Writer as the Main Character

woman writerThe main characters in most of my novels share at least one characteristic. They all write for a living or aspire to be writers. In my latest release, Trails in the Sand, the main character is an environmental writer. The choice of career is no accident on my part, and as an author, I’m not an exception for creating characters who write.

Pat Conroy’s Beach Music is the story of travel writer Jack McCall who escapes into his work to lose the past. In Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Jo March’s passion for writing fuels her until she marries the professor. Thanks goodness, we’ve come a long way since the novel’s publication in 1868.

In Trails in the Sand, environmental writer, Caroline Carlisle, writes about the wildlife impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The wildlife experts in Florida choose her as the only reporter allowed to cover the sea turtle nest relocation project, which involved digging up nests and moving the eggs to the Atlantic coast to save them from the oil. She’s able to observe the momentous event firsthand. Much to her surprise, she begins to uncover secrets about her family in the pursuit of the sea turtle story. Caroline’s status as a reporter allows her special access, which helps unfold the plot.

I use writers as main characters because they are perfect observers and can go into situations where the average character couldn’t or wouldn’t go. On the television show, Castle, Richard Castle writes murder mysteries using a New York City detective as his main character. As a result, Castle researches his novels by going to murder scenes with the detective and helps to solve cases. Far-fetched maybe, but it’s enjoyable. His status as a writer allows him latitude to observe and write realistic, yet fictional, plots

Writers uncover information and find ways to expose culprits. In the novel I’m currently writing, a minor character is a newspaper reporter. The main character relies on him, not only for information about her husband’s murder, but she also gives him information in hopes he can help solve the mystery.

Writers are resourceful with contacts in high places, which can help move the plot along. Most reporters, in the real world, keep their sources close. In the case of Trails in the Sand, Caroline Carlisle speaks directly to wildlife officials, receives press releases, and enjoys loyal, established relationships with her sources, which brings her into the inner workings of government during the crisis. She also knows how to do research, which again is a plus for plot movement.

There’s another reason for a writer to use a writer as a character. Research makes up a large portion of my life when I’m working on a novel. Even though the author makes up the plot details, the details still need to be accurate and plausible. When I wrote about sea turtles and their habits in Trails in the Sand, I needed to research how long they lived, where they nested, how they made a nest on the beach, how long the eggs incubated, and what happened after the hatchlings emerged from the eggs. It took me days to research the details to write one scene where a sea turtle comes ashore to lay eggs as two teenagers watch on the beach.

I didn’t need to research the life of a writer because I’ve lived it. I’ve been a journalist. I’ve traveled for the job. I’ve worked with scientists, and I’ve interviewed many people in very strange situations – a man who owned a pack of hairless dogs he kept at his home in a rusty and remote trailer in north Florida comes to mind.

Some of my favorite people are writers, and they qualify as “characters” by many standards. I might as well use them in my stories. They make good company in a rather isolated career.

Caroline tries to explain to her mother that she wants to be a writer when she’s sixteen. I think I wrote this scene because I wished I’d been brave enough to tell someone I wanted to write at that age. Instead, I did the acceptable thing and became an English teacher. From Caroline Carlisle on writing in Trails in the Sand:

“You can’t be a writer,” Momma said when I was sixteen and told her of my career plans. “You need a profession you can count on to support you. You can’t depend on a man, especially the way you act.”

“I want to be a writer,” I said. “Who says I can’t be the next John Steinbeck?”

“I certainly hope not, young lady. Isn’t he that writer who killed himself a few years back? Is that the kind of life you want for yourself?”

“Of course not, Momma, and you’re thinking of Ernest Hemingway. Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath. I want to write a book like The Pearl – so brilliantly poignant and symbolic. The Grapes of Wrath is all right, but somehow I think if you can get the message across in fewer words, you have truly mastered the art of language. He uses ants and oysters to tell his tale.”

Momma stared at me as if I’d lost my mind. And I guess in the world of Calico, Florida, I did stand out as a little odd. I spent long summer days down on the riverbank reading, writing, or observing the world around me. Nature became my home, and the turtles, frogs, and birds of the Calico River that bordered our town were my friends.

“Where did you come from, child?” Momma asked. “How do you know these things? Sometimes you talk just like Alex.”

“Uncle Alex? He liked to write?”

“He loved nature, absolutely loved everything about it, and talked about it like you do.” Momma was no longer staring at me; she was gazing out the kitchen window into the back yard. “He loved chasing fireflies, too, just like you.”

“I wish I’d known him, Momma. What if I study marine biology? Is that a substantial subject?”

“It’s something,” she said as she turned back around. “At least you’ll be able to teach. You’ll need something to do with your life.”


Author Wednesday – Geryn Childress


Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome Geryn Childress, author of several children’s book and the recently released historical romance, Lou & Jigger (True Love is Inseparable series).Lou&Chigger

Welcome, Geryn. I’m happy you could stop by and chat today. I love to find out when authors first know they’re writers. Tell me about your discovery.

I  discovered my talent by mistake. My mother was the most talented writer I knew, so maybe it was in my genes. One day while taking care of the kids, I  noticed some of the silly things they were doing and saying to each other. Then it was like a light bulb went off in my head. I thought, “Hey! That would make a great book!” and the rest is history, as they say.

When did you discover this career was going to stick?

As soon as I started writing my first children’s book I knew this was my calling in life. It was very strange because I just knew. When my first book became a best seller on Amazon there was no turning back, and I was hooked. The thing that really let me know I was on the right path in life was when the kids would laugh and laugh at my books. They kept asking to hear the stories again. They have the final call.

 You write both adult fiction and books for children. Is there a particular theme that emerges in all your writing?

My message is simple:  enjoy life.  I think adults can complicate things too much. The majority of children book authors are always focused on trying to convey this message or that message to kids through their books, and I think most kids find them rather boring. I know I did and do. So the books I write for children are strictly for the entertainment of both the child and the parent.  I want adults to have just as much fun reading my books as their child. I try to show that it’s OK to laugh and be silly sometimes.

 Do you have any particular writing rituals?

After cooking dinner, I put the kids in bed. I usually tell them some ridiculous story that I make up about an imaginary super hero I call “Super Negro.”  After the kids have their “Super Negro” story, I go downstairs have a glass of red wine, and then I write.

 Who has most influenced your writing?

Other than my kids, it’s my mother Marilyn Childress.  She lost her battle to cancer in 1998 but still is my guiding angel. I often summon her spirit when I write, and it’s like she’s in the room me helping. I definitely wouldn’t be a writer if it wasn’t for my mother.  I’m standing on the shoulders of a giant.

That is very sweet. I sometimes feel that those who’ve gone before drive me forward in my writing as well. Now that you’ve written a novel and children’s books, do you have a form of written expression you’d like to try?

Glad you asked that question. I typically write children’s books, but I’ve recently branched off into other genres.  The book I’m promoting today is my first attempt at writing a historical romance, called Lou & Jigger.  I heard about Amazon’s Kindle Singles platform and wanted to write a short story specifically for the program to test the waters. I’m happy to say it’s become a best seller on Amazon. I still have about two weeks before they let me know if the book is accepted as a Kindle’s Single so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

GerynAbout Geryn Childress: Geryn was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and shortly thereafter moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, with his mother and older brother. He played a doctor on the television show Angels Of Mercy with Blair Underwood and Vivica A. Fox, and started his own production company, Melanin Productions. In 1993, he moved to Paris, France. He spent the majority of his teenage years in Pontiac, Michigan, which he still considers his hometown. In 2011, he teamed up with The Water Project, a charity that builds wells in poor communities throughout Africa. He is truly thankful for the all ways God has blessed him.

His current work Lou & Jigger is set in the deep American South during the early 1900s. Lou & Jigger is currently being made into a screenplay. The work of fiction takes the reader on a journey into life growing up in the deep South of Sheveport, Louisiana





Hazy is Not Spam

2FBHazy.jpgI call her Hazy; she calls me P.C. And we call each other friends.

Thankfully, she contacted me recently to ask me a question. She thought it strange that I had not been responding to comments she left on my blog. She knows me well and knew something must be amiss if I wasn’t responding. We finally figured out that her comments of the past few weeks were being sent to my WordPress spam folder, along with all the strange symbol-names and foreign-language comments.

Her likes appeared just fine, but for some reason, her comments did not. I featured Hazy on Author Wednesday a few months back, and her post received more spam comments than any other posts to date. We’re not sure if that’s what set off the spamming of her comments or not. Thankfully, I was able to pull her comments out of the dead-end file and respond to them in my usual manner.

I’m sending out this post for a couple of reasons.

  1. I respond to every legitimate comment on my blog. If at all possible, I respond within hours. I enjoy every single comment and want those who take the time to respond to know how much I appreciate them.
  2. I hope if you’ve left me comments, and I haven’t responded,  you’ll let me know so I can search through my folders.
  3. If you feel your comments to other blogs go unanswered, you’ll make the effort to ask why.
  4.  Finally, if you miss a regular commenter on your blog, you’ll check into the situation.

Thanks to Hazy for bringing this situation to light.



Rules for Writing Fiction

Excellent tips for all my writer friends.

Rantings of a Closet Vamp Princess

Thanks to Advice to Writers for sharing this quote!

Margaret Atwood’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

1. Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you cPhoto by Kristin Nador, WANA Commonsan’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.

2. If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.

3. Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.

4. If you’re using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.

5. Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.

6. Hold the reader’s attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don’t know who the reader is, so it’s like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark…

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Author Wednesday – Rita Lee Chapman


Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome Rita Chapman, or as she’s known in the writing world, Rita Lee Chapman. She added the “Lee” to her professional name so her books aren’t confused with another Rita Chapman who writes vampire stories. Rita’s first book, Missing in Egypt, is set in Australia and Egypt is a romantic travel mystery.ChapmanBookCover

ChapmanWinstonHer latest offering, Winston-A Horse’s Tale, is told through the eyes of Winston, the horse.

Welcome to Author Wednesday, Rita. I’m always interested in how fellow writers view their subject matter. I was intrigued when I heard Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, said she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Has this ever happened to you?

My second book, Winston – A Horse’s Tale, was the story I had to write. I have had a lifelong love of horses and wanted to write from the horse’s perspective, to try to help people understand what it is like when different owners have a different way of going about things, use different riding skills, or expect different things from the horse.

What message were you trying to convey through Winston?
I wanted riders to see things from the horse’s point of view, to try and look at why he does certain things which often stem from something that happened in his past.

What are you working on now?

My next book is a crime thriller, but I am only about four chapters in to it. I have had to put it aside for the moment to promote Winston – A Horse’s Tale.

Promoting is one of those necessary evils as are reviews. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?
This one, written about Missing in Egypt, I think says it all for me. “Good plot, good characters and well written. I look forward to her next book.”

That’s about the best that can be said about any of our novels. Bad reviews are also a part of the job, so what advice can you give to other writers about receiving a bad review?

Think about what has been said. Do the comments have any relevance? If they do, take them on board. If it is someone who is obviously jealous or nasty, quickly dismiss it.

Excellent advice. What’s your one sentence pitch for Winston?

One for horse lovers, from teenagers upwards.

How did you choose the title?

Actually, Winston started off as a grey called Monty. When I came to do the cover the photo of a grey horse I had in mind didn’t come up as well as I had hoped so I looked at the other photos I had, and he became a palomino called Winston!

What is the best thing someone could say about this book?

They enjoyed it!

If you could invite two other authors over to your house for dinner, who would you choose and why.

Kate Morton and the late Bryce Courtenay, both wonderful Australian authors.

 Is there one book or author with whom you identify or hold up as your standard-bearer?

I have only just discovered Brisbane-based author, Kate Morton. I read her first book Shifting Fog and just love her style of writing and the wonderful characters she created.

What do you do when you’re not promoting or writing?

I enjoy music, reading, playing tennis, walking and swimming. I live in a wonderful part of Queensland where I have the choice of walking by a river, a lake, or along the beach.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Rita. I plan on giving Winston as a gift to several of my horsey friends.

???????????????????????????????Rita Lee Chapman lives in Australia. Her books are available through Amazon and Smashwords.

Links to books and social media sites

Missing in Egypt:
Amazon: http://viewbook.at/Amazon_Missing-in-Egypt
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/263417
There is also a Large Print Edition at:
Amazon: http://viewBook.at/Amazon_Missing-in-Egypt-large-print

Winston – A Horse’s Tale:
Amazon: http://mybook.to/Amazon_Winston
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/372140

Rita Lee Chapman website:  http://www.ritaleechapman.com

Taming Romeo – A New Release from Rachelle Ayala

Passionate, raw and sexy.

Evie Sanchez is recovering from heartbreak by working at her parents’ Filipino restaurant when in walks Romeo Garcia, the boy she left behind. Only now, he’s a hot movie star surrounded by gorgeous actresses and adoring fans.

Bad boy Romeo Garcia never understood why Evie stood him up at the prom. When he rescues her from a flying coconut in the dumpster, he is determined to dig into her heart for the reason. Their mutual attraction and unresolved feelings ignite in a scintillating night of daring sex, and Romeo shows Evie what she’ll miss the rest of her life if she walks away again.

Evie lands a part as Romeo’s co-star and falls into her role, totally in love. He plays his part, too, with his romantic gestures and skillful lovemaking. But is the fantasy real or revenge? Evie and Romeo are about to discover if their buried feelings will explode in pure delight or utter disaster.

“Second chance love is always the sweetest.” – Jessica Cassidy

“Sexy and funny, a unique take on love reignited.” – Racquel Reck

Author’s Note: I had a lot of fun writing Evie and Romeo’s story. I let my fantasies go wild and I hope you’ll enjoy the motorcycle, hot tub, and restaurant scenes.

Taming Romeo is available for 99c [introductory price] on Amazon US India UK DE FR ES IT Canada Brazil Japan Mexico Australia

Cover Design: Rebecca Berto, Berto Designs
Contact Rachelle at: Website

Book Review Friday – Sewing Can be Dangerous

SEWING_CAN_BE_DANGEROUS_fullI loved S. R. Mallery‘s first book, Unexpected Gifts, for its rich and varied historical eras used in the setting and theme of the novel.

She continues that same talent in her collection of short stories, Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads. The thread that holds the stories together is a literal one as all the short stories employ some type of sewing or weaving of threads at the heart of the plots. The stories are set in important historical eras and are sometimes romantic, sometimes horrific, and always riveting. The life of immigrants who worked in the textile plants during the heyday of the Industrial Revolution are profiled in one of the short stories. It’s not only an indictment of the appalling conditions of the workrooms but Ms. Mallery also examines the yearnings of a young woman who wants to disappear from her cruel and repressive father. Nazi Germany and all its ramifications on those who tried to help the Jews escape from the torture and death at the hands of the Nazis is the setting for one story. A quilt becomes the all important piece of evidence and hope for fifty Jews hoping to leave the country before they were rounded up by Hitler’s soldiers. Medieval courts, Hopi and Chinook native traditions, the sixties from a unique perspective, and more make up the varied and entertaining plots.

In the talented hands of Ms. Mallery, this collection of short stories allows the reader to escape into other worlds where even a macrame necklace can become an object of subterfuge and a piece of evidence in a murder case.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading each story. I began each one with great anticipation as I discovered the era, setting, and threads to tie it altogether. Sometimes the sewing and thread of the story wasn’t evident, and in other stories, it played a starring role.

The divergent historical content is impressive. Ms. Mallery’s research is evident only after completing the story because while engrossed in the plot of each one, I forgot I was reading and simply enjoyed each of the journeys Ms. Mallery created for me.

I highly recommend reading this collection of short stories weaved by a very meticulous and talented author.

S.R. Mallery’s Amazon Author page – find out more about her and find purchase links for both of her books.


Book Blitz with Juniper Grove Book Solutions

Trails in the Sand BannerIt came as a delightful surprise when Jaidis over at Juniper Grove Book Solutions wrote me an email to inform me I’d won a one-day book blitz. I readily accepted my prize, and now the big day has arrived. There’s a drawing for my Florida fiction and environmentally focused novel, Trails in the Sand. U.S. winners will receive a paperback edition and international winners an eBook. Eighteen bloggers signed up to host me. Check out their blogs and enter to win.

Author Wednesday – R.J. Crayton


LF_lowres_brownWelcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome R.J. Crayton, who writes science fiction thrillers. She left a Second_Life_2014_lowrescareer as a journalist to care for her young children, but writing wouldn’t leave her alone. She’s published the first two books in her series, Life First and Second Life, and the third will be released later this year.

Hello, R.J. You’ve worked as a journalist for some very large publications, but do you remember when you first called yourself a “writer” or “author?”

I’ve always loved to write, and I first called myself a writer when that’s what I did for a living. I’ve written for the Kansas City Star, Wichita Eagle, and several smaller publications. I’ve called myself an author since publishing my book in June 2013, so not really that long.

Since you were once a reporter, how about giving us a sample of how you’d write a brief article about yourself as an author on the rise.

Ha ha, I feel like a ringer answering this question. But, here goes:

WASHINGTON  – With the new ease of self-publishing, it seems these days that everyone’s published a book. Many of these books are simply work the authors “put out there” to see what happened. What happened was nothing. A newcomer to the pile last year was author R.J. Crayton, an Illinois native who came east with her husband and never left. She’s written two novels, part of a dystopian thriller series, and something has happened: readers are clamoring for more.

Excellent. I find it very difficult to write about myself, but you did a fine job. You have the third book in your series almost ready for publication. Tell us a little bit about the book.

Right now, I’m completing the third book in the Life First series. It still needs a title (yikes!). The first draft is done, but it needs editing and beta readers. I’m also working on a paranormal YA novel, which is a lot of fun. It’s loosely titled Scented.

Since you’re relatively new to the Indie Author thing, what knowledge have you acquired  that might assist other writers?

I’ve learned many things. One is to ask for help if you don’t know something because the writing community is extremely generous with its time and assistance. The second thing is to get not just professional covers, but covers that are eye catching and help pull in your readers. I recently underwent a cover change. The previous cover was well done and professional, but I think a little too abstract for the subject matter.

That’s an interesting point. I’ve considered changing the cover on my latest release which is very nicely done by a professional, too. But I don’t think it pulls folks in. I’ll be interested in how the change worked for you. Since you’ve been writing a series, do all your books have a common theme or thread?

At present, the only books I’ve written are all part of the same series, so they clearly have a common thread.  They all involve this same Life First society and how it reacts when people, Kelsey and Susan in particular, go against the grain.

What kinds of techniques do you like to use in your writing?

The main thing I do is try to make my writing page turning. I want my readers to want to keep going, to feel like they don’t want to put the book down. If they shove their kids in front of a continuous loop of Dora the Explorer or the Fresh Beat Band so they can read my book, I’ll absolve them of their guilt, because that was always my nefarious plan.

That’s a great plan.What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

Life First got a great review from Griffin’s Honey Blog: “This novel was a poignant, riveting, thought-provoking read that had me entranced from page one until the very end of the book. In simple speak, I literally could not put it down.”

I’m sure that felt rewarding since that should be the goal for all writers. Tell us the one sentence pitch for the new book.

Strong-willed Kelsey Reed must escape tonight or tomorrow her government will take her kidney and give it to someone else.

Geez, I hope she escapes. That certainly captures the reader’s attention. How was the book was conceived in your imagination?

I got the idea after seeing an article about a woman who refused to have cesarean section because she didn’t want to be “sliced open like a pig” and the baby died. There was much conjecture over whether doctors should have simply done surgery without the woman’s permission to save the baby. After reading the article, I wondered what a society would look like if it pitted one person’s survival against another. A society where they’d slice you open and take what they needed to save someone else.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

My favorite non-spoiler scene is one where Kelsey and Luke discuss what will happen if she doesn’t escape: a holding facility. In holding facilities, the future’s answers to prisons, inmate are held until their organs are needed by law abiding citizens. At that point, the organs are harvested and the inmates die. Kelsey has this great line about holding facilities being the “used parts drawer the government reaches into to cure it’s neediest patients.”  That’s a great, early scene in the book, one of my favorites.

What else do you want readers to know about your book?

It’s an Awesome Indies Approved book.

Thanks for stopping by today, R.J. I wish you the best on your books and the completions of the unnamed book 3.

RJCraytonAbout R.J. Crayton: She grew up in Illinois and now lives in a Maryland suburb of Washington, DC. She is a fiction writer by day and a ninja mom by night (What is a ninja mom, you ask? It’s the same as a regular mom, only by adding the word ninja, it explicitly reveals the stealth and awesomeness required for the job of mom). Before having children, Crayton was a journalist. She’s worked at big publications like the Wichita Eagle and the Kansas City Star, and little publications like Solid Waste Report and Education Technology News. Her first novels, Life First and Second Life, were published in 2013. The third novel in the series will be released in 2014.


Website: R.J. Crayton

Facebook: R.J. Crayton, Author

Twitter: @RJCrayton



Amazon Author Central

Author Wednesday – Andrew Lennon

typewriter.jpgWelcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome Andrew Lennon whose novel, A Life To Waste, follows the life of a middle-aged man named Dave. A tragic accident when he was younger caused him to give up on life. Now he spends his days drinking and mooching off his mother. One night his world is turned upside down when his mother is taken away. Dave tried to track down this “thing” and embarks on a horrifying and gruesome adventure.5103I9SsH+L__SY346_

Andrew, I’m so glad you could visit my blog today. Your novel sounds intriguing as well as frightening. I’m always interested in how authors find their voice. Do you remember when you discovered your voice as a writer?

I have always enjoyed writing stories, and I used to write a lot when I was younger. I stopped for a while when I reached my late teens. Not long ago I gave up drinking and found I had so much more free time on my hands. I began to read a lot more, and then thought I would start writing again. I was shocked at how easily the words spilled onto the pages. I didn’t have to stop to think about what I should write next because it all just seemed to come naturally. So now I try to do it as often as possible; it’s fun for me.

Congratulations on finding that voice again and on your new sobriety. Who has most influenced your writing and why?

My biggest influence has to be Stephen King. I think anyone who writes horror would probably agree that he is the best out there and any author should aspire to be that good. Another very big influence is Ryan C Thomas. It was while reading his book The Summer I Died that I decided to give it a go myself. I even sent him messages asking advice, and he was kind enough to respond which gave me a lot of motivation.

That’s wonderful that he replied to your inquiry. I’m sure that gave you a good amount of motivation to begin your book. Good for you and for Ryan C. Thomas. What’s going on in your writing life now? 

I have a few things going on right now. I have  written a few short stories which at some point I hope will go into anthologies. I also have another book which I’m a couple of chapters into.

Do you have a favorite character that you created?

My favorite character is probably Trevor in A Life To Waste. He only plays a small role, but he reminds me a lot of an old friend so I have a great feeling of nostalgia when reading about him.

What’s the best thing said about your writing by a reviewer?

One review said that I was “the Lowry of the written word.” I know that Lowry is made famous for making the simple, quite beautiful so I took this as a huge compliment!

That is a great compliment. Since another writer gave you the motivation to begin writing, what advice can you give to other writers about receiving a bad review?

The same advice I was given when I received mine. You can’t please everyone because people have different tastes, so it is impossible for everyone to enjoy your work. If you are fortunate enough that the reviewer has highlighted what it is they didn’t enjoy then take those points on board and try to improve on that in your next project.

That’s very good advice, and I agree. It’s important to learn from reviews if they’re constructive. One of the most difficult things for writers is crystallizing the topic of their book into one succinct sentence. What’s your one sentence pitch for A Life To Waste?

Dave has wasted his life away, now he has to fight an unknown horror to try and win it back.

How did you choose the title? Has it been the title from the very beginning?

No, the title was originally Out of Time but it got changed along the way. A Life To Waste seems more fitting for the main character.

Based on the short description of the book, A Life to Waste seems to be a better suited title. How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished, published product?

In total it was probably about four months. I tried to write for an hour each night without fail so it all came together quite quickly.

That is amazing. Is the book traditionally or self-published?

It’s self published. It is so quick and easy to get your work out to the world right now I don’t see why not.

What is the message conveyed in your book?

Appreciate what you have because one day it could all be taken away from you.

What is the best thing someone could say about this book?

That they couldn’t stop reading it and would recommend it to friends.

Explain how this book was conceived in your imagination.

I heard neighbours fighting one night. They are always fighting and screaming. I thought, one day they’ll be getting killed and everyone will ignore them.

Who is the antagonist in your book? Did you enjoy creating this character?

The antagonist is this book is a bit of a mystery character. You don’t learn an awful lot about him. Just that he is there and should be feared. I did quite enjoy creating him yes.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

OK, read the book and you’ll understand, but when the ice cream van turns up. I can’t say more than that, sorry.

That’s a good teaser. What else do you want readers to know about your book?

It’s my first book so it is a relatively easy read. I think it’s a scary read and most people would enjoy it. It also sends quite a psychological message about how easy it is to waste your life away. This story goes a fair bit deeper than just horror.

If you could invite two other authors over to your house for dinner, who would you choose?

Stephen King and Ryan C Thomas, my two biggest influences. It would be awesome!

Is there one book or author with whom you identify or hold up as your standard-bearer?

Again, Stephen King. Probably The Shining being my favorite book of his.

Do you have any particular rituals or good luck charms in your writing process?

Does eating chocolate count? If it does then that is my writing ritual.

Chocolate always counts. If listen to music while you’re writing, what is it?

Usually quite heavy, I usually just put Kerrang on in the background.

Where do you write?

In bed mainly.

That’s where I like to write sometimes, too. How does your immediate family feel about your writing life?

They all are very supportive and enjoy my writing.

What do you do during your down time?

I read a lot and I spend a lot of time with my family.

What book are you reading right now?

Poe’s Children – A Horror Anthology put together by Peter Straub.

Do you set your books in the place you live?

No, I live in England. I usually imagine my writings in a suburban Amercian neighbourhood. I don’t know why, just seems to happen.

If a movie was made about your success as a writer, who would play you?

Hmmm, I’d like to be hopeful and say someone like Brad Pitt, but  I don’t know, maybe a not-so-funny Adam Sandler?

Andrew, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you today. I’m so glad you stopped by for a visit.

author picAbout Andrew Lennon: Andrew Lennon was born in Maghull, Merseyside, in 1984. He works for his father’s company based in Warrington. Having always enjoyed writing, Andrew is now trying to get his stories out to the public. With influences such as Ryan C Thomas, Stephen King, and Jack Ketchum. A Life To Waste is Andrew’s first novella. Andrew enjoys reading, camping, watching TV, and spending time with his wife Hazel and their children.




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