Author Meet & Greet!

Welcome to Author Meet & Greet

All are welcome here.

Connect with authors through their social media links (if they choose to share them), learn about their writing process, and purchase their works.

The 4 most current interviews are posted here. Older ones may be found under the Archive: Author Meet & Greet on the main page of this blog 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:  #142

Desiree Byars

 

 

Name: Desiree Byars

Genre(s) of your work: Horror

 

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Patchwork, March 13.2020

Bio:

I’m Desiree Byars. I’m a nerd and currently live in Texas. I write, read, and play video games. I have a house full of animals from my years of rescue work.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

Horror is something I’ve always been drawn to, as far back as I can remember. My very first short story was written at six years old, and was horror. I’m sure my therapist could dig deep and try to figure out why. It’s what I love reading, writing, playing … I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

I’m not much of a people person. Like many others I have fairly severe anxiety, self-esteem is often in the toilet, etc. Writing and going to conventions and talking to people is changing that. I’m learning to believe in myself and my work, see that I really do have something to offer the world, and meet people I otherwise would have shied away from.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Way too many to list them all. The obvious is Stephen King. These days I prefer his son, Joe Hill, to him. Joe is fresher, and I think takes a much shorter road through the story than his father tends to. The Deep by Nick Cutter will always be a favorite; I really need to get on to more of his work. I like some of the extreme horror, splatterpunk stuff, such as Edward Lee. There are independent authors I enjoy. Jae Mazer writes excellent horror with strong female characters, I love her stuff. Mike Lane has some short stories out in the world that are wonderful, highly detailed, big worlds, deep meanings.

Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?

I think they’re in between. It’s not a new thing, some people being visual and others being auditory, others being hands on. There will always be people that prefer to listen to their books and get more out of them that way. There will always be long commutes when it’s easier to play a book through the radio while you’re stuck in traffic. I have an author friend who listens to them while he writes. I don’t think they’re going anywhere. On the other hand, there will always be people like myself, who don’t do well with audiobooks. I struggle to follow sometimes when things are being read to me. I must physically read it myself to get the full experience. So definitely not a fad; I think they’re here to stay.

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

There is a piece of me in a lot of my stories. I’ve had a lot of experiences in life, both good and bad, I draw from to write. It’s very easy to take a time I was rejected, or something traumatic that happened to me, and spin it into a tale I have control over. That’s what happened with the final story in Patchwork, Dear Cricket. It’s a story loosely based on an experience in my life when I was a teenager. I wrote the story and I had full control over how it ended. So in that way, it’s therapeutic. I think each protagonist I write, and even some antagonists, have a little bit of me somewhere in there.

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

I don’t. I wrote about things in Patchwork people will not like. The first story has a dog in it, the last story is about child molestation. When I wrote it, I pulled back, because nobody wants to read a detailed account of child sexual abuse. In this case, it served the story, and without that element the story would have never worked. So if you censor me, or other writers, and say NO ANIMALS or NO CHILD ABUSE or NO whatever, my book doesn’t get written. There are cases where we write what we write to help people. I wrote Dear Cricket as a way for other victims of sexual abuse to have a few minutes in their day where they got to win. If you censor me based solely on that content, those readers never get that. If it serves the story, I will go there. I’m a firm believer in if it’s too much for you, put the book down. Turn the channel. Scroll on by. Of course, obvious disclaimer, some books aren’t meant for children, including mine. That’s a parental choice. But overall censorship? No.

Where can people find you and your work?
http://www.scriptorcorruptus.com
https://www.facebook.com/DesireeByarsAuthor/
IG: desiree_byars_author
http://www.amazon.com/author/desireebyars

 

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Desiree!

**************************************

Pat Camalliere

Your name: Pat Camalliere

Genre: Mystery, historical, amateur sleuth

 

Titles/Year Published:

The Mystery at Mount Forest Island, 2020

The Mystery at Black Partridge Woods, 2016

The Mystery at Sag Bridge, 2015

 

 

Bio:     

Camalliere is the author of the popular, five-star rated and award-winning Cora Tozzi Historical Mystery Series, which is set in Lemont, where she lives with her husband. A resident of Lemont for over twenty years, Camalliere wants to introduce readers to the unique places and history of the area through her character-driven mystery novels. She serves on the boards of the Lemont Area Historical Society and the Lemont Public Library District, and is a member of the Society of Midland Authors, Chicago Writers Association, and Sisters In Crime. She speaks locally on a number of topics, and writes a blog about Northern Illinois history. Visit her web site at www.patcamallierebooks.com.

 

 

 

Why do you write in the genre you do?

One summer between seventh and eighth grades out of boredom I searched our attic and found an entire box of Perry Mason mysteries. My mother reluctantly allowed me to read them—the whole box before school started, and I’ve been hooked on mysteries ever since. After I retired, I decided to see if I had any writing talent. At my age I knew if it was ever going to happen at all, I had to focus right away on the things I loved: the community I lived in, my love for mysteries, an interest in the past, and the unique and oddball sides of life. So I threw all of that into my first novel, The Mystery at Sag Bridge, about a retired historian who had recently lost her mother and was being haunted by the ghost of a young woman who left behind a child when she was murdered in 1898. The mystery was to find the ghost’s killer as a very cold case, set in a historic graveyard in a forest preserve near suburban Chicago.

The book was popular locally, and my fans loved the characters, the things I revealed about the area, and the touch of the paranormal. I couldn’t disappoint them by eliminating any of these elements in my following books.

 

How has writing changed/altered your life?

For me, yes, because I wanted my writing to be read. To be commercially popular, a writer must spend vast amounts of time not only writing and perfecting her work, but pursuing ways for readers to find it. Even if you are writing only for your own pleasure, though, that pleasure is achieved only after producing something you can be proud of, and requires a great deal of thought, study, and revision. The bottom line here is that writing not only takes a lot of time it can be close to being an obsession.

Because I am interested in history, I write a blog on local and Northern Illinois history. I never thought I would enjoy public speaking, but I do. It’s a very satisfactory way of sharing my experience as a writer as well as the knowledge I gained through research. Perhaps my biggest pleasure is that I have met so many wonderful and supportive people that I would never have known if I weren’t a writer, and their honest respect of my work has been personally rewarding.

 

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Surprisingly, I read in my genre, but when I read for pleasure I turn to police procedurals, crime books set in Western United States, and legal thrillers. I have a variety of favorite writers: Elizabeth George, C. J. Box, Jo Nesbo, Scott Turow, Georges Simenon, Craig Johnson, William Kent Kreuger, Nevada Barr, and Ken Follett.

 

 

 

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

A lot! My personal memories are scattered through my books, often with changes for effect. I enhance  backstories, giving the experience to different characters. My characters can be based on people I knew, but are blends. I use a lot of dialog and I role-play that to make conversations more realistic. But probably the biggest impact of personal experience comes into play in showing the story’s emotional impact on the characters. It is easier to write emotion that you have lived. There’s a quote—historians tell you what happened, but a novelist shows you how it felt. Something like that. That’s the power of story, and to develop that power I have to put myself in that character’s place. Often the best way to do that is to take myself into a similar emotionally-impactful memory, and get those feelings on the page. The writer is always looking for her character’s reaction, analysis, and decisions. Those are driven by emotion, even with logical characters.

My first book, The Mystery At Mount Forest Island, came from some poltergeist-type experiences I had had throughout life. I asked myself, what if these are not coincidences but there is a presence behind them? What might that look like? Those experiences and questions formed the basis of my plot.

 

Where can people find you and your work?

Please visit my website, www.patcamallierebooks.com. You can also view my blog there, where I have written many articles about local history, focusing on quirky and little-known events. Please leave a comment; I love to engage with readers.

My books are available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon. Here’s the link to my newest release : https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Mount-Forest-Island-Historical/dp/1937484726/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1586187132&sr=8-1

In addition, my books can be purchased locally in a few stores, and I sign books at frequent speaking engagements, book club discussions, local festivals, and the like. Now that Covid-19 has put a stop to personal meetings, changes will be in order. Of course that’s disappointing, as I so enjoy talking with readers personally. I’m sure we’ll work it out somehow.

 

Other things I’d like to say?

I think I’m fortunate to live in a very interesting place, and it is a big advantage to be able to pull stories from the area. Lemont, unlike other areas in suburban Chicago, is semi-isolated, sitting on a bluff and bordered by the Des Plaines River, and surrounded by woods and farms rather than subdivisions and shopping centers. Not only is the geography interesting, but the history is quirky. And the area is noted for its ghost stories, rich in ideas for mystery writers, and my fans love that I am taking them to places that are familiar. My books allow them to see where they live in a new way.

My books have a common theme of solidarity between families and friends and explore the profound connections in relationships. In particular, all three books deal with the importance of motherhood in some way, interweaving dependencies between past and present. In The Mystery at Sag Bridge, the main character is grieving the loss of her mother, and the ghost who is haunting her is grieving the loss of a daughter, which creates a bond between the two. In The Mystery at Black Partridge Woods, a Potawatomi mother is searching for a killer in order to free her son from imprisonment. And in The Mystery at Mount Forest Island, a blind and friendless woman is searching for the mother that deserted her when she was a teen. They never start out with that theme, but as the meaning of the story develops mothers are always involved in an important way. I can already see that pattern taking place in my next book.

Thanks for sharing with us, Pat!

*****************************************

Michael J. Moore

 

 

Name: Michael J Moore

Genre(s) of your work: Horror, Thriller, Romance, YA

 

 

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

After the Change – January 2019 (MKM Bridge Press)

Highway Twenty – October 2019 (HellBound Press)

 

Bio:

My books include the bestselling post-apocalyptic novel, After the Change (published by MKM Bridge Press)the horror novel placed on the Bram Stoker Preliminary Ballot 2019 for Superior Achievement in a Novel, Highway Twenty (published by HellBound Books) and the soon to be released thriller Secret Harbor (to be published by Black Rose Writing).

My work has appeared in Blood Moon Rising Magazine, Horrorzine Magazine, Schlock Magazine, Minutes Before Six, Terror House Magazine, Siren’s Call Magazine, Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine, HellBound Books anthology “Ghosts, Spirits and Specters”, The Electric Press, has been adapted for theater and produced in the Seattle area, is used as curriculum at the University of Washington and has received an Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest.  This year I also have short stories being released by Rainfall Books, Horror Tree – Trembling with Fear, Transmundane Press, Soteira Press and The University of Chicago, Awakenings Review.  Follow me at https://twitter.com/MichaelJMoore20
https://instagram.com/michaeljmoorewriting.

 

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

When I discovered I was a writer, I became instantly obsessed with writing anything. I was twenty-nine.  Where did that stem from?  In the third grade, I found a box of dusty Stephen King and V.C. Andrew novels in a closet in my Mom’s bedroom and I used to read every Christopher Pike book I could get my hands on. The entire young adult and horror genres were major influences on me from early on.  I mix them in with my writing without realizing it.

 

 

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Writing certainly hasn’t made me rich.  It really hasn’t altered my life at all, other than to allow me to write what’s in my head.  The stories write themselves and I’m just the vessel that puts them on paper. I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I couldn’t write down what my head is filled with.  It’s always been that way.  It’s only since I met my wife Cait Moore that I’ve been supported and able to send my work to publishers.  I guess you could say that maybe getting my wife to read one of my books (a good chat up line) changed my life because she’s my everything.

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and why?

 Early on, there was R.L. Stein, Stephen King, Christopher Pike. Then J.K. Rowling hit the scene and really raised the bar for YA fiction. I’m a big fan of Joe Hill also.

 

 

Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?

 I’d like to believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, but they aren’t popular in the UK, where my wife is from and I don’t see many people using them. My children don’t even like them.

 

 

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

Oh, I love bookstores. I think anyone who loves books does.  The problem is that they lack choice and they are so expensive compared to online stores like Amazon or The Book Depository.  Also, when authors host book launches I hear that they can be expensive if books have to be returned.  I certainly know that every time Cait goes into a store to buy a book for the boys, she enjoys the experience but often ends up buying the book online.

 

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

I feel that every writer draws on personal experience of some kind.  It plays a big part in my writing and people who know me will be able to pinpoint certain stories as parts of my life. I guess for the reader it’s going to be rather entertaining for them to try and work out what is based on experience and what is based on my dreams.

 

 

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

Absolutely not.  But I do believe that writing should be honest to the art.  If it’s journalism, it should be honest full stop. Often writers will write what they know the reader wants to read but it’s not exactly the truth.  That bothers me.

 

 

Where can people find you and your work?

People can find me either in Seattle, USA or London, England.  My books After the Change and Highway Twenty can be found on-line on Amazon.  My short stories however can be found in a plethora of magazines, both on-line and in hard form, as outlined in my bio.

 

 

Social Media

https://michaeljmoorewriti.wixsite.com/website
https://www.facebook.com/michaeljmoorewriting
https://twitter.com/MichaelJMoore20
https://instagram.com/michaeljmoorewriting
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-moore-28b800178/

Thanks for stopping by, Michael!

**************************************

Cait Moore

 

Name: Cait Moore

Genre(s) of your work: Romance, YA

 

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Lake City Way – Ninja Girl (2020)

 

Bio:

Cait Moore, studied commerce and law in Australia and pursued her career in the capital markets in London.  Since she was knee high to a kangaroo, she’s harboured a deep love for the written word.  Her fervent belief in the “one” has led her to explore in her fiction, what binds two hearts and souls.   Hers, belongs to her husband, author, Michael J Moore.   Follow her at www.facebook.com/cait.moore.5477 and caitmoorewriting.wixsite.com/website.

 

 

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

Actually I write because my husband Michael J Moore writes. He started me on this path and it’s not one that I would have thought I would pursue a few years ago.

 

 

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Writing has given me the ability to be a Mother and have a job that I enjoy. I now feel like I’m learning and growing as a person. Writing is one of those wonderful jobs that can be fitted in and around young children. Hence, I feel like I’m a young person again.

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and why?

That’s easy, my favorite author is my husband, Michael J Moore. His most recent book Highway Twenty was placed on the Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Novel in the 2019 Bram Stoker Award.  I’m so proud of him.

 

 

Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?

I love audiobooks. I used them a lot when I was pregnant with my children as I was nauseous and found it difficult to read. I really like that they can be paused and easily continued, unlike the days of cds when I was constantly falling asleep and having to find my place.

 

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I’m not very fond of mainstream bookstores because I don’t have time to walk in and not find what I am looking for.  I buy all of my books on-line as it’s quick and I can browse very easily.

 

 

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Actually, there is no personal experience in my writing. It’s all my imagination or ideas I’ve discussed with my husband. I don’t even used names of situations I’ve encountered. I like to live a different life through my books because as a Mother, I don’t get much time for myself and certainly not for entertainment.

 

 

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

I do believe writing should be censored but not heavily.  There are some topics which I believe are private and should be aired in certain places but not in every medium. That being said, I believe in freedom of speech so the question of censorship pulls me in two directions.

 

 

Where can people find you and your work?

People can find me in London, England and if I’m on holidays in Australia with my family on their sugar cane farm.  My book Lake City Way – Ninja Girl has just been published by Floricanto Press.

 

 

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/cait.moore.5477  
https://twitter.com/CaitMoore7
https://instagram.com/caitmoorewriting  

 

 

 

Thank you, Cait, for sharing with us!

*******************************************

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 http://www.jackketchum.net/and 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, https://www.facebook.com/jackketchumofficial/ Twitter, https://twitter.com/jackketchum Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ketchum

 

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.”

28 comments

    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.
      Thanks!
      Sue

      Like

  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! 🙂

      Like

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