• Author John Kaniecki, Tells Us About His Writing Journey and Introduces His New Book 'I Should Have Been A Rock Star'

    Welcome John to my blog, please tell everyone about your writing journey.

    1. What made you want to write a book?

    I always had a propensity for reading when I was young. When I was a teenager I played a role playing game called dungeons and dragons. I was the Dungeon Master and I would use my imagination to create a world where players would explore.

    I went off to engineering school and studied for two years. I dropped out because I didn’t want to have be an engineer. At the same time two profound things happened in my life. One was I became a Christian and the second I was committed to a psychiatric hospital. These two things would shape my life to this day.

    In the hospitals I would pass the time by writing poetry for my fellow patients and visitors. Eventually as I got better I returned to school. I got a degree in math but took courses in poetry and creative writing. One day I decided that I would get back into writing so I attempted to write science fiction stories. Frustrated at this I started to write stories from my life. This was easier as I was simply relaying facts and not making things up. Eventually these efforts would be published in my memoirs “More Than The Madness” which talks about my successful struggle with mental illness and my coming to faith.

    So I returned to writing my science fiction stories. I wrote about a dozen of them and tried to get them published in the most popular magazines. I had no success but I did get them published in a book called “Words Of The Future”.

    This was my second book published after a poetry book called “Murmurings Of A Mad Man” This is a book talking about my time when I was committed in Greystone Psychiatric Hospital. It is written in strict rhyme and rhythm.

    So the poetry progressed nicely and I had some success in getting my stories published in low paying markets. I branched out into horror and I got “Scarecrow, Scarecrow” published along with its sequel “Satan’s Siren”. But I always wanted to return to science fiction. Thus came out “I Should Have Been A Rock Star” It is my first full length science fiction novel and one of my best books if not the best.

    2. Tell us about you and where you live.

    I live in Montclair, New Jersey with my wife Sylvia from Grenada. We will be married thirteen years on December 11. My wife suffers from dementia so I am a full time caregiver for her. As such I spend a lot of time working on my writing with the hopes of it meeting our financial means.

    Montclair is part of the greater New York area. In fact three blocks from our apartment is a train which will take me to Penn Station which is in the heart of Manhattan. It is about a twenty minute ride with stops included. Montclair is a diverse town.

    I spent eight years as a volunteer missionary to the inner city of Newark, New Jersey at the Church Of Christ at Chancellor Avenue. I have worked as an engineering technician as well as a customer service agent. But writing really is my love.

    3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

    Murmurings Of A Mad Man - Poetry written in strict rhyme and meter. Explores John’s stay at Greystone Psychiatric Hospital where John’s Id, Ego and Super Ego are represented by Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie and Crazy Horse. eLectio Publishing

    Words Of The Future - Science Fiction A unique anthology of science fiction stories which explores the common and the bizarre. Stories range from New Jersey to intergalactic flight. Witty Bard Publishing.

    Poet To The Poor - This work represents some of John’s best poetry including his award winning “Tea With Joe Hill.” This is poetry written to give hope for the bottom one percent. The book contains many historical characters and figures from John’s own life. Dreaming Big Publications.

    Scarecrow, Scarecrow - Horror. This novella is about Anne McFry who is leaving Mercer County Iowa. She is seeking stardom in New York City while fleeing the brutal murder of Wilbur Ferris by a satanic cult she belongs to. But all is not well with Anne as she begins to be haunted by the figure of the Scarecrow. Can Anne figure out the mystery before it destroys her?

    Azoth Khem

    Satan’s Siren- Horror - This is the follow up to Scarecrow, Scarecrow. Anne McFry returns from the grave in the form of Abigail Scarecrow. But her second chance at life comes only with a deal with Asmodeus. Her mission is to destroy the satanic cult’s leader. Abigail is delighted at getting a chance for revenge and to live out her dreams of being a rock star. Azoth Khem

    More Than The Madness – Memoirs. John tells his story of successfully fight bipolar disorder. The books starts at birth and ends when he is stabilized on his medicine. The book explores John’s own personal life, including his conversion to Christianity. All in all John shows that in his life or anybody who suffers from mental illness there is ‘More Than The Madness.” Dreaming Big Publications

    A Day’s Weather – Poetry. Here is John’s first chapbook where he began to seriously explore the world of poetry. What the book lacks in sophistication is far made up for with refreshing sincerity and idealism. This is a light hearted, pleasant collection with Christian themes. Self published.

    Sunset Sonnets – Poetry. These are sonnets dealing with death in a spiritual and wholesome way. This book shows John’s dedication and commitment to the core of structured poetry. “When Love slips away, what does one say?” Local Gems Press.

    The Lost Cantos Of John Kaniecki – Poetry is another of John’s early works which is written in rhyme and meter. These poems show a face of humanity as it explores the world about. Self published.

    Polishing The Fragments- When God completely shatters your life and you can’t even pick up the pieces what do you do? You start ‘Polishing The Fragments’. These poems are some of John’s latest works. See as he struggles to fill the bridge between formal poetry and free verse. A book of like where John opens up in brutal honesty his shattered life and with resolve he looks for hope in the future. Dreaming Big Publications

    I Should Have Been A Rock Star - Science Fiction Don ‘Hypo’ Colandri is swooped into outer space. There he becomes a pawn in a cosmic game between the witch Nellie Watt and the nefariously evil Time Lords. Meanwhile on Earth his three roommates do the only natural thing they could, which is to claim Don was kidnapped by Satanists. The trio does this in hopes of scoring chicks and making money, but when the real Satanists show up to object, trouble is brewing. Meanwhile will Nellie succeed in her quest to defeat the Time Lords? And even if she does reach the Twinkling Of Twilights will God allow her to press the ‘Reset Button’ and begin the universe afresh. Zombie Cupcake Press

    In The Mind Of Maggoo - Dark Fantasy Maggoo was as rotten and evil as they come but nobody deserved his fate, not even the selfish scumbag sorcerer that went through life manipulating, stealing, cheating and killing. For years he has laid comatose in a nursing home unable to move anything but his eyes. His only refuge amongst the careless staff is his nurse Roxanne. Roxanne a woman of darker skin color would have been somebody Maggoo would have detested solely for his prejudice. But completely helpless his dark angel dressed in the white nurse’s uniform is truly his savior. But Maggoo’s mind is not as dead as his body. As he sleeps at night his mind is full of magical dreams. While during the day he contemplates his wicked existence. What does Maggoo have to do with the fate of the entire planet Earth and beyond? You will find the answer of course ‘In The Mind Of Maggoo’. Azoth Khem.

    Fallon From The Farm - This is the first book that I wrote. The book centers around young Fallon a child of promise. Fallon lives in the peaceful abode of Freetown. After the visit of two mysterious strangers the town is destroyed by marauding orcs. Fallon who is out hunting survives with the aid of Murriellah an elf who is returning from a quest. Thus a grand adventure is begun as Fallon seeks to come to terms with the destruction of all that he loved and strives to extract some revenge.

    4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

    If I could tell you how to market I would be a very rich man. There are of course all the usual methods such as an author website, Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest and so forth.

    Some unique things that I do is that I offer to write a poem for my Facebook friends on their birthday. I write the poems and recommend the purchase of my books. Most people don’t buy the book but I have sold a significant number through this method.

    Also I have tried to give away my poetry books at jewelry stores and florists. I got no response despite giving out over a hundred books.

    I am in the process of trying to slay the grand dragon of marketing. If I come up with something good I’ll let you know.

    5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

    You can go to my Amazon page https://www.amazon.com/John-Kaniecki/e/B00NV8AU76

    Or check out my website for more information. https://johnkaniecki.weebly.com

    Thank you so much for letting me interview you.

    Natasha

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  • Today, Michael Ludden, Author of the Tate Drawdy Thrillers, Talks To Me About His Life and Books

    Michael Ludden is a former Deputy Managing Editor at the Orlando Sentinel, where he directed an investigation that won a Pulitzer Prize. He’s written for magazines, advertising and marketing firms, edited books and been a senior writer/editor at CNN’s Headline News. He lives in Atlanta, where he’s working on another Tate Drawdy thriller.

    Hi Mike,it's lovely to talk to you. I have a few questions for you about your writing journey.

    Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

    I covered a lot of pretty nasty stuff early in my career when I reported on cops and courts. Both of my books open with events that are based on real events, and then wander off into "what might have happened..."

    How do you get inspired to write?

    No way to tell. I really started getting interested in news reporting during the Watergate hearings, which I listened to live when I was working as a house painter. I found an editor who would let me work as a freelancer and, after a couple of assignments, I begged him for a job and he said OK.

    What are you currently working on?

    I've written a lot of very short blog pieces about crazy things that happened to me as a newspaper reporter and editor. As something triggers another memory, I may go back and add more. I'm already tinkering with ideas for another book.

    What’s the best thing about being a writer?

    It's more fun than cutting the grass, although yard work shows results faster. Probably the best thing is that you don't have a boss.

    What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

    Find a job that requires you to write. In years past, I would have said get a job on a newspaper, but our society seems to be moving away from supporting newspapers, although they are still the best way to find out almost anything. Having to write on a deadline is great training. Don't limit yourself to one thing.

    How are you marketing your books?

    I've got a website... http://www.michaelludden.com/.... and a blog site.... https://michaelludden.net/ ... I use Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads and I have a long mailing list. There are Contact Me buttons on both of my websites, where people can send me a note or a comment. Goodreads has a Q&A function, where people can send me questions.

    Are there any books including or about the Pulitzer work you supervised?

    There's a great journalism textbook by Steve Berry called "Watchdog Journalism". The first section is all about our investigation into racial profiling. The Washington Post did a series on civil forfeiture awhile back that heavily referenced our work and included links to all of our stuff. That's probably the easiest place to find it online.

    How do you deal with writer’s block?

    The most important thing is to keep moving. Write, even if you're not working on what's next in the book. Go back and flesh out an earlier passage. Write a detailed description of a place or a person and put it on the shelf for later. The act of writing is the solution.

    Thank you for sharing, I hope your new book Tate Drawdy does as well as your first.

    Natasha

    To find out more about Michael's work, then please visit Amazon https://goo.gl/kg7qL8

    Tate Drawdy

    A dead priest… and a girl

    Amid the engravings of the evangelists, the marble, the serenity of Savannah’s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist… two naked bodies. One of the victims is a priest; the other, a teenage girl.

    And now John Robert Griffin, a savage killer, wants to help Tate Drawdy solve the crime. That way, there will be more of Drawdy left for him.

    Drawdy has to survive a terrifying encounter with the priest’s killer in time to face Griffin.

    But something’s wrong. Drawdy’s beginning to suspect someone else out there wants him dead. And he’s starting to make mistakes.

    Alfredo's Luck

    A Simple Murder?

    Drawdy’s girlfriend won’t marry him. His boss despises him. And the hottest Cuban in Miami has just been murdered on his watch.

    Against a backdrop of staggering wealth and simmering rage, Ludden’s new thriller pits Drawdy against a sadistic escaped con.

    Drawdy’s a rich kid who dropped out of med school to become a cop. He’s impetuous. He’s a blues fanatic -- bring your earplugs. And his obsession with this case is about to get him killed.

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  • Please Welcome to my Blog, Anthony Avina, Author of 3 Successful Horror Novels

    Today, my guest is Anthony Avina, horror writer with a successful series and a string of popular stand-alone novels and novellas. The cover of his latest novel is, to say the least, unnerving!

    Please tell us a bit more about yourself Anthony

    1. What made you want to write a book?

    I've known I wanted to be a writer since I was fifteen years old or so. The likes of Stephen King were always such a huge inspiration on me. When I took a creative writing class in high school, I discovered writing was the perfect outlet for my ideas for storytelling. I decided to try my hand at writing and I haven't looked back since. I found out that writers could self-publish their books on Amazon back in 2010, and that's when I published my first book. I've always had so many different ideas for stories and finding this outlet gave me the opportunity to put my ideas down on paper.

    2. Tell us about you and where you live.

    I am an author, a writer for the online publications On Request Magazine and TheGamer, a photographer/videographer and a YouTuber. I enjoy creating, and so besides writing, I like to get out into the world and take pictures or film my life for my YouTube channel, Avina Vlogs. I live in Southern California with my Yorkshire Terrier named Sammy and my two Black Cats, Batman and Robin. I'm a fan of comic books, pop culture shows like Stranger Things and Game of Thrones, and my favorite place to travel to is the beach. The California beaches are beautiful and it's my favorite place to go to have fun and relax. When I'm not reading, writing or endulging in my love for photography and videography, I play video games and play with my pets.

    3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

    I have just written and published a horror novel called I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered. It's the collection of three novellas in my first ever series I wrote over seven years ago, and features the stories "I Was A Teenage Killer", "I Was A Teenage Zombie" and "I Was A Teenage Demon". It follows the story of a beautiful young teenage girl named Lisa Etron, and the dark secret she keeps from the rest of the world. It's a classic horror story with a twist, and showcases the never ending struggle between good and evil.

    Next I am working on my NaNoWriMo 2017 project, which is a sequel to my first contemporary romance/drama novel VOID. After that I will be diving into the fourth book in my action/horror series, Nightmare

    Wars.

    4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

    I have found the biggest sources for marketing my books have been my social media pages on Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter. There I'm able to connect with my readers and fellow authors out there and make real connections. One source of marketing that has proved the most beneficial has been free giveaways on Amazon. This allowed several new readers to discover my work and get interested in my upcoming projects and other works.

    5. Where can readers find your books for sale?

    I have a page on my blog/website that has links to all the places you can purchase my latest book, I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered. It's available in both paperback and eBook formats, and both Smashwords and Createspace have 50% coupon codes listed on this page.

    https://authoranthonyavinablog.wordpress.com/i-was-an-evil-teenager-remastered-preorder-links/

    6. Where can people reach you?

    I will list my social media sites down below where you guys can follow me. I also have a newsletter you can sign up for on my Facebook page and my blog. It's free to sign up and you get a free short story as well when you do sign up.

    https://instagram.com/authoranthonyavina/

    https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnthonyAvina

    https://twitter.com/AuthorAAvina

    http://www.youtube.com/c/AvinaVlogs

    https://authoranthonyavinablog.wordpress.com/

    Thank you Anthony, I hope you sell many books :)

    Natasha

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  • Today I Welcome To My Blog, Laura Camby McCaskill, Author of Fallow and Her Keepers

    Hi Laura, please tell everyone about yourself and share your writing journey.

    1. What made you want to write a book?

    My mother was a big part of my decision to start writing. I wanted to follow in her foot steps. She was a children's author and shared her stories around town. She was never able to get one of her works published, so one year for her birthday we (my sister, brother-n-law, my husband, & myself) self published her first work, Mr. Book's Story. She was ecstatic. Unfortunately, she was very sick and passed away a short time after. She loved children and she loved to write. In March of this year I self published another title written by my mother, A Collection of Love. Inside are three of her original stories; Sunshine, Gail Can Cook, and Laura and the Dr. I market her works along with mine.

    2. Tell us about you and where you live.

    I live in Asheville NC. It's beautiful this time of year, the fall leaves are gorgeous. It's the time of year when you wake up in the morning and need a sweater but by the end of the day you're roasting. I live with my husband of 8 years, Adam and my fur-babies Belle & Sebastian. They're American Cocker Spaniel and German Shepard mix. I have two beautiful cats, a betta fish, and a rabbit. Odd I know. I'm a full time foster parent for a local shelter, I foster bunnies to save lives. My bunny Dolly was what they call a foster fail. After a short while we decided to adopt her. We do have another foster we are currently caring for, his name is Belk. I'm also full time nationally certified pharmacy technician.

    3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

    I have two works out and both are self published. My first work is entitled Her Keepers, it's a paranormal thriller. Her Keepers was published in 2012. My second work is entitled Fallow, it's an action/adventure/thriller/romance (a little bit of everything). Fallow was published in 2016. I am currently working on several other novels and hope to publish them within the next year.

    4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

    I use social media a lot. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, the list goes on and on. I also reach out to local places around town for book signings or talks. I also got in contact with several Barnes & Noble book stores in the area and became part of their author festivals. I keep my eye out for book festivals/conventions/conferences. This year I was a part of the Tucson Festival of Books. Next year I'm excited to be part of the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Another way I gain more exposure is by holding contests of Facebook/Twitter. The winner gets free copies of my work and I get shares to reach more people. I also have an email list that I am continually trying to grow.

    For my mother's works I contact local schools, orphanages, and day cares. I donate copies to their library and set up times for story time with the children.

    As far as sells go, it's not astronomical but the connections I've made through these experiences were well worth it.

    5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

    My books are found online everywhere. They're also in e-book form. This includes my mother's works too. I'm also found in local book stores around down, such as Barnes & Noble in Biltmore Park, Barnes & Noble in the Asheville Mall, and Grateful Steps Publishing.

    6. Where can we find you?

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LCMcCaskill

    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LCMcCaskill

    You can find out more by going to my website, www.LauraCambyMcCaskill.com. There you'll find links to my other social media sites there.

    Amazon: goo.gl/WuxdZu

    7. Do you try to be more original or give the readers what they want?

    I try to keep people guessing. I do listen to readers requests but you never know just what I'll do. I try to think of things that haven't been done before.

    8. Do you read your reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

    Yes I do. I use both as a type of guideline to become a better writer. Not everyone in this world will like hat I write, in fact, some will hate it. I've made peace with that. So I focus on keeping the ones that do like what I write happy. I write not because it's fun for me but because I want to make someones day better in the process. An escape from the world for a while. We all need it sometimes.

    Thank you Laura, lovely to talk to you :)

    Natasha

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  • John Broughton, author of The Purple Thread and Wyrd of the Wolf, Both Historical Thrillers, is my Guest Today.

    Hi John, thank you for joining me today. Please tell everyone about your writing journey.

    1. What made you want to write a book?

    I first wrote books for my two children in the 1980s when they were little because I read them a story every night and eventually we ran out of children’s books at home and in the public library. The local primary school children liked the stories too, so I sent them away and had six published. They are now out of print. I didn’t write again until I retired owing to pressure of work. Writers live with a formula: either you have money and no time to write or you have no money and the time to write! In retirement I’m writing about my first love – Anglo-Saxon history.

    2. Tell us about you and where you live.

    I have done many different jobs from the most to the least responsible. Among the former Head of History in a Manchester Grammar School, Director of a Trade Institute in Leamington Spa and Head of a Day Care Centre in Glossop among the latter, Flower Picker and part-time fisherman on the Scilly Isles, Relief Postman in Cleethorpes and Findus worker as a student. All this until I settled down to teach English for 28 years in Italy mainly at the University of Calabria. I live with my wife Maria in a hilltop village in the Crati valley called Torano Castello. Including three outlying wards the population is 5000. Our house is under the shadow of the domed church built in 1100. Calabria is in the toe of Italy facing Sicily, so the climate is mild but it can be very hot in July and August. There are two seas, the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian and two mountain chains and two mountain massifs.

    3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

    I have completed two novels set in the Anglo-Saxon period. The first, The Purple Thread, is set in the eighth century. A letter in Latin addressed to the Abbess of Wimborne Abbey attracted my attention because it asked for two freed men to be sent to Thuringia (modern-day Germany). It provoked a whole series of questions in my head and led me to discovering Saint Leoba, one of the most remarkable women of that and any other century. It was the Anglo-Saxons who converted the Germans to Christianity and this story follows the tribulations of the hero is torn from his family to serve the Church but he has to deal with licentious bishops, heretics, saints and sinners.

    The second novel is set about 50 years earlier in the seventh century, Wyrd of the Wolf. Wyrd is the Anglo-Saxon word for the weaving of fate. An interest in Caedwalla, the patron saint of (reformed) serial killers triggered this novel. He is reputed to have massacred the whole of the population of the Isle of Wight but was wounded doing so. The Isle was the last pagan stronghold in England. The wound would not heal. This intrigued me and I think I have found out why. You have to read the novel to find out! Caedwalla abdicated, went to Rome, had the Pope baptize him and died a week later. I’m working on my third novel now and have reached just past halfway. It’s the biggest challenge so far, because unlike the other two, it is not planned as a stand-alone novel but as a trilogy. Another difference is that it has an anti-hero as a protagonist. It’s difficult to capture the reader’s empathy for a baddie hero, but I have to succeed!

    4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

    This is a difficult question because an indie author always has difficulty marketing his work. In my case it was harder because nearly all my social network contacts are Italian and can’t even begin to read a novel in English and anyway, they probably have no natural interest in Anglo-Saxon history. I try to build up my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I have an FB page John Broughton – Historical Fiction Novelist and a blog, saxonquill.com. I was delighted when Endeavour Press agreed to take both novels and promote them. This allowed me to get on with my writing safe in the knowledge that someone was doing something! They were both released by Endeavour within a month of each other in the summer of 2017.

    5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

    That’s easy, just go to Amazon. You can find both e-book and paperback versions.

    Get your copy at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Purple-Thread-John-Broughton-ebook/dp/B074WBCN4J

    Thank you John, lovely to hear from you.

    Natasha

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County Times April 21st 2011

Follow My Marketing and Book Promotion Journey

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