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:  #156

Rebecca Flynn

Your Name:  Rebecca Flynn

Genre(s) of your work:  urban/paranormal fantasy

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

The Wild Hunted 2019

Iron Will 2021

Bio:

Rebecca has been writing since she was 10. She has written poetry and short stories in addition to several novels. She currently teaches creative writing classes online to help young kids bring their ideas to life. Her husband has been muse, research partner, idea springboard, and personal critic. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Tennessee with her husband, four children, and horde of dogs.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

 I was told once to write what you enjoy. Fantasy has been my favorite genre for a long time. I love the escape from reality.

How has writing changed/altered your life?  

It helps me sleep better at night, believe it or not! There is so much going on in my head. When I write, it goes on the paper and I don’t have to worry about remembering it anymore. I can sleep in peace!

Who are your favorite authors and why?

 I have so many authors that I really enjoy reading, too many to list. So, I will share my favorite book instead. My husband introduced me to Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist. It’s just such an amazing story. The characters are well thought out, the story truly pulls you in, and the premise for the book is intriguing. I could read this book over and over and still enjoy it every time.

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

 I can see the appeal of audiobooks. You can have so many more, you don’t run out of space, and it’s easy to bookmark. However, there will always be people like me who like to curl up and hold a book in their hands to read. I actually have both, but I will always enjoy the feel of the real book. I love the way they look sitting on the shelf, waiting to see which one I will pick next.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I’ve worked for one before and I don’t really have any negative feelings about them. I’ve been a part of signings for both famous and self-published authors. Big chains have more money to throw around for that kind of thing.

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

Signings are a good marketing tool. If you can find a local business willing to set up a table for you, have a signing. Bring a supply of your own books and make friends! I brought a box of books and sold half my supply in a couple hours. Plus, I made friends with the owner of the store and they welcomed me back to do it again!

Not really sure about bad marketing tools because I haven’t really come across anything that’s really bad yet.

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

I don’t believe in censoring. Just because you don’t agree with something doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be written about or discussed. Once we start censoring, where do we stop? And who decides what is acceptable and not acceptable? I don’t use certain words or situations because I’m not comfortable talking about them. That’s my personal choice. Other people are fine saying anything or talking about any situation. Readers will tell you by purchasing or not purchasing your book.

 Where can people find you and your work?

I am on Facebook and Twitter. My books can be purchased directly from the publisher (Black Rose Writing) or online at Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, Amazon.

I’m currently working on my personal website, but I can be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaFlynnAuthor), Twitter (@rebeccaflynn79), and my books can be purchased from Black Rose Writing (https://www.blackrosewriting.com/fantasy-paranormal/thewildhunted?rq=the%20wild%20hunted) and (https://www.blackrosewriting.com/fantasy-paranormal/ironwill?rq=iron%20will).

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

Cary Lowe

Your Name: Cary Lowe

Genre(s) of your work:  Memoir

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Becoming American: A Political Memoir, 2020 – winner of the Discover Award for best writing on politics and current affairs from an independent publisher

50+ essays published in the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and other major newspapers, 1978 – present

Bio:

I am the author of the award-winning book Becoming American. I previously published over fifty essays on civic, political, and environmental issues in major newspapers, as well as reports and articles in professional journals. Born in post-war Europe to parents who were Holocaust survivors, I immigrated to the United States and became a citizen in my teens. Much of my writing has focused on those experiences.

Apart from my writing, I am a retired land use lawyer with 45 years of experience representing public agencies, developers, Indian tribes, and non-profit organizations, and continue to work as a mediator affiliated with the National Conflict Resolution Center. I hold a law degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and taught at USC, UCLA, and UC San Diego. I also have served in several appointed government positions and on the boards of non-profit civic and environmental organizations.

 

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I always have preferred to write about things I know or have experienced first-hand. For many years, that took the form of essays on public issues. My book takes that in a more personal direction.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Writing has required me to tell stories or present positions in ways that are simultaneously concise and interesting. Having my writing published has enabled me to influence public thinking about issues of interest to me. Publication of my book, in particular, has given my readers a deeper view into my personal history, to the surprise of many (including ones who have known me a long time).

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Edith Eger, because her memoir of her wartime experiences relates vividly to my own family’s experiences.

James Michener, because his historical fiction writing stimulated my interest from a young age in being a writer.

Tom Hayden, because his analyses of contemporary political events are so sharp and comprehensive.

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

I believe audiobooks will remain a useful and important way for some people to consume literature, but I think most readers will prefer to see the printed (or digital) words.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

Mainstream/corporate bookstores have the virtue of being able to stock large volumes of books in one place, allowing readers to conveniently peruse a variety of books at one time. On the other hand, with most print books available on order, local bookstores can compete effectively by offering more personal service and more intimate knowledge of the literature.

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

I have found direct outreach to vetted contact lists to be the most effective marketing tool, followed by online interviews and Zoom presentations to groups. The least effective tool for me was a virtual marketing tour.

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

I don’t believe that any topics should be entirely taboo, but I do believe that publishers (print or digital) have a responsibility to exercise some discretion in not distributing certain kinds of material, e.g., works that are defamatory, racist, or likely to incite violence.

What was the motivation behind writing your book?

My memoir entitled Becoming American chronicles my experience of being transformed from a child of Holocaust survivors in post-war Europe to an American lawyer, academic, and activist associated with many prominent political causes and campaigns of our time. The book began as a stand-alone story I wrote for relatives and friends about a trip with my daughter to Eastern Europe to visit our family’s places of origin, and particularly to find a hidden cemetery outside Prague containing the graves of my paternal great-grandparents. I subsequently wrote more stories about my life growing up in Europe in the years following World War II, with parents who were Holocaust survivors. After writing a half dozen stories, I realized they were forming a narrative that could become the basis for a book, covering not only my youth in Europe but also our immigration to the United States and my professional and political careers here. That first story became the opening chapter and portions of subsequent chapters.

My other motivation was a desire to contribute positively to the national discussion around immigration and American identity. I wanted my book to provide an inspiring tale of how much an immigrant can contribute to the social, political, and economic culture of America while still retaining ties to one’s ancestral roots.

Where can people find you and your work?

My book is available on order through all bookstores, as well as through Amazon and other online book sales sites. My essays may be found on the websites of major newspapers, particularly the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune.

Website Address:  https://carylowewriter.com/

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/carylowewriter

LinkedIn Page:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/cary-lowe-phd-aicp-43505718/

Publisher Page:  https://www.blackrosewriting.com/biographymemoir/becomingamerican?rq=cary%20lowe

Amazon Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-American-Political-Cary-Lowe/dp/1684334624/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=cary+lowe&qid=1583350009&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble Link:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/becoming-american-cary-d-lowe/1136141814;jsessionid=B460B63F6AC19E9668C3A28F29D72F64.prodny_store01-atgap10?ean=9781684334629

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

Brendan Walsh

Your Name: Brendan Walsh

Genre(s) of your work: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller, YA, New Adult, LGBT, High Fantasy

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

The Raven Gang (2017)

Immortale (2018)

The Serpent League (2019)

The Century’s Scribe (2020)

The Century’s Last Word (July 2021)

Bio:

Originally from Glendale, CA, Brendan Walsh earned his B.A. from the College of Wooster in 2017. He’s worked a few different jobs, currently a Barnes and Noble bookseller, to help put himself through a Cal State Northridge Masters program. When he’s not writing or studying, you can find him reading, drinking coffee, or thinking about what to write next. He is also a Dodger fan, philosopher, and recreational madman.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I’ve always loved SciFi and Fantasy. Of course I grew up with Star Wars, like everyone I know. As much as I enjoy classics and literary fiction, I get a unique satisfaction when worldbuilding. The most important thing for me in a story is my feelings about the characters. I enjoy the challenge of creating characters (human or not) and figuring out how to fit them into the worlds I’ve made.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

Before fully committing myself to writing, I was a Chemistry major in college. However, writing started to eat up more and more of my time, and it showed in my grades. I think my choosing to read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that one day before my first Organic Chemistry test was pretty telling as to what I valued more. Inevitably, in the years that followed, I have made all kinds of friends and read all kinds of books that I certainly wouldn’t have had I still been mixing acids and bases instead of writing about magic and humanoid birds.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I wasn’t much of a reader as a kid. I discovered James Rollins when I was 16 and have loved him since then. His SciFi thriller Sigma Force series is one of the coolest things ever, and its Indiana Jones vibes make it exactly the kind of fiction I was looking for at the time. Neil Gaiman is another one of my favorites. When I first came to fantasy literature, I mainly stuck to urban fantasy, as big elaborate world-building didn’t interest me that much. Eventually I read Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and my view completely changed. I wouldn’t have written The Century’s Scribe if not for that book. Ray Bradbury is my favorite author of all time, and The Martian Chronicles is my favorite book.

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

I would say in between. Many people I know don’t have much time to sit down and read, and when they try, they fall victim to a bunch of distractions. Audiobooks help solve that problem. You can exercise or commute to work and be able to get some reading done. Personally I prefer holding a book in my hands, but I can see the market for audiobooks continue to stay for a long time to come.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

As I wrote earlier, I currently work at a Barnes and Noble, so I’m not going to say anything bad about them (lol). Even back when I was just a customer, walking in a BN was a joy in itself. Being surrounded by so many books while unsure what I would buy gave me a feeling that would help sate me even in one of my worst moods. However, there’s nothing quite like walking into an independent bookstore. I’ve been to so many BNs in my life that I usually know what to expect from their selections, but at an indie one, I never know what I’m going to find, and that’s more enjoyable.

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

I feel Facebook ads haven’t helped me. I think fewer and fewer people my age are using it. Instagram and Twitter are probably better for my target audience. So far, I think I’ve had some surprising success on Instagram.

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

I do not. As a writer, I find the idea of having my work tampered with to be very off-putting. However, that doesn’t mean that all takes on certain sensitive issues are all equal. I believe that most readers are capable of telling the awful things from the better ones.

Where can people find you and your work?

They can find my first three books, The Raven Gang, Immortale, The Serpent League, on Amazon, and my latest book, The Century’s Scribe, online everywhere books are sold. The audio version of it came out a couple days ago, and that can be found on Audible and iTunes as well. Also, we have copies of The Century’s Scribe at my Barnes and Noble in Glendale, CA, so come grab one if you’re in the area!

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

David Wickenden

Your Name: David Wickenden

Genre(s) of your work: Mainly Thrillers, but I have just released a YA Fantasy.

Bio:

David Wickenden has spent time in the Canadian Armed Forces before the Fire Service, so is as comfortable with a rocket launcher as a fire hose. He has brought six people back from the dead utilizing CPR and a defibrillator and has assisted in rescuing people in crisis. He has learnt to lead men and women in extreme environments. He loves to cook, read and draw and write. David ran his own home based custom art business creating highly detailed wood and paper burnings called pyrography. One of his pictures of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien graces the walls of Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

After 31 years in the Fire Service and attaining the rank of Deputy Fire Chief, David retired to write thriller novels full time. He is a member of the Writer’s Union of Canada, the International Thriller Association, and the International Screenwriters Association. His works comprises of IN DEFENSE OF INNOCENCE, 2018, HOMEGROWN 2018, and DEADLY HARVEST 2019, MAD DOG July 2020 through Black Rose Writing and FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE November 2020. He has adapted all five stories into screenplays.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I have always loved thrillers. Having been in both the military and the fire service, I was definitely an adrenaline junkie. Now into retirement, reading and writing allows me to continue to experience the thrills without the pain of aching muscles. I look at issues that interest me or disturb me to shine a light on the issue. My Laura Amour series, In Defense of Innocence and Deadly Harvest, deals with child exploitation; both domestically and internationally. Homegrown deals with the radicalization of young people by ISIS, while Mad Dog deals with animal abuse and life in the 1970’s in my hometown. My current WIP (work in progress), The Old Guard, deals with the growth of Nazism in America.

My YA Fantasy was suppose to be a ghost story for my son, but then the story took over and it ended going in places I would never had suspected.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

I’ve tried writing a novel a number of times of the years, but life got in the way. After a three week holiday at camp that was filled with writing my first novel, I decided what really fulfilled me. I took an early retirement to write fulltime. I have released 5 novels in 3 years and have adapted all 5 into feature screenplays, which are for sale on the International Screenwriters Association website.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

The list so long! Robert Ludlum was my first real favorite. Currently, I have fallen for John Hart, William Kent Krueger, Steve Berry, David Baldacci, and of course, Stephen King.

In Science Fiction, I love Scott Overton, Frank Herbert, and Michael Crichton.

Historical: Conn Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell, and Margaret George.

Fantasy: William Stacey, Raymond E. Feist, J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard.

Horror: Steve Vance, Stephen King, Nick Cutter, and Robert R. McCammon.

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

Definitely. The increase in the sales of audible books is steady increasing. Most of the books I read are done this way. Even those ebooks I have, I use a reader as I am always reading on the run. Walking the dog, washing dishes or driving my car; I am always reading and the little things in life do not slow me down.

Currently, three of five of my books are on Audible and the other two should be out by April 2021.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

It has become too expensive for INDI authors to list on the larger bookstores because of the percentage they demand. Online books stores and audible stores are taking so much of the market, that Barnes and Noble in the States, (who declares bankruptcy last year) and Chapters in Canada, sell more home furnishings then they do books.

I think we will see a rise to the small Indi stores who are willing to stock both mainstream authors but also self-publishing titles. This is large market that hasn’t really been tapped into yet. There is a ton of talent that never reaches the light of day because everyone wants maximum profits.

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

Number One tool? Getting in front of the readers. Although I do make some sales off Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and others, the majority of my sales are made a Farmer’s Markets and Vendor Events. I have currently been directing my sales locally, but I have sold close to 1000 physical copies of my first novel, In Defense of Innocence since it was first published in the spring of 2018.

Once we are through with Covid, I plan on venturing to outside communities and larger book fairs in the Ottawa and Toronto areas.

Bad Marketing tool? – Not sure, as it is difficult to see what isn’t working when you have multiple tools working at the same time.

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

I think the market will decide. We definitely do not need religious or government to intervene. Right now, there is a huge LGBTQ+ demand by publishers as they try to fill a demand by readers. For some this is encouraging while others are opposed. Frankly it comes down to the individual. If you don’t like it; don’t read it. But leave your opinion to yourself.

Case in point: I wrote In Defense of Innocence to bring attention to the weak Canadian laws surrounding child abuse. I use a vigilante to bring the subject to light but also make it entertaining and exciting. Never, do I write a scene that shows a child being harmed. My sales for this series are great.

Another writer wrote a story that deals with a priest who molests children, but goes into vivid description of the multiple acts of abuse. From what I have heard, the author’s sales are in the toilet.

The market will decide.

Where can people find you and your work?

http://davewickenden.wixsite.com/dave-wickenden

On my website, readers can follow my writing journey, links to my books, and book reviews. For authors; I offer professional Beta Reading Services.

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07B53KWY5

https://twitter.com/DaveWickenden

https://www.facebook.com/WickendenDave/

My books are also available on most internet book stores.

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

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.”

28 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

Leave a Reply to Joan Hall Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s