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:  #197

Sharon Marchisello

Your Name: Sharon Marchisello

Pseudonym (if you use one): N/A

Genre(s) of your work: Mystery/women’s fiction. I’ve also written a nonfiction personal finance book.

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Going Home (Sunbury Press 2014)

Secrets of the Galapagos (Sunbury Press/Milford House 2019)

Live Well, Grow Wealth (self-published on Amazon 2018)

Bio:

I’m the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press. Going Home (2014) was inspired by my mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Secrets of the Galapagos (2019) deals with mayhem on a Galapagos cruise.

Besides novels, I’ve written short stories, travel articles, corporate training manuals, screenplays, and book reviews. My blog, Countdown to Financial Fitness, and nonfiction book, Live Well, Grow Wealth, deal with personal finance. I earned a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, and I’m an active member of Sisters in Crime, the Atlanta Writers Club, and several critique groups.

I grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, I now live in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society, the Friends of the Peachtree City Library, and the Fayette County Master Gardeners.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I like writing fiction because it allows me to create a world where I’m in control. The heroine can be smarter, prettier, and wittier than I am; she always comes up with the perfect zinger at just the right time. I can craft characters based on people who have been mean to me, and then make bad things happen to them. I can write about situations similar to real-life ones I’ve experienced, but change them to be more dramatic, or give them a more satisfying outcome, i.e., rewrite history.

The reason I wrote my nonfiction personal finance book was that I saw a need. When I was able to take an early retirement package from my job, I looked around at colleagues who’d been earning roughly the same salaries for the same amount of time, and they were barely making ends meet. I realized not everyone followed the same commonsense financial principles I’d learned from my parents, and these are concepts they don’t teach in school. I wanted to share this information with others, and I self-published because I don’t have any financial credentials other than personal experience managing my own affairs.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

I’ve been writing all my life, and I can’t see myself ever stopping. It helps me cope with life.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I love to read, and unfortunately, I read slowly. Therefore, I can never keep up with all the books I want to read, all the authors I want to sample. So, even if I love an author’s book, I probably won’t re-read it, or read everything written by that author, because there are so many other books to read.

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

Somewhere in between. People have different learning styles, different lifestyles and preferences, so I can’t see audiobooks ever replacing print and/or e-books. Audiobooks make it possible to “read” while doing other tasks like housework, driving, exercise, etc., so I see a continuing market for them.

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

I’ve found that one-on-one contact with potential readers—building relationships—is the best way for an unknown author like me to sell books. Most of the social media groups for “readers” tend to be mostly writers promoting their work to each other.

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

No. People have choices about what they want to read.

Where can people find you and your work?

 

sharonmarchisello.com (https://smarchisello.wordpress.com/)

https://www.facebook.com/SLMarchisello

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4297807.Sharon_Marchisello

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonmarchisello

https://www.instagram.com/slmarchisello/

Sharon Marchisello

https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/

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Priscilla Bettis

Your Name: Priscilla Bettis

Genre of your work: Horror

Titles/Year of Published Works:

“The Sun Sets Nonetheless,” The Vampire Connoisseur anthology, edited by Todd Sullivan, Nightmare Press, December 2020.

“Cordelia’s Curse,” Dark Recesses Press webzine, January 9, 2022.

“The Hay Bale,” January 10, 2022.

“Lucretia’s Hum,” Among the Headstones anthology, edited by Rayne Hall, January 31, 2022.

“Mollusk Madness,” 34 Orchard, April 2022.

Dog Meat, Potter’s Grove Press, mid-2022.

Bio:

Priscilla Bettis read her first horror story, The Exorcist, when she was a little kid. Priscilla snuck the grownup book from her parents’ den, and The Exorcist scared her silly. From that moment on, she was hooked on horror and all things deliciously off kilter. As an adult, Priscilla turned to engineering physics, a wonderful profession, but what she really likes to do is write . . . or die trying, probably at the hands of a vampiric wraith. Priscilla shares a home in the Northern Plains of Texas with her two-legged and four-legged family members.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

Scary fiction stories help me purge fears of real-life horrors. And sometimes horror is just plain fun, like riding a scream-worthy roller coaster!

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Writing makes every author a little more knowledgeable. We have to research to get settings, science, and history right. For example, I’ve learned about Southern hay farms, how slugs reproduce, and historic Virginia cemeteries.

Which makes a better writing snack, salty or sweet?

Sweet, and it should be chocolate. Never trust people who eat potato chips while writing.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Richard Matheson because, boy, he could sure crank up the tension in a story.

Zoltan Komor for his outrageous, crazy imagination.

Camilla Bruce for her insight into the human psyche.

Andy Davidson for his dark, lyrical prose.

Catherine Cavendish for her eerie, spooky settings.

I could go on and on, and that’s a good thing. It means there are plenty of fabulous authors out there!

What have you found to be a good marketing tool?

A good marketing tool is interacting with others online, truly caring about what others are up to. Looking at it from a reader’s point of view, I don’t want to read books written by authors who are rude online.

Zombies, slow or fast?

Zombies should be slow. There’s something creepy and dreadful about a deceased person barely upright, shambling about. A fast zombie is a different species altogether. Either way, aim for the head.

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

Censored? No. Write about anything; just know that readers will innately censor by not buying, and bookstores will not stock books that aren’t selling.

Where can people find you and your work?

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Priscilla-Bettis/e/B08R97Z63M?

Website: https://priscillabettisauthor.com

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D. Wallace Peach

Your Name: D. Wallace Peach

Real Name: Diana Peach

Genre(s) of your work: Fantasy with a smattering of Sci-Fi

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Stand-alone Novels:

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

Sunwielder

The Sorcerer’s Garden

The Melding of Aeris

The Bone Wall

Series:

The Rose Shield Tetralogy

Catling’s Bane (Book 1)

Oathbreakers’ Guild (Book 2)

Farlanders’ Law (Book 3)

Kari’s Reckoning (Book 4)

Unraveling the Veil Trilogy

Liars and Thieves (Book 1)

Allies and Spies (Book 2)

Lords of Chaos (Book 3)

The Shattered Sea Duology

Soul Swallowers (Book 1)

Legacy of Souls (Book 2)

The Dragon Soul Tetralogy

Myths of the Mirror (Book 1)

Eye of Fire (Book 2)

Eye of Blind (Book 3)

Eye of Sun (Book 4)

Anthologies:

Five Elements Anthology

Voices from the Mill Pond, Vol. One

Voices from the Mill Pond, Vol Two

The Shadows We Breathe: An Anthology of Short Fiction

The Moons of Autumn: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse

Children’s Book:

Grumpy Ana and the Monsters

Bio:

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

Thank you so much for the invite to your blog, Sue. I’m delighted to be here and never tire of talking about books and writing.

My dad was a huge reader of used fantasy paperbacks. So, when I discovered Tolkien as a young teen, I had shelves and shelves of books to feed the new habit. It made sense that, when the idea of writing a book popped into my brain, the genre would be fantasy.

I also loved the idea that I could just make stuff up. I thought I wouldn’t have to do any research. Ha! Silly me. It’s amazing how much research goes into writing, even for a fantasy world. I know things now like how to patch up an arrow wound and how to shoot a front-loading cannon. I even got a real lesson in sword-fighting! All valuable information.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Time is at a premium, Sue. Writing is a time-consuming vocation, and that’s before adding in the hours for marketing and networking. I’m less creative in other ways, my house has cobwebs that rival the best Halloween decorations, and my husband is Saint Randy.

I’ve slowed down a lot since I started this adventure, when I used to write 10-12 hours a day. I suspect that when Saint Randy retires, I’ll slow down some more. Will I stop? Nah. It’s too much fun. And I also like the idea that I’m building a bit of a legacy for however long it lasts.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Now that’s an impossible question! Tolkien holds a special place in my heart, but I wouldn’t say he’s a favorite anymore. The challenge is that I enjoy a wide range of books from classics like Hardy’s “Far from the Maddening Crowd” to Uris’s “Trinity.” From Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” to Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude. I loved Gemmell’s “Troy” series, and am currently enjoying Arden’s “Winternight Trilogy.”

And then there are all the indie authors that I’ve come to love. I’m reading a book entitled “Rage” as I write this answer. It’s by indie author Sue Rovens…. Hey, that’s you! Lol  (Ed. note: Oh, oh. Now I’m nervous! LOL)

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

Somewhere between, I think. I don’t listen to professionally created audiobooks, but I figured out how to make my phone read ebooks to me, and I love “reading” while driving, cooking, gardening, and folding laundry. I’ve doubled the number of books I polish off per year, and it almost makes cleaning toilets enjoyable! The only challenge was adjusting to the monotone “phone voice” (which I happily no longer notice).

I think readers come in all flavors: some who still prefer paper, some who love the accessibility and reasonable cost of ebooks, some who listen while multitasking, and many, many who do different combinations of all three. It makes sense that authors should extend their lists into audiobooks to capture the listening audience. Why not? Well, yes, it takes time, but it isn’t hard to do and doesn’t cost much. I have one book on Audible and am working on more.

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

 Oh, how I wish I had the silver bullet of marketing tools. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

For getting a FREE book into the hands of readers, the best promotional website I’ve come across, aside from kindle Unlimited, is Freebooksy. I’ll typically get about 2500 downloads for a single day’s promotion. It’s a loss financially, but it does gain readership as well as some residual sales.

For a discount promotion, Bookbub beats all. It will cost you your retirement savings, but, for me, it’s always paid for itself with sales. If you can work up the courage, it’s worth it.

Okay… another winner… blogging. Blogging doesn’t bring in monster sales, but bloggers are incredibly generous supporters of the writing community, and they’re instrumental in bringing in reviews, which are an important part of a marketing strategy. Building blogging relationships is fun aside from the bookish benefits. I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on without the kindness of bloggers.

And finally, another excellent source of reviews is the Goodreads Review Group: Reading Rounds. The reviews there are Amazon-approved and guaranteed.

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

I love censoring, but only if I can be the one making the decisions about what books to ban. And since that isn’t going to happen, my answer is “no.”

I do think that authors and retailers should do their best to inform the public about certain types of content. For example, I have a trigger warning for one of my books that includes a violent rape. I waffled about including it, but there are a lot of rape victims in the world, and the last thing I wanted to do was traumatize a reader, so I went with it.

Fortunately, readers have a lot of power to censor books, and I’m content to leave it in their hands. They can always stop reading and write a disgusted review that warns other readers. They can also return a book for a refund. That’s powerful censorship.

Where can people find you and your work?

Thanks again for having me over to your blog, Sue, and for the wonderful variety of questions. This was great fun, and I look forward to chatting with your visitors.

To close off the interview, here are a bunch of links:

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

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Jenna Greene

Your Name: Jenna Greene

Genre(s) of your work: YA fantasy and Children’s

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

2015 (Imagine)

2017 (Reality)

2018 (Heritage)

2019 (Reborn)

2021 (Renew)

2021 (Winston, the Well-Dressed Wombat)

Bio:

Jenna Greene is a teacher and author from Alberta, Canada. She enjoys reading, dancing, crafting, and napping. She is known for her IMAGINE series, as well as her REBORN MARKS series. She lives with her husband and daughter, as well as their cat, Thomas.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I love YA and I love the freedom that comes with the fantasy genre. You are only limited by your imagination. Youth have the ability to accept that magic could be real, whether metaphorically or tangibly.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

I don’t know that it has altered my life, because it is my life. I began my life babbling stories in my crib and I’ll continue weaving tales until I pass. I don’t want to see the world as it is. I want to see the world as it could be, or should be. I want passion, creativity, innovation, and wonder. Passionate characters who can learn and change and be inspiring to themselves and others.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Haha. Well, that changes daily, just as my favorite books do to. (But yah to Avi and Jane Austen)

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

Connecting with an audience is the best marketing tool, whether that be via email, Facebook, or in-person events. Readers want to know how authors create their stories, and how relatable a writer can be.

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

I don’t. Imagination can’t be limited and neither can life. If it can be experienced, it should be written about. Of course, how it is written can and should be scrutinized.

Where can people find you and your work?

All the usual places: Amazon, Kobo, etc.

www.jennagreene.ca

@jgreenewrites

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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.”

83 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

    1. Cool! Thanks so much for doing that! We got both Noodle and Monkey from our local Humane Society when they were about 6 months old. 🙂

      Like

  4. Great Meet and Greet. The questions are fresh, not often asked, with great answers. I focused on Diana’s but you seem to have a good selection of authors. Diana–Love your list of favorite authors–100 Years of Solitude (so appealing). The trigger warning for a rape. Yep. Audio books–I’m definitely considering that also. Excellent interview.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jacqui. I found it impossible to list my favorites, so just pulled books off the top of my head. Lol. And awesome that you’re considering audiobooks! I do no marketing and still get sales. It’s a great market and you can do them for free if you do royalty share. Have fun with it!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. So glad you stopped by! And thank you! I do try to get some different types of questions in. After a while, it gets boring for both author and reader to regurgitate/read the same material. Have a most groovy day! 🙂 Stop by again (or follow along!)

      Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s great to meet and greet the talented authors here. It’s lovely to read about them, Sue! I know you’ve interviewed a book narrator and probably his way of reading your book wasn’t exactly what you wanted. I’m glad your iPhone has a voice feature reading the books. I couldn’t get mine to work. I may eventually get an iPhone just for that purpose!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 I can’t believe it myself – great folks giving their time for the interviews. I really appreciate every one. Thank you for stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bookbub is so intimidating, Betsy. The cost is ridiculous, but worth it and it’s the only promotion place I’ve tried that actually covered the cost with sales. You are brave, girl! Keep it in mind, and when you’re motivated, give it a try. Thanks for stopping by Sue’s to read the interview. Happy Weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Super set of interviews, Sue! I came via Diana’s blog and it was awesome to find out a little bit more about her and her writing. The same with the other authors who are new to me. I have a common love of so many of the same books! Now I’ve found you I’ll be back for more 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome and thank you, Chris! So glad to have to visit (and join in on the fun). 🙂 I appreciate the kind words – and, yes, Diana’s interview was wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. How fun to see Priscilla here and learn a little about her. I have her latest book on my kindle ready to go. And I couldn’t agree more with the benefit of blogging and building relationships. I wouldn’t read a book by a rude blogger either, but if they’re friendly and engaging, I’m happy to! Great interview. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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