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Author Interviews

Welcome! Please take a moment to read some short tinterviews with some of the authors featured on my page!

Author Sarah Stein

What made you want to become an author?


Well, nothing in particular. I just felt like there was so much going on in my head that I needed an outlet. Writing and singing were it for me.


When will the next book for The Awakening be released?


Captive is the next book in The White Stealth Clan series, and I’m hoping it’ll be released by May/June of this year.


Will it be a series?


Oh, yes. I’m thinking three or four books, depending on how the third one ends when I write it.


Are there other genres that you prefer writing?


I actually enjoyed writing the story in The Tales After Midnight Anthology, so I might end up writing another thriller later on. I prefer romance.


What are you working on right now?


I’m working on too many stories. The third book in The White Stealth Clan series and a story that will be releasing this Christmas. That one is being co-written.


Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there?


Don’t give up. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but there will be days when you feel like it gets to be too much. Take a step back. Do other things, and then start writing again. It’s worth it :)

Author Matt Leyshon


What do you love most about writing stories?


Undoubtedly the thrill of creation. I love bringing a character to life, or placing a reader in a location or situation . While it’s difficult to have a totally original concept, there are always new ways of telling stories of subjects from tales previously told. I also love having an idea and then reading that chapter that uses it for the first time. One final thing I gather huge pleasure from is hearing from somebody I have never met and discovering how much they have loved the book. The fact my story has brought many more new friends into my life is a great feeling.



When did you first take an interest in Jack the Ripper?


It was during my latter years in high school, which was a long time ago. In fact it would be 30 years, this year, that I have been fascinated with the case. I saw a mini-series starring Michael Caine which then led me to books about the case. When I sat down to write this I wanted to create a story that would be a great introduction to The Ripper for new readers (I find Ripper fiction is a constant gateway into the case for many), as well as being enjoyable to the Ripperologists and experts that prefer to see factual accuracy when the case is represented.


George R.R Martin once said that there are two types of writers, architects and gardeners. Architects have everything planned out. The gardeners kind of plan as they go. What type of writer are you?


I have to say l love this question! Considering the choices I would have to say I am an “architect of gardens”. I think I am a hybrid of both. I definitely establish an outline for stories, but once I get into the chapters I really grow them out. If I want my reader to time travel I definitely want them to feel they are there when the story places them in a particular location or period. Doing this takes a lot of research so I believe there has to be a large degree of preparation for a book of this genre. I am also planning this series based on an arc. If you’re writing a series I think you have to. Basically, I am writing with consideration to what future installments will have; character and relationship developments, carry over plot points, new cases, new inventions….and a lot more.

How did you create Carl Axford?


They say alot of writers put a piece of themselves into their characters and I am no exception. Some incidents involving him and his reactions, like the airport chapter, are based on real life experiences. I sat down one night and established a profile for him, following James Patterson’s technique of writing down 20 words to describe them. That was a huge part of establishing his personality and what makes him tick. I then stemmed into Axford’d personal history. One of my characters in Live and UnCut has a “Life and Times” story accounting for their background. I like to do that for my main characters, whether that be written down or at least stored in my head. I made Axford an Investigative Journalist as I wanted my main character to be a truth seeker. He doesn’t necessarily have to go about that ethically, but the main goal is something noble. When I read the book back I think Axford reminded me a lot of Bruce Willis’ John McClane. Such a wonderful character! He’s reluctant, curses, has vices, but a man of action and very resourceful and intelligent when the chips are down. Basically you don’t want him as your enemy, nor underestimate him. That character had never entered my mind when I created Axford but I now see many similarities.

Do you plan to write any more after you finish the Live and UnCut series?


I am currently working on a sequel, its working title is “Cult Following: A Carl Axford Mystery”. This will see a continuation of the series, with new cases and not Jack the Ripper. This story will link together the deaths of several musicians, who died mysteriously, to a common cause. I am about 40% complete on this one at the moment. I intend to write at least two other Axford mysteries. I have also been thinking about writing a book that is autobiographical. My son was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at two and a half , and I wanted to document our journey from birth, to diagnosis, through to where we are today. The working title is Spectrumhood and I really want to tell our story, especially from a father’s perspective. The most valuable information we have been given is from people who walk in our shoes. I wanted to pay that forward. Mrs Leyshon wants me to continue with the Axford series though, so I’m working on that primarily, but Spectrumhood will see publication one day. I also recently conceived an idea for a different cross-genre story. This was going to have a whodunit mystery take place in a fantasy world. A murder to solve that involves mystics, elves, witches, warriors, etc as suspects and even have something like dragons or orcs as witnesses. Think Agatha Christie meets Lord of the Rings. Something totally out of the box crazy, but I think it’s a combo that could work!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?


Being an author is all about wanting to tell the stories you have inside you, and if you feel you have a story to share, then get typing. If you have a first draft, then roll up your sleeves and start fighting for it. The most important thing is if you believe in your story, then believe in yourself. What I will say as well is it’s a long road, with hard work. Very few authors strike jackpot with their first book and seeking representation is a battle you need to prepare for. If you want this, there are thousands, millions even, that feel it as well. You have to think about what makes you different, what makes your story better, and fight the good fight using that arsenal. If you wish to find an agent I have had many people tell me it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and that’s true. I ran the sprint and wished I had taken the path with greater resistance. Finding an agent takes time. Authors who find an agent in less than 30 rejections are the exception, not the rule. Many of the great authors were rejected many times. Even when you find an agent, they take the same fight you fought to publishers, so finding an agent is getting to first base, it’s not running into home plate. I am fortunate to have reached first base but I know that in reaching here I now turn and see another base I have to fight to reach. For all the work and frustrations there is so much good stuff. Hearing from somebody that they loved your book is a beautiful thing. Being an author is like golf basically….there are a lot of times the shots don’t go your way and you become frustrated to the pointed you want to break a club in half. Then you have a couple of moments that make up for all of that. In the end you say to yourself, “maybe I’ll come back for another round”.

Author Christopher Minori


How long have you been writing?


Since I can remember. My first published work was a short story, Final Request, which I wrote when I was twelve.


What made you want to be a writer?


I have a never ending supply of stories in my head. Every time someone says something, any time I meet someone new, my brain creates a story around it. When one of those stories won't stop bothering me, I throw it on paper.


What other genres have you written?


I've played around with poetry (which I'm not very good at) and straight dramatic prose, but mostly, I enjoy writing the fantastic,

usually with humor sprinkled in, or the occasional REALLY dark horror.



What are the differences between writing a musical and writing a novel?


I do not have a musical bone in my body, so the biggest difference is I had to partner with someone on the musical! I got really lucky finding a dear friend of mine (Cory Bytof) who was able to write songs that perfectly matched my book. The other difference is you have to see the play live in order to know what works and what doesn't. What sounds good on paper can sound lousy on stage. If you want to write a stage show, I recommend reaching out to a theater group and getting them to sponsor staged readings, so you can judge how the work plays in front of an audience. I'm really excited that the Barnstormers' theater is performing Texas Chainsaw Musical in PA this October. It's literally the third oldest continually running theater in the country. So although I learned the hard way how to write a musical, it's worked out pretty well. I think I have one more musical in me.


What’s next?


A lot! I am working on a graphic novel, and I'm also working on the next book of Samm, the banished demon. It's called Stealing Destiny, and our favorite demon is going to break into Heaven. I love where it's going so far.



Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?


With self publishing, it's very easy to publish your novel. It's really great, but it also really sucks. It's tempting to throw your work on Amazon just so you can see your name in print, but for the best writers, publishing is not the goal; writing a damn good book is. Be a writer, published or not. Write multiple drafts (I did 12 for Little Idiots). Have people read it who will give you the tough criticism you need to make your work better. There are two things you absolutely need-- the first is a great editor (yes, a real editor). Don't get that friend who's cheap. You need someone who's more than just a proof reader; they're going to help you find the best bits in your story and will help you throw away the garbage. The second thing is to hire a cover artist. Don't create it yourself. Odds are you're not qualified. I have a degree, and I didn't design my last cover. Your cover is the most important part of your book when it comes to marketing. So don't cheap out!


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