Interview with Rob Shackleford 

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1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. What inspired you to become an author?
I live in Australia and, for the majority of the time in writing Traveller Inceptio, lived where most of the book’s Transporter invention process took place, which is the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. It is a beach location and is quite laid back. I also worked at the University for a time and knew the described locations well. I have, of course, applied liberal creative licence to some locations.
I enjoy reading, especially books with a great story and have, for quite some time, tinkered with the idea of writing. Like most, I started with a few short stories and children’s books, which are still awaiting the illustrations from my daughter, who is quite the artist and procrastinator. It was during a very down time in my life that the opening scene for Traveller Inceptio began running through my mind, how a person from the 21st Century could react in the forests of Saxon England, when I realised that a story was beginning to devfelop. I started writing that scene and it soon went on from there. The actual writing process took over five years and there were ideas I had to drop because I saw something similar on Game of Thrones and in other stories that would look too similar. I have a very strong aversion to cliche, so I hope I stuck to that.
Surprisingly, some of the language and story was based on the antics of my son and his surfer / skater mates. The things you overhear sometimes.
My vocational background is actually far removed from History, which has become a love because of my father’s interest in family history and genealogy. I worked in Customs in my younger years and then did time in the Media, Tourism, IT and Marketing.
In keeping with my coastal lifestyle preference, I am fortunate to live in a very chilled part of Australia’s Gold Coast with my lady love. I have two kids, both in their early 20’s so, yeah, I am advancing in life’s journey, but I am still young and silly enough to take the risks.
2) What was the inspiration behind your story?
I was sitting on the beach one day and thought, “What would this have looked like 100 years ago? 200 years ago? and then 1000 years ago? The next question was, “How would someone from this time survive if taken back 1000 years?” Like many books, I started with a couple of assumptions; that one could travel back 1000 years, and the book grew from there. The ‘visit to the beach’ chapters in Traveller Inceptio were based on that thought process.
I like Science Fiction, but aimed to keep any story as real as possible, so I and any reader could honestly relate. I tried to keep reactions and events as plausible as possible. This sometimes took the story away from where I had planned and added some interesting moments.
Fortunately I have travelled to many of the world locations mentioned in Traveller Inceptio and future books. The sights, smells and feelings are most inspiring. The forests of England, the great walls of Istanbul, and the deserts of Israel can never be fully imagined simply from research on the Internet.
 
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your story?
Wow, I have to be self-analytical here.
There are two main messages I think.
The first is the desire to travel, to see new places and take new risks. I particularly love the short film Wanderers with a narration by Carl Sagan, (Check it out on You Tube) which acknowledges humanity’s need to explore. If we could explore the Past, then we, of course, would.
The other theme is that people in our past were like us. Our parents and many-great-grandparents lived lives with similar aspirations. They laughed, joked, worried about their kids, farted, and got horny, but also had trying times when they were sad and shed tears. Sometimes they even experienced violence. The message is; They were people too, only without an iPhone.
When we realise our history and give credence to those who have gone before us, we can then better understand ourselves and the rich tapestry of interwoven lives and genetic material that has created each of us.
4) If you could sit down and ask any character in your story a question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
It think it would be Tatae, the healer and wise woman of the Saxon village of Giolgrave. She was one such as those who would be persecuted and killed in the ages following the Norman invasion of England in 1066. Tatae is enigmatic. Not only does she hold deep knowledge, but she has learned that many would debase and profit from it if she let them.
I think I would ask, “How did you gain your knowledge?” Assuming she would tell me, it would be quite a story.
5) What’s more important to you when writing: developing plot or creating characters?
I think the plot, because that dictates the reactions of the characters. Place the character into a situation and I try to see how they would realistically react. Sometimes it isn’t how I thought, which is always a pleasant surprise. Sometimes a minor character became a major one. One example was Tatae, as I had no intention of travelling down the romance cliche. How wrong was I?
6) What social media site has been the most helpful or beneficial in creating your readership?
Initially FaceBook, as friends refer friends etc, but it is beginning to be overtaken by Blogs. Naturally this will grow further, but this world of self-promotion through on-line media can be very challenging. Amazon and others can be a minefield. It becomes a question of persistence, losing money on bad marketing ploys, and not taking it too seriously.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or new authors out there?
Keep on going, even if it does mean that you end up rewriting your little gem fifty times. The other is that professional critics have their place, but can often get caught up in the detail. Be humble enough to recognise that your skills might need improvement, ie. writing skills, but also believe in yourself. It can be a tricky thing to balance. Don’t be surprised to be elated at a great review, then go down in a screaming heap when someone criticises your writing style. It’s all part of the gig.
8) What’s next for you? Any new projects on the horizon?
Traveller Inceptio lends itself to a sequel. I found this especially important when readers asked me “What Now??”
So, I have completed a draft of Traveller Probo – Traveller Book 2 – and I am in the never-ending process of fine-tuning the grammar etc. I hope this will be ready by the end of this year (2017) or the beginning of 2018. Traveller Probo (meaning: to prove or question) assumes the Saxon mission is successful. Governments vie to prepare the next Traveller mission, but safety is paramount. Missions to New Zealand, the USA, Ukraine, and the old Byzantine Empire of Turkey are planned, but the political rivalry is intense.
I have already begun Traveller Manifesto – which will be Traveller Book 3.
Why the funny names? I started Book 1 as Traveller, but when you google ‘Traveller’ you are inundated with book titles. Some friends thought it was a book about my travels. Traveller is spelled in the British / Australian way with 2 L’s, and the Latin word is to give an idea as to what the story is about. Latin, because 1000 years ago, Latin was the language of religion and education in Europe.
Inceptio = Beginning
Probo = Prove of question and investigate
Manifesto = Declaration to the World
Why Europe? Think about this. 1000 years ago, if you travelled anywhere in Africa or the Pacific, you would be eaten. If you travelled anywhere in the Americas, you might be sacrificed or skinned alive. In Asia, killed as a stranger, or limited because of the barriers of lost languages. England was selected because of the racial and national identity of the inventors and sponsors. Plus, it made my writing easier.
There is a criticism that the books are long – the irony being that Traveller Inceptio and Traveller Probo are precisely the same length – 190,000 words. To be honest, I created each story and then tore about 50,000 words away in the editing process. I hope the story makes the time taken in reading worthwhile.
I have written drafts for two other books that have nothing to do with Time or Transporters, but I believe I have to do the best I can with one project at a time. These others can wait.
Ultimately, I hope my books bring enjoyment to readers. It is, after all, about having a fun, entertaining read.
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Interview with Milton Dewar

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1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. What inspired you to become an author?
Answer: I’m originally from NYC (The Bronx to be precise), born and raised, the youngest of six kids, and growing up, I was always surrounded by the arts. Music, theater, graffiti, poetry, Hip-Hop, dancing, breakdancing;  it was everywhere, growing up in The Bronx in the 80’s, and I think that artistic immersion, and those experiences, helped shape who I am today, and inspired me to become a Writer/Author, amongst other things, because the arts have always been about expression, and the written word was something that always had a very special kind of appeal to me as an expressive medium. I’m also a filmmaker and a music producer (as part of the music production team, The Arkatechz), and I would say that the common foundational denominator that supported my inspirations and aspirations overall, would have to be my love of storytelling. We tell our stories through the written word, we tell stories through music, through film, and I would attribute my specific attraction to storytelling and the written word, as a Writer/Author, to my love of comic books. I was a comic book addict, growing up, lol. The stories were amazing, the artwork was amazing, the writing was incredible, and I wanted to be a part of that; to be able tell my own stories. When it comes to storytelling and writing, I tell people that Marvel Comics founder, Stan Lee, made me, lol.
2) What was the inspiration behind your story?
Answer: The inspiration behind the story, “Backseat in The Dark,” was my wanting to examine the fragility of the human condition, how that fragility comes about through our experiences, and how dangerous that fragility can be to ourselves and others, if it’s not handled with care. There were a lot of times that I would be on the road by myself at night, leaving work, leaving an event, leaving a social gathering, etc., and I would see car accidents, road rage arguments, people driving recklessly, all kinds of negative things, or potentially negative things, and I would wonder what kind of day those people had. Maybe there was something else that happened, some other experience they had, or they were having, that might’ve influenced their current behavior, or predicament, for the worse. If the law of attraction can attract good things, then it would follow, that maybe it can also attract bad things.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your story?
Answer: That sometimes we, as people, have to learn how to let things go. “Backseat in The Dark” is a fictitious cautionary tale of what else could go wrong when we can’t shake off the things that bother us the most. If a person can’t move on, that person runs a great risk of getting “stuck.”
4) If you could sit down and ask any character in your story a question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Answer: This is an awesome question! I would want to sit down with our protagonist, Ian, and ask him how long his grudging attitude has been with him. Has this always been a part of his personality, or something that developed just before he got married?  He has a lot of issues.
5) What’s more important to you when writing: developing plot or creating characters?
Answer: It kinda varies, depending on the type of story I’m trying to tell, but generally, I apply the same importance to both of those development devices. A great plot will always grab your audience’s attention, but in order to maintain that attention, you have to develop characters that your audience will actually care about; whether they love to love those characters, empathize with those characters, or even love to hate those characters, within the parameters of a story.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful or beneficial in creating your readership?
Answer: It’s hard for me to say, definitively, but I think it’s kind of a toss up between Facebook and Twitter. Facebook’s reach is larger than Twitter’s, but Twitter is a somewhat smaller and different kind of pond, so you don’t have to swim as hard as you would have to on Facebook, in order to get to readers, because Facebook is just so saturated with things designed to compete for a reader’s attention. My team helps me out a lot with the social media thing, because it requires so much time and management, that I can’t always give it myself. Shout out to them. I appreciate everything that they do. They’re not happy that I’m not on Instagram though, lol. I’m like “how many social media accounts do I need?” and they’re like “You need all of them!” lol.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or new authors out there?
Answer: My advice to new and aspiring authors would be to keep writing, and never force it. Creativity gets lost in formality. To say to yourself “I have to write this story, and this many words, on this day, between these times,” hinders the creative process. Don’t pressure yourself. When the creativity is ready to flow, it’ll flow. Wait for it.
8) What’s next for you? Any new projects on the horizon?
Answer: The sky is definitely the limit, God willing. I’ve got several new projects on the horizon. I have a short film, and a new television series I’m currently writing, in development, along with an ongoing sketch comedy series, The Scenes, that’s out right now, and another feature film on deck, of which we’re trying to iron out some financing particulars. My first feature film was Hi Hater: The Documentary. As far as books are concerned, I already have a story and an early draft for another book I might put out in the coming months, but we’ll see what happens, because there’s an interest in flipping that potential book into a film, so I’m not sure what direction we’re going to head in, initially; film first, book second? Or book first, film second? Decisions, decisions, lol. Thank you, Anthony, for taking the time out to interview me. I appreciate it.
You can find the author on Facebook here –> https://m.facebook.com/AuteurDewar/

Happy Launch Day Everyone!!

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Hello there, this is Anthony Avina. I wanted to let you guys know that my book, I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered, is now live and available for
purchase! As I’m posting this is it midnight on Friday, October 20th, and the book is available in both paperback and eBook formats. You can
get the book on iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon, Smashwords, Createspace and more! You can find the links in the preorder section on the
left side of this blog.

I wanted to thank those who have shown an interest in my book thus far. It’s already garnered it’s first 5-star review, and it means the world to
me that you guys are responding to it. This book is the collection of my first novella series, featuring the novellas “I Was A Teenage Killer”,
“I Was A Teenage Zombie” and “I Was A Teenage Demon”. I have not only combined these novellas into a novel, but I have completely reworked the
original manuscripts, polishing the writing itself and adding some fun and more relevant plot twists that I think you guys will enjoy.

This story follows a beautiful young teenager named Lisa Etron. The small North Carolina town of Willow Springs sees Lisa as the perfect example
of high school success. She’s a cheerleader, an A+ student, and treats everyone with respect and kindness. After securing a date with her best
friend Dave, Lisa appears to be on top of the world. What Dave and the rest of the town fails to realize is that Lisa is hiding a dark secret. A
secret that is both terrifying and deadly, and threatens to consume the town in chaos once unleashed. Providing a new face for terror, the novel
features scares, chills and the ultimate fight between good and evil. Can evil wear a pretty face? Can love win over hate? Find out in I Was An
Evil Teenager: Remastered!

I hope you guys will enjoy this novel. It’s perfect for the Halloween season, and is a throwback to the young and inexperienced author I was
over seven years ago when I first published this series. For anyone with a blog or an interest in reading this book, I have free electronic copies
of the book available in .mobi, PDF and ePub formats. I can send you a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review, so send me an email to
authoranthonyavina@gmail.com and I’d love to work with you. Thanks for your support everyone, and look out for more giveaways and announcements
in the future!

bit.ly/2eRfbd8

Interview with Author John P. Kildemm

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1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. What inspired you to become a writer?

I was inspired to become a writer through comedy. I have been a standup comedian for over a decade and even as a kid, standup was one of the few professions that I could actually respect. Which, despite a fear of talking in front of people, allowed me to pursue standup comedy.

2) What was your biggest inspiration for writing this book?

The biggest inspiration for writing this book, Hey Doorman VIII, was the election of Donald Trump. Which if one reads the book will easily identify as the inspiration. As I saw, and continue to see, a lot Trump’s attributes (arrogance, thin-skinned, xenophobic, misogynistic etc.) in the intoxicated and not intoxicated patrons of the establishments I work at. The number two inspiration was having time in between other projects (and not being hired to write on a tv writing staff, but that’s a story for another day about being black in Hollywood).

3) What theme or message do you hope readers identify with when reading your book.

In all of my non-fiction titles, which Hey Doorman is, there is no overall message or theme, besides being entertaining and funny in my signature brand of comedy. Which is honest, simple and wrapped in a Tarantino/Palahniuk/Chappelle darkness. In my fiction titles, the overall message often follows one of my favorite lines (albeit modified) from the Matrix trilogy: “Everything that has a beginning has an end. I see the end coming. I see the darkness spreading. I see death. And there is nothing that stands in its way.”

4) What social media site has been the most helpful in gaining a readership?

I’m not sure there is a social media site that has been most helpful in me gaining readership. Each one that I’ve used in the past, Facebook and Twitter, have there own benefits. But neither seems to have outweighed the other. If anything, the best way to gain readership without a big financial push, is word of mouth. So in that way, Facebook and Twitter are about equal in my estimation. But I just joined Instagram, so we’ll see what happens there.

5) What advice would you give to anyone who wants to pursue a writing career or is a beginning author?

My biggest advice to aspiring authors, is the same advice that Too $hort gives to aspiring rappers: “Don’t stop rapping.” In other words keep writing.

6) Any future writing projects in the works?

I do have a few projects currently in the works, but the one which I am most proud of is my directorial debut titled: HUMOR. The short film will be released October 30th on Vimeo On Demand and is available now for pre-order. This is the film’s trailer: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/humorashortfilm

 

You Can Follow John P. Kildemm At The Links Below!

https://www.instagram.com/outlawhaji/
https://www.facebook.com/hs.outlaw

Interview with J.G. Dow

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  1. Q) Tell us a little about yourself. How did you find yourself becoming an author?  I was born in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire which is in the North of England and have always lived in the area apart from a few years away at University in Manchester which was much fun! I started out with poetry and have written a few other things but never anything in the ‘chick-lit’ category and so this was a new venture for me. I really enjoyed the writing process and so went from there really. It’s quite addictive once you start writing and fulfilling as well. I also like Snooker, comedy and reading.
  2. Q) How did Jane of Manchester come to be written? What triggered the idea for this novel? The book came into being as I wanted to write something that might have a wide readership and also, I felt like the challenge of seeing if I could write something I felt wasn’t in my comfort zone. Time spent in Manchester years before suddenly seemed like an interesting place to set a novel and I knew I could write about real bars and restaurants and areas in the city to make it authentic.
  3. Q) What theme or message do you hope readers take away from this novel? I suppose the message would be to not panic in life that others are moving ahead of you and try and keep to your own path and not be swayed. It’s not always easy to do any of this and looking around at others and how they are moving forward can make you insecure as a person and anxious even but you can’t let that beat you. I think I make it clear that family and friends and a sense of community are important as well for a happy life. Try and relax and enjoy life but don’t expect things to always be rosy otherwise, disappointment will find you every time.
  4. Q) If you could sit and chat with anyone in this story, who would it be and what would you ask them?  Maybe I’d talk to Kate, Jane’s sister and ask her why she has to have a superior attitude the whole time! Some people do think themselves better than others, especially if they have a good job like she does- Junior Doctor- and begin to think others are beneath them in some way. They probably don’t mean to be like this but people like Kate do make others feel unworthy sometimes and so I would put her in her place somehow!
  5. Q) What social media site has been the most helpful building your readership?Facebook is helpful and I have a page- J.G. Dow@homeofjane- which I use to post links to interviews like this and reviews and people check them out and hopefully sometimes buy the book or read it in the kindle library. Bloggers like your good self are also very important not just for reviews but also for giving new authors exposure on their sites, so thanks for that! Twitter is okay but I’m not great at using in effectively.
  6. Q) When writing a story what is more important to you as an author: developing plot or creating characters? The most important initial thing is to have good characters. You can’t do much if the characters are flat and lifeless so you need to start there really and have a good feel for who they are and treat them very much as if they exist in the real world. Plot is obviously important but depends on the book you are writing and as mine is more character driven, the story is a bit looser than a thriller or some crime novel would be where plot possibly comes before characters slightly.
  7. Q) What advice would you give to aspiring authors? To aspiring authors I would say it is important to like writing and don’t see it so much as work, but something you like to do. I think if you enjoy it, that will come through in the content of the writing and if you find it a bit tedious, that will show as well.
  8. Q) What future projects are on the horizon for you? Any future installments in the Jane of Manchester story? I have just recently finished the sequel to Jane of Manchester and will be putting it on Amazon next week sometime probably and will post a link to it on my Facebook page once its out. It furthers Jane’s exploits in the city and hopefully broadens her tale quite considerably as she slowly emerges from her shell and moves forward a bit, albeit at her own pace! That’s it for now really, although I have an unfinished book from ages ago I might try to complete if I can remember where I was up to with it!

 

How The Dark Tower by Stephen King Inspired My Writing

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How The Dark Tower by Stephen King Inspired My Writing

Hello there everyone! I wanted to start writing a series of posts describing how various books, authors, films, television shows, musicians, video games and even internet stars have influenced my writing in general, as well as the way they have influenced specific storylines within my books. The best writers in the world have found inspiration from the world around them, from world events to nature and the works of other authors. Today, I want to discuss one of the biggest influences on me as an author: The Dark Tower by Stephen King.

This series spans eight novels, as well as short stories, interconnected story points in other works by Mr. King, comics, and now a motion picture with plans for a television and film franchise. This is by far the author’s most famous work, and the connectivity of his works to this series has influenced my own storytelling.

The main plot of the story revolves around Roland Deschain, the last of a long line of gunslingers, who travels his broken world in search of the man in black, a sinister wizard he holds responsible for the downfall of his people. In his search, he also searches for The Dark Tower, a vast tower that binds all worlds and realities together. The man in black works for his master, the Crimson King, to destroy the beams that hold the tower in place, in the hopes that it’s destruction will bring chaos and death to all worlds. Roland must go on a quest to stop this mad plan, gather forces of good to help him stop the Crimson King and save the tower once and for all.


It’s a story the blends several genres, from fantasy and horror to westerns and science fiction. This combination of genres is the first inspiration from this series. The way Stephen King is able to expertly craft a story that incorporates these genres without making it chaotic and unbearable to read is a true source of inspiration. It shows that there is a place for all of these genres to co-exist, and that not one genre is necessarily better than the other.


The second inspiration from this series is the way in which Stephen King connects all of his books. Whether it’s characters like Father Callaghan from Salem’s Lot showing up in book five of the series or the man of black becoming the villain of not one, but at least three different books, this series has shown me the power of connectivity, and how it can inspire larger and more powerful story telling. I’ve begun to apply this to my two main series thus far, Nightmare Wars and The Legend of Electric Fusion. I’ve introduced a character named Larry, who brings chaos with him everywhere and travels between worlds and dimensions to mess with people, and in so doing he appears in both series. My hope is to bring characters from both series together in an epic series like The Dark Tower in the future.


These are just a handful of ways this series inspired me. I’ve learned a lot about the show versus tell storytelling device that I’ve mentioned before in my reviews, and am learning to apply it to my own writing. Stephen King uses this device expertly, subtly leaving plot points within the story that readers pick up on with excitement and eagerness. I’ve learned to apply a more “real-world” dialogue to my writing, in which i don’t worry about applying a vast and expansive dialect that makes me sound like a walking thesaurus but rather i write as if i were just dictating the conversations of real people who experience extraordinary circumstances.


Overall, The Dark Tower is my biggest influence as an author. Mr. King has done a masterful job of creating a narrative that brings heart and emotion to an edge-of-your-seat adventure with scares, thrills and heartbreak. It was a fantastic series that will continue to inspire me throughout my career, and with the major motion pictures starring Idris Elba set to premiere soon, i highly recommend you guys reading this series if you need a healthy dose of writing inspiration. Thank you, Mr. King, for creating such an incredible work of art in The Dark Tower. 


What is your current inspiration, whether its for writing or some other project in your life? Are you guys going to see The Dark Tower when it comes out? Leave your answers in the comments below. 

Interview with Allison Floyd

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Interview with Allison Floyd

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. What made you want to become an author?

A) I was born and raised in New England and knew from a young age i wanted to be an author. As a little girl I would write stories and staple
printer paper together to make “books” that I would illustrate myself. I initially thought I wanted to be an English teacher but then I
realized while I liked analyzing and reading literature, I didn’t think I wanted to spend the rest of my life teaching the same books year
after year. I have been writing creatively my whole life but it wasn’t until I mentioned to my friend I had an idea for a novel but that I
didn’t think there was any point in finishing it that she convinced me I should absolutely go for it. I’m very grateful to her for that.

2) What was the inspiration for A Wider Universe?

A) I was inspired to write A Wider Universe during my senior year of college at Fairfield University. I was taking two classes, a British
Literature Survey, and a class called American Lit and Religion that were both really making me think about the Big Questions. One day in
class I was listening to a discussion on Sir Thomas More’s Utopia and it just clicked with the readings by Ralph Waldo Emerson I had been
doing in my other class. I became fascinated with this idea of paradise being a place where no one was legally permitted to force their
beliefs on others and I thought a great deal about how that isn’t the reality we live in today. That’s how Gene and Patrick came to exist.

3) What message or theme do you hope readers take away from your book?

A) Ideally I hope that readers will connect with or relate to the characters and their journeys of self-discovery and realize that we are
all complex and flawed. I also hope it gets them thinking about the idea of making human connections while respecting people’s differences
but still working to find common ground.

4) If you could have a conversation with any of your characters, who would it be and what would you ask them?

A) I love this question. I think I would most want to have a conversation with Jansson. He’s had a very interesting life, and as a
psychology professor, he’s well versed in human behavior yet he still has a lot of emotions and sensibilities that he doesn’t seem to
understand himself, so I would want to ask him what he thinks about the human condition and whether he feels safer seeing it as purely
academic instead of applying it to his own life.

5) What advice would you give to any aspiring authors out there?

A) If you have an idea or a sudden inspiration strikes you, put it to paper. Whether or not you think it will lead to anything or go
anywhere it’s very important to write it down and tell your story. That way it will be there if you decide it’s a project you want to
come back to. Great ideas are few and far between so don’t let it go to waste because you’re worried it won’t amount to anything.

6) What are your future plans? Any other book’s on the horizon?

A) I have written the beginning of a second novel about a young woman who was adopted who discovers she has a biological sister across the
Atlantic. I don’t know what my plans are for it yet; whether or not I want to shelve it to work on something else or whether I want it to
be my next project. I’ll have to wait and see where my inspiration takes me.