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:  #189

Davia Andrews

Your Name: Davia Andrews

Pseudonym (if you use one): D. A. Andrews

Genre(s) of your work: Poetry

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

To Fight Fire with Sun published December 2020

Bio:

A. Andrews was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. Throughout the years, she has developed wide interests in various aspects of life, such as coffee, weddings, books, and psychology. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus with a BSc. in Marine Biology and Psychology (Honours) and is currently pursuing her MBA. She considers herself a nomad at heart and has changed cities and apartments quite as often as she changes her clothes. She is currently resting her head in Brunswick, Georgia, with her black cat (and familiar), Luna.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I write poetry because it allows me to process life. I have been writing ever since I was in elementary school, but I really started venturing into poetry when I was in high school. My college creative writing professor (renowned Caribbean poet, Tanya Shirley) helped me to hone my craft and fall in love with the art form even more. Poetry allows me to be wholeheartedly myself whilst allowing me the luxury of living a raw and authentic experience. I have processed deep trauma by putting pen to paper and creating poetry.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Literature has always had a special place in my heart. While my siblings were outside playing, I was often inside under the covers devouring a good book. I have somehow collected books over the years as a sort of extension of myself; each time I went through a monumental moment (whether happy or sad), I have added to my collection. Writing has been a major part of my life in that I can use others’ works to feel not so alone, to escape, or to just enjoy life even more. My own writing has changed my life simply because I can process whatever it is that I need to in just five minutes by simply sitting down with pen and paper. The art of writing fiction, poetry, or even just journaling has been my saving grace countless times.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I am a huge fan of Warsan Shire and Pavana Reddy. Their poetry has spoken to me in so many ways and have inspired my own writing. I am also a huge fan of YA Fiction, and my current favorite author is Neal Shusterman. I was in a reading funk for quite some time, and his book “Scythe” quickly drew me in and fixed that. I hope to venture into the YA Fiction world some day and his writing style is impeccable and inspiring.

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

I think tiktok is a great marketing tool! I have discovered so many new authors (both traditionally and self-published) through the platform. I am still working on building my audience through it but I feel that it is a great asset to have in your back pocket.

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

Writing should not be censored. There are way too many emotions and experiences that need to be in their raw form in order to speak to the hearts of others. The death of my best friend last year and my experience with sexual assault earlier this year birthed some pieces that helped me to process and grieve. I think that censorship of writing takes away from that and it also takes away from other people experiencing the feeling of “wow! I am seen”. Some of the deepest, life-changing pieces I have read have not been censored and I think it should stay that way.

Where can people find you and your work?

People can find me on Instagram, tiktok, and twitter @daandrews_. My Amazon page is https://www.amazon.com/D-A-Andrews/e/B08QVCG7JV/ref=aufs_dp_fta_dsk and my facebook page is D. A. Andrews. Thank you for taking the time to experience my work.

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Felix Blackwell

Your Name: Felix Blackwell

Genre(s) of your work: Horror, thriller, fantasy

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

The Cold People and Other Fairy Tales from Nowhere, 2016

Stolen Tongues, 2017

In the Devil’s Dreams, 2018

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

All fiction genres are actually just subgenres of Fantasy, and all my life, I’ve dreamed of other worlds. As a child, I found joy in serene and scary fantasy worlds alike – in the form of books, movies, and video games. I was especially influenced by films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Lord of the Rings, and by video games like Resident Evil 2 and Silent Hill 2. My favorite books were the Goosebumps series and some of the works of Poe.

I think writing is a form of escapism to me; it allows me to go back to that youthful sense of wonder for things that can never be.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

For me, writing is a lot like playing an instrument. There are feelings we humans can only express artistically, whether through music or poetry or performance. Writing is how I get out the feelings I cannot phrase through other mediums.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I would say that I have favorite works, but not favorite authors. Lovecraft has been the most influential on my vision of horror, and his stories The Temple and Nyarlathotep and The Call of Cthulhu are burned into my mind’s eye forever. The literary weight of Dan Simmons’ writing style is something I aspire to someday, and his novel Summer of Night is an adventure I love going on every decade or so. I would credit Scott E. Sutton’s writing and art in The Family of Ree series as the catalyst for my foray into writing at a young age.

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 have their place, and are especially useful to people who are sight-impaired, but I don’t think they’ll eclipse print or ebook formats. I’m glad they exist, because they give readers another means of consuming books, but I personally can’t focus on audiobooks because my mind starts wandering about two minutes in!

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

Bookstore? What’s that?

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

Communicating with readers and producing high-quality writing are the only paths up the mountain. Any marketing service you have to pay for is bullshit and won’t work.

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

No. But I personally avoid very controversial subjects that are commonly found in the Extreme Horror subgenre. I don’t have the stomach to write them, nor the balls to attach my name to them. What would my mother think?

Where can people find you and your work?

www.felixblackwell.com and www.facebook.com/felixblackwellbooks

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Jannifer Powelson

Your Name: Jannifer Powelson

Genre(s) of your work: Children’s Educational picture books and Adult Cozy Mysteries

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Four books in the Rachel Raccoon and Sammy Skunk Series

Working on the 7th book in the Nature Station Mystery Series, to be published Winter 2022.

Bio:

Born and raised on a farm in Northwestern Illinois, Jannifer Powelson’s interest in writing, conservation, and the natural world was sparked at an early age. Books in the Nature Station Mystery Series encompass her passions of writing, photography, nature, travel, and reading mysteries.

Powelson is also the author of four books in the Rachel Raccoon and Sammy Skunk series. These books use entertaining storylines, colorful and realistic illustrations, and photos taken by Powelson, to educate children about nature.

Powelson works as a conservationist and resides in northwestern Illinois with her husband and two daughters. Powelson is currently working on the seventh book in the Nature Station Mystery Series, “Land of Ice.”

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

My children’s books evolved through my day job as a conservationist. The books also feature photos taken over the years of native plants. The books came from programs I do through my job and are all nature related.

My adult cozy mysteries are a direct reflection of “writing what I know” and writing what I love to read. They are relaxing to write, (when I’m not stressed about not having enough time to write) because they are my favorite genre to read.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

The older I get, the more I enjoy having a creative outlet. Whether taking photographs to use in children’s books or on the covers of my mysteries, to writing the text, being able to express my creative side helps me to deal better with the everyday stress of life. I am doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing, which is an added bonus.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I’ve always enjoyed reading mysteries—everything from classic cozies, historical mysteries, to quirky mysteries set in modern times. I loved reading Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, and Victoria Holt books in high school and college and still enjoy them. A few favorite contemporary authors include Rhys Bowen, Donna Andrews, M.C. Beaton, Carola Dunn, and Tasha Alexander

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

I personally am not a fan of audiobooks; I just don’t retain things as well when I listen vs. read them. However, I know audiobooks are popular with those who don’t like to read or who don’t take time to read but still love a good story. In today’s hectic times, people can multitask while listening to an audiobook. I think they will always be popular, like eBooks, but there will always be readers who prefer holding a well done hardback or paperback in their hands while they read the written word.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

My closest bookstores are more than thirty miles away and happen to be independent bookstores with lots of selection, events, customer service, and charm. However, I think mainstream bookstores are important to authors and readers alike. They offer a great selection of all genres, oftentimes have promotions, but they definitely lack the appeal that most independent bookstores have.

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

I think social media is a must in today’s world. Posting consistent material related to your books, subject matter, and related topics keeps people interested. I also think that working your local areas and finding your books’ niches (mine are all nature-related, so the niche is nature!) is vital. Tap into your local audiences and expand from there.

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

I don’t think writing should be censored, but as a writer, I know there are topics that I consider taboo and will not write about. Good grief, my mother gave me a hard time about using the word “crap” in my books. As a reader, I will only read books that aren’t too far out of my comfort zone. Cozy mysteries are a good fit for me as both a writer and a reader. They aren’t too “dark” for me and are light, easy, and entertaining reads, which is what I look for to escape and unwind.

Where can people find you and your work?

www.progressiverisingphoenix.com, www.janniferpowelson.com Available at online retailers, plus local shops.

Amazon.com: Jannifer Powelson: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

https://www.facebook.com/Author-Jannifer-Powelson-112780165400802

Instagram – JCPowelson05

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Anne Fifield

Your Name: Anne Fifield

Genre(s) of your work: Children’s Mysteries

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Princess Caroline’s Adventures Series – Book One – The Princess’ Hand –  Published in August 2019

Book Two – Trip to Lake Ahrooo – Published in August 2020

Book Three – The Hunt for the Jeweled Swords – Published in November 2020

Book Four – The Missing Knight – Published in August 2021

Bio:

Anne Fifield is the creative visionary and best-selling children’s author of “The Princess Caroline’s Adventures” book series. Written for ages 7 to 12 and the young at heart, she is delighting kids worldwide. Her books are unique as she weaves in the elements of her rescued doggies, specifically basset hounds, into each of her stories and book covers.

Her first titled ‘The Princess’ Hand’ was released in August 2019, book two titled ‘Trip to Lake Ahrooo’ released in September 2020, book three followed in November 2020 with ‘The Hunt for the Jeweled Swords,’ and book four newly released in August 2021 titled ‘The Missing Knight.’ All are available on Amazon Books, Amazon Kindle, & many fine online book sites.

Anne is the youngest of three siblings and was born and raised outside Oklahoma City, OK. She met and married the love of her life, Tom, and they have been married for 24+years. Their kids are the four-legged variety who had adopted them over the years.

Her career was also a passion. She was an ‘American Sign Language Interpreter’ for over 25-years and taught ASL at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Since both were her passions, she says she felt like she never worked a day in her life. In 2006, she became heavily involved in basset rescue and co-founded another one in 2011.

Now retired, she decided to move on to her next passion, the love of writing. She and her husband have rescued and fostered basset hounds for 20-years, so as Anne shares, “it felt natural to write children’s books with bassets as the characters. Our hounds provide the comic antics and inspiration for all my books. Thus, “Princess Caroline’s Adventures Series was born.” All the characters in her books are actual rescue dogs. Their pictures are on the back of each book.

Anne and her husband enjoy retired life and reside in the ‘Great State of Texas.’

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I’ve been owned by basset hounds for the last 20 years. I knew I wanted to write about my love of hounds, so a children’s book was appropriate. I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie. I knew my books needed to be mysteries. I affectionately refer to Caroline as the canine Nancy Drew.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

 It’s widened my circle of associates and friends. I love it when parents send me a picture of their child reading my books. That makes my day and keeps me motivated to keep writing.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Agatha Christie, James Patterson, and Patricia Cornwell. I love mystery and suspense.

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

Social media is important – your own website, an author’s newsletter, FB author’s page, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon author’s page, etc. So far, knock on wood, I haven’t encountered a bad one. Some are more successful than others.

Where can people find you and your work?

I publish on Amazon. You can search for me by my name, Anne Fifield.

https://authorannefifield.com

https://facebook.com/authorannefifield

https://instagram.com/authorannefifield

https://twitter.com/AFifieldBook

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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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