Stevie Turner interviews Cynthia Morgan

Cynthia Morgan's photo


I am pleased that Cynthia Morgan, one of my fellow Creativia authors, has agreed to answer 20 of my questions. Cynthia A. Morgan is the creator of the mythical realm of Jyndari and author of the epic fantasy, “Dark Fey: The Reviled”, Book One of the Dark Fey Triology.  “The Reviled” draws the reader into a mystical realm of primordial forests, magic and the lives of Light-loving and Darkness-revering Feykind.  Not to be confused with pixies or “Tinkerbell” type fairies, the feyfolk of Jyndari are winged beings the size of any human who live in a realm where tradition, magic, and spirituality are fundamentals of everyday life.

Reviews of Dark Fey continue to earn 5 stars by lovers of fantasy as well as readers who do not typically enjoy that genre.  Compared to a fantasy version of a play by Shakespeare, “Dark Fey The Reviled” is a brutally beautiful story of Love, Hope, and finding Peace in the Darkness.

The Reviled by Cynthia Morgan

You can find out more about Cynthia and her books by clicking on the links below:

Worldwide Amazon book link:

Dark Fey The Reviled on Barnes and Noble:



Twitter &


1.  Did you believe in fairies as a child?

I am sure I did, but it wasn’t something that I specifically focused on. More importantly was the fact that my parents encouraged my imagination and creativity, which eventually blossomed into poetry and stories, and ultimately, the Fey of Jyndari.

2.  At what age did you start writing poetry?

I have been writing and rhyming since I was very young. In fact, I recently discovered cards I wrote to my mother as a child, in crayon, that contained poetry I had written for her.

3.  Are you an only child?

No, I have one older sister, with whom I am very close.

4.  Were you ever in trouble for daydreaming as a child?

Many times in school, but more for writing (stories) when I should have been studying. When I was at home daydreaming was fine J

5.  Why do you prefer to write fantasy above other genres?

I actually do not necessarily prefer it. I have written Regency Period Dramas, Post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi, and YA Romance, all of which I hope to eventually publish. My focus right now just happens to be Fantasy, although having said all that, I do very much enjoy creating a tale in a realm where I am free to make up the rules as I go along.

6.  Tell us a little bit about your latest work, book 3 of the ‘Dark Fey’ trilogy.

Book Three will take the story and characters of Dark Fey into the final phase; that quintessential battle that ultimately must take place. It will also broaden the spectrum a bit, allowing several of the minor characters the “flex their wings’ so to speak, and it will take an unexpected turn in order to accomplish the Purpose I have planned for it.  I know that’s rather vague, but can’t give too much away before I’ve even written it.

7.  Where or how do you find the inspiration for your plots?

The original inspiration for the story came to me through a vivid dream, which I could not stop thinking about days afterward. As I thought about it, the characters developed and the idea expanded, so I finally sat down and wrote out the first scene, which is now Chapter Six of The Reviled.

8.  Did you promote your blog ‘Booknvolume’ in order to attract 15,000 followers, or did they just subscribe?

I do very minimal promotion via Twitter, but by and large, those who follow me subscribed on their own for their own reasons. I am Blessed and Amazed each time I log in and see the following continuing to increase, particularly because when I started out less than three years ago I didn’t have a clue about blogging.

9.  Which social media do you think is best for promoting your books?

I have had the most response through Twitter and have been able to network with the broadest range of other writers/authors there. I think with any social media a certain level of caution is merited, but I am always willing to learn about new avenues from other Indies; this is simply where I have had the most success.
10. Where in the world is home to you?

I reside in Pennsylvania, but Wales is Home to my Heart and Spirit. The Poem “Home” which I wrote about the love I feel for the homeland of my Fathers and the Call I constantly feel to return to that place, although I’ve never stepped foot there (yet) may explain better:

11. Do you write full-time, or do you also have a day job?

I look forward to the day when I will be able write full-time, as there is nothing I desire to do more, but until then, I also work a day job as a medical/administrative secretary.

12. Do you think there is life on Mars?

I believe the possibility exists that there was once life on Mars, though long ago. Having said that, however, I do also believe there is Life on many other worlds throughout the Cosmos.  The mathematical probability is simply too great to discount.  Besides, I believe all the Heavens were Created by the Great Artist of all Life and I do not know of any Artist or Creative Individual that creates just one work of art and then says they are done.

13. Does it concern you that we are just floating around in space ad infinitum?

Personally, I believe everything has Purpose, even if we do not understand that Purpose or plan. So no I am not worried. I truly Believe it is all very well in hand.

14. Have you ever seen a ghost?

Yes I have, actually, and it (she) scared the bejebbers out of me! More frequently, however, I have experienced the presence of energy without form.

15. Do you believe our spirits live on after death?

I believe our spirits do live on after the physical body ceases and it is a subject I am currently exploring on my blog (Those We Do Not Speak Of – )

16. What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?

I am very eclectic and enjoy everything from Mozart to Marilyn Manson, Beethoven to Depeche Mode, and Hans Zimmer to Delirium. The only form I am not enamored with, really, is rap.

17. Is there anywhere you’d love to visit, but as yet haven’t done so?

First and Foremost, Great Britain. But I’d love to see Italy, the French countryside, Greece, Iceland, Japan, Australia, part of the Caribbean, Hawaii, Romania, Kenya ….If it’s out there, I’d probably love to visit.

18. Do you find yourself laughing at things that others don’t find funny?

All the time. Laughter is the Music composed by the Soul that is Shared through the Heart.

19. Are you a positive Blue Sky thinker?

I do try to be, if only to keep the pragmatist in me in check!

20. Which one of your possessions would you take with you to a desert island?

Presuming that I am not stranded, but just staying on holiday, I would say my camera so I could capture the moment(s). If however you mean I am going to be stranded and can take only one thing, then I’d say my Swiss Army Knife.  There I go being pragmatic, but MacGyver would approve.

Thanks Cynthia for taking the time to answer my questions.  Like you I worked as a medical secretary, and I also am not enamoured with rap!

If any authors/publishers would like to answer 20 of my questions, please contact me on my website  with some information about yourself.


Stevie Turner interviews author Malcolm Archibald

Malcolm Archibald photo


Today is the turn of fellow Creativia author and Dundee Book Prize winner, Malcolm Archibald, to answer 20 of my questions. Check out the many books that Malcolm has written by clicking on his Amazon author page here:

1.  Which of the many jobs you have done did you like the most?

Most jobs have highs and lows. I was a rural postman in the Scottish Borders for years and I miss watching the world wake up, watching the sun slowly rise over the valley of the Tweed and visiting the out-of-the-way farms and cottages that virtually nobody ever sees. Delivering to hill farms above the cloud base was fun; watching children’s faces when they receive Christmas presents made the long hours worthwhile. In saying that, working as a historical researcher had the thrill of finding material that had not been read for decades or centuries, piecing together a jig-saw of facts to reach a new conclusion [and always finding new material for a book in the bye-going] was endlessly fascinating, while lecturing had many ups. When one had a student who thought he or she could not do something, there was no greater pleasure than in helping them break the barrier so they realised they had a good brain there, despite what others had told them. That was perhaps the greatest pleasure of them all.

2.  You write mainly historical fiction and non-fiction. Do you carry out all your research before you begin to write, or do you research as you go along?

Mixed! I always start with an amount of general knowledge about the subject, but as characters and scenes develop there is always a need to research more, looking for details. For instance in ‘The Darkest Walk’ I had to delve into the type of train that Queen Victoria travelled in, and the layout of a Chartist village, and in ‘Our Land of Palestine’ there was a need to find out about Jerusalem in 1915 and the organisation of the local Ottoman army. The only danger about that [danger is not the right word] is that research becomes an end in itself.

3.  Which period in history interests you the most? Would you have liked to live in that time?

The nineteenth century, undoubtedly. There was so much happening there, so many changes; the world opened up, conditions improved for so many people, there was opportunity to move, to see new things, to experience mechanical and transport innovations, geographical discoveries, to sail on clipper ships and the first steam vessels, to see the development of steam trains and still ride a stage coach, to see the world opening up and hear about, or travel to, new places with exotic people. This century seems so dull with its push-button living and a monoculture that seems to embrace everybody.

4.  Did it bother you being a mature student amongst teenagers when studying for a history degree?

A wee bit. I felt a bit out of place but there were major advantages: compared to working 50 or 60 hour weeks in the Post a student’s life was easy [although I was working part time as well] and having free access to the amazing university library and other resources was breath-taking. The lecturers treated me just like another student – and there were other mature students there. I had a gentleman of 80 in one of my classes; he bicycled to the university and back, got his degree and enrolled for another afterward. The last I heard he had collected four honours degrees in subjects as diverse as history, computing and town planning.

5.  You won the Dundee Book Prize with Whales for the Wizard. What is this story about?

‘Whales’ is a novel set in Dundee in 1860, when the Dundee whaling industry was on the cusp of a revival with the use of steam powered whaling ships. It is based partly on truth, the story of a whaling ship that vanished in the Arctic but was discovered intact, hundreds of miles from where it disappeared. Of course I made it into a murder-mystery story to add spice.

6.  Did any literary agents contact you after you won the Dundee Book Prize?

I am afraid not! Still hopeful. . .

7.  Are any of your novels partly autobiographical?

I have little bits of me in some of them, yes. My Victorian detective, James Mendick, shares some life experiences with me in ‘The Darkest Walk’, while young Mathew Pryde in ‘Pryde’s Rock’ echoes part of my early life. However I am saying no more than that!

8.  What made you choose Creativia publishers for your latest novel Windrush?

Word of mouth! I heard a lot of good things about Creativia. I heard they were fast, efficient, created excellent covers and had a good track record of sales. So far all I have heard has proven to be correct.

9.  If you were alive in 2110 and had carried out historical research for a novel, how would you go on to describe the decade from 2006 – 2016?

It is too early yet to understand this past decade. We will have to wait and see what transpires; things that seem important today may only be a passing phase, while things that seem insignificant may escalate to become major troubles or quite the reverse. To me, it seems that the rise [or rather resurgence] or radical Islam is the most important thing, but combine that with the growing power of China and the recovery of Russia and it points to a whole raft of interesting scenarios. The USA having its first black President could be of monumental importance in the future, and the massive immigration into Europe could alter the demography of that continent for centuries: or the tide could turn and many could return home to the Middle East. In my own country, Scotland had a close vote for independence that could yet happen as the people are discontented with the present political set up within the UK.

10. What are you working on at the moment?

I have a number of on-going projects. I am working on the second in the Windrush series for Creativia, I am waiting for Fledgling Press to publish the next Mendick detective novel, I am waiting for Fort Publishing to publish a non-fiction book about Dundee I wrote last year, I am working on a piece of non-fiction on Midlothian crime and I am writing the last in a series of historical articles for a Scottish-American magazine.

11. What type of articles do you write for newspapers (I wrote one about 10 years ago, but The Daily Mail told me it was too controversial to be published!)?

Too controversial? That sounds like fun! What was it about – you have me intrigued! I write historical pieces, usually the slants of history that the mainstream history books do not speak of. Local history rather than the big things.

12. What’s the best day you’ve ever had as a lecturer?

No single day. My best experiences were when I saw the look of joy on a student’s face when they grasp something they believe was beyond them, or realise that Further Education is nothing like school and they matter, they are valued and the lecturers actively want them to succeed. I had one class in Dundee that sticks in my mind; they were all nurses and there were tears when we parted – not all from the students. It is possible to create a strong bond with a class; that makes it all worthwhile.

13. What book are you reading at the moment?

One that my son gave me: Lincoln Paine’s ‘The Sea and Civilization’, and one my younger daughter gave me: ‘The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean’ by David Abulafia – do you see a common thread there? In his next case, Mendick is at sea, while the next Windrush book is based partly in Malta and partly in the Crimea.

14. How do you market your books?

Badly. I am terrible at that. I have no major problems in writing books; that is what I do but my marketing skills are poor.

15. When you go hill walking, does it clear your mind, or are you thinking about the folklore and mythology associated with that area?

Both. The rhythm of walking, combined with the beauty and peace of the hills, the constant possibility of seeing wildlife and the always-changing weather [this is Scotland after all] chases away the normal worries of life, but there is amazing depth in the hills. Every animal and bird has its own fund of folklore [I wrote a short book about that once], every plant and tree had a use and a story and up here there is nowhere without a fund of legend and myth. We live in the shadow of a thirteenth century abbey that was burned by the notorious Wolf of Badenoch [see my Creativia published ‘Shadow of the Wolf’], with Pictish symbols stones, battlefields and fishing villages only a few miles away. There are tales of witches and covenanters, great floods and droughts, clan feuds and stage-coach crashes. . . there are so many layers of history and so many interwoven stories that one is never short of material.

16. After your youngest daughter moves out next week, how will you cope with an empty nest?

Oh – sad question. She has been gradually moving away as she has been at university for years – she obtained her Honours at St Andrews last year and is now completing her Masters in Dundee. Guess who is the proud dad? She used to come home for the summer and Cathy – my wife – was always emotional when she returned back south. Now she is moving into a permanent flat – and quite right of course- there is a feeling of good-bye. Cathy and I have been married upward of 35 years and always had children, so this is a massive change.

17. What’s number one on your bucket list?

That has never changed: my top priority is to keep Cathy happy. That is ongoing and will never change.

18. Can you sing in harmony or play a musical instrument?

Ha ha ha! When I had a rowdy class I always threatened to sing to them. One minute of my out-of-tune croaking and they were quiet as a spring night. I am the most tuneless singer the world has ever seen. When I try to sing at home the wife-woman puts me out of the room.

19. Did you take part in the Millennium celebrations in Edinburgh?

I was sick with the flu that night which spoiled things for the rest of the family. A pity: millenniums don’t come around very often and I may be a little old to enjoy the next.

20. Does it bother you to be in the middle of a crowd of people, or do you prefer to be on the outside looking in?

That depends on my mood, really. When I was younger I was an avid football fan [Edinburgh Hibernian in case anybody is interested – so I am used to disappointments!] so was happy in the midst of a raucous crowd. People and observing people, are tools of the writer. However I am a quiet living man so am probably happier outside looking in.


Thanks Malcolm for your brilliant answers!  If any authors/publishers would like to answer 20 of my questions, please contact me on my website  with some information about yourself.






Stevie Turner interviews author Margaret Millmore

Margaret Millmore photo


Today is the turn of another Creativia author, Margaret Millmore, to answer my 20 questions. As well as her replies here, you can also find out more about Margaret by clicking on the links below:

 1.  Tell us something about your work in progress.

I’ve just finished the first draft of What Haunts Me (Ghost Killer – Book II). It continues the adventures of George, Billy, Phil and the watchers and their never ending quest to rid the world of ghosts and demons. In book 2, they come across a rather nasty 17th century demon that is in cahoots (or so they think) with a teenage boy. Instead of just haunting people, the demon, with the help of the boy are killing people and wreaking havoc. They need to find the boy and his demon and stop them before more lives are lost. I tap some very interesting San Francisco history in this book and I had a lot of fun pulling it together. Expected release is late spring or early summer under the Creativia Publishing label.

2.  When did you know that you wanted to write a novel?

When I was young, my best friend and I would make up stories, I always thought it would be fun to write a book, but never really pursued it (although I did continue to write stories and jot down ideas throughout my teenage and adult years). I really didn’t take the idea seriously until about 7 years ago, when I suddenly found myself with the time to write, then I jumped in with both feet and have been doing that ever since.

3.  Where did you find the inspiration for your novel ‘What Haunts Me?’

My husband had been on a business trip and he’d had a very strange dream, which he shared with me. I thought it was interesting and made a note of it, but didn’t put much more thought into it (consciously at least), because I was finishing up my novel The Dragonfly Door and that was quite consuming. However, my subconscious had taken quite a liking to the idea and 6 months later, a full blown story had developed. As with all stories, it stalled about midway through, yet again, there was my husband with another bit of inspiration, he’d read an article about a ghost tour (I can’t recall what city it was in) and I decided to see if we had one here in San Francisco, we did and I took the tour, which opened up a whole new path for my story, so much so, that I based one of my main characters (with permission) off of the owner of the tour. (  – they’re currently closed, but it’s rumored they’ll re-open soon, I hope they do, it’s fantastic!)
4.  Which book genre do you prefer to read?

My preferred reading genre is generally thriller/suspense novels (without political overtones), I also enjoy police/detective novels. Although I write in paranormal/supernatural, I rarely read it (however S. King, Dean Koontz and some others are true favorites, so I don’t exclude that genre altogether).

5.  Who is your favourite author?

I can’t say that I have one. Growing up it was Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz and so many more, I try not to have favorites as a rule (unless its dessert, cheesecake wins every time).

6.  Do you believe in an afterlife?

I don’t not believe in it.

7.  Have you ever seen a ghost or had a paranormal experience?

I’ve experienced some odd occurrences that I can easily attribute to a ghost or the paranormal. They were strange and wonderful all at once, and certainly they help keep my imagination going.

 8.  Why did you choose different publishers for your books?

When I finished my first book, self-publishing wasn’t as acceptable as it is today, so I queried hundreds of publishers and was finally picked up by a great small press publisher (they originally published my first four books, Doppelganger Experiment and The Four Series, books 1-3, all of which are now available under Amazon’s digital service). That was a great experience, but by the time I got around to my novel, The Dragonfly Door, self-pub had blossomed and I decided to self-publish it. I also originally self-published What Haunts Me, however I soon discovered that I really wanted to put most of my effort and energy into developing the WHM series than I did into creating the finished publishable product, so I decided to begin the publishing query process again and was very fortunate to be picked up by Creativia.

9.  Can books become best sellers without going through the agent/traditional publishing route?

Absolutely, and it’s happened quite a bit! Obviously, it isn’t the norm (yet), but it is definitely possible (do a quick online search and you’ll find several success stories).

10. Which social media do you prefer when promoting your books?

Generally I use Twitter and Facebook (fan page and my personal page). But I also use various book promoting sites to get the word out. It’s also important to connect with bloggers like yourself, what you do is as important as Twitter and FB, and I think it’s a bit more personal, so that makes it fun too.

11. When you see a link to a 5 star review on Twitter, are you tempted to check it out if it looks to be of your preferred genre?

Definitely, it only takes a few seconds to check out book recommendations through Twitter and I’ve bought quite a few books based on tweets I’ve received.

12.  Did you find that the real estate business became more competitive the longer you worked there?

I began my career in the real estate field (at the bottom and worked my way up) in 1992, so I’ve seen the volatile market fluctuations up close. But in the more recent boom and bust, the “quick buck” perception/attitude was so irresistible, that just about everyone was getting in on it (which was certainly a large contributor to the bust itself). It was reminiscent of the boom in regards to the amount of competition involved.

13. You’re a native Californian.  Have you ever visited Alcatraz and wondered whether Frank Morris really did make it to freedom?

Yes, I have been to Alcatraz on a few occasions, it’s a great part of San Francisco history and worth the trip. Did Frank make it to freedom, I believe he could have, if he made it to Angel Island (about 2 miles away), then he could have continued on to the mainland and disappeared forever, who’s to say, he’s never been found…

14.  Do you ever wish you could have been part of the Haight-Ashbury hippie scene in the 1960’s?

Not in the least, mainly because it would mean I’d have to be much older than I am…

15.  Where will you be travelling to for your holidays this year?

My husband and I love to travel, but this year we’re keeping it local (meaning the USA), we’ll be taking a trip down the coast of California and we’re discussing trips to the Pacific Northwest and some of our western national parks, but the year is young, so who knows where else we might end up.

16.  Is there anywhere in the world you would love to visit, but as yet have not?

So many places…I was fortunate enough to spend some time in France and Germany (with a stop in Luxembourg and Switzerland) last year, and I’d love to go back and rent a car and drive all through Europe for several weeks.

17.  Does visiting your relatives in Ireland ever cause you to consider living there permanently?

Constantly! I’ve been visiting my family in IR since I was a child, but as an adult, I’ve been able to see much more of the country, it is so beautiful and the people are truly the best. I often daydream of renting a small cottage by the sea, perhaps down in Arklow, County Wicklow just south of Dublin. Dublin is wonderful  as well (and only an hour away from most parts of Wicklow by train or bus), but having lived in a big city for so long, I think I’d prefer a quiet sea-side retreat.

18.  What is your most prized possession?

I would have to say my collection of books. I have autographed books by Ray Bradbury and Dean Koontz as well as Irish author, Benedict Kiely (who is my great-uncle) and Irish author Sharon Owens (she is also a relative). In addition to the autographed books, I have a large collection of fiction books (both very old and very new) as well as a variety of history and non-fiction books that I inherited from my father’s collection.
 19Do you prefer to be inside or outside?

Both…I am a huge fan of various types of architecture and I love exploring old buildings, churches, castles, homes, etc., but I love the beauty of the outside world as well, so I guess it depends on where I am and what I’m seeing…

20.  What is your favourite song or piece of music?

I’m a big Motown fan, in fact, when I have writer’s block, it’s my go-to music. However, I also enjoy a variety of other music too, so I suppose I have no favorites.

Thanks to Margaret for these answers. If you are an author and would also like to be interviewed, please contact me on my website with a little bit of information about yourself and your books.

Stevie Turner interviews author Mari Collier

Mari Collier's photo

Thanks to Mari Collier, another of my fellow Creativia authors, for agreeing to take part in this interview. You can find Mari online by clicking on the links below:


Amazon author page:

Facebook: Twisted Tales From A Skewed Mind


1.  What gave you the idea of combining science fiction with the Old West in your Chronicles of Maca series?

The story started in the Old West in my mind and I wrote the first chapter and killed off everyone but two characters. My one older brother thought it hilarious that his baby sister did this. I quit writing on it, but in my mind it kept playing. So I started again and realized the one needed his Uncle.  It grew from there as the main character had mind powers that humans do not possess. The Uncle was not strong enough to control the character. He needed a stepfather. He couldn’t have a stepfather until I resurrected the mother from the Comanche attack arranged by her Justine husband.

2.  Tell us about the sixth book in the series, your work in progress.

Captain Jarvis and his crew discover that the De’Chins’ mining asteroid has been invaded and the De’Chins’ space vessels destroyed. The Thalains attack. Rescue the De’Chin woman and take a Draygon captive. Lorenz, the Earth/Justine mutant must use his mind to make the prisoner reveal the Draygon location. It is discovered the Krepyons have become their allies. Thalia, the Betrons, and the Golden One of the Earth MacDonald Corporation join in the attack. Upon their return, Beauty the leader of the Sisterhood escapes and kills the Maca of Don’s daughter, and then the son of the Maca of Betron. She and her counselor (wife in Earth speak) disappear, helped by the hidden Sisterhood. The Kenning Woman discovers the hidden Book of Gar and nearly dies in the cave beside Ayran’s foul Lake Bliss. It takes Daniel, JayEll, and Medicine to rescue her and JoAnne, the first rescuer. The hunt for the killer continues, but the Sisterhood kills their own rather than betray them. It is discovered that the Sisterhood has become embedded in the Houses of Medicine and Ishner, but the rules of Thalia preclude invading the continent of another House. Llewellyn, Maca of Don, and his Earth/Mutant claimed (adopted) son plan their own revenge against Beauty. She will die just as Lillie died at her hands. JayEll proclaims himself the new Martin and he and the Kenning Woman plan to wed.

On one of his preaching trips, the Kenning Woman’s vision states that Ishner is bleeding for their true Maca. The hidden Sisterhood promptly uses a stinger to destroy the Kenning Woman’s family’s home.  Her father is a son of the former Maca of Ishner. He reveals that JayEll is probably his son. Incest tis forbidden on Thalia just as it is on Earth. The Thalians are ready to invade Ishner to confiscate the rest of the stingers when the people of Ishner attack the Sisterhood. Riots and fire break out. The Sisterhood holds the Guardian, Counselor, and Director of Ishner hostage. Captain Daniel and troopers are sent to Port Issac to quell the riots and Captain Jarvis and troopers are sent to rescue the hostages in the city Iconda.  During the fighting, the true Maca of Ishner will be revealed. The question of JayEll’s genes will be settled by Medicine.

3.  You’re starting a new family saga, ‘Earthbound’.  How is this family different?

I’m not starting it, I’m still writing it. Earthbound is the first book of my series, Chronicles of the Maca.  MacDonald, or Llewellyn, Maca of Don, as he is named on his on planet is part Thalian and part Justine.  His Earth wife, Anna, had married a stranded Justine and produced four children with Toma.  MacDonald and Anna have one child that lives. Mina is Earth, Thalian, and Justine.  MacDonald will adopt Anna’s third son Lorenz, who is Earth and Justine.  One of the things that prompted me to put westerns and science fiction together was when I had catechism lessons at the age of twelve through thirteen.  When explaining the spread of faith in this country, the Pastor explained that the Germans had gone into Texas before it had become a state.  He created a love of Western history that has never died.

4.  How long have you been writing?

I was about eleven or twelve when I started writing a story about a family destroyed by a Comanche raid in Texas prior to the Civil War. That story evolved into Gather The Children, but Anna and MacDonald kept insisting I write their story. My older brother’s laughter at the idea of his baby sister writing a tale that killed off most of the characters meant that I put that story to the side for many years. I wrote for the Audubon Advocate when I was thirteen reporting on what neighbor visited what neighbor and any birthday or engagement party. I kept writing short stories through high school and early marriage. I did sell a children’s story to Jack and Jill, but went to work for a weekly paycheck when I realized that writing for a newcomer would not pay a mortgage or a new car payment.

5.  Who is your favourite author?

Will and Ariel Durant, the authors of The Story of Civilization. Yes, I’ve read all eleven volumes.  Some more than once.
6.  Which social media works best for you as regards promoting your books?

So far it has been Facebook.

7.  Do you believe there could be life on other planets?

I was always of the opinion that since the Almighty God made this planet with beings on it, there could be any number of planets with beings. I do not limit God.  It wasn’t until I was introduced to someone who worked on the Project Blue Book that convinced me that there are other living beings out there. Our government has not been completely honest about things.  Why didn’t that person say anything?  He did on a You Tube interview.  He would lose his retirement, his health insurance, and all records of his military service would be obliterated.

8.  Would you have liked to live in the Old West of the 19thcentury?

Oh, hell, no. The work alone was a killer.  Just consider carrying bucket after bucket of water to fill up a tub.  That doesn’t take in using a cone agitator and bringing the firewood to keep the water hot.  There was no medical response to anything, and the diet was rather restricted to what you could grow, preserve, or hunt. I do not want to live without hot water on tap or lights that come on with a flick of the switch.

9.  You grew up on a farm in Iowa with no modern amenities.  How did you cope with no electricity, hot water and central heating?  Did your neighbours have modern amenities?

We did have running water (cold) in the kitchen and in the washhouse. That meant we did not carry buckets of water, but the galvanized tub was for bathing.  One wore the clothes all week and changed on Saturday before going into town.  There were also special clothes for Sunday.  There was no electricity in our section of Iowa until 1950.  Some like my father, refused to have it installed. One neighbor did have a bathroom, but most of them had outhouses until the 1960s.  I loved going into town to see an Uncle or Aunt, or the long trip to Council Bluffs to my brother’s house where there were such things as electricity and bathrooms inside.
10. Were children expected to work on the farms from a young age?

Of course, they were. My parents were a bit lenient.  They didn’t expect it until one was nine-years of age.  One neighbor even had their six-year-old son driving a tractor.  My parents were horrified at that as it was far too dangerous for a child.  We walked to school whether it was sunshine, rain, or snow.  It was what my parents had done so we could do that too.  We were going to a one room public school.  There were two outhouses there: one for girls and one for boys.  Two of the eighth graders would take the bucket and walked to the closest farm for the water for the day.  We all drank from the same cup. That horrified the County Nurse when she visited our school.  We all had to bring in our own cup after that.

11. Do you remember anything about being so ill as a child that you were near death?

Yes, it was so difficult to breathe, that I decided not to fight to get the air out of my lungs anymore. I don’t like to go into that experience too deeply except to say I was walking down a murky, gray tunnel towards the wondrous golden light. Instead of the freezing cold in my bedroom, the warmth radiated outward from the golden place as I neared. Just as I stepped out of the tunnel and the light flowed around me a voice said, “You do not belong here yet. It is too soon.  Go back.” The scene vanished and I was back in my bed, layered between two feather beds.  By the way, Mama had made the feather beds from the ducks that we had.

12. Do you believe in the power of prayer and positive thinking?

I believe in prayer to the Lord. I am not silly enough to believe that every prayer will have a “yes” answer as I do not know the plans of the Almighty.  Prayer is the Christians way of meditation.  The term positive thinking leaves me baffled as I have always been an optimist.

13. Do you suffer any ill-effects from working ‘like a man’ on the farm as a child?

Oh, heavens no. It just meant that when I was working, I would not accept the fact that men received a higher salary than I was receiving.  I was quite capable of doing their work.  I did secure the job after proving I could go into the worst areas of Phoenix and collect money.  There is a huge difference between $249.00 per month and $600.00.  At least there was in 1973.

14. Do you feel as though you’ve missed out on a childhood through working on the farm? 

How could I have missed out? We weren’t working ten hour days.  For us it would just be the morning or afternoon.  When we were in school, we just had the chores before we left and some of the chores before dark.  We had an entire quarter of an acre by a creek with wild flowers, elderberry trees, willows, and prairie grass as our private playground.  I could make up all sorts of stories to enact.  In the evening after dinner there were board games, puzzles, and, of course, we learned pinochle at an early age.  Papa always read the comics to us and he would laugh harder than anyone else.  Mama taught us how to play the piano, and, of course, there were always huge dinners after church at Grandma’s house.  I could go on about the reunions and old clothes we children had to play “dress” up.

15. You married while still a teenager. Do you think it’s best to marry early and be young parents, or to wait until you’ve seen the world and gained life experiences?

I think that depends on the person. Lanny was always “old” according to his mother.  I had been earning my own living since I was sixteen.  In theory, it should have been a disaster.  In reality, I can count the quarrels we had on one hand and inside it still hurts that he is gone home and I am still on this Earth.

16. Where do you consider is home?  Iowa, Arizona, Washington, or California?

Home is wherever I am living. I would not, however, choose Washington as a place to retire.  I chose the desert.

17. When living in Washington you worked for Nintendo.  What did your job entail?

I was an Advanced Super Agent in their Correspondence section of the Consumer Call Center. That meant I could take phone calls for all problems from set ups to game play.  I also read in the letters, later the email, and routed them to the files for response.  I was also one of the letter writers for all problems, and I did the entering for the Elmo Folio Views in the Correspondence section so other Correspondence people knew what and how we were to respond to certain situations.  We were also expected to play the games (all of our cubicles had game devices and we could check out games) that we played when not busy at something else.  Nintendo also gave us each system for the home and the game to master.

18. Where will you travel to for your holidays this year?

Nowhere. I’ll be right here in Twentynine Palms, CA.

19. What’s number one on your bucket list?

You will think this strange, but I do not have a bucket list. Perhaps it would be nice to see Oak Creek Canyon again.

20. What’s your favourite song?

That is difficult to say. It is difficult to choose between “Just As I Am” or “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Another favorite is “Your Cheating Heart.”  I also love “Bolero”.  Of course, “Heartbreak Hotel” is right up there too.  That pretty well gives away my age and era, doesn’t it?

Thanks for taking part, Mari.  If any authors/publishers would like to answer 20 of my questions, please contact me on my website  with some information about yourself.


Stevie Turner interviews author J.W Goodwin

I hope you enjoy my interview of another Creativia author, YA Fantasy/Paranormal writer J.W Goodwin.

J.W Goodwin

Link to J.W Goodwin’s Amazon author page:

1.  How old were you when you had the urge to become a writer?

I think I was 13-14 years old when I started with fanfiction, bad fanfiction to boot. The only reason I can remember is because of what grade I was in at the time. Thank goodness I’ve gotten better since then.

2.  It’s taken you 10 years to finish your debut novel.  What gave you the inspiration for the story?

It’s going to sound corny but it was due to a dream I had. I was lost in a forest until I was attacked by monster brown bugs. I was saved by an elf in green, who looks very much like the male protagonist in my debut novel By The Light of a Darkened Forest. He hid me from the monsters and went out to take care of them, telling me to stay hidden and that he would come back. I woke up before he could but he did manage by giving me a brilliant idea for a story.

 3.  Is any or part of the story autobiographical?

No. Though the main female protagonist Evelyn has some of my characteristics, none of events mimic my life.

4.  Your novel is a paranormal fantasy adventure for young adults.  Have you ever had a paranormal experience?

It would be awesome if I could say yes but unfortunately no. Unless of course having very imaginative dreams counts. The feelings I get from my grandparents’ farm brought the story to life. It feels so different there compared to other places I’ve been. Magical is a good word for it.

5.  Do you find that writing your debut novel has helped with your slight dyslexia?

Definitely. I’m more confident with my writing than even the spoken word. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and the years I’ve spent practicing have helped immensely.

6.  Were your schoolteachers sympathetic regarding your dyslexia?

Not really. I don’t think it was in my student file so I doubt they knew. It always took me longer to read through books but I’d get it done eventually. If I could get away with not reading the material I would. It saved me time to do other things, like writing the reports and essays they wanted. Also the reason I believe I have/had dyslexia is because I would be pulled from classes grades 1-3 to learn the differences between letters and directions. It didn’t change until I was in high school, something clicked then and it became easier.

7.  Why did you change from a French school to an English language school?

Verbs. That is the only reason why I changed schools. The French language has so many verbs and so many different variations of said verbs with special rules that I couldn’t wrap my head around them. I could get away with speaking in slang but writing was a different story. Without writing I couldn’t get decent grades not matter how hard I tried. So my parents switched me.

8.  Do you think in French or English? Which one is your first language?

I think in English since it’s easier and I’m much better at it, though sometimes if I don’t remember a word I usually know the French one. Pencil sharpener was one I got hung up on way too often, I’m lucky I live in a bilingual community or else trying to ask for one would be a task in itself.

For my first language I’m not sure. I learned both at the same time though my first words were French.

9.  Have you written other stories or poetry?

I have lots of poetry though none of it is published. I like to write them to express a mood or an idea or they just come to me. For stories I have so many beginnings but no ends. This is the first one I finished and it was all thanks to a good friend who was reading them as I was writing. If it wasn’t for her this one wouldn’t get finished either.

10. What in your experience is the best book you’ve ever read?

That’s a loaded question. Honestly it keeps changing with each book I read. It started with The Three Investigators series by Robert Arthur Jr. then progressed to Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, now it’s a tie between Graceling by Kristin Cashore and The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. As I grow older I get to read more novels and with that new flavors to taste. So it’s really hard to say what the best book is.

11. Which social media do you think helps the most in building up an author platform?

I can’t really answer since I’m still trying to figure it all out. Being so shy it’s hard for me to put myself out there. Doing this interview is going way beyond my comfort zone. One thing that’s helping my confidence is finding an author group with supportive peers like I’ve found with Creativia. I feel bad that I barely post on there but it’s so stressing to even think about it let alone what I’m going to say. Having a group where you can ask the more tenured authors for advice (I think, I haven’t yet because, again, I’m too shy to) would help and if you’ve found the right group they will help you grow.

 12. Living in Northern Ontario, do you prefer the cold winters or the boiling summers?

I like the transition periods best where you don’t have to wear 10 pounds of clothes because it’s so cold or want to tear your skin off because it’s so hot. So I guess you can call it the few weeks of spring and fall. If I had to choose between the two though it would be the winters. I have a saying that you can always put more clothes on to stay warm but you can only take off so much to get cool.

13. My fascination is with the Mennonite lifestyle when I found out about them on a visit to the area around Kincardine on a Canadian holiday in 2013.  Does the slower pace of their lifestyle with its lack of modern amenities appeal to you?

Definitely! Though I’d miss my computer since it makes writing so much easier for me. It’s a reason why I moved back to my hometown from the city. Much slower pace and so much quieter. Gives a person time to think. Also you’d spend more time talking with people face to face, and I don’t mean facetime on the phone, which is very important. Today it looks like what happened to people in Disney’s Wall-E is happening now. Makes me sad really.

14. What is it about forests that you find fascinating?

It’s the feeling I get from them. It’s so quiet and peaceful but if those trees could talk they could go on forever. Whenever I’m with nature there’s something magical that comes over me. It’s perfectly imperfect within the canopy. Everything has its place in the mismatch of things. It’s hard to describe but it’s one place that’s left untouched by people. You never know what you can find in there.

15. Do you think that playing video games is a good pastime for teenagers?

Depending on the video games yes. One’s that are just for going around and killing stuff, what they call hack n’ slash, no. If it includes a story, puzzles/tactics and even morals then I do think it’s good. My favorites to play are ones with a story, my favorite of those by far is The Legend of Zelda series. It does have to be balanced with other things though, like exploring outside or having a hobby off screen.

16.  Are you adept at orienteering using only a map and compass?

I know how to use them but that’s about it. When I go out I usually go with my dad. He’s the expert. If we go off on foot he can find our way back. On my own I’d get too nervous and stick close to an obvious trail.

17.  Have you ever been lost in a forest?

No. Though I love exploring I always make sure I know where I am. If I get disoriented I retrace my steps until I can remember. Going on drives with my dad, however, is a different story. Though he says we’re not lost I’ve had moments where I’ve doubted him. He finds a way out though.

18. Who is your favourite band?

Another loaded question. I’ve got so many. If it was based on concerts I’ve attended and grew up with then it would be Rush. For newer music I love Daughtry for the sound but I can say that about Gowan’s older music and some others. I just love music in general.

19. What is your most prized possession?

Though it’s a bit embarrassing I have to say it’s my Barney. I’ve had him since I was 2-3 years old and he’s been with me everywhere. I’m very protective of him and don’t let many touch him. To this day he still fights off nightmares and keeps me company though he has more friends than he used to. There’s a group of dogs and wolves he hangs out with now, even a polar bear that I got at the Cochrane polar bear habitat. They all have their own stories, the stuffed animals that I’ve gotten attached to, so what normal people think about Barney is not how mine is.

20.  Which one thing would you like with you on a desert island?

A sailboat filled with supplies so I can get back home? I bet that’s not what you’re getting at though. If not then a pencil and a pencil sharpener with sketchbook if a set counts. I’d spend my days drawing and writing for a vacation. I guess I’m lucky that my favorite things to do can be brought with my anywhere. I thank God for that. If not I’d be quite the miserable person as there would be no outlet for a very overactive imagination.

Thanks J.W for your answers.  Rush is also one of my favourite bands!

To find out more about J.W, please click on the links below:

Stevie Turner interviews author Sahara Foley



It was Sahara’s enthusiastic support of Creativia publishing that eventually made me send off my latest novel to them, which I’m pleased to say was accepted.  Sahara is an author who is part of Creativia’s Street Team, and tirelessly supports other authors’ work.  Today I’m pleased to be able to promote Sahara’s novels by way of this 20 question interview.

You can find out more about Sahara’s books by checking out her Amazon author page (link is below).

1.  Did you have to make many changes to your husband’s short stories after his death to get them ready for publication?

Most of the short stories, no.  I did have to rewrite them for showing instead of telling, make sure they were in the right cause & effect sequence.  The actual books have taken a lot more rewriting.

2.  Did you or your husband ever send  the stories to any literary agents?

Yes, back in the late 1980’s Bob sent his books to quite a few publishers.  At that time, I didn’t realize they still needed a lot of work.  Now, I do.  Bob was one of those writers that didn’t believe in changing anything in his stories.  They were perfect the way they were.

3.  Where did you find the inspiration for ‘The Secret of Excalibur’?

Since these are Bob’s stories, I have no idea where they came from. The original title was Arthur Merlin, but Miika wanted a catchier title, so I changed it.  I could swear Bob was glaring holes in me at the time.  Since then, he’s learned to live with all the changes I make to his stories.  He doesn’t have a choice.  LOL.

4.  Did you carry out all your research for the book beforehand, or did you research as you went along?

I’m not sure what type of research Bob did, but I have done research for The Secret of Excalibur.  St George was not the knight that threw Excalibur into the lake, but I wanted to keep the story the way Bob wrote it.

5.  Which social media has helped you the most regarding building up your author platform?

Without a doubt Twitter, then Facebook.

6.  Why did you choose Creativia Publishers?

I always knew I wanted to put The Secret of Excalibur with a publisher.  I ran across them on Twitter and joined them as part of their Street Team.  I became friends with a few of the authors, loved when they told me about them, so I signed up.  Where else can you find a publisher that pays for your promotions?  Or you only have to give a 90-day notice to get your rights back?  None that I’m aware of.

7.  The Secret of Excalibur earned an Amazon #1 bestseller badge in the Arthurian category. Were you contacted by literary agents or publishers whilst the book was at #1?

No, it was already under Creativia Publishing.  I wouldn’t have reached #1 without them.

8.  What are you working on at the moment?

The second book in the Excalibur saga: The Revenge of Excalibur.  That one is with beta readers now.  While it’s going through those trials, I’ve started on the third one: Karrin: Warrior Child.  This one is much darker, and takes place decades later.

9.  Are you a full-time writer, or do you have a day job?

I work 10 hour days with an Insurance Company in the Agent Sales Support Department. I’m also a licensed agent and make commissions from sales.

10. If you could ask a famous writer one question, what would you ask and to whom?

That’s a tough one.  I love a variety of genres and writers.  I could ask the same question from 3 or 4 famous writers and get totally different answers.  I’ve studied enough books since I started my writing process that I think I’ve covered any answers they would give.  My biggest shortcoming is marketing and how to connect with readers.  That would be my question.

11. In your opinion, what’s the best resource for authors who are looking for readers?

Haven’t found it yet.  I use Twitter, and I do generate sales from there.

12. Where in the world do you call home?

Omaha NE

13.  Will you be travelling anywhere this year for a holiday?

I have plans with my family to visit the Wisconsin Dells.  I’ve never been there.

14. Do you have a favourite song?

OMG.  Too many to name.  Whatever comes on Pandora.

15. Do you prefer the city or country life?

Country.  I used to have a small farm (3 acres) where we had chickens, ducks, geese, and other critters.  I loved it, but the Missouri River decided to reclaim it for several months and I had to move back into the city.  Bob died shortly after that.

16. Are you vegetarian?

Heavens, NO!  I love my meat.

17. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert.  My whole life.

18. Which one thing would you save in a fire?

All the outlines of Bob’s stories that I haven’t touched yet.

19. What’s number one on your bucket list?

To win the Readers’ Favorite Award for one of my books.

20. Could you survive alone for 6 months on a desert island?

Yes.  Wouldn’t want to, but I could.  I’d lose some weight and get back into shape.


Here are some more social media links for Sahara Foley and her books:

The Secret of Excalibur: 






We Journey No More:






It Lives in the Basement:









Mailing List:


New Book Cover of The Convenience of Lies @K_A_Castillo

Brand New Cover

The Convenience of Lies


K.A. Castillo


Read the interview here.

Book Description

“It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. All that matters is if you can. If you can do something, what difference does it make?”

Based on a true story, The Convenience of Lies is a novel that keeps readers up past midnight with its story of friendship, mystery, crime, sex, and betrayal. Set in a suburban town, this story is told through the eyes of a high school junior, Mackenzie, who describes her crush on a “bad boy,” Ramon and her relationship with her best friend, Kira. During the course of the story, Mackenzie does her best to attract the affections of Ramon while her friendship with Kira evolves. Eventually, the different characters’ property starts getting vandalized and a mystery develops as Mackenzie and Kira try to get to the bottom of who is behind the vandalism.


Read a Book, Write a Review.



Much Respect



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“It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong.” The Convenience of Lies @K_A_Castillo Q&A!

kimberly_castillo_author.jpgI’ve known K.A. Castillo for a little while now. I received her book, and I gave my honest review of it. In fact her’s was one of my very first reviews eve. K.A. Castillo brings realism without caving to the tricks some authors use and gimmick plots. The voice of her main character is real and carries through the book. For those not accustomed to authentic writing, her book would be an interesting read. For those who like the common, everyday gimmicks, get ready to be challenged. Now it’s time to . . .



Book Description

“It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. All that matters is if you can. If you can do something, what difference does it make?” K.A. Castillo

Based on a true story, The Convenience of Lies is a novel that keeps readers up past midnight with its story of friendship, mystery, crime, sex, and betrayal. Set in a suburban town, this story is told through the eyes of a high school junior, Mackenzie, who describes her crush on a “bad boy,” Ramon and her relationship with her best friend, Kira. During the course of the story, Mackenzie does her best to attract the affections of Ramon while her friendship with Kira evolves. Eventually, the different characters’ property starts getting vandalized and a mystery develops as Mackenzie and Kira try to get to the bottom of who is behind the vandalism.


RW: When did you interest in writing begin?

K.A. CASTILLO: I was raised by an English teacher, and so my writing skills have been coached and nourished for as long as I can remember. I have loved writing ever since I learned how to string sentences together, and I’ve kept a diary since kindergarten.

RW: Is The Convenience of Lies your first published piece?

K.A. CASTILLO: The first time my name was published was a letter to the editor for Smithsonian’s October 2011 edition of Muse Magazine. My letter inspired the editors to create a “special edition” Muse Mail page focusing on letters from older readers. In 2006 I was awarded three scholarships valued at over $25,000. For each of these scholarships, the personal statement I wrote was an integral part of my application. Throughout college I studied the process of storytelling, and in 2008 I graduated with honors from California State University Northridge.

RW: Okay, I am very jealous about the Smithsonian thing. That is so amazing. Now, what inspired the story of The Convenience of Lies?

K.A. CASTILLO: The first novel I ever read was Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it inspired me to someday write a book based on my own life. And so, I started keeping a diary with the hopes that someday I would stumble upon a story worth telling. Then, one summer while I was in high school I experienced a lot of drama which I thought could make a good story.

Mackenzie is the main character in this story, and I think that teenagers relate to her because I wrote the first version of The Convenience of Lies ten years ago when I was a teenager. Therefore, I’ve managed to preserve the mannerisms and voice of teenagers in The Convenience of Lies, much like what S.E. Hinton managed to achieve with The Outsiders.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

K.A. CASTILLO: Anyone can fall into an abusive relationship. It is easy to fall prey to what social psychology calls “blaming the victim” and thinking it will never happen to you. However, remember that love is blind, and look out for yourself first.

RW: Describe  The Convenience of Lies in one word.
K.A. CASTILLO: Innocence.

RW: I read some exciting news on your author blog recently about your book and its future, would you share a bit of that with our readers?

K.A. CASTILLO: I started out as a self-published author but was recently approached by Creativia and have now signed a publishing contract with them. You can read all the details on my author site here.

And do go and read it. You can feel the excitement in the story. I am still geeking a little over it.-RW

5 out of 5 Stars-This book was hard to put down and full of useful validating information. As an MFT I have suggested this book to many teenagers and young adults whom have struggled with similar issues, opening up the door for change. The writer gave a sincere portrayal of her struggles , such a difficult feat…..well done to Ms. Castillo I truly appreciate the risk you took in sharing your story.-Brenda Hopley, Amazon Review

People can currently get The Convenience of Lies at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. And of course you must follow Kimberly everywhere, just as I do at:

Facebook: K.A. Castillo-Author   Twitter: @K_A_Castillo Author Blog: K.A. Castillo

 And now for some quirky questions.

RW: What is your favorite thing to drink?

K.A. CASTILLO: It’s hard to pick just one! But I love strawberry limeade.

RW: Strawberry anything is amazing. Through our talks before I know you are in graduate school, but I have to ask, what’s in your stack of books to read right now?

K.A. CASTILLO: I have plenty of textbooks to get through.

RW: Who is your favorite author?

K.A. CASTILLO: J.K. Rowling is my favorite author.

RW: This is a silly question considering who your favorite author is, but I have been surprised before, if you could have written any book that exists, other than your own who’s would it be and why?

K.A. CASTILLO: Harry Potter of course! I’d love to live in J.K. Rowling’s shoes.

RW: In the tradition of Inside the Actors Studio, What is your favorite word and why?

K.A. CASTILLO: Strength. I love what it portrays, and it’s important to always remember to stay strong. At the same time, from a lingual standpoint “strength” is an interesting word because it’s the longest one-syllable word in the English language.


First of all, I want to thank K.A. Castillo for the interview. Some day I might ask her which Harry Potter book is her favorite, but I decided not to put her on the spot this time. Just as I wouldn’t ask someone which is their favorite child or year of Mustang. K.A. Castillo’s book The Convenience of Lies may be in the category of Young Adult book but it is for readers older as well. For some it will help them recognize what may be happening in their lives, for others it might even show them what they are doing to others. K.A. Castillo’s book is a classic example of how a book can mean different things to different ages. Just as various ages read Harry Potter and get something from it, so too can people read The Convenience of Lies and take away a new understanding. Read my LWI review of her book here. Now go buy her book in paperback or for Kindle. 


Much Respect



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