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:  #193

Kelly Brakenhoff

Your Name: Kelly Brakenhoff

Genre(s) of your work: Cozy Mystery and Children’s Picture Books

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Cassandra Sato Series

Death by Dissertation/2019

Dead Week/2019

Dead End/2020

Dead of Winter Break/2020

Scavenger Haunt/2021

Duke the Deaf Dog ASL Series

Never Mind/2019

Farts Make Noise/2020

My Dawg Koa/2021

            Duke workbooks2021

Bio:

KELLY BRAKENHOFF is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends. Her first novel, DEATH BY DISSERTATION, kicked off the Cassandra Sato Mystery Series, followed by DEAD WEEK, DEAD OF WINTER BREAK, and two short stories. She also wrote NEVER MIND, FARTS MAKE NOISE, and MY DAWG KOA, featuring Duke the Deaf Dog. She serves on the Board of Editors for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf publication, VIEWs. The mother of four young adults and a hunting dog, Kelly and her husband call Nebraska home.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

Since the time I was in college, mysteries and thrillers are my favorite books to read, so it was natural that the characters and setting of my books would form into mysteries. I like amateur sleuth mysteries because you can take everyday characters and put them into extreme situations and see how everyone reacts.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

I have no free time.

I didn’t get serious about writing novels until my kids were in high school, and now we’re empty nesters. When I’m not working at my day job, I’m doing all the writing and publishing tasks. With constantly writing and learning how to get better, I will never be bored again.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Growing up I was a real bookworm. I love Mark Twain and the Lord of the Rings. In mysteries: John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, and Janet Evanovich. I’ve been in an in-person book club for more than 20 years, and we read from every genre. Everything I learn helps me do a better job of storytelling. I also enjoy reading non-fiction like the 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. It’s challenging, and I’ve found a few gems I’ll be able to use for characters in 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’m going to get my books produced in audio in 2022. Personally I usually have at least one print non-fiction book going, a fiction book on my Kindle, and an audiobook on my phone where I listen in the car or around the house. I love being able to consume content, whether podcasts or books, in several formats. I think I’m like many people my age and younger who like to read but maybe don’t have time to sit in a chair all afternoon and splurge on a hardcover bestseller.

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

Marketing is mostly about making relationships with people who like the same things I do.

I enjoy chatting with my readers by email a couple of times per month. I try to share websites or articles I’ve found helpful that I think my readers will also find interesting. Often people respond back to me, and we have conversations about what’s going on in their lives. I’m a huge extrovert, so I really enjoy that opportunity to get to know new people.

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

Since I write children’s books too, I do think that topics should be age appropriate. Parents are the first teachers of their children and should decide when their child is ready for different stages of finding out about the world. For example, I was that mom who wouldn’t let her ten-year-old son watch The Hulk at a birthday party because I worried it was too violent.

But as far as censored books for young adults and up, I disagree with censoring books because of language or historically uncomfortable topics. However, readers shouldn’t consume writing without thinking critically about it and discussing the difficult topics with other people to come to a better understanding about the context of the writing. If you don’t think about or discuss your response to the writing, it’s not as beneficial.

Where can people find you and your work?

The mysteries are all available on Amazon and ebooks are in the Kindle Unlimited program. The short stories and children’s books are available on most platforms. Paperbacks can be ordered from any bookstore, or request that your local library purchase them. I also sell signed copies directly from my website.

Here’s my Linktree which includes all the ways to contact me. Thanks for having me on your blog and please keep in touch.

https://linktr.ee/kellybrakenhoff

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Jo-Anne Mclean

Your Name: Jo-Anne Mclean

Pseudonym (if you use one): JP McLean

Genre(s) of your work: Supernatural Thriller / Urban Fantasy

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Crimson Frost (Novella) (2021)

Blood Mark (2021)

Lover Betrayed (2019)

Wings of Prey (2019)

Deadly Deception (2019)

Lethal Waters (2018)

Burning Lies (2018)

Hidden Enemy (2018)

Secret Sky (2018)

Bio:

JP (Jo-Anne) McLean writes supernatural thrillers and urban fantasy. Her work has earned a Gold Literary Titan medal and honourable mentions from the Whistler Independent Book Awards and the Victoria Writers’ Society. Reviewers call her work addictive, smart, and fun.

JP is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business and makes her home on Denman Island, which is nestled between Vancouver Island and British Columbia on Canada’s west coast. You can reach her through her website at jpmcleanauthor.com.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I’ve been fascinated by the supernatural/paranormal genre since I was a teen and read John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids. I think it’s because I would love to possess supernatural abilities—oh, to be able to fly! And when supernatural beings are hidden within everyday society, then maybe—just maybe—they really exist. That feeling of possibility is what I want to create in my writing. It’s why I write in this genre. It’s escapism, and we could all use a little more of that.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

It’s consumed all my free time and much of my less productive time that I used to spend watching television, visiting friends, or having long telephone conversations. I didn’t know how much I’d enjoy writing when I started. Now writing consumes the bulk of my days.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy) and Diana Gabaldon (Outlander). Both writers are diligent about getting the history right. I love their attention to that historical detail, and the interesting facts they include about life during earlier periods of time. I also love the magic in the All Souls Trilogy.

Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane) and Terry Pratchett (The Wyrd Sisters). Both these writers are masters at creating exceptional, quirky characters that are wildly entertaining. I especially enjoy Gaiman’s sparse writing style.

Terry Hayes (I am Pilgram) and Lee Child (Jack Reacher books). I love a good thriller and these two authors have penned some of my favourites. They bring action to the page at a break-neck pace, and I quite enjoy Hayes’ international settings.

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

The statistics I’ve seen certainly show that audiobooks are growing in popularity. Like ebooks before them, I think audiobooks offer readers another way to consume books. And like ebooks, I think they’re here to stay.

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

One of the best marketing strategies is to get more reviews for your books to provide that critical social proof that your books are worth a reader’s time. I’ve had good luck using Hidden Gems and BookSprout for reviews. A bad marketing tool would be any service that offers to sell you “followers” or “likes” on social media or anywhere else. Don’t waste your time or money. These fake folks won’t read your books or spread the word about your books, and they may damage your reputation if word gets out that you’ve padded your numbers. You want genuine readers in your social circles. Readers who are engaged and enjoy your content.

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

No. I think writers and readers should write and read whatever they want. It’s one of the perks of living in a free society.

Where can people find you and your work?

Website https://jpmcleanauthor.com

Newsletter to get free short stories: https://jpmcleanauthor.com/mailing-list-signup-form/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B00JSZOXTC

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jpmclean

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-p-mclean-cd5829f0-6e0d-4189-b561-44651ad67b9e

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

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

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

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Megan Deppner

Your Name: Megan Deppner

Pseudonym (if you use one): M.K. Deppner

Genre(s) of your work: Horror/supernatural/paranormal

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Photographs of October – May 2020,

everything i wanted – Forthcoming, Fall 2022

Bio:

M.K. Deppner knew she wanted to be a writer from a very young age. A far cry from the horse and unicorn stories she was writing at six years old, her favorite genre now is horror and supernatural. She lives under the shade of the cottonwood trees near the Flint Hills where Photographs of October and everything i wanted take place.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I love exploring the psychology of horror—why we love being scared, what scares us, and why we keep coming back for more. I also love exploring supernatural/ghostly avenues—it’s another topic that people love because of the unknown surrounding it.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Writing has gotten me through the best and worst of times. When I feel bad, I write. When I feel good, I write. There’s nothing like a great writing session to put me in a better mood, even if I felt good to begin with!

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Stephen King was my first and greatest love. That’s where I learned to love horror. His characters came alive for me, and the horror aspects kept me up at night! I also love Nora Roberts’ romances that have magical elements.

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 somewhere in between. In my opinion, they’ll always have their usefulness, especially as an accessibility option for those who need it, but the printed word will survive and thrive.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I think they’re a necessary evil…just kidding, sort of. I prefer to see my titles in independent bookstores because I know the money is going right back to that local area, though from a buying the groceries perspective, I wouldn’t mind having a few books in mainstream bookstores.

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

Social media gets the trophy for being both good and bad. It’s an excellent way to connect with readers, but it does require consistent engagement. A tool that has only been good to me is BookFunnel. It makes it easy to send my readers free chapters and extras!

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

For myself, there may be topics that I won’t write about, but I’ll cross that bridge if I ever come to it. I do write horror, so some of the topics I cover—death, murder, and psychological torment just to name a few—might already be taboo to others. I think it comes down to each individual and the intent/purpose behind their writing.

Where can people find you and your work?

Website: www.mkdepper.com

Instagram: mkdeppner

Facebook: Author M.K. Deppner

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/M-K-Deppner/e/B087BDDCQ6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4&sr=1-4

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Edward J. Spock

Your Name: Edward J. Spock

Genre(s) of your work: Horror

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

The Eyes Of Mary Beth McCreary ( 2021 ) This is my first published work and it will be also appearing in Books Of Horror, Volume 3 Book 1 that was just released on October 27th 2021.

Bio:

 I am a card-carrying member of Gen X.  The entirety of my teenage years was in the decade of the 80s. I was a part of the rise of heavy metal, witness to the resurgence of the horror genre in the film industry and discovered a horror legend as he rose to a pinnacle of his writing career. All of this was part and parcel to forming my love for the genre. The imagery and lyrical content employed by the heavy metal artists lent itself perfectly to the horror film industry. The horror film industry in turn found a well of material in the Stephen King catalog. It was a three-pronged attack. It worked and I was all in. I spent the decade immersing myself in the world of horror fiction through music, movies and books.

In my twenties I was one of the founding members of a hard rock / heavy metal band called Ballbreaker. We were part AC/DC tribute band and part an original hard rock band. Over our twenty plus years we appeared on a number of various artist collections as well as three of our own all-original cd’s. Our original music is where I got to display my love for the genre by crafting lyrics to our songs about freaks and apocalyptic visions all with a tongue in cheek fun. Writing the lyrics and melodies to our compositions was one of my favorite parts of crafting a song.

Once the band dissolved, I found that I again needed to find a creative outlet. Having always enjoyed the lyric writing aspect while working in the band, I thought that I would really like to try my hand at creating my first horror story. I began coming up with a nice stock of ideas and starting in on my first attempt. It is still currently sitting on my computer unfinished, tentatively titled “Ruff Draft”. It sits unfinished because another idea had struck me that I was able to run with. The story kept coming to me as I wrote, and the completed work is “The Eyes Of Mary Beth McCreary”. My first story to see the light of day.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I once read an article with Joe Hill in which he talked about how he had spent so much time trying to stay out of his fathers shadow with his own writing. Eventually he realized that he couldn’t. He grew up around the horror genre, it was what he knew. He embraced the legacy of his father and began to write in the style and he is now one of the biggest names in the genre today. He began to write what he knew. I had always felt that way when writing lyrics for the band and is why I am writing in the horror genre. I have always felt that people can see through when a writer or musician is not being themselves. So when I decided to take a stab at writing it was only logical that it was going to be in horror. It was what I grew up watching, listening to, and reading. It is what I knew.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

As I am new to the writing field, it really hasn’t changed my life much …. Yet. But what it has allowed me is a creative outlet. After my band dissolved I was feeling the need to be creative somehow. I had picked up reading again and was reading a lot. I really enjoyed the lyric writing aspect of songwriting and had always written privately. With that being said, I decided to push my writing a little further and actually publish some of my work. I completely enjoyed the process of getting my first story out there and looking forward to getting more of my work out there.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Of course, Stephen King to start with as he was one of my original gateways into the genre. Some of my other go-to authors are Tolkien, Lovecraft and Joe Hill. Most recently I have been enjoying works by Stephen Graham Jones and Nick Cutter.

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 know that audiobooks are the wave of the future, but what I do think they are is another great tool for authors to get their work in front of people. Audiobooks are perfect for when you are driving or just working around the house. It’s an opportunity for someone to pop one on and listen to where it was not an option before. It certainly helps broaden an author’s playing field and opens another door for an author to get their work out there.

 

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I do believe that the big box bookstores have their place. They have been able to diversify what they sell, such as adding coffee shops, toys, stationary and more. They have also been able to put themselves in high profile locations like malls. I would like to think that this all has a positive effect on the industry as a whole in that it keeps bookstores and books in general in the public’s mind. A not so avid book purchaser / reader may be more inclined to enter the store and buy something with these added factors. At the same time some of your greatest treasures are found at an independent store and it is hard to beat their atmosphere. So I can definitely see benefits to both for the book industry.

Where can people find you and your work?

You can find my author page on Facebook as Edward Spock. You can also find me on twitter (@ejspock70), Tiktok ( @ejspock ), and I am currently in the process of having a new website built at edwardspockauthor.com .

You can also find my book “ The Eyes Of Mary Beth McCreary”. on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com as well as good reads. I am steadily working at getting my book added to new outlets and will update everyone through my social media platforms.

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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.”

40 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

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