I'm an Australian Foster Carer and Educator with over a decade of industry experience.  I run the Facebook page "More Than A Foster Carer", where I share my experience working with the foster system. I live in rural New South Wales with my husband, a changing number of children, a dog and some chickens. As a self proclaimed creative soul, I have had a passion for writing fiction from an early age. When I'm not wrangling chickens, children or dogs, I love to be whisked off on magical adventures, and tagging along on epic quests.

The Author: Kristen Temple

Kristen Temple resides in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia, with her husband and two young children. She works part-time as an occupational therapist. In the hours she steals between work and family, she is a writer and artist.

Kristen’s love of reading and writing blossomed at an early age, and has only grown since. She began focusing on her writing in 2014, with particular interest in fantasy and romance. Her current priority is The Active Eight Series, with book one released in September 2020, however she anticipates this is just the beginning of a long writing career. 


The Book: Paired (The Active Eight Series Book 1)

A sheltered girl. An awakening power. Can she defend against an enemy who wants her dead?

Kaylee Saunders longs to make her own choices, but her controlling mother refuses to give her the freedom a seventeen-year-old should enjoy. Full of defiance, Kaylee sneaks out to a party. The overwhelming sights and sounds trigger a panic attack, releasing her undiscovered powers in an eruption of force, sending those around her scrambling.

Vincent, who witnessed her outburst, tracks her down and reveals the truth: they harness the power to control the elements.

Vincent helps Kaylee embrace what she is and the consequences that come with it, but is it all too late? Kaylee must find the strength to control her element beyond imagination or her kind will perish at the hands of an enemy that has been hunting them for centuries.


The Review: 4/5 stars!

Paired is a fun read.
Kristen Temple created a fascinating hidden world within the pages of this book – one full of magic and secrets that kept you captivated until the final page. Her main character, Kaylee, would have to be one of the most relatable characters I have ever read. Seriously, how many protagonists have you read that suffer from anxiety and panic attacks (that actually read authentically)? Not only does our MC suffer from this, but she also had to learn to control abilities that link to her emotions.
The way that Temple has divulged the world history and relevant information in this book is excellent too – little tidbits peppered throughout to keep the reader needing to continue on. Now add in danger, lies, and a swoon-worthy list of support characters, and Temple is clearly on to a winner with this book.
I personally thought that the premise behind the book was terrific, and I’m going to say that I’ve never read anything like it before.
I finished this book way too quickly – devouring it in two short hours! I was disappointed when that final page turned – I wanted the story to keep going.
So, I am officially (and impatiently) waiting for the next one in the series.


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

I wasn’t prepared for the personal development that occurred throughout the writing process. First was the boost in self-confidence, and then the sense of self-accomplishment from creating something from scratch to finally holding a physical product in my hands. And finally, the passion. As soon as I started writing, I knew this was something that I would be doing for a very long time.

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

While the genre of the book is young adult urban fantasy, there’s also a side of romance!

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

My protagonist (Kaylee) has anxiety, and I’ve had several comments from people loving how relatable that is, and how well it is written. I have personally struggled with anxiety, including panic attacks (which my protagonist also experiences) and believe that’s why it comes across so well. Anxiety isn’t something that I’ve read much about in fiction, but is so prevalent in today’s society, so I wanted to bring that into my novel.

What was the inspiration for the story?

The story originally came from a dream. I often have quite elaborate dreams but generally cannot remember them. This dream had felt so real that as soon as I woke, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I remember thinking that I should write about it, and eventually put pen to paper.

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

I didn’t go into the book with a specific agenda, but I knew I wanted to try to portray someone realistic in today’s time. Kaylee has anxiety, often second guesses herself and has to learn to find her own voice.

What is the significance of the title?

Paired is something that relates to the element users in my story. It’s something unique that I haven’t come across before in the books that I’ve read. You’ll have to read the book to find out more!

What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

Definitely! I anticipate that the Active Eight Series will be a trilogy, hopefully releasing one a year over the next two years.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

This book took seven years to write! Funnily enough I’d finished the first draft within a year but then self-doubt crept in. I think writers often start out wondering if they’re good enough, and I was definitely no exception to that rule. The highlight to me was when I had BETA readers read the book and they all said they loved it. Because I didn’t personally know these people, I knew that their feedback was honest. This was a massive turning point for me where I realise that I’m actually a pretty decent writer!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

My mind is my greatest tool. Between dreams at night and daydreaming, I’m often off in the clouds thinking of weird and wonderful things.

Who is your favorite author, and why?

I love reading young adult/new adult fantasy, and adore Sarah J Maas. When I started writing, I’d read that writers should try to avoid reading while they’re writing, to stop themselves being influenced by others work. However, my writing journey lasted seven years for this story, so I went a long time without reading! It wasn’t until recently when someone chastised me for not reading that I went straight back to A Court of Thorns and Roses and re-read all the books in the series. Sarah’s writing sucks you in from the beginning, taking you to a world you never want to leave.

What are you reading now?

Lately I’ve been helping other writers and authors by BETA and ARC reading, so I’ve recently finished a wonderful unpublished novel. 

Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

As above, as an adult I love A Court of Thorns and Roses. As a child, like many others, I was obsessed with Harry Potter. I was in year six when my teacher began reading Harry Potter to the class and I was hooked. I still have my collection of Harry Potter plush toys, and my three-year-old son has Harry Potter bedsheets even though he has no idea who or what Harry Potter is. 

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I have two young children at home so they fill up most of my day. Beyond that, a year ago a sewing machine landed on my table so I’ve been teaching myself to sew this last year.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

I’ve seen this advice a number of times but it’s something I try to follow: keep on writing, regardless of whether you think the writing isn’t great quality. Writing can always be edited, but if you don’t write anything, you’ve got nothing to work with.

How do you handle writer’s block?

I’m fortunate (or possibly unfortunate) to drive an hour to and from work. I often drive in silence and let my mind wonder to my stories and my characters, and let that help progress the story.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

To me, having an engaging story is priority. Something that makes the reader want to keep turning the pages. 

What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

For Paired, the plot came first. I knew where I wanted the story to go, then had to build my characters into that. A lot of my plot or character development comes from my daydreaming. I’ll imagine a scene and allow my mind to take it in different directions, or have characters have different conversations, and just see how everything develops.

Describe a typical writing day.

I’m the worst person to set an example for writing. Often I write of a night once my children have gone to bed, but it’s not a daily occurrence. I allow myself my driving time to create the story in my mind so that when I find time to write, I can get straight into the story. If I need more writing time, I often send the kids off to the grandparents or daycare for the day and spend the whole day in bed writing (my bed is my writing domain, I did say I was a bad example!).

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

The most difficult part is editing. I already mentioned that my story was finished in the first year, but the reason it took seven years to be completed is that I couldn’t stop editing. I love how time and editing transformed my story into what it is today, but I definitely need to learn when to stop!

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I’ve had some wonderful reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. A lot comment on the uniqueness of my story, and as mentioned above, I’ve had comments on the relatability of my protagonist.

How do you do research for your books?

I’m very much a ‘write now, research later’ kind of writer. It’s not until I get to a point in my story where I need to know about the climate or something simple like whether the local school has mandatory uniforms that I realise I need to research. In that case, Google is often my best friend for answers.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

A lot of the time when I’m writing, I put myself in the position of the protagonist. If you were to observe me writing you’ll see lots of arm actions and facial expressions as I try to ‘live’ the experience. I find putting myself in the scene helps me to connect with the emotions.

It’s an odd thing to feel happy about feeling sad, but I know if my writing is making me emotional, then I’ve done my job as a writer. Often it’s taking that moment to reflect and realise I’ve done well that helps me work through the emotional toll.

How do you handle literary criticism?

After all the self-doubt in the beginning, I’ve come to a wonderful place where I now have a very open mind. No person experiences the same book in the same way, and therefore each person will have a different opinion. Criticism is just an opinion and you have to decide yourself whether there was some merit to any feedback and how you go about making necessary changes if you feel that it is required. Sometimes it is through criticism that we develop further as a writer.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

Very little. Usually if I have a story I’m excited about, I want to get straight into writing it. Even if that means writing the ending first, then having to go back and develop everything around that (which is how I started writing Paired). Coming into writing the second book in the series, there’s definitely a lot more planning involved beforehand, though!

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

I have a website, kristentemple.com, that has all the links to my social media accounts. I’m most active on Facebook and Instagram, and love people interacting with my posts.

The Author: C.F Gonzi

C.F. Gonzi has always had a wild imagination, and she discovered early on that writing was a fantastic outlet for all of her exciting ideas. She lives in a beautiful Utah valley with her husband and daughter, where she enjoys rock-climbing, reading, and hiking when she’s not writing. UNRAVELED is C.F. Gonzi’s debut novel.


The Book: Unraveled

McGregor has been pumping the streets of New York full of illegal and experimental drugs for too long. He’s slipped through the FBI’s fingers twice already, but they just made a new break in the case…Delilah’s two-year probationary period is up. She’s already passed the entry tests to becoming a field agent and is hoping to be let in on the action right away. The top Criminal Profiler in the city, the attractive Agent Jace Avery, is leading the McGregor Case, and Delilah wants in.As anticipation and excitement for the impending infiltration rise, Jace’s feelings for Delilah are interrupted by caution. However, after an impressive performance on her first mission, Delilah lands a spot on his infiltration team.Will Delilah be the one to unravel this case? Or will McGregor be the one to unravel her?


Also Available: Numb

As the top criminal profiler in the FBI, Jace Avery is used to closing cases quickly. But after a year of playing cat and mouse with McGregor, all he has to show for it is an incarcerated girlfriend and two new victims of the drug lord’s experiments.Siale is an all-star basketball player at her high school, already being recruited by the top colleges in the nation. She has her whole life figured out, until a run in with McGregor’s drug takes basketball away from her. A forced acquaintance with Agent Avery soon turns to friendship as Siale’s need to play ball almost equals Jace’s desire to save Delilah.Will Siale have to remain numb to this integral part of her life? Or will Jace’s desperate efforts be enough to stop McGregor and cure his victims?


The Review: 4/5 stars!

Unraveled isn’t in my usual genre that I like reading, so I was a little surprised that I really enjoyed it. I read this book in one sitting, eyes glued to the pages, trying to figure out where Gonzi was going to take the story. Let me just say that the way Unraveled is written, with all of the intricate build up and twists, the use of language and thought, and the warping reality within Delilah’s spiralling mental state is fascinating. Gonzi did an amazing job at writing from multiple POV’s, ensuring both main characters had their own unique voice.
The themes found in this book, along with the character’s struggles as they try to deal with some pretty awful stuff, were all written in a way that showed Gonzi’s depth and knowledge base as an author writing about crime and the effects that drugs have on people.
I’m looking forward to reading more from this author!


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

I think the most surprising thing I discovered while writing was my general obsession with making the reader be able to feel. I guess I never realized that to stir such emotions in someone else was so invigorating, or so addicting.

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

This is a hard question because my book is full of plot twists that I would hate to give away. But I think the readers should know that maybe these characters seem too perfect at the beginning for a reason 😉

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Actually, my main male protagonist, Jace Avery, was somewhat mannered after my husband, solely because writing a romance was made easier by imagining my soulmate in it.

What was the inspiration for the story?

I follow various writing prompt accounts on social media, and came across a post where someone complained about never reading a story from the villain’s perspective. That is what inspired Unraveled, and I can’t say more because I don’t want to give anything away.

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

This may sound naive but I do not think my book holds a message. It was simply a story that I needed to get out of my head. Perhaps the theme is that we are all a little insane in our own way.

What is the significance of the title?

One could say my main character gets “unraveled” as the story unfolds.

What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

There already is a sequel! It is entitled Numb and follows only one of the POV’s from the first book while introducing a new one. And now, as I write the next and final installment of this trilogy, I will be introducing one more POV as well.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

The biggest challenge in writing Unraveled was definitely the editing of the first draft. I had to cut what I thought was an absolutely perfect 85k manuscript down to 60k because beta readers and friends decided a lot of my fluff was unnecessary, (looking back, I definitely agree). One of the highlights of writing was sharing my ideas with my husband. Oftentimes he would look at me like I was crazy, but even then he would remind me how creative I was to even have those ideas.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Inspiration comes to me in many different forms, but I think I gain most of my inspiration from simple writing prompts; most of the time they open a floodgate of schemes that have nothing to do with the prompt itself.

Who is your favorite author, and why?

This is such a hard question! I think my favorite author of all time would probably have to be Louisa May Alcott. I am obsessed with how eloquent and beautiful her language is, and am constantly in awe of her ability to pull emotion from every page.

What are you reading now?

I am currently reading The Blood Society by B.B. Palomo, as well as Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle aloud with my husband and daughter.

Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

My favorite book as an adult is definitely Little Women, but my favorite childhood books were the entire Harry Potter series.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When not writing, I love going to the mountains with my family, whether that be kayaking on a lake, rock-climbing, hiking, or just camping. I also enjoy playing the piano, baking, singing, playing basketball, doing hair, and spray painting.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

I think the best piece of advice I could ever offer is to not shy away from that rough thing you want to write. That thing that you are afraid will make others uncomfortable, or is a hard subject. Write it anyway.

How do you handle writer’s block?

I often just let writer’s block run its course. I’ve tried to force my way out of it, but I never get solid prose from force, so I have decided that if I feel writer’s block, the best thing to do is distance myself from the project till the motivation and determination to write comes again.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I think a fundamental understanding of ethos and pathos are important elements in good writing, even if you don’t necessarily recognize that that is what it is called. The ability to call onto emotion can override any grammatical or spelling errors. Good writing evokes feeling.

What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

My plot always comes first. I develop a somewhat solid plot before I look into my characters at all because they have to be able to fit into the story well. But you can ask any writer, our characters rarely listen to us.

Describe a typical writing day.

I unfortunately do not get writing days. I get blocks of time in my day that are typically filled with writing: when my daughter takes her afternoon nap, and then again when she goes down for bed at night and my husband studies. Each time is the same, though not monotonous. I grab my notebook, pen, phone, and laptop, find somewhere comfortable, (but not too comfortable), and sit down to work. I’ll have my Harry Potter water bottle beside me, occasionally accompanied by a baked good or veggies and hummus, and set my fingers to work. Don’t be fooled, though; most of my writing time is spent staring out the window or at my phone trying to find the right words to better portray my scenes.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

The most difficult part of writing is indefinitely the self-doubt. I get to a point in every one of my books, about halfway through the manuscript, where I begin to hate everything I’ve already written, and fear that everyone else will too.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I don’t hear from my readers as often as I would like. The one’s I do hear from, however, are very often mad at my cliffhangers and begging for spoilers, which I rather enjoy.

How do you do research for your books?

An open google tab is my constant companion as I write. Also, if I know anyone of similar occupation, lifestyle, or ethnicity of the character I am writing, I will interview them to get more details on the subject.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I don’t wear makeup, I leave my phone behind, And I separate myself from any distraction. I also clip my nails, because when writing emotionally draining scenes, I often drag my fingers down my face in exasperation. There have actually been many scenes in my current project that have drained me more than usual; for these I just have to walk away from the computer and find something uplifting to do, which is usually baking. With Unraveled and Numb, I found that reading the scene aloud to someone else and making them feel the same was uplifting to myself. Wow, that sounded evil. I’m sorry, I promise I’m not.

How do you handle literary criticism?

I do my best to take criticism into stride. I know that my story isn’t for everyone, and my writing style may not suit what others like to read. I try to imagine myself in the critic’s shoes, see my mistakes or their critiques and understand that we are all human, but none of us are the same. That makes the blow of criticism much easier, though still not the easiest thing to deal with.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

World building definitely depends on the story I am writing. For example, Unraveled takes place in present-day New York, so very minimal world building went into the preparation for the book. Storyboarding, on the other hand, takes at least a good month to put together, because I want to make sure the foundation of my tale is as solid as rock.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

I have a Facebook page under C.F. Gonzi and an Instagram account @cfgonzi where I post updates on my current works, promotions for published works, and general life reports. I answer every DM that comes my way, so long as it is appropriate. I have actually made many friends around the world from doing this. A website and newsletter will be in the works as soon as I finish my current manuscript.

The Author: Marcy Williams

Marcy Williams is a life coach specializing in motivation, social media marketing, work/life balance, and career transition. Williams’ experience in life coaching began in 2006 when she realized her passion to help others. Williams understood her why at a very young age when she noticed all people are not created equally….on the outside. Through her teens she was bullied, degraded and insulted for being too skinny, not being as tall or developed as others, and for being smart. She began to believe the things people said about her. Her only way to fight back was to prove them wrong. She studied, played sports, focused on distancing from others, and began to flourish. 
Although it took years to regain her self-esteem, Williams has been reaching for new heights since then. She also mentors young student-athletes aspiring to play college sports with the NCAA. Williams also offers a private 1:1 coaching that promotes self-esteem. The coaching allows for private and group conversations with others who have similar experiences who are seeking refuge from their bullies. Marcy resides in the Atlanta, GA region and enjoys walking in nature, photography, meditation, and writing in her spare time.


The Book: A Bully’s Nightmare

A view into the life of a young girl taunted and teased by everyone, how she felt, and what she did about it.

From the Author:

I was compelled to write this book to give the view of life from a young girl who was bullied in school, at work, in sports, and even while with people she called friends. Although some of the events were hard to relive, the story had to be told because bullying can have life-altering affects and can also result in suicide. While I did not attempt or consider suicide, I know of others who did and are no longer here. 
One thing I’ve learned in life is to treat everyone respectfully and understand everyone is not the same. It’s okay if someone doesn’t like the same things I like. It’s okay if I don’t dress the same as someone else. Most importantly, it is not okay to bully or watch someone be bullied. Speak up and don’t simply watch. My hope is that my story reaches everyone who has been bullied so they know they are not alone, and there are resources and services that can help you through troubling times.

The Author: S. Courtney

S. Courtney is new to the published writing community but has been a lifelong writer and began creatively writing in junior high. She is the author of the werewolf romance, Bound to You, a tale of two destined lovers “drawn” together by fate. Look out for release of the sequel, In Love with a Legacy, currently available on Wattpad along with other stories ranging from traditional romance, thriller, and horror under her username: @mskeiya


The Book: Bound to you

Kamari Lee was just a small hometown artist with an obsession with drawing wolves… She doesn’t know why she is obsessed but she is, she feels a love and attachment she just can’t describe. Her studio is popular among the residents but she refuses to sell any pertaining to her muse until one day a man walks in…

Kayden Miller is the Alpha leader of the Cheshire pack, he finds solace in drawing his mate, or features of her. He hasn’t found her but he draws what he sees in his dreams and fantasies.

When he runs out of supplies in the middle of an intense session, frustrated, he decides to go into town to get them himself. It’s when he finds her shop, he sees her painstakingly painting her white wolf, but wait…

This sparks a story for the ages because NOTHING about her is normal. 


Also Available: Bound by Destiny

In the second installment of the Bound Series, we meet Kayari and Kamden Miller, twins of Alpha Kayden and Luna/Violet Legacy Princess Kamari Lee-Miller. Once Kayd & Kam retire from their roles as Alpha & Luna of the Cheshire pack it’s the kids turn and with that dad drops the bombshell…they will share the Alpha role.

But how do twins SHARE the Alpha title? How do they choose their Beta or Betas? What if one finds their mate before the other?

All those questions to answer and still protect the pack and themselves, oh and don’t forget about LOVE.

It’s quite the adventure to be a Miller heir.

The Author: Bridget Messi

A licensed esthetician, Bridget has been writing since she was a young girl. When not writing, she can be found reading too many books and binge-watching Disney movies. She lives in the midwest with her dog Alice.


The Book: Red Siren

Ariel doesn’t want to kill men, like her sisters. Once she becomes of age, she will sing the legendary song of sirens, which will bring out her murderous instincts. If Ariel doesn’t sing, she will face becoming an outcast and death soon after. But until then, Ariel has a much more human heart and refuses to take innocent lives. In an attempt to be free from her destiny, she turns to her grandmother, who transforms her into a human.

Ariel soon meets Cassie and Carson who then get caught up in a quest to end all siren life, but at what cost? Ariel must make a decision that will change the world forever, even if she won’t be around to see it.


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

My characters and how they like to take control of the story. You always hear about authors talking about their characters as if they were real people and its incredible to see what they were talking about! I will have the whole book planned and then Ariel will waltz in and be like…no we aren’t doing that.

 Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

I would love to share a tidbit on how there’s a mini quest in the novel and magic is heavily involved. I absolutely loved that scene and it’s my favorite to this day.

 Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Gosh, all my characters hold a special place in my heart. I know everyone is going to expect me to say Ariel, but its actually Carson who I have a soft spot for. He wasn’t planned at all and in the first chapter when he literally runs onto the page I knew it was his story I was telling more so than Ariel’s.

What was the inspiration for the story?

I was scrolling on pinterest and came across a photo of Ariel holding a knife and being surrounded by Ursula’s eels. It made me want to know who this badass princess was and from there I wrote the first chapter. The rest is history.

 What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

The theme of the book I would say is courage. Ariel has to stand up and say no, this isn’t how I want my future to be which is terrifying to anyone and it takes a great deal of bravery to do that as well as do the things she does in the novel.

 What is the significance of the title?

The title plays significance because well…her hair color is significant. She is the only siren with red hair ever to be born. I’ll let you guys read the book to find out what it means J

 What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

The future of the characters is very up in the air! (evil laughter) There will 100 percent be a sequel and I am actually working on my first round of revisions for that book.  Readers also get to meet a whole cast of brand new characters that I am having a ton of fun with!

 What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

Oh gosh. Probably plot. I am really good with one idea, but you need a couple plots within a plot and that sometimes is so difficult!

 Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Everwhere! Music and art mostly.

 Who is your favorite author and why?

I have too many to choose lol! I love anything from Maggie Stiefvater or Jennifer L. Armentrout.

 What are you reading now?

So currently, I’m reading a cookbook lol, but for my nightly reading I am in the process of reading the Elfstones of Shannara

 What is your favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

My favorite book as an adult so far would probably be Circe by Madeline Miller. I don’t know why, but that book just was perfect and whenever I think about it I get warm and fuzzy inside. My favorite book as a kid would probably be The Penderwicks or Ally Carter’s Gallager Girl series. To this day I am literally Cami lol. I always scare people even if they are standing right in front of me. I just blend in!

 What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to cook and watch movies! I’m usually on the couch with a bucket of candy and popcorn watching Disney plus. (Great visual, I know)

 What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Write everyday.  Even if you just write for five minuets—write. Act like it’s your job and show up at your desk daily. Also—read everything you can.

 How do you handle writer’s block?

Oh gosh. Writers block sucks! I usually try to take a break if not on a deadline and read, watch movies, and just hang with friends. But if I do need to write I sit myself down and just do it! The hardest part is sometimes just starting! I usually struggle for an hour and then its super easy from there.

 What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I think voice is super important. I need to feel like I’m in the characters head or that these are REAL people if that makes any sense.  I also think that allowing you characters to have flaws and fail every now and again is good too. You need to make relatable characters, not superman.

 What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

Characters hands down. I am usually always a pantser! I let the characters guide the story to where it needs to go. But with sequels there’s usually intense plotting.

  Describe a typical writing day.

Writing days look different depending on where I am in the writing process. If I’m drafting I usually write from like nine in the morning till one in the afternoon. If I am editing I usually edit all afternoon till dinner.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Not getting distracted and focusing. One word in front of the other friends!

 Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I actually don’t! But when I do its always how much they loved the story!

 How do you do research for your books?

Since I am writing fairy tale retellings I have an entire shelf on my bookshelf dedicated to fairytale books! I usually crack on open weekly and fall into a story.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I am such an emotional person that I hate feeling/showing emotions lol! I usually end up sobbing and having to walk away from my computer. I sometimes will just sit there and let myself really feel how that character is feeling. It’s not the most fun thing lol

 How do you handle literary criticism?

With a grain of salt. At the end of the day I am a good writer. Weather someone liked it is different. You cant please everyone so I focus on making myself proud by improving as I write and always learning from literary teachers. I take classes on writing and creative writing even though I am out of college! You can always improve yourself, but focus on just being happy with the progress you’ve made.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

Depends on the book, but since I am mainly a pantser—none

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media?

Readers can find me on social media via Instagram @authorbmessi, twitter @bmessi5 and my website bridgetmessi.com. I love to interact with my readers so make sure to say hi if you stop by!

Thank you so much for having me! it was super fun!


The Author: Andrea Fink

Andrea Fink was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She lives just north of Seattle, Washington with her husband and daughter. Throughout her years of teaching elementary school, she has encouraged her students to follow their dreams. Now, she is tackling her own, finally writing the series she has been sitting on for a decade. 


The Book: Mask (Four Regions Book One)

Emily thought magic only existed in the books she read as a child. When a handsome stranger enlists her help to uncover who tried to kill the princess of another world, she learns those books were more than just stories. She discovers the Four Regions – a realm where magical creatures fled to escape human persecution. It is there Emily finds the power, passion, and friendships she had always secretly craved.
The determined demon who guides her.
The irresistible vampire who entices her.
The excitable demoness who supports her.
The quiet elf who understands her.
Now Emily must unmask a murderer while wearing a mask herself, resisting a growing temptation that could ruin her newfound family.


The Review: 4/5 stars!

I was so intrigued and fascinated by the premise of Mask.

Andrea Fink has left nothing out while world-building for this book, which helps create a world rich with detail and history – it was so well thought out and interesting.

The writing style was easy to follow, building the further in you read. The story itself sucks you in, so much so that I read this book in one sitting.

It contains my favorite themes, tropes, and creatures – royalty, secrets and intrigue, drama, monsters and magic, love triangles. But they are done in a fresh way, going in directions that were definitely not predictable or ordinary.

I’m usually pretty good at picking plot twists before they hit – but in Mask, there were a few that hit me in the face, leaving me racing through the pages to discover just how wrong I had been.

I’m excited to read the rest of the series – which, I honestly hope, isn’t too far away. The ending of Mask is one of the biggest twists/cliffhangers that I have read in a long time!


The Interview:

 What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?


I was shocked with how a good writing session warps your reality of time. I would be getting started at 9pm and one idea later it would be past midnight. That has only ever happened with good video game sessions. I did not think I would enjoy writing so much I would get that lost in it.

 Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

It has nothing to do with personal protective equipment and nothing to do with the current pandemic. Just want to set that straight right now. Terrible coincidence, but I came up with the title in December 2019 and it fit so well that I refused to change it.

 Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

I really like Daughter of Brawn. Quick to trust others, always up for something new, and a talker with no filter. She is a bit like me back in high school before the “real world” hit.

What was the inspiration for the story?

I had playful imaginings of a girl who had never seen green before, who had a wild assortment of magical powers, and whose sister was out to kill her. I kept thinking how they would have gotten there. What world would need to exist in order to have these characters in this place? So I back-wrote. I came up with three generations of this family and how their powers all converged into this girl. Why one sister hated the other, and why she would have to die. How the world’s structure worked and where it came from. And the start of that family’s story is now Mask. It has morphed and changed as time went on, even changing the plot of the original story which is now slated as the third book, but it will still be about those two sisters.

 What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

The struggle of choosing between obligations to family and one’s own destiny, which will carry throughout the series.

 What is the significance of the title?

On the surface level, Emily has to pretend to be someone else, masking her fear, inexperience, and true identity. When you get to the end there will be an even bigger, “Oh, I get it.” Think that Leonardo DiCaprio pointing at the TV meme.

 What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

There is a sequel in the works! It takes place 50 years later and follows a character that did not exist in the first, but some characters from book one come back into play in big ways.

 What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

The key challenge was just freaking writing it, even if I felt like it sucked. I had never written a book before. My last English class was in high school since I was a science major in college. I had no idea if I was even on the right track and had no feedback to tell me if I was doing it wrong. For all I knew, this was the worst book ever written, but I had to keep pushing myself to finish so I could get someone else’s opinion.

The highlight was starting to get that feedback. One person liked it. Another person liked it. A third thought it was OK (but didn’t say her eyes were bleeding from terrible writing, so that was a win). I could write a story that someone liked. I could pass as an author.

 Where do you draw your inspiration from?

For the world of the Four Regions, I draw from my local landscape. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so we have water, mountains, summers of long days, and winters of darkness. I get to pull from all of those, then add whatever inspiration I can find from travels.

For the storylines, I am a huge “what if”er, so I play out a million scenarios in my head daily, some of which morph into daydreams about characters.

 Who is your favorite author and why?

Nonfiction, I love Malcolm Gladwell. He has a special place in my heart because Blink was the last audiobook I listened to with my dad before he died. I also love pop psychology.

Fiction, I am going to have a huge asterisk with this one, is JK Rowling. Not as a person. As an author. She created a huge, wonderful world that was so ingrained in my generation’s culture that you can ask anyone my age what Hogwarts house they are in and half will have a solid answer and the other half will at least know what you’re talking about.

 What are you reading now?

At the moment I am reading my cousin Ellyn Oaksmith’s book, Summer at Orchard House. I need some feel-good chick lit every so often. I am also listening to The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris off and on. I have checked it out twice from the library now and am not even half-way, but there are always holds on it, so I really should just buy it at this point…

 What is your favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

As an adult: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield – Square astronaut, round hole.

As a high schooler: On the Beach by Nevil Shute – I bawl my eyes out every time.

As a kid: Avalon: Web of Magic Series by Rachel Roberts – Girls discovering a world of magic is kind of my jam.

 What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Zone out. I have so much going on that any free time is dedicated to mindless phone games and binge-watching streaming services.

 What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Write what you want to read. You are your first critic (and usually your harshest), so you will have to impress yourself before you can impress anyone else.

 How do you handle writer’s block?

I leave what I’m working on and write something else. At least one iron is always hot, so strike that one while your current one is cool. I like to go into future scenes that I have a better idea of, or if I am out of those I will brainstorm scenes in other projects (sequels, short stories, my other series idea).

 What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Key number one is a story you can’t stop thinking about. You could have the most well-thought-out characters, perfect grammar, and show not tell until your eyeballs fall out, but if there isn’t a good story behind it, one that you as a writer love and are excited to write, then the reader won’t buy in.

 What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

Plot first. I outline the story almost completely, then move on to develop the characters. Once I develop my characters, the plot will change based on their personality and decisions. 

 Describe a typical writing day.

On work days, it is hunching over my computer on the couch after putting our daughter to bed and watching an episode or two of something on Hulu or Netflix.

On non-work days, I get to write during nap time, too, so that’s cool.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Finding the time.

 Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

The ones who do get in touch are asking about progress on the sequel or wondering if they can get some more insight into the Four Regions – specific questions and “what about”s for their favorite magical creatures and scenarios.

 How do you do research for your books?

I love historical books, so creating the world I did allows me to pull from a lot of the nonfiction I read. Also, when actively writing, Google. So much Google. I have to clear my search history quite frequently so the strange things I google don’t pop up as suggested autocomplete.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I act the big scenes out. I will sit alone in the living room and say all of the dialogue out loud. I throw everything I can into it so I can hear and feel it myself and try to put that into my writing. When I finish those big scenes, I am usually either emotionally dead and just go straight to bed (I only write these scenes at night), or I am incredibly inspired and just keep writing off that high.

 How do you handle literary criticism?

I tear up. I know it is dumb. I know people are mostly supportive and want to tell me ways to improve. But my entire life if I’m told I did not do something right I get emotional. It is just reactionary. I do appreciate feedback, but I always need a moment to get over that knot in the throat.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

I thought it was a lot, but the world kept building itself as I wrote, so apparently about half.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media?

You can find out more about Mask on its Amazon and Goodreads pages. One day I hope to have a website, but it is not in the budget just yet.

I am very active on Instagram as @andrea.as.an.author and make sure to post major updates on Facebook under Andrea Fink, Author.


The Author: B.B. Palomo

B.B. Palomo is an American author from the state of Arizona. A writer at heart with a wild imagination, she has always had an affinity for the supernatural. Her debut novel began as a short story written in the fourth grade. While it was nowhere close to the writing prompt assigned, her teacher gave her credit anyway, noting the creativity B.B. demonstrated. This encouragement sparked her dream of becoming an author.  

Even though B.B. was born in Arizona, she is not the desert heat’s biggest fan. Give her the subtle crunch of freshly fallen snow under her boots any day.  In school, B.B. often used the old trick of hiding a book within her textbook while pretending to follow along with the rest of the class, though she still placed significant value on her studies. After graduating high school, she moved on to study business management in college.  

B.B. now works as a licensed financial principal by day and works on her novels and blog by night. She is a wife and a mother—to an amazing daughter and a few fur babies—but when she does manage to find the time to unwind, B.B. enjoys a tall cup of coffee to go with a great book, all while daydreaming about the next story she wants to bring to life.


The Book: The Blood Society (A Department of Vampire Extermination Novel)

When the world bites, you bite back.

Sammy Cordova’s life is complicated. Between grieving the loss of her longtime partner and the grueling task of hunting vampires, she can barely keep her head on straight. The last thing she needs is more chaos in her life, but as the daughter of the esteemed founders of the Department of Vampire Extermination, chaos comes with the territory.

When a company scientist suddenly dies in a freak accident on the same day she discovers a potential cure for a virus that is aggressively creating a world of vampiric beings, Sammy is eager for answers.

Forced to team up with Gray, a new hunter who better serves as an irritant than a partner, she has no choice but to temporarily swallow her grief, train Gray, and make sense of the world around her.

Will her desperate hunt for the truth put them back on track for a much-needed cure, or will it tear her already fragile psyche apart? Find out in this adrenaline-rushing paranormal romance adventure!


The Review: 5/5 stars!

If Buffy and Priest had a baby – who then married the offspring of World War Z and I am Legend, B.B. Palomo’s The Blood Society would be the resulting literary baby.
I’m not even kidding.
This book has it all – a kick-ass MC, vampires, viruses, hunters, scientists searching for a cure, secrets, love, lust, death, and betrayal.
I went in not really knowing what to expect, keeping my expectations in check. I love Vampire books, but lately they have all felt the same. But, I am so thrilled to say that I was pleasantly surprised – and immediately hooked. As in, from the very first paragraph, I was an addict – I just had to finish this book!
The story was well thought out, and although at times predictable, there were more than enough twists and turns to keep me interested. I loved how fleshed out the characters, and the world-building were. I was there, in Palomo’s world with her characters, going through the highs and lows with them. The direction that Palomo took this story was not only fascinating, but believable and relatable (in regards to character interaction, growth etc – not bloodsucking monsters and chaos.)
Not only did I finish the book in one sitting, but the story has stayed with me, keeping my mind ticking over as to what could possibly happen next.
I only hope that Palomo’s sequel isn’t too far away!


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

How supportive the writing community is. My inner voice was very loud while I was writing, constantly telling me I was going to fail, that I would never finish, that everything I wrote was going to be garbage and nothing more. The writing and reading community never let me believe that for long though. I have met some of the most amazing people on social media and I can never thank them enough for their support.

 Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

I’d love to be able to share a little preview of how I see Sammy. I get a lot of questions about her personality and how she can sometimes come off as spoiled and childish. In reality, she is constantly struggling with having to be a young adult in a very vicious world. This, mixed with her traumas, has led her to act out in ways that probably seem silly to most. At her core, Sammy is guarded but full of trust and love—I almost feel guilty putting her through what I do. Almost.

 Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Sammy, the protagonist, definitely does. She is modeled from the emotions of some of the worst times of my life. The things she feels, even though caused by very different situations, are the things I have felt throughout my whole life and I really used her as an outlet for those feelings to help me grow and heal.


What was the inspiration for the story?

The story itself came to fruition so long ago that I struggle to remember the exact thing that inspired it, but I do know Underworld was big and I loved the vampire aspect of it. All my stories, in some form or another, also come from nightmares I’ve had. I’ve always had extremely vivid dreams and at a young age learned to take control of them, rather than letting fear seep in. Now, I look forward to the next dream I can turn into a story!


What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

I hate to use the saying life isn’t fair, but it truly describes the theme of this book so well. The message here is the world stops turning for no one and no matter how hard things get, you have to get up, dust yourself off, and keep going for what you believe in.


What is the significance of the title?

Choosing titles is honestly my least favorite thing to do. You spend so much time trying to find something that encompasses the book, while not giving too much away and also doesn’t already show up a billion times in the market. I was arms deep in soapy water finishing the dishes when The Blood Society snuck into my thoughts. I had been stressing over the title for months and almost gave up and just kept my working title until this moment. I knew right then I would write it into the story—which I do with all my books so far—and it worked out great! I really love it!


What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

A sequel is definitely underway! I am feverishly working on book two which is set to release in August 2021. Both Sammy and Gray’s troubles are far from over and I am excited to watch their growth as the obstacles they must overcome become bigger and the stakes much higher!

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

This story took me much longer to finish than I like to admit. The hardest part of getting this tale to print has definitely been the timeframe in which it was written. I started this as a child and my ideas and voice changed so much as I became older. I constantly fought with what I loved about how it was originally written and what I knew would make a much stronger story now. Through all of it though, I got to see how much I grew as a storyteller and it was really fun to get feedback from those who read the original and then re-read what is now available to the public.


 Where do you draw inspiration from?

Besides my dreams, as I touched on a little bit earlier, a lot of my inspiration comes from art and music. Drawings of creatures and scenery really help me paint my own mental picture of scenes, and music is really the icing on the cake. Something about it resonates very deeply within me. The instruments and lyrics weaving together to create a seamless story, I love it! Don’t think for a second I am musically talented though! I cannot carry a tune in a bucket, with the lid closed!

Who is your favorite author, and why?

I have always looked up to S.E. Hilton. The Outsiders is my favorite book and I admire her ability to write such a moving tale at such a young age. 


What are you reading now?

I love reading books by indie authors and am currently reading C.F. Gonzi’s Unraveled.


 Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I couldn’t get enough of Roth!

Since I already said the Outsiders, I am going to go with the book that made me want to start writing. The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer. I got the book from our school bookfair and after devouring it, decided to toss away my dream of being a storm chaser (I was obsessed with tornados and now they terrify me) and become an author!


What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I am really big into DIY projects. It doesn’t matter how messy, or big or in over my head I am, I absolutely love trying to recreate something on my own. Currently, I am remodeling my guest bathroom and to my husband’s surprise (who constantly asks if I need help, especially when he hears the power tools) it’s coming out great! It’s been a great stress reliever for me.


 What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Do not, I repeat DO NOT compare yourself to others. It is so easy to get discouraged when you see these really talented people debuting their books or even well-established authors pushing out work at a speed you never thought possible, but none of that matters. The only thing that matters is that you put in the time to craft the story of your dreams and that you, whether you decide to finish it or not, love what you have written.

If you put in the work and stay true to yourself, I promise it will pay off!


How do you handle writer’s block?

Before I would take time off of writing, but I now know that just doesn’t work for me. When I am battling writer’s block now, I just type.

Word after word, I barely even care what it says or if it matches the story. I get a good paragraph of garbage out and look back at it. What do I like? What don’t I like? I look at it like it’s something someone else has written and think about how I would have done it differently. For whatever reason, it always seems to work and once I have edited that paragraph, I am normally back on track with where the story is going.


 What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I personally love writing that can bring every emotion out of me. I believe that scene-setting and showing versus telling can make or break a story. Another thing is the flow. You have to get the pacing right, or your readers are either too bored or not invested because everything has happened before they can care and root for the characters.


What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

This is a wonderful question! I think it depends. In the Blood Society, Sammy came first and her world developed around her whereas in my current novel, What Lies Beyond, Willow’s world was crafted way before she was a blip on my radar. I believe every story takes on a mind of its own and as authors, we are just along for the ride.


 Describe a typical writing day.

Oh boy! Normally, I am up at about five in the morning to log onto work so I can get a few uninterrupted hours in before my two-year-old wakes up. Once that happens it’s a delicate battle to make it to her nap time with both her and my day job happy with me. I normally take lunch right after, trying to juggle my food and getting a few paragraphs out to warm up for the night. I also use this time to check social media and try to stay up to date. Once work is over and my husband is home, I jump onto the laptop and do my best to be engaged in everything that needs my attention, including my WIP. The real writing happens when everyone in the house settles down for the night. I plug my headphones in, click over to my “book writing” playlist, and do my best to make it through at least one-chapter worth of work.


What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Time. I truly feel like I am constantly choosing between my family and my dream. There just isn’t enough time in the day. On the days I have spent just on writing, I wonder how many little moments I’ve missed with my daughter, and on the days I push writing to the side, I wonder if the industry and my dream will leave me in the dust.

 Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

Surprisingly I have! I have interacted with some extremely kind and supportive readers who really motivate me to keep writing. There isn’t a better feeling than hearing someone say they loved your book or even ask when the sequel will be coming out! It makes it all worth it in the end, all the tears, sleepless nights, and days of feeling like you’d never be good enough. I don’t know if readers know how much their words mean to authors, but I am so very thankful for all of them!


 How do you do research for your books?

I mostly use google and let me tell you, if anyone were to look at my search history, they’d probably think I was a murderer! I also frequently reach out to people who are a lot smarter than me to ask questions. For example, I have a very close friend who is a doctor and if I can’t find the answer I need on my own, I will go and ask her how it works in the real world. I want to make sure that even though my book is fiction, it makes sense and is as accurate as possible.


 When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

It was much easier when I was younger honestly. Before I had access to therapy and still struggled with things I couldn’t control around me, I just needed to be awake to be able to jump into the mindset of some of these scenes. Now, which is both a good and a bad thing, the same mindset doesn’t come around as often and I was finding it difficult to write some of the scenes through my current lens. That’s when I turned to music. I have a playlist filled with songs that make me sad, angry, confused, scared, really everything and that really helps me get back to where my characters are.


 How do you handle literary criticism?

Better now! Before, I would just refuse to share my work to protect myself from criticism, but now I realize that as long as it’s constructive and true, it’s only going to make me a stronger author. I do have a rule though, I don’t take unconstructive feedback seriously. I chalk it up to someone who is just having a bad day and move on. But constructive feedback is one-hundred percent necessary. I think as authors we can be so guarded and protective of our literary babies that we forget its sometimes very uncomfortable for someone to tell someone else the things they think are wrong with their story.


 How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

I am a panster through and through! My outlining and world-building is very minimal as I get rolling on a story. I do a very rough outline and just run with it! It always bites me in the butt later when my editing process is ten times as long, but it’s the only way I can write.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

To find out more about me and my work, readers can go to my website, authorbbpalomo.com, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok! (I’ll admit I have not posted on TikTok yet, but I am slowly working up the nerve!)

I encourage my readers to reach out! Nothing brings me more joy than getting to talk to people who have read my work!


The Author: Jade Frances

Jade Frances caught the writing bug as a teenager and hasn’t looked back since. After years of writing for pleasure, she’s finally ready to share her storytelling with the world.

As an avid reader and fan of YA fantasy, she looks forward to publishing her own tales filled with adventure. These days, beyond chasing after two children and dreaming up new novel ideas, Jade enjoys cooking, travelling, and exploring the picturesque views in and around her surburban River Tay, Scotland home.


The Book: Siren Calls (The rise of Ares, Book One)

A search for answers. A long-held secret. A call to destiny.

Evangeline is an orphan, with no memory of her life before she ended up in a children’s home. Now, she is free in the world with a burning desire to solve the mysteries of her past.
With more questions than answers, she begins to unravel the truth. What she finds teaches her not only who, but what she is and catapults her into the lives of The Gifted.
Before she can fully grasp her new powers, she must remain under the radar, and out of the clutches of those who have been hunting her. The Veil, an unyielding magic cult, who want nothing more than to use her to conquer and rule. At least that’s what she’s been told.
Will Evangeline embrace her birthright to save herself, avert The Veil and the fight for ultimate power?


And Coming Soon: Siren Dreams (The Rise of Ares, Book Two)

You can’t escape reality, when your enemies haunt your dreams.

All her life Evangeline dreamed of finding her purpose. Now that she has, she is certain that she doesn’t want to fulfil it. Especially not when it could tip the scales in the war that’s brewing between The Gifted.
Evangeline must travel to the Fae communities to convince them that, although there is darkness within her, she is on the side of light. Tensions rise, trust is betrayed and those closest to her might not have her best interests at heart. The very darkness that she wields, seeps its way into her dreams throughout her travels. This time, someone new enters them. Someone that seems to be trying to communicate with her.

Is it a warning of danger to come, or simply an unending memory of her failure to rid the world of The Veils leader?


The Review: 4/5 stars!

Siren Calls is the first book that I have read in a long time that manages to take a well known trope and spin it so fast you have no clue as to where you will end up.
I love that Jade Frances was able to put new, and interesting life into a ya fantasy story.
You go in thinking you know how the story will unfold, like so many others in this genre lately, and figure out early on that you have no idea!
Her MC isn’t the typical ‘girl thinks she’s normal, finds out she’s magic and is suddenly a superstar.’ Character cliché – She’s believable in that she struggles to find herself, to control her new found power, and find her place in an overturned world.
We are given a mystery, a puzzle to solve: Who can she trust? who’s out to get her – and why? You have to keep reading, and following along to get to the bottom of it – just like Evvy does!
There’s a lot of my favorite monsters/magic/ hunter vs hunted themes in this book, and the story builds to leave you wanting more.
I enjoyed the backstories of some of the supporting characters, and it was fascinating to see the interactions between them as Evvy blunders her way through.

I’m honestly so intrigued to see where Jade takes this world she has created, and will be keeping my eyes out for release day for Siren Dreams.


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

 I think the most surprising thing I discovered was my creativity, I never really thought I could write an entire novel let alone enjoy doing it and having it as an escape.

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

 I think my first book has quite a dark feel to it, a bit of childhood trauma seeps into the theme, although this may only be noticeable in the prologue.

 Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

One of my characters Adam holds a very deep place in my heart, he is quite broken and has a very deep way of viewing events that have taken place in his life. Adam is based on a very dear friend of mine who unfortunately took his life three years ago.

What was the inspiration for the story?

I started this when I was seventeen, my parents had moved me to a new town, 600 miles away from my friends. I felt quite alone and unsure of myself. Those feelings inspired the premise of the story.

 What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

It is a book of feeling lost and alone, and a self-journey. One in which so many people can relate to, I guess the message would be – life is what you make it. If you want answers seek them, if you have no family then create one with those you hold dear. Family is not just blood.

 What is the significance of the title?

 The title came to me quite easily, I took the main characters ‘magical being’ and knew she would have a call to destiny. There was born Siren Calls.

 What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

The future is very sketchy for the characters as it will span over three books. Book two is available and book three will be out before christmas. My main character has a lot of self discovery and choices to make in her future.

 What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

My key challenge was deciding where I wanted the story to go and how to do it justice in the ending. The highlight was, it gave me an escape. A retreat into a world that I had total control over. Where my imagination could run free and rules didn’t exist.

 Where do you draw inspiration from?

My children inspire me every day. I look at their beautiful little faces and the innocence within them, it reminds me of my youth and how magical everything was at their age. They are the reason I write fantasy.

 Who is your favorite author, and why?

Oh this is a tough one, I don’t think I have a particular favourite! If I had to choose, I really enjoyed Richelle Mead- The Vampire Academy Series. (Who doesn’t need a Dimitri right?)

What are you reading now?

I have just finished The Assassin’s Daughter by Shana Vernon! Great read! And now I’m stuck on what to read next!

Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

Favourite as an adult has to be… Jeffrey Archer- Kane and Abel. When I was a kid… Enid Blyton- any of the famous five!

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I adore spending time with my children, me and my eldest loved watching a Series of Unfortunate Events! (We need a new series now). My youngest just likes bossing me about. Other than that, I love cooking! And travelling to new places, my last destination was Morocco.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Push your doubts aside and get those words on paper. A blank page won’t sell itself, have faith in your writing and put it out there for the world to read. You will always get negative comments, but the positives outweigh them and you will feel so proud of yourself.

How do you handle writer’s block?

 I have been lucky enough that I haven’t quite hit a bad spell of writer’s block. I have struggled a few days, but I just switch off and take some time for self care and family. Then I go back to it with a fresh and revitalised mind.

 What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Have a good plot! Organisation- it can get overwhelming but powering through and sticking to a structure is always good. Loving what you write is a great element, if you believe your writing others will too.

 What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

Oh this is tough! For this current series my characters came first! They were based off unique qualities of individuals that have a big place in my life and heart. I envisioned where I wanted them to be in three years and that’s how the plot developed! With my next series… my plot has definitely come first, then I will develop my characters.

 Describe a typical writing day.

My baby girl is only one years old, she has me up relatively early, so I tend to her and give her breakfast, this is when I will attempt a writing sprint. It isn’t until she naps that I really get into it, I usually have a good hour where I can write an entire chapter. Then I might write of an evening or I might take the evening off! I tend to switch between my laptop, phone and ipad, each of them are easily accessible which gives me the freedom to write whenever and wherever.

 What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Sometimes I write too fast, which means I skip over important details or don’t put enough emotion into a scene.

 Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I hear from some readers on various social media that I have. Sometimes they want a bit of backstory, but more often than not… they want to know what’s coming in the next books!

 How do you do research for your books?

I google everything! Literally everything! And if it’s a specific subject I will look for books on it.

 When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

Emotionally draining scene’s are my hardest to write. As mentioned in a previous question I tend to rush over them and have to go back to write and rewrite over and over! I myself am very good at switching off my emotions, (think of me like the Salvador’s in the vampire diaries ha) so it is quite easy for me to deal with any emotional impact. This filters into my personal life as well. Good or bad, I don’t know but it has worked for me thus far.

 How do you handle literary criticism?

I actually enjoy receiving it! You learn a lot from criticism. It definitely helps me grow as a writer.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

Zero! As much as I might outline the plot, I most definitely just go with the flow when it comes to world building. I’m more of a visionary and it comes to me as I write.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

I have and I have listed them below, I encourage reader interaction it’s always great to hear from people. Website- http://www.jadefrances.net Instagram- @jadefrancesauthor Facebook page – @jadefrancesauthor


The Author: Stephanie B. Whitfield

Stephanie is a 3rd generation Arizona Native and currently resides there with her husband and best friend. They have three children, and have created a mini farm on a small parcel of land where they have a number of critters. She loves being a mom, riding her horses, gardening, and reading. Being in the outdoors is her favorite place to be as long as it’s not Summertime.

She enjoys writing and has always had a vivid imagination. She had a dream once to write but it was shattered by a school teacher. One day, she sat down and decided to release the stories that had roamed her mind for years. Thanks to her supporting friends who encouraged her to share them with the world, her books have started to be published. Writing has allowed her to give a bit of her magic to the world one story at a time.


The Book: Hidden In Roll (Book One)

Josephine Baker’s life takes an unimaginable turn after finding out the family secret; that she has magical powers. This new found knowledge leads to a series of exciting and daring events that will alter her life as she knows it. School, boys and drama quickly become entangled in the world of magic. As she starts to get a handle on her new life, a witch hunter shows up in her small town of Roll. Now that he has found Josephine, he is determined to be the one who eliminates her from the face of the earth… just like he already did to her mother!


The Review: 3/5 stars!

Ok.
This book is the essence of nostalgia.
It took me back to my high school days, the times my mundane life had me daydreaming about magic, mystery and danger. Of hot boys and secret destinies type stuff.
Stephanie managed to somehow peer into those daydreams and bring them to life – only better.
She captured, in my opinion, the teenage angst and frame of mind perfectly. The plot was fascinating, moving at a pace that felt just right, and the entire story was a minefield of twists and turns.
The MC, Jo, had an entire world dropped on top of her – and I have to say, she handled the changes pretty well (considering)
The interactions between characters was often on point, funny and engaging, and I loved the way the relationships built up and grew throughout.
I honestly had no idea where the story was geared up to take me, I just held on and went along for the ride!


The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

That anyone can write. Don’t let someone tell you otherwise. If you can talk to people, you can write.

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

Roll is actually a real place though I did change a few things.

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Jo is my main character; she was the first character I have ever made and published, so she, to me, is special, and she always will be.

 What was the inspiration for the story?

The story is, in a way, based off of me. My dad grew up in Roll, and I made sure to share some of the things I loved with Jo. Because it’s what I knew best

 What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

That no matter what challenges life throws at us, we can get through them. And we are better because of it.

What is the significance of the title?

Jo’s dad finds the most remote place he can to hide his children from their family secret. To protect them from the witch hunters. So… Hidden in Roll.

 What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

There are two more books in the series. Possibly four, I haven’t decided yet.

 What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

I loved every moment of writing this book. I did struggle with the first chapter. It was changed many times. It was the whole toss-up between too much information and trying to get the setting just right.

How do you handle writer’s block?

So far it has only hit me one time. In the middle of my second book in the Hidden series. I found a meme somewhere that said, “If you hit a block, then something isn’t right, and you probably need to kill someone off.” Brilliant advice. -haha this saved the story.

 What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Character connections. If the reader can’t connect with the characters, they will lose interest.

 What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

Character first! I’m a very basic plotter. I have a basic idea, and then I just let the characters do the rest.

Describe a typical writing day.

After getting my kids off to school, I clean up the kitchen and then load up my caffeine and then sit down to write.

 What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Finding the time. Because it takes A LOT of time. I feel its blood, sweat, and tears to get through the entire process from writing to published.

 Where do you draw inspiration from?

My life experiences. Those are what molds us into the people we are.

 Who is your favorite author, and why?

JK Rowling probably. Because she is inspiring. Who doesn’t love Harry Potter?

 Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

As a kid, I was a huge fan of Zane Grey because his books all involved cowboys and horses. My favorite was wildfire. As an adult IDK Recently I have read so many good ones it’s hard to choose.

What are you reading now?

Currently, I’m doing an ARC read Wings of Ruin. Which is a fabulous series.

 What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Ride my horses or garden. When it’s too hot, I read.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Don’t give up. Just keep writing and find a good editor.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

Yes! I am on FB and IG. I also have a website where you can join my newsletter. I love to interact, support, and make new friends.