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:  #145

Beth Hildenbrand


Name:  Beth Hildenbrand

Genre:  Dark Fantasy/Horror

Title- Cain Heretic Son


Beth Hildenbrand lives in Ephrata, Pennsylvania with her husband Matt and her sons. Beth enjoys hard rock/heavy metal music and loves going to concerts. She has a passion for vintage black and white horror movies.

Why Genre:

I was greatly influenced by classic horror. Books as well as movies. I was raised in a very religious family. The two combined to help me write Cain Heretic Son. It’s a modern day story with Biblical elements turned into a Supernatural Fantasy.

How has writing altered my life?

It’s been wonderful! I am self published. The Indie Author Community is amazing. They have really welcomed me with open arms and I have made a lot of really great friends.



Fab. Authors and why:

I have always been a big Barbara Michaels fan. I Love her books with the mystery and elements of the supernatural. I also enjoy Bentley Little and Graham Masterson. Lately I’ve been reading other Indie Authors. There are some really good writers out there.



Audio book?

I see a definite growth in audio books. I’ve been considering it for mine. People are so busy in today’s world. I can absolutely see audio books getting bigger in the future. Personally I’m still a paperback girl but I must admit I’m learning to appreciate my Kindle.



Mainstream bookstores:

I believe they still fill a need. Who doesn’t enjoy a bookstore. The racks and the smell of books. It’s easy to order online now but I still enjoy feeding my need for exploring a bookstore.



How much personal:

I definitely put a lot of myself in my writing. The setting for the book takes place in the small town where I grew up. The tavern where a good deal of action happens is a real place. The characters are loosely based on people in my life. I lost both of my patents while writing the book. I can honestly say I put my pain, anger, and frustration into the pages.




I am totally against censorship of any kind. Writers put the hearts into their books. Anyone who creates does as well. If people don’t care for your writing they can put your book down. If we censor things we can never have open conversations we can’t grow or learn from others ideas.



Where to find book?

My book is available on Amazon Kindle ebook and Paperback. Free on Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon link-





Thanks very much for sharing with us, Beth!


Daniel Millhouse



Name: Daniel Millhouse


Genre(s) of your work: I write multiple in multiple genres. I’ve been told to stick with one or use different pen names for different genres, but I write for the joy of it. I do it for me and hope that others enjoy the stories I tell.



Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

2014 – Old Man’s Lake (supernatural genre)

2014 – Heaven’s Darkside (action genre)

2014 – The Conjuring of M’Wait (supernatural genre – short story)

2015 – One Last Weekend (romantic genre – short story)

2015 – A Hundred Kisses (romantic genre)

2015 – 29 Pieces (general fiction – short story)

2015 – Cookies with Santa (Christmas fiction – short story)

2016 – Shadows of the Red Tree (a volume of supernatural stories)

2016 – A New Humanity (science fiction – short story)

2016 – Sol 12 (science fiction)

2016 – Adachu (children’s Halloween – short story)

2017 – The Writers’ Room (science fiction – short story)

2017 – A Night at Wonderland (general fiction)

2018 – Reach Out (general drama fiction – short story)

2018 – Simon Is Coming (action genre and book two of the Heaven’s Darkside series)

2020 – Love, For Cupid (comedy – short story)




I’ve been a writer of some form my whole life. Lyrics and poetry as a teenager. Screenplays and short stories up until my thirties. Around my mid-thirties, I moved into books.

I wanted something physical for others to read. I was tired of telling others about a screenplay play I wrote and was pitching to producers and production companies, but there was nothing physical to show for my work.

Being a massive book reader all my life, I decided to move into books. It was because of my writing abilities that I was able to change my career path, twice. The first time, working for multiple news sources for journalism, and eventually moving into my current job with Hodson P.I., one of the most renowned private investigation firms in America.

Before that, I had worked in a variety of fields. I had owned a restaurant, worked in retail, managed properties across California and Arizona, and more.

When I’m not writing or working, I love spending time with my dogs (Bandit, Pepper, and Daisy), watching baseball games, including attending Lake Elsinore Storm minor league games, checking out antique shops and museums, and watching classic movies.



Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I don’t limit myself to one genre. If I have a good idea that won’t go away, I play around with the idea, outline it, and write it up. It probably comes a little bit from the fact that I read multiple genres of books.



How has writing changed/altered your life?

Unexpectedly, it assisted in changing my career. Initially, I moved into local news journalism because the owner of a local news source knew I wrote books. I moved from writing local news stories to becoming a managing news editor.

It then helped further because with my current boss, my ability to write helped him choose me over other candidates applying for investigative work. I was brought on because of my social media skills and my ability to improve upon our reports. Four years later, I’m still working for him and can’t imagine myself working for anyone else until I decide to retire.



Who are your favorite authors and why?

I have several. Ernest Hemingway is one. I love the sense of adventure in his stories, which probably comes from the type of person he was in real life.

Out of the current authors, I like Dan Brown, Brad Meltzer, and Vince Flynn. Again, there is a sense of adventure, mystery, and the imagination they write with is amazing.

I also consider other favorites of mine to be F. Scott Fitzgerald, Steve Berry, Kevin Smith, and Raymond Khoury.



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

I don’t think they’ll be the sole wave of the future. I certainly believe that some people, especially those who travel or have long commutes, will listen to them to keep up with books they are interested in, but I don’t think they’ll replace books.

I can see e-versions of books eventually taking over a large portion of the industry. It wouldn’t surprise me if future generations get away from printed books and utilize tablets more.




What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I believe they serve a purpose to some extent. The atmosphere of a Barnes & Noble is certainly appealing to me compared to other retail stores, but I think they cater a lot to more well-known authors, or at least authors with large publishers. It may be different in other parts of the country, but in my part of Southern California, there are not a lot of options for stores carrying newer authors or local authors. I admit I get a little jealous when I see other parts of the country with local mom and pop shops that not only sell books by local authors, but they also get together with their local authors for events such as book signings and Q&A’s.



How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Some, but not a great deal. I don’t tend to write characters based on myself or those I know, but I do absorb life experiences like the next person and may integrate quirks or traits from those I have met in the past into my characters.




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

I don’t believe that writing should be censored for ninety-nine percent of the stuff that is out there. I usually believe exceptions to every rule though. Someone writing explicit child-based porn would fit under that category, in my opinion. Otherwise, I think everyone should be able to read what makes them happy. If you like spy-thrillers, have fun. If you’re into paperback romance books with Fabio on the cover, enjoy. If you’re into sci-fi, go for it. The point of reading a book, at least for those doing it recreationally, is to hopefully have some fun and escape to another world for a short amount of time.



Where can people find you and your work?

My books can be found through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through multiple eBook sources. I have a few books through Smashwords too, but I’ve gotten away from there in the last few years because I found that this outlet didn’t really help me get any more readers. (you can see images, book covers, and people I’ve mentally cast for roles for parts in my books on some of my boards)

I may go back to having my own website one day, but for now, I don’t have one.

Thanks so much, Daniel!


Brian J. Smith

Name: Brian J. Smith

Genre(s) of your work: Horror and mystery fiction; crime/noir



Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

“Dark Avenues” (novella) published an e-book on Amazon Kindle (July 2012)

“The Tuckers” published as an e-book on Amazon (December 2014)

“Three O’Clock” reprinted as an e-book on Amazon (March 2018)

“Dark Avenues” (collection) published by Amazon on December 3rd, 2019.




Brian J. Smith has been featured in numerous anthologies, e-zines and magazines in both the mystery and horror genres. His novellas Dark Avenues (the novella featured in the short story collection of the same name) The Tuckers, and Three O’ Clock are still available on Amazon for Kindle. He lives in southeastern Ohio with his brother the author J.R. Smith and four dogs where he eats more than enough spicy food that no human being should ever consume, already has too many books and buys more and doesn’t drink enough coffee to suite his palate.

His book, Dark Avenues, is available on Amazon for Kindle and paperback this December.


Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I was born in 1980 when horror movies were starting to peak. I grew up with Freddy, Jason and slasher movies like Pieces, Slumber Party Massacre and the like but I never watched those because my personal favorites were the Bugs-Gone-Bad movies. My favorites were Kingdom Of The Spiders, Slugs, Island Claws, Alligator, Frogs and Tentacles. The writing part came in a little later when I was thirteen and I was one of those kids who never fit in with the popular kids; I was the (to quote the actress Jordana Brewster from the movie “The Faculty) “the geeky Stephen King kid”.

If I were meant to write anything, it had to be horror.


How has writing changed/altered your life?

It’s taught how to look at the world in a different way. I’ve had a rocky childhood and being a writer has made me how to channel the after effects of that and apply it to my writing so it doesn’t eat me up inside.



Who are your favorite authors and why?

Stephen King, of course. Dean Koontz, Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, Bentley Little, Richard Laymon, Robert McCammon and H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft has influenced a lot of good writers nowadays including myself. The list of writers I’ve mentioned have made a profound impact on my writing and opened my eyes to a whole new world of horror.



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

In between. I prefer physical copies over electronic but I have a Kindle app on my I-Phone in case I’m somewhere and I’m bored to death I have something to do.



What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I have no problem with them. I think they should offer more resources to their customers but that’s just my opinion.



How much does personal experience play in your written work?

A lot. I wrote a crime-noir novel where the main character suffered from PTSD because he caught his father slamming his mother’s face into their bedroom closet door. I suffer from PTSD because of the same thing and when I incorporated that into my book it gave me the chance to lift that anger and frustration off of my chest.



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

No. Writing should be what it is set out to do. Entertain the masses and piss everyone else off.



Where can people find you and your work?

I’m on Facebook under Brian J. Smith, Instagram under singleandhappywriter9, Twitter under brianjoseph913 and on my Amazon author page under





Thanks for visiting with us, Brian!


Desiree Byars



Name: Desiree Byars

Genre(s) of your work: Horror


Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Patchwork, March 13.2020


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?
IG: desiree_byars_author


Thanks so much for sharing with us, Desiree!


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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