do and have faith in your craft, you will always be on the right track.
2. People will love and hate your writing. There’s not a soul alive that has ever written a book that everyone loves. Take all critiques for what they are worth and move on. Remember that an opinion is just that and someone’s opinion doesn’t make you a greater or lesser person.

Quick Five
1. Favorite Novel: Midnight’s Children
2. Favorite Musician: David Gray
3. Favorite Quote: It’s easier to walk through life if you’re not nailed to a cross (from my short story “Corrugated Dreaming”)
4. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Lead-lighting
5. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Oscar Wilde

Q: If you can have one lasting impression on your readers what would you want it to be?
I like to encourage people to think. When I write a novel or a short story there is always something included that encourages thought. I want people to come away from reading my work with a new thought or a new idea in their head.

Q: Lastly, being that you are now in the Spotlight, are there any parting thoughts you would like to share?
I’d like to say thank you to all those who are reading this post. I really hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Q: Where can readers follow you?
Twitter “Zigotide” Facebook “Dianne Gray Author” and (of course) “WordPress”.

Book Review + Interview: The Super Spud Trilogy by Michael Diack

Title: The Super Spud Trilogy

Author: Michael Diack

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Genetic engineering has accomplished many things, one of which has been to create the Super Spud! The humble potato elevated to new heights, creating the most flavoursome crisps ever known to humankind! But that’s not all – A magical transformation occurs to all Super Spud crisps not eaten before their use-by date. They take on a life of their own. And so long as they remain undetected by humans, they enjoy life in their own Super Spud cities, take part in major Super Spud sporting events and even start the odd Super Spud war or two. Join Colin, Cougar, Hannibal Vector, Generals Rock, Jock and Strap and all the others in their rollicking adventures. You’ll never look at a packet of crisps in the same way again! Fun, quirky and totally original.

My Review: When I first came across this book I was immediately intrigued. It is unique and I loved that it’s a comedy. The blurb aptly describes the book: It is a book of The Super Spud adventures and its wide variety of characters and they are always dying off. Afterall, they are at the bottom of the food chain and are constantly dying because of humans, animals, their constant wars, for entertainment and because of accidents. Luckily there is always another Spud to replace the ones that die. I also enjoyed the different flavors and the characteristics that each flavor is known for.

I also loved all of the human references. Um… I’m not sure if that’s the right way to put it. Diack draws many parallels with the human culture as far as music, tv and history and I absolutely loved it. He found a way to put a potato chip twist on all of it and this is without a doubt one of the things I enjoyed most about The Super Spud Trilogy.

The Spuds were always on an adventure and the book definitely wasn’t boring. Yet, it could of been a lot better. It had the potential to be a great novel but I found myself not enjoying Diack’s narrative style. At times I felt the story was told and not showed. Also, I understand the there are just too many ways for spuds to die and that they do have short life spans yet I think I would have enjoyed the novel more had the characters been more consistent. (Although I understand why they aren’t. It does go against their nature to last as long as they did.)

The Super Spud Trilogy was definitely creative and unique. I particularly enjoyed the spuds that were based on human culture and history and the laughs I got in account of this book. I’m not sure what to say exactly. It gets a lot of credit from me for ingenuity but I didn’t love it all that much. I’m going to be objective and say that I think the ‘it’s me not you’ principle applies here. I’m sure a lot of people will love this novel. I on the other hand had a tough time connecting with the characters, found the Spud antics to be too repetitive and the humor lacking at times.

*I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

Interview with the Author:
Let’s do a round of Quick Five to get to know you.
1. What would you name the autobiography of your life? In the field
2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Play guitar
3. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Legolas
4. What was your favorite snack as a child? A Twister ice cream bar.
5. What is your favorite Super Spud flavor? Steak and spinach flavour

Q: Have you always wanted to be an author and what motivated you to finally pick up a pen and write your first novel?
I can’t say I decided to become an author, I simply knew I had a story in my head which I wanted to write and finish. The primary goal of my writing was to make people laugh, relax and escape into this bizarre world of magical crisp packets. I told myself I’d be happy if I read a review and the reader said they laughed at least once. I love writing, it’s the ultimate form of escape for me: laptop on, music playing – I could write for hours. I don’t think I’d consider myself an author truly until I sold a heck of a lot more copies. For now I’m just another writer struggling to stand out from the crowd.

Q: Your Super Spud Trilogy is truly unique. Where did the idea for writing it come from?
When I was in primary school I was asked to write a short story. I wrote about Colin and Lucy the crisp packets, who came alive after their use-by date expired and, after becoming separated, met up again at the local rubbish tip and lived happily after. When I was 19, I remembered the story and went from there. The first chapter of the book is essentially my primary school story, just with a different ending. I wanted to write something that was funny, unique and a bit different, while also paying a tribute to the films and their characters which I grew up with and idolized – James Bond, Indiana Jones and Batman to name a few. It is a bit different to all other books out there and it hasn’t been to everyone’s taste, but I’d rather be remembered for that than writing something that’s been done a thousand times before.

Q: What was your favorite part of writing this novel?
To be honest it is always fun writing about the Super Spuds. I love drawing parallels between the human world and the Super Spud world, while creating new and wacky technologies and outlandish scenarios. I struggled with the first few chapters, it was hard to nail down the magical rules and to try and make walking, talking crisp packets seem remotely feasible to the reader. I think my favourite part is King Martin’s adventure, with the trip to the North Pole to save Santa and the team trials in the adventure playground of Mt Hiba. I also enjoyed the Italy chapter and paying tribute to Mulder and Scully.

Q: What songs would be included in your ideal soundtrack for The Super Spud Trilogy?
The Super Spuds love a good karaoke and I’m partial to a bit of cheesy pop, rock and power ballads, so there would have to be some Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Meat Loaf, Chesney Hawkes and the Baywatch theme ‘I’ll be ready’. Living on the edge by Aerosmith would sum up the Super Spuds’ perilous lifestyle perfectly.

Q: What’s next for you? Can we expect to see any more of your work anytime soon?
Yes, I will be releasing the fourth book in the next few months. It focuses on four main characters: King Martin, G-Boa, Kate and General Nectarine and sees them travelling to China, sailing the Pacific, visiting Hollyspud, meeting the US President, flying on Air Spud One and encountering pirates, zombies and their most evil Super Spud to date. There are also a host of new flavours to add depth to the story and even a trip to the moon by Astrospuds Neil and Buzz. The story will be fast-paced and lots of fun, but more emphasis on character dialogue, plotline and developing the Super Spud world as a whole. The main criticism for the first book was the number of deaths, which is due to the extreme vulnerability of the Super Spuds, but in Book 4 there won’t be as many and hopefully readers will feel more engaged with the characters. It’s also much more conventional in the plot building, while the previous book each chapter was almost an individual adventure, in Book 4 it all builds up to the final, enormous confrontation between the good and evil Super Spuds. Another main difference with this book is a lot of the action takes place at sea, involving two flavours we didn’t see much of in the first three books – the sea salt flavours and Fisherman’s Friend flavours.

Character Interview: Tim the Pixie (War of the Fae)

I found this amazing character interview at Thank you Elle and Cege for this amazing interview and Cege for being so cool about me reposting it! I hope you guys enjoy this interview as much as I did.

Well, this is a first for the Paranormal Book Beat. We are talking today with Tim the Pixie, who is featured in Elle Casey‘s War of the Fae book series! What is really fun is that Tim agreed to take questions from readers as well, and that was VERY revealing. Welcome to the blog, Tim!!


Tim is a light fae pixie who was caught and currently lives in the Green Forest, in Ardennes, France. He lives in the Light Fae compound with his roommate, Jayne Sparks, a formerly human, 17-year-old changeling elemental with a serious potty-mouth and a strong sense of loyalty. Tim is the first pixie in the history of the light fae to live out in the open with them, rather than being shuttled to a pixie colony for the safety of all other fae in the area.

Questions 1-9 for Tim are from readers of the series:

Q1. How do you make pixie dust and where do you keep it…do you have like a “dust pocket” in your shirt?
A1. No, don’t be silly. That would be too dangerous. Do you have any idea how powerful that stuff is? I shudder to think about what would happen if we just carried it around where someone could take it. Other fae would love to get their gritty fingers on it; like Maggie for instance. Don’t get me started on her and pixie wings. Actually, when pixies get overly alarmed, surprised not in a good way, or just decide to, they force it out of their bodies. Much like humans sweat. Then we just give ourselves a little shake and … well … you can ask Chase about the rest. If you can find him. He’s kind of … scarce these days. I hear he’s recovered, though.

Q2. Does the idea of having a son make you unbelievably happy…or give you further gastric issues? Will you have more children?
A2. It’s complicated. But ultimately, I’m extremely happy; and yes, maybe we’ll have more. You’ll have to interview Abby for that. She’s the boss of the bedroom. Did Jayne tell you to ask me about my gastric issues? That would be just like her, sharing things better left unshared. She has absolutely no boundaries. Did you know she snores? Very loudly, in fact. Wakes me up all the time. She also has very bad morning breath. Terrible stuff.

Q3. Is there any particular genetic reason you have such bad gas? Perhaps a self-defense mechanism that has been bred out over centuries of easy living, turning into plain flatulence? And what do pixie farts sound like?
A3. More gas questions. Wow. I’ve spent some time around humans, but I had no idea they were so obsessed with the baser bodily functions. Normally, I’d just ignore you, but you bring up an interesting concept that actually has me intrigued. I think I’m going to try and use my gas as a weapon and see what happens. Thank you for the idea. I’ll be sure to tell Jayne that Aidan from Australia told me to do it. Oh, and you want to know what they sound like? Here … try this one on for size … *Tim laughs hysterically while holding his stomach*

Q4. Do you find pixie sticks offensive?
A4. No. It just reminds me how ignorant humans can be sometimes. *sigh* They see something tiny and gorgeous like me and assume I’m as sweet as a striped little paper tube full of sugar. When what they really should see is an atomic bomb of awesomeness with deadly magic inside. Trust me … you don’t want to tangle with The Tim.

Q5. I don’t have a question. Just, thanks for the laughs and for teaching me some new words.
A5. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Q6. What was it like working with Elle Casey?
A6. Well, she’s adorable of course. But she can be quite nosey too, so that balances things out to the point that I can only take so many of her questions before I’m like, “Okay, Elle, talk to the butt, I have things to do.” I know she wrote some books with me in them, but I can’t say as I’ve read them. They don’t make Kindles for pixies yet; but I hear Amazon is working on it. She’s told me I’m pretty much the hero of the entire thing, so of course, she gets points for realism and recognizing greatness when she sees it. I pretty much carry the series, I guess.

Q7. What would you change about yourself if you could change anything? If you could change bodies with any of your friends, who would it be?
A7. That’s a joke right? Have you seen me? I mean, the only large fae who comes close to me in magnetism is Chase; and well, he has these appendages on his back now that are just a big big for my taste. I prefer being small and powerful to being big and oafish. Please don’t tell the larger fae I said that. They can be sensitive about their size.

Q8. What is your favorite song?
A8. “Awesome is as Awesome Does” by Tim and The Pixies. Yes, that’s right. I was in a band. Lead singer, naturally.

Q9. Do you think Jayne will be a good influence on your son?
A9. Well, overall yes. She’s got a good heart. Her mouth could use a little cleaning up, but I guess it’s part of her charm, so I don’t hold that against her. She’s gentle enough with injured pixies, so I suspect she’ll be good with baby ones. And my wife likes her, so that’s half the battle won right there. Pixie women are very, very bossy. I’ve always though it’s possible Jayne was a pixie in her last life.

Q10. Who did you most like to spend time with, at the light fae or dark fae compounds? And have you ever liked Jayne as more than a friend?
A10. Well, I am married, so I should probably say my wife, right? And I have a son now too. But for a long time, when I thought my wife was evil incarnate and didn’t know I had a son, my favorite was Jayne. She was my roomie, still is, actually. Despite the fact that she has dragon breath in the morning, snores, is quite bossy, and doesn’t know her butt from her face half the time when it comes to using her powers, well, she’s fun to be around. Plus she’s an excellent pack mule when my wings are missing. As to the second part of your question, the answer is a definite NO. Jayne is gorgeous, obviously. But practically speaking, her boobs are the size of pixie houses. What am I going to do with one of those? Plus she’s just a baby at seventeen. That would be taking cradle robbing to all new and very disgusting heights. She has her hands full anyway. No way could she handle *this*.

Q11. Who do you least like to spend time with?
A11. Maggie the witch. Horrid woman. Just horrid. Ugly? Ohhh, yes. As sin. Evil. You’ve heard about Hansel and Gretel haven’t you? Poor kids…

Q12. Can you please give us a synopsis of the War of the Fae series by Elle Casey?
A12. Well, like I said, they don’t make Kindles in pixie size yet, but from what I hear it’s a four book series that features a bunch of stupid human kids who get turned into fae and then find this fabulously handsome and incredibly intelligent pixie being unfairly persecuted by the light fae, rescue him, and then go on to kick some serious ass in the forest. I’m the star of it. That’s pretty much it, I think. I could give you my autograph if you want, but it’s pretty small. I’m sure it’ll be valuable someday. You could probably sell it on eBay. *oops* Excuse me! It’s the fruit! I swear! [exit Tim, flying away and laughing his ass off]

Thanks for stopping by, Tim! It’s been a….gas. 😉

If you want to catch up with Tim and all of his friends, here’s the place to go:





Thank you to the lovely Elle Casey for arranging this interview!

Connect with Elle:

Interview: Elle Casey

As many of you know, October’s Spotlighted Author is Elle Casey. Keep in mind that the purpose of the Author Spotlight is to allow readers to get to know writers and their works. So enjoy the interview and feel free to stalk her via Twitter or Goodreads or Facebook or some other online community. Emphasis on online community…. Just check out her links at the end of the interview and be sure to say hi!

Q: It is known that you are an American living in Southern France. I am curious as to whether or not that move affects your writing in any way. If yes, how so?
A: I live in a truly magical place where time has just slowed down and stopped to some degree. It’s very different from the U.S. in that respect. Old customs and ways of doing things are still the norm here. People are very kind, polite, helpful, welcoming. My house is 450 years old and I live in a tiny, tiny village in the vineyards. So there’s a lot of ancient history here to draw from, castles, Roman ruins, mysterious things and so on. It feeds my active imagination, I guess you could say.

Q: What is the best compliment you have received from a fan/ reader for your work?
A: I don’t have a best one, per se, but I have some favorites. They include things like:

“You are my favorite author of all time!”, “I’m addicted to your books”, “I’ve read War of the Fae five times now”, “I’ve told everyone I know about your books, I love them so much”, “I didn’t get any housework done and neglected my family all week because I found your books and read them all.”

I teach English, so here’s one that really touched my teacher-heart: “A couple of weeks ago i wanted to improve my english, accidentally i saw your book (war of the fae) and i began to read. In the first two books i needed the built in dictionary. (Thank God) a lot. But when i started with book three it became easier. So i want to thank you for your writing skills/dream fantasy and the possibility to learn and understand better English.”

The list goes on and on. I’m absolutely addicted to reader reviews, comments, and posts. I will forever be grateful for their readership and willingness to not only reach out to me but to share my work with others.

Q: Is there any one of your books that is more personal for you than the others?
A: Each has its special place. Wrecked was a story that had been in my head since I was a little girl. I always wondered if I’d be able to survive on an island myself. This book came from that, so it’s been cooking in my brain for about 35 years. War of the Fae, more particularly Jayne, is patterned after my high school life. Tony is a real person as well. The opening chapters WERE my life. So she’s very special to me, and she’s named after my musical muse, the song Diary of Jane by Breaking Benjamin. Holy you-know-what do I love that band. Apocalypsis is also from me as a kid wondering if I could survive without adults and what I’d have to do to rise about the challenges. I think you can see a theme here. All my young life, I wanted to live on my own terms and wondered if I could. Adults always told me I had to live my life a certain way to be successful or happy or respected, and I rebelled against that idea from the time I was old enough to talk. It’s just not me, and never was. I’m 43 now, but still doing that. I finally found my answer, though. YES, I can live on my own terms. My writing miracle life is proof of that. 🙂

Q: You have set a very rigorous schedule for your writing. Publishing one book a month. How do you find the time while being a lawyer, professor, mother, and wife?
A: Well, I rarely lawyer anymore. That work is just a contract here and there for old clients. I’m a professor only 2 days a week in Paris during the school year. And my husband is incredibly helpful at home and my children very understanding. We have a mission here, to work hard and play hard. So when I get to working, I’m nose to the grindstone all the way. And when the work is over, we party it up, family style. Or I nap. Whichever the kids want to do. I have teenagers and a busy 8-year-old, so sometimes they’d rather be with friends than their dorky mom. I get up at 07:00, read emails and posts until 07:30, write until lunch, eat, take a nap, and write again until 6 or 7 pm or so. That’s my perfect work day. Sometimes I’m wrapped up in the writing and I type into the night and past midnight, but that’s only when I’m close to a deadline. I set very strict deadlines. I’ve never missed one and I don’t ever plan to. I have that kind of personality that I WILL procrastinate if I let myself. So I tell my readers when they can expect the next book, and believe me, they hold me to it. I get Facebook posts, Tweets and emails warning me I’d better not be late. 🙂 I have one reader in The Netherlands, who told me he’s learning to read English using my books, and he always emails me the day or so before I’m supposed to post sneak-peeks to make sure I don’t forget. I just love that. 🙂

Q: With the exception of your amazing books, what do you account for your success as an indie writer?
A: My readers who tell their friends and family about my books, tweet about them, Facebook about them. I also give serious props to Amazon. Their free book promotions helped me introduce my work to new readers and of course they have the best platform for selling ebooks in the world. And we cannot forget the fact that I am a cyborg, and so I type about 100 words a minute and work about 12 hours a day. That helps.

Q: What is one thing your readers can always expect to find in your novels?
A: Strong female heroines. Creative and frequent swearing. Smartassedness.

Q: What do you find to be your biggest reward, so far, as a writer?
A: Reader fan mail. Holy [insert swear word here], I just cannot express to you how amazing it is to wake up in the morning to people, every day, from around the world, telling me I’m talented and make them happy. There is no other job like it in the world, except maybe being a musician. Who goes to work everyday and gets told they’re amazing, the best, incredibly talented, and super cool? Writers! I’m the luckiest girl alive. I really feel that way. I know I sound like a weirdo, but it’s true. Every day I have to ask myself, “Is this really happening? Or are you living in a mental institution, dreaming everything up, and all the staff and doctors are just playing along, pretending to be my neighbors, friends, and family members?” I might write a book about that one day.

Q: If you can have one lasting impression on your readers what would you want it to be?
A:That I will always be grateful to any person who ever picks up one of my books and reads it.

Q: Lastly, being that you are now in the Spotlight, are there any parting thoughts you would like to share?
A: I wanted to share the story about how you and I came to “know” one another. It’s one of those happy, happy moments for me as a writer, to have met someone like you and have you in my life. As you know, you were a reader of my War of the Fae series, before you were a blogger. And you wrote a scathing review (*heart spasm*) of Book 2, very unhappy with how I handled the ending and probably a few more things. But you and I got to talking, and you had a lot of great feedback to share with me and maybe you were surprised I didn’t tell you that you were wrong about your opinion (I know authors do that sometimes), and after a few messages back and forth on Goodreads, you told me you were starting a new book blog. And here you are! … Writing great reviews and doing all kinds of cool promotional things, getting all fired up about books. Our interaction and our resulting relationship have shown me that books have the power to bring people together, to allow them to share pieces of their lives, even if they might never meet in person and live on the other side of the world from one another. And when you believe in someone, you can reach out and give them a helping hand, and make their lives maybe a tiny bit better. So I’m incredibly grateful for the first message you sent to me. And I want to encourage other readers out there to feel free to reach out to me as well. I love hearing from my readers. I do this for them. All 12 hours of every day that I type, I do it for the readers.

Where can readers follow you?

Interview: Margaret Chatwin

Margaret Chatwin who is our Spotlighted Author for the month of September has granted me this wonderful interview. I really had a great time doing this interview and learning more about this amazing writer. I hope you readers will enjoy this just as much. 😉

Q: You have described yourself as a closet writer; what particular thought or event led you to finally share your writing with the world?

A: It’s kind of funny you ask that question and I debate about how to answer because the truth isn’t the most positive story. But I guess it ends well, so here goes. When I was younger I wrote only for my own entertainment. In fact I was pretty embarrassed to even let people know I wrote. I kept all my stories hidden in a box in the closet and only a select few was ever allowed to read them.

Then, for some reason, about two years ago I got really excited about writing and it was all I wanted to talk about. Yes, I was one of those people. You know, the annoying kind that won’t shut up about a certain subject.

Wait, it gets worse.

Being the very private person that I am, I only had one trusted friend that I dared talk to about my writing and . . . yep, you guessed it, I finally drove that person straight up the wall.
In an attempt to avoid permanent residency on the loony farm, this person was forced to tell me they were sick of hearing about it.

I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was very angry and I said, “fine, I’ll go find someone else who wants to talk about my books with me.”

So, with hostile determination I published my first book. Yes, I did it as a get even thing, but as it turns out, I’m very glad I did and it was just the push I needed.
PS my friend is still my friend and has been a great support to me and my writing.

Q: After writing over fifty novels what made you decide to only publish three?

A: It’s really only about time. Simply haven’t had time to get more out there yet. I just began publishing my books last year. I got Taking the Fall and Sweet so Fragile published in 2011 and 101 in 2012.

I do plan on getting more books out there in the future, though. I’d probably be faster at it if I didn’t have one of those “normal” day job thingies. Oh, and if all my manuscripts were already in the computer. But they’re not. I wrote them the old fashioned way; pen and paper.

It takes me about three months to totally update the story and enter it into the computer. Then it’s on to editing and covers, and that usually takes a month or so. Once I have all that done I send for the copyright which is another three month wait.

I do have to admit, the next book has been on hold simply because so much of my time and attention has gone into marketing the three books I already have out. There is so much to learn and do when you self-publish, but I’ve had a blast with it all.

Q: What can we look forward to with your next novel?

A: Well, I haven’t decided which one to put out next. I’ve been working, on and off, on three different stories. One is bran new and would be a dystopian. But in all this time I’ve only managed to make it to chapter four. (Insert eye roll here.)

The other two are older stories that are already in manuscript form and are partly typed up. One I was thinking about calling, By Blood & Will, but don’t quote me on that. I change titles like I change underwear. It’s about a washed up superstar. The dude used to be “it” when he was a teen, although he never wanted to be.

Rob is a music prodigy whose father exploited his talent and pushed him until he broke. Until the unthinkable happened. (I won’t say what that is ‘cause that would be a bit of a spoiler.) Anyway, Rob wants nothing more than to just fade away, except now he can’t because his father, who’s the un-nicest guy ever, still holds a music contract on him. The contract is virtually unbreakable and no respectable lawyer will even try to help him because of how well known and evil his father is.
Enter the struggling, starving, newbie attorney who just happens to be a beautiful woman, and we have the makings of a romance. But wait, I failed to mention that these two just happen to have a rough and rocky history together.

The last book would probably be called, Lines of Courage. It’s about a “good boy” turned drug addict.

Dane comes from an awesome family but has distanced himself from them because of his habit. They know nothing about his problem and he’ll do anything to keep it that way – lie, cheat, steal, even destroy precious relationships.
I’m a little hesitant about putting this story out there because the main character, though he does have some redeeming qualities, is actually the antagonist. I’m just not sure how readers will receive that and I don’t want to get yelled at or have a page full of one star ratings. I was thinking about putting a disclaimer on the book. Something to warn that this guy is more of a zero than a hero. 🙂

Q: Is there anything you want your readers to know about you?

A: I can’t spell and my grammar and punctuation would make every English teacher I’ve had from K to 12 pass flat out. It really is that terrible. If I didn’t have help from Word Perfect, Ivona Reader, and from good friends and family, I would NEVER have published. The moral of this story is, don’t let your weaknesses cripple you like mine did for so long. Find ways to work around them.

Q: What is the biggest constant that you draw inspiration from?

A: Wow, I like that question. It’s really making me think because I’ve never looked at things from that direction before.

This might sound weird but the one and only constant that I can think of is a feeling. I always have a distinct feeling come over me when I’m about to be inspired to write. It’s a weird, uneasy, yet totally at peace feeling. It makes my stomach flutter with excitement at the same time that it numbs my brain. I have never felt it at any other time than when a character is about to manifest his entire self to me.

I say “him” because nearly every story I’ve ever written has a male main character. I don’t know why, it just is.

Q: If you can have one lasting impression on your readers what would you want it to be?

A: I hope that each and every one of my readers walk away from my books feeling a little more tolerant and forgiving.

On the exception of Mike from Taking the Fall, (‘cause he’s just plain perfect. And yes, those are hearts circling my head.) I’ve tried, really hard, to create characters that are real. Ones that have weaknesses, make mistakes, and say stupid things. Characters that the readers will need to forgive and accept. By doing this, I’m hoping that it will carry over into real life. That people will be more willing to look at those around them a little differently. That they will try to find the good in others and be a little more open minded about what might be behind a persons actions.

Q: As far as being a writer, what is your biggest aspiration?

A: Being that I came from a time where I was embarrassed to even admit I wrote, my aspirations were really quite low. (Which might explain why I’ve never sent anything into a conventional publisher.) I guess I kept them that way so that I wouldn’t get hurt. Can’t fall far if you’re already on the ground.

Since publishing, I’ve really only wanted two things from my writing. One; I want to know if others think and feel the same way I do, or if I’m just some weirdo tapping keys on the keyboard. And two; I want to give my readers something to feel. I want them to experience something that will move them. I want to make them laugh and cry and connect to that one thing that makes us all human; emotion.

Q: Lastly, being that you are now in the Spotlight, are there any parting thoughts you would like to share?

A: Enjoy life.
Look for the positive in everything around. You’ll find yourself much happier and better able to meet challenges head on if you do. (Trust me, my halo isn’t always on straight in this area, so this is as much a personal reminder as it is advice.) 🙂

Q: Where can readers follow you?

A: Well, if you want to leave a review or see what other readers are saying about my books, or if you just want to read my occasional blogs, I suggest going to Goodreads.

If you want to follow me on Facebook my link is:!/pages/Margaret-Chatwin-Author/308495362497433

If you’d like to purchase a book you can do that at or My ebooks are only $2.99! And watch for coupon codes on Lulu’s home page. They are great about having lots of sales. Amazon will give you a place to read a little of each of my books to help you get a feel for them.

Remember, you have until September 8th to enter to win a copy of Margaret Chatwin’s book 101. To enter please: click here.