Author Meet & Greet!

Welcome to Author Meet & Greet

Here, you will have an opportunity to meet authors,  connect with them through their social media links (if they choose to share them), and purchase their works.

The 4 most current interviews will be posted here. Older ones may be found under the Archive: Author Meet & Greet on the front page by the author’s last name.


**Jack Ketchum’s Interview from December 2017 is PINNED at the bottom of this page**



So, without further ado, let’s get to know

Meet & Greet Author:  #125

Trever Bierschbach



Name: Trever Bierschbach

Genre(s) of your work: Speculative fiction focusing on Dystopia and Fantasy.



Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Embers of Liberty 2018

When Heroes Rise 2019



Trever has been writing since he was very young.  He is a fiction writer, poet, avid reader, gamer, and has countless hobbies with an amazing wife that tolerates all of it.  He writes because the stories and ideas have to go somewhere, even if no one else reads them.  Much of his writing can be found on,, and He is also a journalist covering various geek interests and fandoms.  He also has two shorts available on Amazon under the titles Wastelander, and Watelander: Not as they Appear, and the short story collection When Heroes Rise.

When he’s not writing he works for a software company in Peoria, helps keep house in Pekin.  He’s a member of the competitive air rifle club through the German American Society of Central Illinois, and helps his wife with her own jewelry business – Ravenwing Creations.

Most of Trever’s fiction interests lie in fantasy and science fiction, but some of his writing includes alternate history and dystopian speculative as well. His next novel will begin a trilogy of books following a young priestess devoted to saving her people enslaved by a powerful demonic deity.


Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I enjoy fantasy because there are few limits on what I can do as an author to tell the story I want to tell. The only real rules are those of the world I’ve built to tell those stories in. My first book is dystopian but it still follows the same principles as fantasy for me. I think, with fantasy, our options are wide open to explore almost any theme.


How has writing changed/altered your life?

Hard to say, since I’ve been writing for so long, but getting published sure has changed things. Marketing, writing, selling at shows, and looking for any opportunity to get books in the hands of readers has become a second full-time job for me. But, it’s the most fun I’ve had at work.


Who are your favorite authors and why?

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have had a huge influence on my writing and are, by far, my favorite authors. Their Dragonlance Saga taught me a lot about worldbuilding and handling a large cast of characters. They’ve written one of the few books that I regularly return to, and have read over half a dozen times.


What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I think there’s a place for them for sure. It’s tough for small, new book stores to stay in business and I feel like it’s always been that way. Independent stores tend to do better carrying used books and some new stuff from local authors. There isn’t enough of a profit margin and from what I understand the distributors make it tough on smaller shops. To me, as long as we’re getting books to as many people as possible, and making them as easy to obtain as possible, then I’m all for it.


How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Quite a lot, in some of my work. I’ve tapped into a lot of my own personal experiences with grief and anger after the passing of my parents, for example. I’ve been able to use that and channel it into some of my current work and the characters in it.


What motivates you to complete your (writing) work?

This current work is the product of years of character development, to the point that I’ve come to care a lot about her and her story. Besides wanting to see that complete, I find that when I don’t write, I think constantly about the stories I want to tell. There are stories in my head that need to be told and that’s a lot of motivation.


Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

Very few, if any. The world is an ugly place, always has been and always will be. It’s also a beautiful place, and one can’t exist without the other. It’s our job, as artists, to show both. We have to make people uncomfortable with the bad things that happen. When we avoid them, or ignore them, it doesn’t make them go away. I’ve heard people say that too much of a thing like violence desensitizes people to it but I would argue that lack of exposure to the dark is worse.


Where can people find you and your work?

Locally I’m in several small book stores listed on my website as well as a list of appearance I’ll be at for the next few months.


Twitter: @tjbierschbach

Facebook: treverbierschbachwrites

Embers of Liberty:

When Heroes Rise:

Thanks for stopping by, Trever!


Sean McDonough



Your Name: Sean McDonough

Genre(s) of your work: Horror


Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Beverly Kills- 2014

The Terror at Turtleshell Mountain- 2015

Rock and Roll Death Trip-2017

The Class Reunion- 2019




Raised on Goosebumps, the horror section at Blockbuster, and other things he shouldn’t have been exposed to at eight years old, Sean McDonough is a fresh new voice in horror fiction. His books evoke a sense of gleeful gruesomeness and dark humor, perfect for keeping the Halloween spirit alive all year long.


Why do you write in the genre that you do?

It’s just the way I’m wired. I came out of the factory with a fondness for chicken parmesean, rock and roll, and savage monstrosities.  There’s nothing to be done about it.


How has writing changed/altered your life?

It’s really come to be the trait that defines me. Writing is what I do when I get up at 5 AM on a Saturday. It’s what’s in the back of my mind throughout the day. If there’s a TV show I’m not watching, or a video game I never get to, it’s because my time is limited and writing always takes priority.


Who are your favorite authors and why?

I’ll skip the Stephen King cliche, even though he’s deservedly an icon, and go with Robert R McCammon. I love writers who blend great character work with an unpretentious love for the classic horror tropes.


What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I don’t think they’re where you want to go for a real deep dive into the alternative horror scene, but any place that sells books is fine by me.


How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Mostly in dialogue. I give all of my characters their own unique perspective (or I try at least), but everyone seems to come out talking with some variation of my own smart-ass way of speaking.


What motivates you to complete your (writing) work?

The investment into the characters and the story. If I feel like I’ve got something good brewing, then I’m motivated to push through and see how it ends.


Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

The short answer is no. The long answer is that I think the conversation gets muddied by how many hacks try to substitute being outrageous for being a good writer.


Where can people find you and your work?

You can follow me on Facebook at

Instagram at

And you can peruse my works at

My latest, The Class Reunion, comes out October 29th. It’s a lean, mean, slasher novella- satisfaction guaranteed for fans of 80s style slice and dice flicks.

Thanks, Sean, and congrats on the new book!


Brian Finney


Your Name: Brian Finney

Genre(s) of your work: Nonfiction and fiction




Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Money Matters: A Novel. Kindle Direct Publishing, 2019. Finalist in the 2019 American Fiction Awards.

Terrorized: How the War on Terror Affected American Culture and Society. Amazon: Kindle, 2011.

Martin Amis. Routledge Guides to Literature. London and New York: Routledge, 2008

English Fiction Since 1984: Narrating a Nation. London and New York: Palgrave

            Macmillan, 2006.

  1. H. Lawrence. Sons and Lovers: A Critical Study. Harmondsworth, Middlesex:

Penguin; New York: Viking Penguin, 1990.

The Inner I: British Literary Autobiography of the Twentieth Century.  London: Faber &

Faber; New York:  Oxford UP, 1985.

Christopher Isherwood: A Critical Biography.  London: Faber & Faber; New York:

Oxford UP, 1979. Won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Since How It Is: A Study of Samuel Beckett’s Later Fiction.  London: Covent Garden P,



I am a writer and Professor Emeritus of Literature at California State University, Long Beach. Educated in England, I obtained a BA from the University of Reading and a PhD from the University of London.

After serving three years as an officer in the Royal Air Force, I spent five years in industry as an internal management consultant and production control manager. Between 1964-1987 I taught and arranged extra-mural courses for the University of London. Since immigrating to the US in 1987 I have taught English literature at the University of California, Riverside, University of Southern California, UCLA, and California State University, Long Beach.



Why do you write in the genre that you do?

Money Matters is my first work of fiction. But before that I wrote in a variety of nonfiction genres – biography, criticism, genre study, and a socio-political book.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I first fell for D. H. Lawrence and made his shorter fiction the subject of my PhD thesis besides editing two volumes of his work. Next I fell under the spell of Samuel Beckett and wrote a pioneering study of his later prose pieces. More recently I have spent a lot of time reading and writing about the generation of British novelists who came to prominence in the 1980s and are still active, writers like Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie (not just British), Ian McEwan, Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro ad others. Most recently I have become an admirer of David Mitchell, a highly inventive writer.

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Obviously my profession as a university teacher of literature determined the kind of nonfiction books I wrote earlier in my life. Having taught students how to read and interpret fiction I was happy to try writing a novel myself once I stopped full-time teaching. Money Matters, my debut novel, made immigration a major issue. Only after finishing it did I realize that of course I was an immigrant and had experienced some of the challenges my immigrant characters faced in the novel.


Where can people find you and your work?

All my work that is still in print is available on Amazon. Money Matters is available there as an e-book, paperback and audiobook:   I have a website that offers extensive information on all my books and other publications: All my books are also listed in Goodreads: I post regularly on Twitter (brianfinneywri1) and Instagram (brianfinneywriter).


Thank you, Brian!


Joan Hall



Name: Joan Hall

Genre(s) of your work: Suspense/Romantic Suspense


Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

The Stranger – 2016

Unseen Motives – 2016

Unknown Reasons – 2017

Unclear Purposes – 2019


Anthologies (Collections with other authors):

Unshod – 2016

Bright Lights and Candle Glow – 2016

Macabre Sanctuary – 2016

Quantum Wanderlust – 2017


Joan Hall writes mystery and romantic suspense with strong, determined female leads and enigmatic male characters. A lover of classic rock music, several songs have served as the inspiration for some of her books.

When she’s not writing, Joan likes to observe the night skies, explore old cemeteries, and learn about legends and folklore. She and her husband live in Texas with their two cats.



Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I’ve always enjoyed a good mystery and once thought being a private detective would be a fun job. I didn’t start out with the intent of writing romantic suspense but it naturally found its way into my books. My upcoming series will also incorporate elements of folklore and legends.


How has writing changed/altered your life?

Not really, but because of writing, I’ve met and made several new friends. I’ve found the writing community to be very supportive.


Who are your favorite authors and why?

I’ve been a fan of Mary Higgins-Clark since I read her first book, Where Are the Children. I haven’t read any of her recent work, but her success speaks for itself. I also like John Grisham and Agatha Christie.


What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

Although I buy almost all my books online (and in electronic form) these days, I have fond memories of browsing the shelves of my local bookstores. I hate to see these brick and mortar structures go away.


How much does personal experience play in your written work?

I’ve used elements real-life experiences/observations in my books. In my first novel, a teenage girl’s father dies. To capture her emotions when she learned the news, I thought back to my own father’s unexpected death.



What motivates you to complete your (writing) work?

The sense of accomplishment of seeing my books in print.


Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

I don’t like the idea of censorship or banning books. If that begins, where does it stop? If I don’t agree with the subject matter of a book, I simply don’t read it.



Where can people find you and your work?

Website   |  Goodreads  | Twitter   |  Facebook   |   Amazon    | Instagram   |   BookBub


Thanks for visiting with us, Joan!


Jack Ketchum (PINNED – Interviewed in December 2017)


Name: Dallas Mayr

Pseudonym (if you use one): Jack Ketchum

Genre(s) of your work: Horror and Suspense (and the occasional Black Comedy.)

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):  Writing professionally since 1970, first fiction 1976, first novel, OFF SEASON, 1981.

Bio: see my website add to that, Most Recent Novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF SOULS, written with Lucky McKee and Most Recent Collection, GORILLA IN MY ROOM.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?  

I grew up loving fantasy, and horror is the dark side of fantasy.

How has writing changed/altered your life? The usual perks of self-employment — no punching the time clock, no damn bosses hovering over your desk.  But in addition to that, writing mandates continual periods of self-examination.  You don’t easily get away with lying to yourself on the page.  It requires you to scour your history and your present for your deepest faults and pleasures, to reveal and revel in them, to find the strengths in your life and work from there, reaching outward.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Far too many to list here.  I read all over the place and consequently my favorite writers come from all genres and backgrounds, from Henry Miller to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, from Raymond Chandler, Elmore Leonard and John D. MacDonald to Thomas Hardy, Philip Roth, Michael Chabon, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub and Stephen King.  Why?  Because they’re smart, empathic, courageous.  Because they’re good!

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I wish we had a lot more mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar bookstores.  I seriously miss browsing.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your work?

The need for empathy and tenderness in the world, that the souls of beasts and humans matter.  And a few hours of just plain fun.

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Depends on the piece.  Some, like THE GIRL NEXT DOOR and RED, are highly personal, others…?  I don’t know where the hell they came from!

How do you find the motivation to complete a book/story?  

Finishing a piece is almost always easy.  It’s getting started that’s hard.  Getting all your ducks in a row and then having the balls and suspension of disbelief  to say to yourself, this is really going to work.

What makes you NOT finish reading a book?

I give books a first paragraph test.  If it passes, then a first chapter test.  If it passes that, I’ll almost always finish the book — I can tell from there that I’m going to want to.   If it fails I scuttle it immediately.  Very occasionally, too much repetition will make me dump it.  I don’t want to waste reading-time.  Too much good stuff out there.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

Nothing should ever be censored.  Everything is worth discussing.  How long a discussion is another matter entirely.

Any pet peeves in writing? In reading others’ work?

 Life’s short.  I don’t bother with peeves.  If I’m bored, I just close the book.

Where can people find you and your work?

Website, see above. I have a list of published works there.   Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia,


What can I say?

I am honored to have snagged a bit of Jack Ketchum’s time, for him to share his thoughts and words with me (and my readers), and for his participation in a blog such as this one. Thank you so much – for the interview as well as your writing. It has and continues to be an inspiration.

Readers, I implore you to look into Jack Ketchum’s work, especially if you are a horror/suspense fan. From the mouth of Stephen King – “Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.”


    1. Hi Donna;
      My pleasure. As an independent author myself, I know that marketing is key and getting the word out by any means is crucial.


  1. Hi Sue. Thank you for including me in this roundup of four writers. I read all the interviews with pleasure. The CWA includes so many interesting members. I enjoyed meeting my fellow interviewees via your blog.
    Susan Bass Marcus

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s nice to see Teri here — always good to know a little more about her. I had to laugh about her friends being more careful about what they say. 😀 It’s funny how many people worry they’ll be “in the book” when they learn you write. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely have some new books to order (Zombie turkeys – still chuckling). I just finished my fifth book and I’m taking a year off to just read and read and read. Thanks for the great interviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, LB! That’s the point of the interviews – to give everyone a chance to find out about each other. Thanks for reading and feel free to spread the word! 🙂


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