Author Meet & Greet!

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:  #177

Marcia Meara

Your Name: Marcia Meara

Genre(s) of your work: Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Paranormal Cross-Genres, and Things That Go Bump in the Night

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

WAKE-ROBIN RIDGE SERIES

Wake-Robin Ridge Book 1 – 2013

A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 – 2015

Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3 – 2016

The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4 – 2019

RIVERBEND SERIES

Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1 – 2014

Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2 – 2015

That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 – 2017

THE EMISSARY NOVELLA TRILOGY

The Emissary 1 (A Riverbend Spinoff Novella) – 2017

The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody (A Riverbend Spinoff Novella) – 2018

The Emisssary 3: Love Hurts (A Riverbend Spinoff Novella) – 2020

Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love – 2013

Bio:

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years and four big cats.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

Marcia has published seven novels, three novellas, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

My stories deal with all sorts of people in all kinds of situations, which often leaves me trying to squeeze round pegs into square holes. They just don’t fit in one genre very well, since they usually contain elements of several.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Writing has made my life better in every way. I started late (age 69) with and now I not only write, but do presentations in central Florida monthly, usually on wildlife, which is often a significant part of the background in my books—especially my Riverbend series, which is set in central Florida where I live. I’ve met so many wonderful people and am amazed that at 77, my life is so full! Every day is an adventure.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

My favorite author of all time is Daphne du Maurier who, wrote (among many excellent and beautiful novels) Rebecca, coincidentally my favorite book of all time. Her writing is stunning in its beauty, like dipping a pen in paint and using it to drizzle images down a page.

I’ve been reading for many years and have read nearly every genre, so I have accumulated a lot of favorite writers, including Dean Koontz, Preston & Child, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson, Larry Correia, Victoria Schwab, Maggie Stiefvater, D. Wallace Peach, Leigh Bardugo, the late Rachel Caine, Benedict Jacka, and on and on. These days, I read mostly fantasy, but everything is fair game.

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

I can’t really give a fair answer to that question, because I have very poor hearing, and can’t follow an audio book, even with my hearing aids. I use closed captioning when watching tv. However, I confess that the idea of words in a book being narrated by other than the voices in my own head wouldn’t appeal to me very much, even without this obstacle. I think there is definitely a place and a market for audio books, of course, but can’t imagine them taking over from the pleasure of curling up in a quiet corner with a good book or my Kindle. I guess you could put me down for “somewhere in between.”

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I’m happy anywhere I can browse through books.

What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?

Sadly, I’m completely out of my depth here, as I’m terrible at marketing, except in person at local events, where I do a pretty solid job of connecting with people and selling books. Therefore, I’ve done really well at building a local readership, but as for serious marketing? Not so much so. I know this is an area where I need a great deal of improvement, and I’m working on it. Will let you know if I hit on an outstanding tool that works well for those like me.

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

No. Period. People can and should make up their own minds about what’s worth reading and what’s not. They do not need others telling them what to read. It smacks too much of Fahrenheit 451 for my taste.

Where can people find you and your work?

I have published seven novels, three novellas, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon:

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

Wake-Robin Ridge

A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2

Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel

Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2

That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

 

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody

The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Email:  marciameara16@gmail.com

Social Media sites:

Blog:  The Write Stuff

Twitter: @marciameara

I appreciate this chance to visit your blog, Sue, and I’d just like to let folks know that I love having guest writers on mine, too: The Write Stuff. I have two series going currently, wherein I feature guests: #GuestDayTuesday (you can share your new releases, promote an older one, or talk about writing in general, and your own specifically); and Ten Things You May Not Know About Me, a fun series that lets others get to know you better. Full info is available on my blog.

Thanks so much for having me here today!

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Marie Powell

Your Name: Marie Powell

Genre(s) of your work: Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Last of the Gifted Series:

Spirit Sight – Aug 2020

Water Sight – Nov 2020

Bio:

Marie Powell’s adventures in castle-hopping across North Wales resulted in her historical fantasy series Last of the Gifted: Spirit Sight and Water Sight (thanks to Creative Saskatchewan Book Production and Market/Export grant programs). Marie is also the author of more than 40 children’s books with such publishers as Scholastic Canada Education, Amicus, and Lerner Lightning Bolt. Her award-winning short stories and poetry appear in literary magazines like Room and subterrain, and her nonfiction in magazine, broadcast, and online markets. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia (UBC), among other degrees. Marie lives on Treaty 4 land in Regina, Saskatchewan. Find her at mariepowell.ca

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

Well, fantasy is a favourite, maybe because I want to believe that all the stories really are true. My recent series, for example, is a chance for me to explore how some of the historical stories might have happened. It tells the tale of two siblings who pledge their magical gifts to protect their people from the invading English, with a little help from the last true Prince of Wales, after his murder. But I write in a lot of genres: fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, historical fantasy, and nonfiction. Usually I try to find the genre that best fits the story I want to tell.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I have so many favourite books and authors! I read a sprinkling of everything, but mostly fantasy. Everything from the classics like T.H. White’s Once and Future King and Edgar Allan Poe to modern authors like George R.R. Martin, Cassandra Clare, Jim Butcher, Leigh Bardugo, Robin Hobb. So many! I love books with strong characters that draw me into their lives, and face impossible dangers with honest courage and their own special style. I read about 50 books a year for pleasure, over and above the research I do for my books.

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. Listening to an audiobook is convenient and enjoyable, especially in the car when I’m driving. It keeps my mind active, and helps me be more patient with traffic snarls (my pet peeve!) Also, my first degree was in theatre. I trained and worked as a dramaturg, and I love hearing actors bring a character and situation to life. Audiobook actors who can do character voices create another level of enjoyment for listeners, and remind me of those days of sitting in rehearsals, listening to actors work. Love it!

What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?

The best marketing tool is honesty, I think, and a willingness to try different ideas. Marketing can help you get your books in front of people who want to read that kind of book. So you have to do your best to describe the book accurately and then find the audience that will be receptive to it. I really love visual images, and the covers of my books reflect that. I have video trailers and lots of visual images with the books, so readers can see themselves with that book and decide if that’s a match.

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

Those are tough questions. I’d like to say no, that I believe in free speech. But I think that some stories can harm us: stories that promote racism, for example, or misogyny. But it’s interesting that throughout the past 500-600 years, our definitions and perceptions have changed. Stories from the early 20th Century that were loved by readers then, are considered wrong-minded now. That’s something I think writers should think about. What is our role, and what responsibility do we have to our readers (and listeners)? The thing is, readers have changed too, and most readers know what they will tolerate and what they will reject. We need to trust readers more, and trust ourselves as readers.

Where can people find you and your work?

The best place to find or contact me is my website:  https://mariepowell.ca

And on social media:

Twitter @mepowell   https://twitter.com/mepowell

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariepowellauthor

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/mariepowellauthor/

YouTube Vídeo Trailers: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiJ3JY8YIleqD6W-cJHgSwWKlz3JV_sL3

Spirit Sighthttps://books2read.com/u/3n8A95

Water Sighthttps://books2read.com/u/4A701d

For review copies and promotional opportunities, please contact Mickey Mikkelson, Creative Edge Publicity, +1.403.464.6925, mickey.creativeedge@gmail.com

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Candace Nola

Your Name: Candace Nola  

Genre(s) of your work: Horror/Dark Fantasy

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

2019 Breach

2020 Beyond The Breach

2021 Hank Flynn

Bio:

Candace Nola is a Pittsburgh author with a lifelong passion for reading and writing. She started writing poetry as a young teen and branched out into short stories in high school. She did not begin writing professionally until early 2019 when a friend asked her about collaborating on a story for a writing contest. Four months later, Breach was finished and Candace set about the self-publishing route. As the story received more and more great feedback, she decided to give this writing dream a chance.

She signed up for a mentorship with the HWA, built a website dedicated to supporting indie horror authors called Uncomfortably Dark, began reviewing as much new horror as she could handle and began working on the sequel to Breach, called Beyond the Breach, that was released in December of 2020.  Hank Flynn will be her third novel, releasing in July of 2021.

She is a member of the Horror Authors Guild, and has appeared in the anthology, “Second Hand Creeps,” put out by Franklin E. Wales and Joseph M. Monks. She will also be appearing in two more anthologies in 2021, has a new novel in progress that is tentatively scheduled for a late December 2021 release and will continue to support indie horror with her website and TikTok following. She has plans to continue to build up her website to become a premiere site for all things horror and to make Uncomfortably Dark Horror a brand, not just a website.

She is also a freelance editor that is available for new and upcoming horror/dark fantasy authors. Follow Candace on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I have always loved the horror genre, horror movies, scary stories told around the campfire, spooky haunted houses; anything that gets the heart rate up or makes you scared to turn the lights off at night. Horror is such a broad genre as well, it includes paranormal, other worlds, demons and devils, stalkers and slashers and everything in-between. No matter what sub-genre you write in, there is something for everyone and it’s broad enough that an author can easily write in any sub-genre of horror, without straying too far.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Writing has always been a dream of mine. There is nothing that I ever wanted more, than to be a writer when I grew up.  After having given up on my dream for so much of my adult life, it really feels good to be doing something that I really love.  As far as changing my life, not many changes yet, except I am a much happier person and my confidence has slowly been building up the more I write and publish. I can also say that I have made so many new friends and connections within the writing community that it has made it all worthwhile. I feel like I have found my tribe.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Edgar Allen Poe is my absolute favorite author of all time. I have been a collector of his works for a long time now.  Stephen King is also another favorite author, along with Bentley Little, Iain Rob Wright, Scott Nicholson, Frazer Lee, Paul Carro, Matt Shaw, Daniel Volpe, Aron Beauregard, William Holloway, Edward Lee, Christine Morgan. I could go on and on. Each of these authors have inspired me in some way to be who I am today. The vast abilities of each one to craft a tale that you can lose yourself in and be swept away to another place or time is mind-boggling.

To me, that is what writing is about, to take your reader away to some other place. To pull them into the story that you are telling, to make them fear, rejoice, squeal, squirm or cry. To make them feel stronger when they finish, or braver, or content. I read to escape my realities. I read to become a part of something else, something bigger, something new or something unexplored. These authors can do that and so much more. It’s a huge honor to know some of them and maybe one day, I will get to meet one or two of the others.

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

I think audiobooks are just as important to our society as the real thing. Some people are just not sit-down readers. Books don’t do it for them. Having a book narrated for them or fully produced like a radio show or play can often engage someone that otherwise would not have experienced your story.  When done well, the voice actor can fully immerse the listener into the story and give them the same effects that normal readers can achieve when reading alone by themselves. Some people also travel too much or work too much to really enjoy reading a long novel, but being able to listen in while driving, running, walking, grading papers or doing housework can often fill those hours with something other than radio advertisements.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I love a good bookstore. That being said, I will say that I have found the smaller used bookstores to be the best ones, especially for horror books.  I have never gone to a bookstore and not found something new to take home, whether it’s a big or small store. I would very much like to see more large stores take on more indie authors, no matter what genre they are in.

There are so many amazing authors out here with stories to tell and the world is missing out when a bookstore only caters to the top five. There are billions of people on earth and millions of readers for each genre, shouldn’t there be at least hundreds of authors to choose from at any given time, not just the top ten NY bestsellers?

 

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

NO! Absolutely not, all subject matter should be open to write about. We are all humans and all are subject to the same feelings, the same crimes, the same tortures, abuses, fears, desires, etc.  Nothing should ever be so off-limits that it furthers feelings of shame, embarrassment or confusion by mis-perception by not speaking about it. When handled appropriately, any subject matter can be written about and be well-received. Writing about things only furthers our knowledge and understanding of those things, without knowledge, who are we and how do we progress?

Where can people find you and your work?

I can be found on

Instagram: cnola.author

Facebook: Candace Nola

TikTok: @uncomfortablydarkhorror

Twitter: @candace_nola

My website is www.uncomfortablydark.com

My email for book reviews/editing/mentoring is cnola.author@gmail.com

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VK Tritschler

Your Name: Vanessa

Pseudonym (if you use one): VK Tritschler

Genre(s) of your work: Romance

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

The Secret Life of Sarah Meads 2018

Magic & Mischief Anthology, The Risky Business of Romance, Trade Secrets  – 2020

A Town Called Nowhere 2021

Bio:

 VK Tritschler is a full-time busy body and part-time imagination conjurer. She lives on the amazing Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, having moved there from her hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand. Her family consists of a very patient husband, two rampant boys, and too many pets to mention.

She has a wonderful set of amazing writers who support her in the form of Eyre Writers, and in return, she offers crowd control services for the Youth section who are the future best-selling Australian authors.
Her first book “The Secret Life of Sarah Meads” was released in 2018 and since then she has participated in the NYC Writing Challenge, the Clunes Booktown, and helped organize and run the Eyre Writers Festival.
Her paranormal romance is “Magic & Mischief” with her story “Vital Impetus” which came out in July 2020. An anthology of magical stories from around the globe.

Her next novel “The Risky Business of Romance” was released in October 2020 – a romantic suspense set in rural South Australia. Her next novel – Trade Secrets is a rom-com based in Adelaide came out in December 2020.  “A Town Called Nowhere” a paranormal romance about were-panthers set in rural Australia, was released in April 2021.

VK Tritschler will be attending the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) Conference on the Gold Coast in August 2021 where you will be able to meet her personally and get your books signed!

Ever available to her readership you can find her at:
www.vktritschler.com
www.facebook.com/vktritschler
www.twitter.com/vktritschler
www.goodreads.com/vktritschler

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I love to be in love. There is something almost endless in writing romance, because you get to explore every aspect of human relationships and development. Also – there is a special tingle you get when you know you are writing something that feels as real as an actual kiss.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

It has brought out my joyful side again. Because in my writing I am not encumbered by humanity, I can engage in worlds and places that I physically cannot visit at the moment, so it has given me a freedom which I am grateful for. But also, it has endeared me to such wonderful friends in other writers, authors and readers. I feel very spoilt.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I have always been fond of the great writers, and the legacy they bring. Jane Austen and her starkly funny take on the ridiculousness of company. Charles Dickens and his broad fingered poke at the darker side of humanity. But recently I have been reading more local authors, as I have gotten to known them, and it has brought about a new interest in finding friendships behind the books.

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

I love to listen to audiobooks myself, so it would be pointless for me to not think they are an expanding market. But are they the holy grail? Probably not. As humans we have given oral history and story for a millennia, so its not technically a new way of presenting a story its just new packaging.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I miss bookstores. I miss being able to browse and read the covers, and find all of your favourites in one place. But I also understand that like blacksmiths, and hatters, there is a time and a place for all commodities. Eventually innovation and creation take their toll on all things material. Still, if the world was to reach its pinnacle and an apocalypse was to take over there is some solace that books will again become the gold I believe them to be.

What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?

The best thing, and any marketer worth their salt will tell you this, for selling anything at all is the good word of someone who already brought it. Word of mouth! Be it friends, bookclubs, groups, forums. Wherever people of a similar ilk congregate in your genre THAT is where you need to be. Make your books the conversation that everyone is having.

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

There are no taboo topics in the written world, just themes and times for things to be written. A hundred years ago it was almost unheard of for a woman to write in her own name, now it seems the world is full of female authors. Time is not a lineal thing, it is a constantly moving shadow, and from those ducky hues new things emerge and others are hidden away.

Where can people find you and your work?

The easiest place to find me is on my website at www.vktritschler.com – I try and keep everything central and easy to locate there including my social media sites if you want a more regular update.

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

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.”

31 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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