Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Straight from the mouth of Ilona Salley, author of Yesterday is Never Gone






Title: Yesterday is Never Gone
Author: Ilona Sally
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Thriller/Crime
Format: Ebook
Niki is no stranger to horrific personal challenges. As a child, she bravely endured abandonment by her father. While in her teens, she witnessed her mother’s murder and the abduction and presumed death of her only sibling. Although her secrets have always been carefully cloaked from others, they have shaped her personality more than she would like to admit. But with a past as terrible as hers, how can Niki ever hope for a bright future? Years later, Niki is a dedicated profiler in a criminal investigation agency with no idea her life is about to change exponentially. One day, through a quirky twist of fate, she receives startling news that her sister, Inge, is alive. As a driving force compels Niki to search for her, she embarks on a quest that takes her through cities and wilderness on two continents. She encounters difficult decisions, threatening mobsters, near-death experiences, and romance, yet nothing deters her from reaching her goal—not even a gruesome discovery about her father. But Niki is about to discover that things are never what they seem to be. In this thrilling tale, deception and inner turmoil hamper a young woman’s journey toward a new reality as she attempts to reconcile her past and find the truth.




Question1- Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author? 

Through writing, I can connect with the reader, and although I will never know exactly how many readers there are, it is a feeling akin to that of being able to see someone and smile at them. Somehow, it is meaningful. It is a form of sharing, I think. Some people like to talk: I like to write.
Also, through the writing, ideas which I have in my mind become clearer and I get a better sense of who I am.
Question2- Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

The perks are a feeling of satisfaction, of personal growth, and of a better sense of self.
The demands are many. I can’t count the time involved, which is enormous, because I would never have finished the book if I hadn’t enjoyed the challenge. It is a challenge on many levels. It is difficult to create something which others might enjoy. That was my first goal. Then, I wanted to make it the best I could, so I spent hours polishing sentences. The characters were difficult to establish. I first created a main character whom I discovered I did not like. So, I went back and modified to create someone less rough, tough and mean – someone feisty, yet fragile.  And the ending was originally okay, but didn’t have the impact it needed, so I changed that too.
When I finished, it was a book of over 500 pages, and now is a book of over 300. It was hard to tear down and rebuild constantly. But then, a thriller has to be lean.
Question3- Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like? 

I talked to so many people who were frustrated by efforts to find someone to publish their work. One woman told me that it took her seven years to find a publisher. So, my decision to self-publish seemed clear. I went online and started looking. The next day, I searched again and an ad popped up. It was fate. There it was, a publisher. I researched this one some more, and was happy with what I saw. Then I talked to someone who had used the same self-publishing company, and he too was happy. So, I signed on.
It was a wonderful, challenging, frustrating experience. And I learned so much. It seemed that my mantra during the editing process would have been: Delete. Delete. Delete. When I purchased the marketing packages, it was a time of complete confusion. I had no idea what the people were even talking about: widgets, a blog tour, and book stubs.
Question4-Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

It is just my husband and myself now. He has been extremely supportive, interested and helpful. Mostly, my writing time does not interfere with things we want to do. When we go on trips, twice each year to Florida for weeks on end, and maybe one trip abroad, I stop writing.
Question5- In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I basically allot three hours per day in the morning. That time is devoted to writing. I have always multi-tasked, so answering the phone was not a problem. And since I no longer have another job, that issue is non-existent. But if I were working, I would simply reschedule my life and write in the evenings. I never attempted this because I thought I would be writing for eight hours a day. I did this at the beginning and found it to be very unhealthy for me. My knees became worse after several months of sitting.
Ilona Salley emigrated from Germany to Toronto, Canada, with her family when she was three. Throughout her life, her interests have included squash, skiing, wood carving, literature, art, and languages. Her fascination with architecture and archaeology has led her to travel in search of ancient places and artifacts. After a long career as an educator, she expanded her horizons by teaching in England and China. Now, she spends part of each year in Fort Myers, Florida.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Straight From the Mouth of Pamela Samuels Young, Author of 'Abuse of Discretion'



Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. She set giant-sized goals and used her talent, tenacity and positive outlook to accomplish them. Pamela consequently achieved success in both the corporate arena and literary world simultaneously.
An author, attorney and motivational speaker, Pamela spent fifteen years as Managing Counsel for Toyota, specializing in labor and employment law. While still practicing law, Pamela began moonlighting as a mystery writer because of the absence of women and people of color depicted in the legal thrillers she read. She is now an award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers, including Anybody’s Daughter, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, and her new release, Abuse of Discretion, a shocking look at the juvenile justice system in the context of a troubling teen sexting case.
Prior to her legal career, spent several years as a television news writer and associate producer. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and earned a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University and a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of teen sexting, child sex trafficking, self-empowerment and fiction writing.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:


A Kid’s Curiosity … A Parent’s Nightmare

The award-winning author of "Anybody’s Daughter" is back with an addictive courtroom drama that
gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile criminal justice system.

Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen-year-old. When his adolescent curiosity gets the best of him, Graylin finds himself embroiled in a sexting scandal that threatens to ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman, the attorney hired to defend Graylin, is smart, confident and committed. She isn’t thrilled, however, when ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins Graylin’s defense team. The two women instantly butt heads. Can they put aside their differences long enough to ensure Graylin gets justice?

Unbeknownst to Angela, her boyfriend Dre is wrestling with his own drama. Someone from his past wants him dead. For Dre, his response is simple—kill or be killed.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

After finishing law school, I became an avid reader of legal thrillers. I enjoyed John Grisham and other authors, but I never came across any characters in those books who looked like me. So one morning, I decided to write a legal thriller with an African-American female lead based on one of my real-life cases. In the process, I discovered my passion!

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

The perks are getting lots of love from readers. The demands are not being able to write books fast enough. I dream of writing three books a year.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

My first two books were traditionally published. My third book, Murder on the Down Low, was rejected by nine publishing houses, which forced me to self-publish. I’m now a successful indie author with ten books to my credit. When two major publishers who rejected my earlier books later solicited me, it truly validated my decision to take charge of my own writing career. It was also quite validating when Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction against four traditionally published authors, including New York Times bestselling authors Walter Mosley and Terry McMillan. In the words of Tyler Perry, “We don’t have to wait for someone to green light our projects. We can create our own intersections.”  

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry?

Publishing houses are famous for passing up good writers and then coming for them offering peanuts after the writers have done all the hard work building their careers. No thanks was my response.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Hey, they understand. They’re just thrilled to be able to tell people they have a writer in the family. Besides, they don’t see me much anyway, LOL!

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

The spine of one of my books had the titled misspelled. I was at a book signing when a friend pointed it out to me. I was horrified! It was my cover designer’s misspelling, but my error for not double-checking the spine. Luckily, I got it fixed right away. I also printed up some labels and covered the spine so well, you couldn’t even tell the label was there.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I love Facebook because of the immediate feedback. When I make a post asking my friends and family to check out my new book, they always follow through. I haven’t had much success from any of the others.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?
With 10 books to my credit, I’ve learned that the best way to keep the sales coming is to keep the books coming. I regret having a two-year gap between two of my books, but I was practicing law at the time and there was no way I could hammer out a book because of my crazy busy schedule. Now that I’m writing full-time, my goal is to release a minimum of two book a year.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Today’s nasty political climate. It literally scares me to death!

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I love being able to both entertain and educate readers about important social issues such as the teen sexting epidemic (Abuse of Discretion), child sex trafficking (Anybody’s Daughter) and gender discrimination (Attorney-Client Privilege). Now that I’ve released my first erotic romance, Unlawful Desires, I’m also enjoying the opportunity to explore my wild side.  But I didn’t want to use my real name, LOL. So I came up with the cool pen name Sassy Sinclair.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Straight from the Mouth of Annelies George, author of Quest to the Unknown





Title: Quest to the Unknown
Author: Annelies George
Publisher: Hybrid Global Publishing
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Format: Paperback/Ebook
On Tour: January 22 - February 16


Quest to the Unknown revolves around up-and-coming Dutch reporter Jessie Golden, ready for her first holiday with business mogul and playboy Carlos Gomez, with whom she is engaged in a budding romance. Her journey begins when she finds a folder full of information on a mysterious woman named Nancy and her son Paul, leading her to an unexpected quest. Soon thereafter Jessie is confronted with a series of unexplainable supernatural occurrences. She realizes there is no such thing as coincidence, although she can’t unravel the true meaning of her quest nor her link to Nancy and her son. At the same time Jessie believes Carlos’ father has ties with some questionable characters. Startled by a series of unexpected events she reaches out to Ed Turner, Carlos’ right-hand man. In order to protect the one she truly loves, Jessie starts an investigation that points to the murky world of the mob. When a stranger is constantly following her, Jessie’s life is in serious danger. Can the ones she implicitly confides in, still be trusted? The first part of the Jessie Golden 21st Century Earth Series, introduces the main characters of the saga in an intriguing story of exceptional mother love, the far reaching consequences of choices in life, genuine feelings, blind faith and brutal deception, set in a multitude of countries in today’s fast moving business world.

PURCHASE HERE


It’s always very interesting to look back and discover how things emerged. When I reflect on how I arrived to write the Jessie Golden Series, with part one Quest to the Unknown recently published, I can only conclude it’s there because another book isn’t! After years of hard work on my very first project - a novel based on my encounters with men in the dynamic business world -, I dropped it overnight due to some unforeseen circumstances that requested a complete rewrite of the story. Now was it coincidence or faith that led me into a different direction…..?!

Disappointed, I set the book aside, enjoying my summer holidays, totally not expecting at all that I would be back to writing again so soon. What did happen? Shortly after my return, I was overwhelmed by the remarkable life of a psychic. Inspired by these shocking facts a fiction tale popped up in my head and the Jessie Golden Series was born. At the same time I decided that the series had to reflect something relevant, two subjects that always have been top of mind, i.e., why is the world a cesspool of corruption, violence and terror and could there be a link with the increasing number of natural disasters?

Since I knew from the beginning the main lines of the series, I started my research into the world of the paranormal. I encountered some peculiar things, like the fact that a number of physics I interviewed stated independently of each other that a big natural disaster will occur in the future, leading to a complete clean up of this planet. It made me wonder. Ever since I was a little child, I dreamed over and over again about a series of different disasters leading to something frightening which was never revealed in that dream. Now I never paid attention to these recurring dreams. However, in combination with the interesting Theory of Quantum Physics, I began to reflect on the matter. It even led to the Loveable Light initiative and the awareness I would like to draw on the subject.

As any other author I automatically included other autobiographical elements in the plot, among other characters noticeable in the protagonist of the series, Jessie Golden, which didn’t go unnoticed. In her pre-Alzheimer’s time my mother was so engaged in the story that she exclaimed at some point: “Why did you never introduce me to Carlos?” I had a big laugh out on that one and explained to her the character Jessie is pure fiction, despite some similarities.

At present three books are finished, with two still to be completed in the series. In fact, I just started with part four, Living in destruction. To be continued!




Annelies George was born on 4 August, 1964 in Bussum, After the gymnasium, she followed a one-year course as an international secretary in Amsterdam. Immediately afterward she started to work for a law firm, studying finance, management and law during the evening hours with the goal of becoming a lawyer herself. A move to a different town brought her into the fast IT world, where she was employed by GE Capital, marking the start of a successful career in the international IT Finance world. Due to the intensity of the job and long working hours, she abandoned her plans for a law degree. At the age of 30, she was appointed to Benelux managing director of a US based lease company, a rare phenomenon at the time, since few women were holding similar positions in the specific branch in the Netherlands. Thereafter she accepted a variety of EMEA and regional management and sales roles with Cisco, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard. Annelies still lives in Bussum and is taking care of her 83-year-old mother. She loves, among other activities, to paint and design necklaces when she is not writing. On occasion she likes to travel to discover new places and understand the different ways of living around the globe.

You can visit her at: https://www.anneliesgeorge.com 







Monday, February 5, 2018

Straight from the Mouth of Thriller Author Jody Gehrman


Jody Gehrman has authored eleven published novels and numerous plays for stage and screen. Her debut suspense novel, Watch Me, is published by St. Martin's Press. Her Young Adult novel, Babe in Boyland, won the International Reading Association’s Teen Choice Award and was optioned by the Disney Channel. Jody’s plays have been produced or had staged readings in Ashland, New York, SanFrancisco, Chicago and L.A. Her newest full-length, Tribal Life in America, won the Ebell Playwrights Prize of Los Angeles. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She holds a Masters Degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is a professor of Communications at Mendocino College in Northern California.

Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

It’s a compulsion for me. I don’t know how to stop. When I’m not writing, I’m usually thinking about writing. It’s the only grown-up career that lets you live inside your imagination 90% of the time.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

It can be a roller coaster. My main life lesson eleven books into my career is to focus primarily on the writing itself and not get too caught up in external validation. Positive reviews, awards and strong sales are all fabulous—don’t get me wrong—but they’re not the heart of being a writer. When I get too focused on chasing that stuff I’m not happy.



Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

Mostly I’ve gone with traditional publishing. I have all kinds of respect for indie authors, but I found it too exhausting trying to do everything. I’d rather join forces with a team of professionals who are killer at what they do so I can focus on the writing itself.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I have two amazing stepchildren, but they’re adults living their own lives in other cities, so they don’t put a lot of demands on my daily life. My husband’s also an artist, so he gets it.

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

Oh my God. I have three cats and they’re all insane. The oldest, Max, claws at my door and meows incessantly when I’m late feeding her. She’ll probably eat my face some day in a fit of rage. It will be a gruesome death, but at least she’ll finally get fed on time.

Are your plants actually still alive?

Green things do not last long in my world. It’s sad but true.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

A friend of mine always says the writer’s greatest tool is the closed door. It’s so important to remember. You have to cultivate a certain brand of selfishness to make it as a writer.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

My third book was ready to come out with a major publishing house when I slammed on the breaks, axed like 95% of the manuscript, and started over. I just wasn’t happy with it, so I threw it out. My editors were very understanding, but they probably thought I was insane. The old cliché about killing your darlings is a cliché for a reason. I can’t stand the thought of sending something out there with my name on it if I’m not proud of it.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

Facebook is useful for spreading the word about something quickly. Same goes for Twitter. I do think the importance of social networking for writers is slightly overblown, though. It can be a huge time-suck and a major distraction.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

It’s always a gamble; I try to give each book the best chance of taking off, but I don’t want to chase sales in a desperate way. I’ve hired a publicist for Watch Me in addition to working with the publicity team at St. Martin’s Press. The more talented people I have on my team, the better.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

It makes me crazy when someone comes up to me in the supermarket and says, “I read your book. It was cute.” Not to sound ungrateful, but this is hands down the most irritating thing you can say to me. A writer spends years crafting a novel; we sweat over every line. Tell me you hated it, tell me it made you want to rip the pages out, but do not tell me it’s “cute.” It’s so condescending. I’ve come to realize some people aren’t comfortable talking about books in depth, but still, give me something I can work with. Cute is for puppies and little girls in dresses, not for novels.  

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Absolutely! When I get frustrated with the search for external validation, I go back to the work. That’s where the real satisfaction lies. When I’m typing like mad trying to perfect a scene that I know will someday land in a stranger’s brain and make sparks fly, that’s magic. I have to keep reminding myself of that simple truth.