Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Interview with Fierce Dolan

Debbie: Morning all. Today we are here at our Cyber Art Studio to talk with Fierce Dolan, author of Gigolo Seduction. (turns to Laura) Do we get to paint nekkid guys?

Laura: I’m looking, but all I see is that lame bowl of fruit. Hey, maybe that’s a snack for the nekkid guy! (uses narration voice) Like the timid wildebeest of the East African plains, we use an enticing treat to draw the unclothed man out into the open.

Debbie: (shakes head) It’s the coffee again isn’t it? East African plains? Wildebeest? I don’t want to paint fruit. You told me I would have fun here, broaden my horizons, yadda, yadda. I want to paint the nekkid guy.

Laura: Right. Well, I was reading from the brochure. Let me see…. (opens brochure) It says some dude named Frank who will pose for your pleasure and unlock your inner creativity.

Debbie: Frank? You’re making that up. That’s your fish’s name. Find me the real dude and some body paint or I’m out of here.

Laura: They said he’ll be here. Oh, wait. I think that’s Fierce now…

LAURA: Hey, Fierce! Thanks for joining us to talk about your latest book.

DEBBIE: Hi Fierce. Let’s get to this before the nekkid guy comes, lol. You state in your bio you are a MezzoFiction author. I’ve never heard this term, can you explain it to us?

FIERCE: I came up with that term about sixteen years ago to describe my quirky style of writing quasi-believable stories. MezzoFiction is my way of describing method acting, not for the stage but for the page. The term doesn’t describe the validity of the stories, but how I write them. I work with trance states, and “mezzo” means middle, or medial. I go into trance when I write, sometimes not even remembering what I wrote until I look back. So, mezzofiction is about not just me thinking up things and writing them down, but sensually going into those spaces and feeling them, being them. Probably a little weird, but all in context… Giving it a name helped me to grow into it as a technique, and I use it for writing nonfiction as much as fiction.

DEBBIE: Wow, very intense. You know I’ve heard of Automatic writing, where the writer channels spirits and trance writes their words through them, but your Mezzofiction sounds very interesting. Laura goes into coffee trances all the time, but it’s probably not the same thing, huh?

LAURA: (swats Debbie) Okay, so yeah, I’ll admit I might zone out a tad if I don’t get my requisite amount of caffeine. But that’s probably just me. Coffee drinkers of the world don’t have that problem…well, I don’t think so anyway. Anyway, Fierce, I think the technique is very intriguing. I wonder if I haven’t done it myself at one time or another. I’ve gone back and read stuff that I don’t remember writing, too. But I don’t think it’s to the depth that you’re describing. Very cool.

DEBBIE: So, since you explained MezzoFiction, could you also please explain Tamagotchi? Yet another term I know nothing about.

FIERCE: LOL—It’s my metaphor for disliking HEA, and for being an adult artist in a PG-13 world. Back in the 90s kids had Tamagotchis, these virtual pets that required regular care and maintenance. The original Japanese versions died if they weren’t cared for, and when they were dead they stayed dead. When Tamagotchis came to America, kids reacted so strongly to the deaths of their virtual pets that the creators changed the programming, so that when they died they could be reset, repeatedly. That’s huge commentary on western mal-acceptance of reality, and it serves as reminder to me to include even the more unseemly aspects of life in my writing. In short: keep it real, yo.

DEBBIE: I soooo remember those things. Never had one and I can’t remember my children having them either. And you’re right, I truly believe in keeping it real!

LAURA: Wouldn’t it be cool if you could reset your pets, tho? Like reincarnation or something? Then you wouldn’t have to be sad when you came home from a week long vacation and Frank the Fish is fins up. (sigh) I loved that fish.

DEBBIE: Frank died? Awww, Laura, he was such a good little fishy, but you do remember that you didn’t consider fish pets, right?

LAURA: They’re not pets that interact with you in general…but you do have to feed them. You know it might be interesting if we had a place like Arnold Schwarzenegger used in the movie The Sixth Day. He took his daughter’s dog to RePet in the mall and got it cloned. But then, I guess it showed how that technology could get outta hand. LOL Like in Michael Keaton’s Multiplicity. Drat…nothing’s ever simple.

DEBBIE: I think the whole lesson is you don’t FU.. uhh…Mess with mother nature. So, Fierce, your bio says you write other genres as well. Which ones and what do you like writing best?

FIERCE: I have a piece under contract that is extremely dark fetish paranormal erotica, and I’m also shopping a New Adult/Magickal Realism manuscript (with series option!). Under a different name I’ve published memoir, contemporary fiction short stories, essays, and self-help. I like writing everything, period. I joking say I can’t keep it in my literary pants, but it’s true. I just love writing.

LAURA: Hahahahaha at keeping it in your literary pants! Priceless! But it’s cool that you write so many genres. Debbie and I like to incorporate other genres into our writing as well—tho not to the level you’re talking about. Our current WIP is a mix of paranormal, magik, horror, time-travel, and alternate dimensions into a romance. Did I forget any, Deb?

DEBBIE: I think we have some fantasy in there, too. Though I’m not sure how we squeezed that in. lol

LAURA: That’s right! We used your shoehorn! LOL Okay, on to Gigolo Seduction. I love the name Asif. Very unusual for a hero. Where did you come up with that one?

FIERCE: I study name origins as a hobby. “Asif” means ‘forgiveness’ in Arabic. It was entirely fitting for the main character in Gigolo Seduction, because this guy doesn’t have much humility, and he doesn’t realize it at first, but he’s desperately seeking repentance for shadow needs. Ultimately, the name is a play on “as if,” in the modern vernacular of creating distance from something without taking ownership of the situation or your reaction to it, as in:
“Do you want to help me mow the lawn?”
“As if.”
The sentiment of acknowledging without really participating wholly describes Gigolo Seduction’s, Asif.

LAURA: LOL at “as if”! Course, Debbie uses that on me all the time.
“Hey, Deb, you got that chapter done?”
“As if!”

DEBBIE: More like “Hey Laura, have you switched to decaf yet?”
“As if!”

LAURA: Never! LOL (turns to guest) Great name. So very creative, Fierce. Love that! And from the blurb and excerpt, it really does seem to fit your character perfectly.

DEBBIE: I was wondering if it was a play on that because it was the first thing I thought of when I read the name. From the excerpt it appears you are quite knowledgeable in the field of artwork. Is this something you know of first hand or through research specific for the story?

FIERCE: I have a passion for frescoes, which feature in the story. The medium of painting on wet plaster has fascinated me since childhood (I was a weird kid). Frescoes have been lost in mainstream art. They’re not downloadable or portable, so they don’t get much ass these days. I wanted to feature them in a sexy urban setting. In researching Gigolo Seduction I was surprised to learn that there’s huge interest in the style, though I wonder if frescoists are ready for their medium to play backdrop to transformational sex?

DEBBIE: LOL, I guess time will tell.

LAURA: I see you wrote first person in Gigolo Seduction. Is this the POV you prefer or do you write both first and third?

FIERCE: I generally write in third person limited, involving 2-3 characters. That’s my comfort zone for keeping the pace of the plot in check and staying aligned with the characters. Two pieces I’ve written just began to flow (you know, mezzofiction) in a first person narrative, and Gigolo Seduction was the second of those. I had a knee jerk reaction to it at first, but it works for this piece.

LAURA: Debbie and I prefer deep third. For some reason, unless first person is done really, really well, it tends to grate on my nerves. I have no clue why.

DEBBIE: I have tried and tried, I just can’t read it. But still if the blurb moves me and I’ve heard good things about the story, I keep trying. Where did the idea for Gigolo Seduction come from?

FIERCE: The idea came from watching an episode of Showtime’s Gigolos. Our general perception of the sex industry is feminine. We always assume sex workers are female, and that they’re broke, strung out, and general miscreants. I found it intriguing that this show’s take on the masculine counterpart spun it as upbeat and entertaining—a completely opposite perception. Yay, more cultural “women are whores, guys are goofballs,” take. Reality is, neither is true. It left me wondering what the emotional needs of a male sex worker would be, thus Gigolo Seduction was born.

DEBBIE: Interesting concept. I’d really like to hear from the horse’s mouth. (turns to Laura) Maybe a research trip is in order just to satisfy my curiosity. Lots of face-to-face survey taking will be needed.

LAURA: What, you want me to find you some, um, guys to interview? Hey, I brought you here to paint a nekkid dude and release your inner creative child.

DEBBIE: And yet I see no nekkid dudes, do I?

LAURA: (looks at watch) He’ll show. The brochure says so. (turns) So, Fierce, when did you first start writing?

FIERCE: When I was about three. Before I learned the alphabet I dictated stories to my mother, who transcribed them. I came out wanting to tell stories and didn’t have the patience to wait to learn a language—a dynamic that pretty much still describes my overall personality: impatient, resourceful, and always writing. I first started writing professionally 21 years ago.

LAURA: Aw, so wonderful. I hope your mother kept those stories for you. I love looking back on stuff I did when I was little…a lot of it I actually remember doing.

DEBBIE: Did you always want to be an author?

FIERCE: Yes. I had no perception of writing, other than telling stories. In my late teens I delved into journalism, which lasted somewhat through college. I’m grateful for the food that expository writing has put on my plate, but my unabashed pleasure is writing fiction.

DEBBIE: Expository…hmmm sounds like you may have been an investigative reporter at one time or another. Maybe??? I love putting puzzles together.

LAURA: Yes, Deb’s a puzzle, wrapped in quirky wit, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in red velvet cake, wrapped in an enigma. She’s so deep, if I drop a stone near her psyche, you never hear it hit bottom. I’m still trying to figure her out.

DEBBIE: I can’t tell if that is a compliment or not.

LAURA: (grins) So, Fierce, on the Internet, people can portray themselves as whomever and whatever they want. I haven’t seen the non-gender tact before and find it interesting. What led you to choose this?

FIERCE: It’s wholly because I don’t identify with “gender.” I have a bio body but it doesn’t at all define who I am or what I do in this world. I’m comfortable with the idea that gender is fluid and mutable, which are concepts I build into my writing. If I’d thought of it when I began publishing nonfiction years ago, I likely would have taken the same approach then. It’s not about not wanting people to know who I am. It’s about the fact that it shouldn’t matter.

LAURA: So very true. It shouldn’t matter. Which opens a whole other topic on pen names. LOL And then there are all the books on Amazon written by Anonymous. It’s wild, and wonderful that the Internet allows literary works to be judged on their own merits. Sink or swim. So, a lot of authors have a writing routine. What’s yours? Describe a typical day for you.

FIERCE: There is no typical day. I have several jobs, all of which embrace some form of writing, and my daily schedule is based on which job takes precedence.

LAURA: Nice. Very Zen and the Art of Writing.

DEBBIE: Since we’re on the topic of writing, I’m interested in whether you’re a plotter or a pantser?

FIERCE: Both. I plot and stick to it until something shiny happens, then return and I pants the rest of the way. It works—left brain, right brain…

DEBBIE: Hmmm…same here. I was a total pantser till I started writing with Laura. Now we loosely outline.

LAURA: Yeah, it’s neat to have a “destination” but are free to allow the characters to choose their own path. I’ve read all kinds of ways stories come to writers …How do your stories come to you? Plot first, characters first, the whole story at once, or do you get a hint of an idea in the shower and struggle with it till you reach your version of perfection?

FIERCE: It varies, but what seems to recur is a specific character starts speaking to me, and this character has a very detailed past, present conflict, and drive to an outcome. Then I play out scenarios with what other kinds of characters could help the other reach that outcome, with the most drama along the way. Perfection. That’s funny! It’s happened a few times, but it’s probably more on a sentence or paragraph level, rather than a complete work. I always feel tension between how I experience that mezzo place and being able to skillfully apply words to it.

LAURA: Right! Stories are all about the drama, otherwise readers get bored. LOL What about pets? Do you have any?

FIERCE: I have a cat in the double decades. He’s pretty amazing. ...

LAURA: Aw, kitties are so sweet. Course, mine love to sit on my keyboard. LOL And I have a friend whose cats steal her pens. Hmm…wonder if it’s to write a ransom note: We’ll exchange the pens for Greek yogurt. No yogurt, no pens. And none of that cheap yogurt. We’re cats. We can tell.

DEBBIE: Two Maine Coon cats here. Love my boys to pieces.

LAURA: So, here we are. At Last! Time for our wacky author question! Here goes…and it’s tough, Fierce, but we have faith you’ll survive…. Our final signature wacky question… ‎
....You're in a car on the highway flying down the road at 70mph and the accelerator gets stuck. When you try them, you discover the brakes don't work either. All you have is a stick of dynamite and a screaming monkey in the backseat. What do you do?

FIERCE: OK, it’s not about what I would do—it’s what Sayid Jarrah would do. Channeling him, I would “convince” the monkey to STFU and take the wheel while I crawl down to rewire the entire acceleration and braking mechanisms into my OnStar, creating a high-powered shortwave radio in about 45 seconds. Then, triangulating those signals, I would send a distress call to local law enforcement, to whom once they stopped us via helicopter with one of those giant runaway traffic nets I would hand over the dynamite, because after what happened to Arzt I don’t mess with that stuff.

LAURA: By gosh, Fierce didn’t even blink!

DEBBIE: I think that is the most resourceful answer we’ve had yet, lol. A pure MacGyver move.

LAURA: Wow! And very courageous letting the monkey drive. Extra points for the speedy rewire and the runaway net. I say, if the monkey kept it in the road, you survived!!

DEBBIE: LOL My answer was grabbing the monkey and letting it soften my fall as I jumped out of the car, or sticking the dynamite in it’s mouth so I could concentrate, but Laura told me that neither scenario would not be politically correct. Whatever.

LAURA: Well, we don’t need animal cruelty activists coming down on us…much less homeland security.

DEBBIE: Fine, just so ya’ll know, no monkeys were harmed in the production of this post. Better?
LAURA: And the dynamite?

DEBBIE: Alright. The dynamite was a commentary on the state of the human psyche in juxtaposition to the screaming monkey, which is an allegory to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

LAURA: What?

DEBBIE: The question was fiction. There was no monkey. There was no dynamite. See? Problem solved.

LAURA: So, we’re good.

DEBBIE: What do you think?

LAURA: Alrighty then. Thanks for dropping by, Fierce. We had a great time!

DEBBIE: Yes, it was most interesting learning about you. Thanks for taking the time to put up with us.

Laura: So, back to painting. Hey…here comes Frank the nekkid guy model. Ooo…nice face. Wonder what’s under that towel??

Debbie: I’m sorry, but he’s going to have to change his name. Frank just reminds me too much of your dead fish. Ruins the mood.

Laura: But hey…look. Finger paint. And if it helps, we’ll call him…Giovani.

Debbie: (dips both hands into the paints) I think I’ll call him Cyclops…

Laura: What?

Debbie: (glances at towel on floor) Think about it. Or look it up. While you’re googling I’ll be painting. See ya.

BUY LINK Available this May from Decdent Publishing


Mezzo fiction author, Fierce is imagination shapeshifted as a scribe taunting blank pages and carpal tunnel, neither of which are much use for deadlines. Close allies are impeccable timing and a trusty masseuse. Being a switch I/ENFP doesn't hurt. For kicks Fierce has other personas across several genres, tends to fill in “Other” on surveys without explaining, and chooses the finality of the Japanese Tamagotchi. In summary: Fierce write all kind of dirty things that you probably shouldn’t ever read…


Long in passion’s service, confident Asif enjoys his life as a thirty-something escort, bringing romance into the lives of metropolitan socialite cougars. Gifted at seducing wealthy white MILFs and bringing them endless pleasure, the arrogant Persian eschews investing in a personal life. A chance meeting with young artist, Cass, while on the job at a gala event, changes his perspective on women forever, and unleashes desires Asif never knew he had.


....“Are your works always so intricate?” She shakes her head, again scanning the tower, though my eyes stay on her.
....“Frescoes are always detailed and hard work, but this is way above and beyond. Layering in kinetic elements to give moving light and dimensional depth is my dream project come true. Most of my projects are just frescoes.”
....“Just frescoes.” I laugh. “They’re noble and valiant relics in the art world.”
....“They’re actually in high demand.” Her tone is matter-of-fact. “Though few people can afford them.”
 ....“Well, you’ve outdone yourself here,” I affirm. Her smile is sincere, her pride evident, elegant, enchanting. “It’s taken quite a long time to come together, and I’ve left the plasterer more than a little frustrated on several occasions.”
....“I can’t imagine him staying angry for long….”
....“They’ve given me deep creative license over the project, so that’s saved my ass a couple of times.
 ...It’s kind of mind-blowing to work on something so limitlessly funded.” Our eyes lock for mere seconds and the silence is disturbing. “I was just going for a bite to eat. Would you care to join me?”
 ...Cass nods. “I’d like to, but I need to finish this section. This medium doesn’t wait well.”
....She’s genuinely interested and I want her to be. I want her to be as affected as I am. Before I can prod further she asks, “Maybe another time?”
....Reluctantly, I follow her to the elevator. She opens it with a pass card attached to a cord coiled on the drawstring of her pants. My eyes linger on the brilliant green gem in her navel. “What’s your name?”
....“Asif,” I reply without hesitating. The sound is bare, like a secret revealed, though I don’t understand why. I always use my real name.
....“Another time, Asif.” The doors slide closed, and I agree.

Read Gigolo Seduction along with the Reader’s Guide, at

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Guest interview with Helen Henderson

Debbie: Morning Ladies and Gents. Seems we’ve stepped into the cyber fantasy world and landed ourselves on a magic ship in the middle of a storm. Laura, I hope you took your Dramamine, it’s pretty darn rough out here. Oh and sorry, not a coffee shop in site.

Laura: Took the Dramamine before we left the dock, so I’m good. I’m very excited to talk with Helen about her book, Windmaster. And yeah…you’d think a ship like this would have a measly coffee maker. Oh wait…did you say magic ship?? Hmm. Maybe I need to do a chant like our characters did in that paranormal we just finished writing!
............One, two, hey ship I’m talkin’ to you
............Three, four, there’s no coffee and I need more
............Five, six, I’d love a good chocolate-coffee mix
............Seven, eight, whipped cream on top sure would be great!
............Nine, ten, When the mug’s empty, please fill it again!
(holds out hands) Nothing.

Debbie: (shaking head) You freaking fool. If it were that easy, everyone would be making up rhymes for things they want. What you need to do close your eyes say picture the totally hot guy you want to fall in love with you in your head and say three times, “There’s no one like him, there’s no one like him, there’s no one like him” Click your heals and voila…(opens eyes) Well, damn!

Laura: (laughs) And you call me the freaking fool! Women around the world would be doing that chant if it really worked. At least all I asked for was a cup ‘o Joe….you, on the other hand, were asking for Joe himself. Which do you think is easi—
....Look out! Here comes a wave! Hang on!!!!

Debbie: Whoa! Those waves are getting a might bit gnarly. LOL, like my beach talk. Too bad we’re not on the beach. Then the cup ‘o Joe and Joe would be a heck of a lot easier to conjure up, cuz let me tell ya, this new single life sucks. If the storm gets worse we may be in need of rescue, and I’m not talking that hooded guy with the staff that likes to follow us around.

Laura: Good gosh, I hope not! He’s really starting to creep me out. Course, with a story like Helen’s, there’s no telling what might be out here…in the water…deeeeep under the water…or even up there in those black clouds. (shivers)

Debbie: Is Helen on this boat somewhere?

Laura: Wait, you drag me out here to do an interview, I almost drown from these huge waves, and you don’t even know if she’s on the boat??

Debbie: Well, I assume she’s here, feels just like the ship from her excerpt and I told her we’d be happy to meet her on a boat. Of course this wasn’t quite what I had in mind, but hey, we’re always up for an adventure. Right?

Laura: Uh, sure. Course, you neglected to mention that enormous dragon above the boat….

Debbie: Uh, yeah, not quite sure what that’s all about either. (straps on life vest)

Laura: So, you get the only life vest... (nods) I think I'm beginning to understand the nature of this relationship....

Debbie: Wait, (waves) there's Helen over by that hunky wizardly looking dude.

Laura: Awesome! Maybe the dragon is his and he can call the beast off before it thinks were marshmallows and roasts us!

LAURA: Hey, Helen! Whew…got a little tense there, but so glad you found us!

DEBBIE: Who found whom?? Hi Helen, ummm this is…quite the ship you’ve written about here. Can’t wait for you to tell us about it. But first, have you always wanted to be an author?

HELEN: I inherited a love of reading from my grandmother and that translated into the flip side of the coin, writing. Recently I cleaned out the source notes, travel clips of now defunct events, and unused photos. What was kept was memories, and a large pile of non-fiction material that forms the perfect research base for helping me plan the itinerary when I take people to worlds of imagination or to the Old West.

LAURA: Nice resource for sure. I see from your bio that you were a feature-story writer and correspondent. What story did you write that stands out most in your mind today?

HELEN: The first story that popped into my mind was a Pennsylvania airshow that was known not only for its aircraft, but a military vehicle rally. It was my first overnight assignment without having my other-half along. Remember back then digital cameras didn’t exist, let alone be as omnipresent as they are now. At something like an airshow, you basically got one attempt to capture an image. Talk about pressure. Anyhow, dressed in battle fatigues (sans mark of rank) and with a press badge hung on my belt, three pens and a small steno pad in my pocket, I drove to the airfield gate, where I was promptly stopped by a sentry.
....After identifying myself, he telephoned ‘headquarters.’ A few minutes later, a soldier rode up on a restored WWI bicycle with my ‘orders.’ At that point I knew things were going to be interesting. Per orders, still in uniform, I mustered with the reenactors and rode in a vintage jeep as part of the caravan of military vehicles.
....That was not the only time I felt I was in another era. Now to set the scene which will explain the eeriness. You are standing beneath the wing of a B-17 bomber, surrounded by men and women in uniform. The music being broadcast over the loudspeakers stops mid-note. “Pearl Harbor has just been bombed,” echoes over the tarmac. Even after the crowd of thousands realized it was a replay of a broadcast from December 7th, 1941, they remained in attentive silence, many rubbing goose bumps from their arms. As a side note, I had a similar reaction years later when I stood on the boardwalk near where I live and saw the twin towers shrouded in smoke.

DEBBIE: Wow, I know I just got goose bumps all over!

LAURA: OMG! I’ve seen documentaries on the history and military channels where people recount how it felt to hear that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. I just can’t imagine what that could’ve been like. I was however out in California when 9/11 happened. My husband and I were up in the air, flying over Gilroy in our R22 helicopter when they called us on the radio and told us to land immediately. It wasn’t until we were on the ground that we learned what had happened. After that, there were no airplanes in the sky…I’m sure anyone who lives near an airport can tell you how bizarre that is!

DEBBIE: Have you ever taken real world events and incorporated them into your stories?

HELEN: Writing fantasy, incorporating the real world can be difficult. Sword fights and dragons soaring overhead aren’t part of most people’s everyday life. That said, I believe a secret to a good fantasy is the world must be real to you and the reader. So I base things like settings on places I’ve been or researched.
....Sometimes, the real world unintentionally collides with the fictional. Several months ago I wrote a scene for my current work-in-progress which involves the villain and unwilling shark-bait. Of course, I did have a hard time explaining to my husband that I wrote that chapter four months prior to the Jaws movie marathon the was watching on television.
....Another case where the real word and fictional overlap. In Windmaster, after being forced to run a gauntlet, the hero, appropriately dressed or is it undressed (use your imagination), is in a dungeon. Several months after Windmaster’s 2011 release by Burst Books, a television commercial caught my interest. If someone had read the book they would immediately recognize the prisoner in the dungeon—Lord Dal.

DEBBIE: So maybe you’ve got a touch of psychic ability you are subconsciously tapping into. That would be cool.

LAURA: (nudges Debbie) So, that dragon up there just might be hers! (turns back toward Helen) I also saw on your bio that your mom was a coal-miner’s daughter and your dad a flight engineer. What a great difference in backgrounds, what was your childhood like?

HELEN: I grew up on a farm so there are the simpler aspects of a rural life, including a pony, running through the fields, and training the family dog—a collie—to herd sheep. Like a coal-miner’s daughter, I developed a self-reliance and learned to drive every vehicle on the farm at a young age. Ever try to coax a recalcitrant bull back into the pasture when you’re dressed in high heels and cap and gown. Grab a bucket, clang it to signal dinnertime, and listen for the sound of hoofs. The trick worked to get me to graduation on time.
....One influence my father’s career had on me was that I always wanted to fly, both in the atmosphere and beyond. When still in grade school I knew the instrument panel of an old Constellation (I still have a picture of one of the tri-tailed cargo planes in my research drawer.) In high school I took the interest in flying to the next level, although it ended up my brother earned his private pilot license not me.
....A different aspect of my childhood directly related to my father’s professional life in aviation, I learned my numbers and how to read (at least the words add/delete/replace) by updating manuals.

LAURA: Yes! I so love flying, too! I’ve been in planes, but I have to admit I have a special fondness for rotorcraft. I like how I can stop and hover in midair if I want. lol But it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done (snort) Next to working with Debbie, that is—she can be quite the taskmaster!

DEBBIE: Me? You’re the one with the whip, it’s all that caffeine you ingest daily. Sheesh, so Helen, you talk about contrasts in your personality... What do you think are your two biggest contrasts?

HELEN: There are two sides to my personality—the controlled, logical side that would make Mr. Spock proud, and the dreamer. Logic allows me to program the intricate steps of a computer program or write a user’s manual. The other side is a freewheeling sprite who soars with dragons. One of the problems I had breaking into fiction was editors’ beliefs that non-fiction writers can’t create fiction. While it is true that not all authors can cross between truth and fantasy, my logical side complements the emotional one, enabling to create smooth-flowing, fast-paced stories with characters you want to know.
....Careers in both technology and history are other reflections of the contrasts in my personality. I’ve designed computers and been involved with a history museum. I would say the final way to illustrate the contrasts of my Gemini sign is my tastes in reading which mirror the genres I write in. Louis L’Amour answers the call to my western soul. And Anne McCaffrey, Barbara Hambly and E.E. Doc Smith encourage my flights of fantasy.

DEBBIE: Sounds to me like the perfect combination for some truly awesome stories.

LAURA: Yes, it does. What was your inspiration for Windmaster?

HELEN: When I needed a short story for a writing class, photographs of sailing ships taken during a vacation in New England provided the idea for Sea Falcon. Images of a tropical island and mountains that had lain hidden in my files gave me the ports of call. Add in some pictures of horses I sold and frames, and the fantasy Windmaster was born.

LAURA: Wonderful mental imagery! Pictures always help when trying to describe things in words. Debbie and I do that, too, for our stories. Let’s shift from setting to characters for a moment. What is your favorite characteristic or ability of your heroine, Ellspeth?

HELEN: She is a natural leader. The crew of Sea Falcon would die for her, and she would do anything to protect them, including giving up her ship.

LAURA: So, if you could use three words to describe this story, what would they be and why?

HELEN: Love conquers magic. As far as explanation. The practice of magic extracts a severe price on those who wield it. Even for one as powerful as the archmage Lord Dal, casting a spell while aboard a ship sailing in deep water means risking death. For Captain Ellspeth, to have magic means giving up her ship, her crew, and the sea. Beyond that I won’t say more without a spoiler alert.

LAURA: “Love conquers magic.” (sigh) So very romantic.

DEBBIE: Ah yes, there is always a price for using your gift. At least that’s what I’m told, lol.
Can you share with us any upcoming stories or releases?

HELEN: With two releases, 2012 portends to be a wild, roller coaster ride. Coming in June from Burst Books, Windmaster Legacy—more of the tale of the silver-haired sea captain Ellspeth and the dark-haired archmage, Lord Dal.
....And a teaser to the even nearer future. Coming in May the romance fantasy, Dragon Destiny. The awakening of his dragon soul twin Llewlyn brought Branin the freedom of flight and near-eternal life, but not happiness. Both are the last of their kind and have waited millennia for their mates. The red-haired firebrand, Lady Broch of Ky’port is more than willing to fulfill that position—with or without Branin’s willing cooperation. When a faint thought impinged on Branin’s mind, hope for an ending to eons of loneliness soared. Plagued by doubts because no signs of a dragon shifter’s birth have been seen, Branin searches for the mysterious girl he only knows by the name, Anastasia. All that stands between their happiness is destiny—and Broch.

DEBBIE: Wow, sounds very exciting!

LAURA: Yeah, very cool! (nudges, Debbie) Okay, is it time? I sooo want to ask her our question and see if she can survive it! It’s a tough one for sure!!

DEBBIE: Helen, we like to as a whacky question at the end of our interviews. It’s kinda become our signature. LOL See Laura hopping up and down over there? She’s about to bust to ask ours to you. (turns to Laura) Sooo…go ahead, Laura. Ask away.

LAURA: WooHoo! Okay, Helen, here we go…
....You walk into a saloon and order a drink. Someone behind you says, “You ain’t from around here.” When you turn around, you find everyone in the bar is pointing a gun at you. All you have is a ballpoint pen and a Bic lighter. What do you do?

HELEN: Take a deep breath and gush, “Oh my god, it’s you. It’s really you. I was in the front row at the Fourth of July concert on the beach. I just loved how you performed Gary Owen.” And while the person is standing there confused, offer the pen to him. “Please sign my shirt,” and start singing whatever tune comes to mind. If he doesn’t knock you down, light the Bic and as you wave it like a drunken fan at a rock concert, back out of the room still singing.

DEBBIE: LMAO, now that’s original, what do you think Laura? Does she survive?

LAURA: WOW! That is original. I say she gets extra point for no one getting hurt and double points for the use of fire! Bonus points for going karaoke in a crowd of strangers. LOL

DEBBIE: Awesome, thanks for talking with us, it’s been a great learning experience!

LAURA: Absolutely! Please come back with your next release. We’d love to have you back!

HELEN: Thank you for having me. It’s been fun.

Debbie: Okay, Laura. How the heck do we get out of here?

Laura: No clue. But at least the dragon left. Though I suppose it could’ve given us a lift outta here…if it didn’t eat us first. (glances around) And the storm is looking worse!

Debbie: I know! (whips out cell phone that, of course, has service in the middle of this fantasy world) “Hey Colin, Laura and I are in a bit of a jam here. Anway you guys can come rescue us?”

Colin: For you two, anything. I’ll get the coordinates from your cell and the guys and I will be there before you girls get yourself in any more trouble.

Debbie: (turns to Laura) Colin, Bobby, and the guys are on the way.

Laura: Woohoo! (gives Debbie a sly look) Seems like your magic spell that you said when we got here worked after all! Hey, maybe my spell did, too, and the guys will bring me some coffee!

Debbie: Since I wrote Colin, he knows better than to bring you coffee. BUT, I suppose you might stand a chance with Bobby since we wrote him together. I think he likes you better anyway since you let him go to the gun range and get lucky.

Laura: LOL (points) Look, there they are! And not a moment too soon…there’s that hooded guy out in the boat. How hasn’t his tiny boat swamped in this weather??

Debbie: I don’t know. I don’t want to know! Ever since we used his service in the interview with Shelia Stewart, he’s been dogging us. Gives me the creeps. (looks up) Oh my, Zeke is repelling down to us. Look at those thighs, that firm as—, um butt! Lets go!


....Windmaster is a romance-filled, action-packed fantasy described by readers as a fascinating story that will keep you up all night turning the pages. Revenge set Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon, on the path to her destiny, but prophecy controlled the journey. Despite his insolent attitude, she is attracted to the dark-haired dockworker she hires to help unload the vessel’s cargo. When the supposed dockhand reveals he is Lord Dal, the last member of the Council of Wizards, and her passenger, Ellspeth breaks a cardinal rule—fraternizing with the paying customers. Bringing him back from near-death releases Ellspeth’s latent powers and threatens her captaincy. For to have magic she must give up the sea.
....Dal has his own reasons for Ellspeth to embrace her powers. In accordance with an ancient prophecy, Dal allows Ellspeth to be handfasted to him without her knowledge or consent. However, the prophecy doesn’t state whether she will return his love. A likelihood threatened as the deception is unveiled and Dal is captured and stripped of his powers by fanatical clerics bent on ridding the world of magic and those who wield it.
....Trapped within the Oracle’s Temple and marked for sacrifice, Ellspeth must choose between her own survival, saving the future of magic... or love.


....Heavy sheets of rain obscured the horizon. Crashing waves broke on the Falcon’s bow and flowed over the deck. Ellspeth’s summons brought the three passengers to the wheel. “This isn’t normal weather for the Aberden Sea,” Ellspeth shouted. Her voice barely rose above the roaring water. “The wind is chasing around in circles, widdershins. It’s not natural.”
....“No, it’s magic,” Dal shouted back. “Voan and Jesmen are healers. Their powers can’t help.”
....“Then, m’lord, m’lady, thank you for your attendance. Your quarters ll be the safest place for you right now.” Ellspeth’s eyebrow arched in question as Dal made no attempt to leave.
....“With your permission, Captain, I’d like to stay. I promise to keep out of the crew’s way. Unlike the others, I’m used to fighting.” Too focused on saving her ship to wonder at the relief she felt at the wizard’s offer, Ellspeth merely nodded approval. She moved aside to make room for him at the rail, their shoulders almost touching.
....A long silence started to grow. Wind-driven rain grabbed at their clothes and plastered wet hair to their heads. Ellspeth started as Dal laid a hand on her shoulder. His long arm pointed just off the Falcon’s starboard rail. “Look over there!”
....Ellspeth’s gaze followed the wizard’s gesture. Before her eyes, one of the thick walls of rain twisted into a circle. The revolving column sucked water skyward, throwing it high into the air. Faster and faster it rotated. In seconds its color changed from the light gray of a cloud-filled morn to the black thunder-filled summer storm. A second column formed alongside the first—then a third—then a fourth. Desperately Ellspeth searched for a path away from the danger. “Can you do anything?” she yelled at Dal. “If one of those spouts hits the ship, it’ll swamp us.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Guest Interview with Cornelia Amiri

Debbie: Good morning everyone. Today we are visiting with Cornelia Amiri. We are meeting today in our Cyber Tombs and since Cornelia's story involves them, we wanted to check these tombs out. I gotta say this is almost as creepy as the trip to the underworld.

Laura: First, Deb, I have to say how awesome you look with that tan you got from Key West. And I think that tarpin looks fantastic over your desk!

Debbie: You mean the minnow you tried to use as bate, uh huh.

Laura: Pft. Bait. Yeah, if we were trying to catch a killer whale or great white shark. So, anyway, Cornelia has written an awesome Celtic paranormal romance entitled, The Prince of Powys. And I have to agree, this place is pretty creepy. Hey…what’s this do? (pulls lever) Ooo, a secret passage! Let’s go inside!

Debbie: Ummm, I'm not going in there. It's dark and full of cobwebs, which mean spiders and GHOSTS. Nope I'll wait right here for Cornelia.

Laura: Did she say she was meeting us outside? I mean, this is a story about exploring tombs. How do you know she’s not inside waiting for us? And look, I happen to have two flashlights right here. (flicks them both on and hands one to Debbie) I know you have a bigger sense of adventure than this! And seriously, I doubt there are any ghosts or hooded guys asking for coins. We’ll be perfectly safe…so long as we stay together.

Debbie: Okay, fine. But if some big portal opens and sucks you through, don't expect me to go after you. Especially armed with only a FLASHLIGHT!

Laura: Wow, it is dark down here. Wait…what is that big stone thing over there near the wall?

Debbie: You mean that alter that has been used for sacrifices for who knows how long? I swear, if anything jumps out at us, I’m gonna throw you up on that stone slab myself!

Laura: Nothing’s gonna— What was that? (spins around)

Debbie: It’s Cornelia. Thank God she found us.

Laura: Yeah…but how did she find us down here? (glances around) Think there’s another secret passage around here that she used?

Debbie: You really need a keeper, woman. And no, I’m not taking the job!

DEBBIE: Good morning, Cornelia. Thank you for joining us here, I think.

LAURA: Great to see you, Cornelia. Yeah, Debbie was getting a little freaked by the whole tomb thing, I think. She used to have a great tan…but she’s looking a bit pale at the moment.

DEBBIE: Just wait. I hope the next interview is in the underworld or even better a place where coffee never existed! HAH! Who’d be whining then?

LAURA: Impossible! Coffee exists in every universe, just like chocolate. (shifts flashlight to guest) So, Cornelia, your book, The Prince of Powys, looks wonderful. How did you come up with such an interesting title?

CORNELIA: The hero in the book is the youngest son, a prince of Powys and most of the story takes place in Powys. (Pow–is) I thought the title was catchy.

LAURA: I agree, very catchy. Have you ever been in a tomb?

CORNELIA: No, but I written a lot about tombs, and I’ve done some research on them. Branda searches for a treasure in dusty tombs in The Prince of Powys.

DEBBIE: I can honestly say that exploring tombs is not on my bucket list, lol. What was the inspiration for this story?

CORNELIA: I read in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles about the 8th century Saxon War Lords Ethelbald of Mercia and Cuthred of Wessex fighting each other and how they both fought the Welsh. The Welsh king they fought was Elisedd of Powys whose grandson built a monument to him that stands to this day. I was intrigued by this great Welsh King. Also I worked at a call center customer service job with a co-worker named Farah, her personality, so perky and cute, inspired the character of Branda.

LAURA: Have you ever been to Egypt?

CORNELIA: No. I did recently attend the King Tut exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art in Houston and I saw an exhibit there years ago on Cleopatra. That’s the closest I’ve been to Egypt. I’ve done a lot of research on Egypt. I’d love to go there.

LAURA: I haven’t been there either, but it’s on my bucket list. Right along with Machu Picchu and Fiji.

DEBBIE: Nope, I want to see too much of the U.S. first, lol. When did you start writing?

CORNELIA: I’ve been writing professionally since 2001 when my first book The Fox Prince was published, it has now been revised to a book titled The Celtic Fox and is on Amazon. So that was about eleven years ago.

DEBBIE: Good for you! That’s awesome!

LAURA: Very cool. Did you always want to be a writer...or perhaps a history teacher with a penchant for recovering missing artifacts?

CORNELIA: I’d love to be a history teacher who discovered ancient relics on the side by writing about history and ancient artifacts but I probably reach more people to share information about history through writing about it then I would in a classroom.

DEBBIE: Probably so. It’s amazing the things you pick up through reading. Of course with what Laura and I write, I’m not sure we’d want people learning how to be serial killers or demon slayers. Although a good demon slayer might come in handy. Any favorite authors?

CORNELIA: Many, too many to name, but among authors of Celtic/historical/fantasy novels I love books by Morgan Llewellyn, Jules Watson, Manda Scott, and Marion Zimmer Bradley.

DEBBIE: Awesome, new names to look into!

LAURA: Switching gears here…. Do you have any hobbies, pets?

CORNELIA: I love to read, of course. I love to hang out with my son and my seven year old granddaughter. I love to eat with friends at restaurants. I love researching history. I love listening to Celtic music. I love petting and playing with my cat, Severus.

LAURA: That all sounds so wonderful! And I bet it keeps you busy, too. I’ve got three cats, and if yours is anything like mine, they love to sit in your lap while you work.

DEBBIE: Do you have a most embarrassing moment you'd like to share with us? Promise we won't tell. (snickers to Laura...)

CORNELIA: Well while wearing a first century AD Celtic costume, basically a wrapped around plaid skirt tied with a rope belt, I was carrying some of my books to a Celtic Christmas festival to sign and sell. The wind was real strong and I had to walk up stairs with my hands full. The wind whipped my skirt up over my head, you sometimes can find photos on the web of men in kilts having this happen to them. Stuff happens. What can you do? I recently found a way to slip that into a novella I’m working on, though it happens to my hero in a kilt rather than the heroine, but she’s watching when it occurs. Very observant that heroine of mine. We all know what real men wear under their kilts.

LAURA: (snort) Well, it ain’t ladies underpanties, that’s for sure. LOL

DEBBIE: My gramps was Scottish, he wore a kilt, but I’m going to pretend there were boxers under his.

LAURA: What about new stories? Any new WIPs or up-coming stories you want to tell us about?

CORNELIA: I’m working on two Steampunk/Romance novellas and a Celtic/Vampires Romance like the one that recently came out with EC, Dance of The Vampires.

DEBBIE: Now they sound interesting especially the Celtic/Vampire one. There’s something sexy about Vampires. I can only imagine a Celtic one.

LAURA: Wow, Celtic vampire? That sounds interesting. (nudges Deb) So, is it time?

DEBBIE: At the end of our interviews, we usually ask an off-the-wall question, lol

LAURA: Right! Sooo… Do you want me to ask her or do you want to this time?

DEBBIE: You go take a snooze on that stone alter over there, and I’ll ask Cornelia our question.
....Okay, you're on the Nile, your boat has run aground and is filling with water quick. Hungry crocodiles are heading toward, waiting for a tasty treat. What do you do?

CORNELIA: What a great action scene. If I was a character in a Steampunk Romance, I’d open my parasol and switch on the propeller function so it would spin and lift me off the ground like a helicopter. Or again, if I was a character in a book, I could always chant an Egyptian spell and call on the crocodile God Sobek to keep the crocodiles away so I can swim safely to shore.

LAURA: Oh, wow! Both of those are great answers. Love the parasol flying you to the shore. LOL If I had one, I’d use it all the time! I say you survived it! Debbie?

DEBBIE: LMAO!!!!! I’m sorry, folks, but all I’m seeing now is Laura floating around in the sky like Mary Poppins.

LAURA: Hey, she was probably the very start of the steampunk genre and no one even realized it! Sadly though, I can’t sing or dance like Ms. Poppins. (hangs head and sighs) I’m afraid the penguins would even out-do me!

DEBBIE: Penguins? Not even going there. Thank you for dropping by and entertaining us today, Cornelia, we’ve had a blast!

LAURA: Yes, thank you so much for dropping by, Cornelia. Hope to see you back with your next release! This one has been a great fun! (flashlight flickers and Laura smacks it a few times) Oops. Oh, there’s the light. Wow, that was too close. Wouldn’t want to be standing here in the pitch dark. (looks around) Wait, where did Cornelia go?

Debbie: Probably through the portal I mentioned earlier. We need to go now! There aren’t bats down here are there? I can handle most anything but bats and snakes, don’t like snakes either.

Laura: Bat’s don’t bother me too much. Snakes? Um, yeah don’t care for them too much.

Debbie: (shivers) You feel that cold breeze?

Laura: Whoa. Yeah, it’s like the temperature just dropped fifty degrees! (glances around) Oh my God….Deeebbbie…What is that?

Debbie: That’s a mirror you fool. Just your reflection, sheesh. Oh, but hey, what’s that stepping out of it?

Laura: I think it’s that hooded guy. How did he find us?

Debbie: Probably through the damn coin you gave him the last time. Maybe he just wants another coin to guide us out of here

Laura: Do you have any more coins? Cause I don’t.

Debbie: Sure, cause I carry around his special shiny coins just for the heck of it. (digs in pocket) What about this gold band I no longer have use for. Think he’ll take it for collateral?

Laura: Throw it at him and let’s get the heck outta here!

Debbie: (tosses ring) See ya on the flip side, dude. (runs, hoping Laura is behind her)

To be continued…..

....Cornelia Amiri is the author of over a dozen books. Ten Celtic/Paranormal/Romances: The Prince of Powys, The Wolf and the Druidess, Druid Bride, Queen of Kings, Timeless Voyage, A Fine Cauldron of Fish, The Celtic Prince, The Scottish Selkie, The Celtic Vixen, and Druid Quest, as well as a contemporary/romance Peace Love Music. She also has three Steampunk/Romances written under her pen name of Maeve Alpin. She lives in Houston Texas as does her son and granddaughter.


....In an age of heroes, Branda, a Saxon princess helps Blaise, a Prince of Powys, escape her father’s stronghold. In turn, he vows to escort the princess to her sister in Scotland so she can escape an arranged marriage. Instead, he holds her captive as his hostage in the unbreachable hill fort of Dinas Bran, where she captures his heart. Will Blaise be forced to throw away his honor for love or to tear out his heart for honor?

....“The tombs?” Branda cocked her head. “With the dead?” She nibbled on her fingernails.
....“Come, I’ll show you.” Leri walked at a brisk pace while Branda made every effort to stay right behind her.
....Branda took a deep breath as they approached the tombs. She followed Leri down a set of stairs hewn from stone ages ago. As she moved slowly down the steep steps, her chest vibrated with a mix of zeal and doubt. When they reached the bottom, Leri pushed aside a thin cobweb wall.
....“I hope there are no spiders.” A layer of dust coated Branda’s tongue and clung to the back of her throat. She coughed.
....Leri pulled a piece of flint and a hunk of steel from the pouch belted to her side. She struck flint with steel until it sparked and lit the torches, set in sconces on the rock wall. They cast light into the darkness but also caused large, looming shadows. Leri grabbed one of the torches. Branda placed her hands on Leri’s shoulders as they moved as one into the dark, damp bowels of the mountain.
....Branda’s heart hammered. She peered over Leri’s shoulder as they walked warily down a long tunnel. Huge standing stones formed an eerie line at the end of the gloomy passage.
....“The blocking stones,” Leri said. “Come.” She squeezed through a small space between two of the tall, hard stones.
....Leri held the torch steady as Branda followed. A dank, mildew stench seeped through the rocks. Branda craved fresh air but she had to find this treasure. Leri swung her foot forward but found nothing there because the ground was uneven. She stumbled forward and Branda let out a sharp scream as she fell with her. Leri managed to fall so that she held the torch upright. It still blazed. Branda, who landed on her rump, slowly pulled herself to her feet and then offered Leri a hand.
....As Leri shone the torch upon the floor they saw a step eroded with time. Leri walked with a limp, having scraped her hip on the stone floor. Branda’s legs felt shaky but they moved on across the gravel floor, past long-standing stones. The torch still burned brightly.
....Leri stopped and inhaled deeply. “This is the forecourt.” Holding the brightly burning torch as Branda gripped her other hand, she followed the stone walls to the end of the passage.
....The murky hall opened into a long corridor. At a scurrying sound, Leri squeezed Branda’s hand tightly.“Rats, I think,” Leri gasped.
....Each high-pitched rodent squeak made Branda jump inside, but she fought her fears. She had to find Bran’s treasure. It was her fate. She scanned the tunnel, which housed four large chambers: one south, east, west and north, with several smaller tombs in between. Standing stones blocked the entrance to each chamber.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Interview with F.L. Bicknell

Debbie: Welcome all. We are here today in the middle of nowhere—that Laura dragged me to—to talk with Faith about her latest release.

Laura: Faith Bicknell? Yeah, she rocks. And I can personally say that I’ve read her story, Ruby, the White King, and Marilyn Monroe. It’s a wonderful story, and I can’t wait to ask her questions about it!

Debbie: Okay, Laura….what the hell is this ugly thing you’ve got me standing next to?

Laura: That’s a marker for the southern most point in the continental United States. We can’t get any further south, baby! (holds up camera) Smile!

Debbie: NO pictures! (sheesh) So, why did we pick this place to interview her. There is nothing here. Not even a palm tree.

Laura: Why here?? Well, Key West is in Faith’s book! Thought she might appreciate it. You know, there used to be a sign to mark this spot, but I guess people kept stealing it for a souvenir or something. So they replaced it with this amazing buoy. It’s all concrete! (shoves against it) See? Won’t budge. Don’t imagine people will be walking off with that anytime soon!
And there is a tree. (points) Look over there.

Debbie: Well, color me shocked. How’d I miss them?

Laura: You know… (looks around) You’d think if this were the southern most point of the U.S., they’d have a coffee shop around here someplace! Sheesh!

Debbie: Lord, give me strength. What, the five cups you had already doesn’t have your heart rate zipping along at warp speed yet? I swear, I’m gonna put you on decaf. Besides, did you check in that building, there might be one? Not that you need it. AT all.

Laura: Hmm… With this heat, I could go for a Mocha Frappuccino! Maybe I should go check it out. You’d like it, Deb…it’s got chocolate in it!

Debbie: So, some of Faith’s book ends up in the Key’s. Why aren’t we on the beach, with the cabana boys bringing us fruity cocktails with umbrellas? Next time I’M picking the interview spot. So, where is Faith anyway?

Laura: Hey, there she is. And what’s that she’s carrying? Could it be? (squints) By golly, she’s got a Mocha Frappuccino and a fruity drink. And hey! There’s even an umbrella in it!

Debbie: Yeah. It’s like she read our minds….

Laura: Spooky….

LAURA: Hey, Faith! Thanks for thinking of us with these wonderful drinks! (slurp) Mmm…chocolate and cooofffeeeee.

DEBBIE: Where’s the cabana boy?

LAURA: What? Why would Faith bring you a cabana boy, I mean, isn’t the fruity umbrella drink enough? (elbows Debbie) Now, drink up. (turns to Faith) Okay…we’ve all known each other for a few years. But one thing I’ve never asked you is just how long you’ve been writing.

FAITH: Oh, wow. If you mean in general, then since I was about six. I remember writing stories in crayon on brown wrapping paper. However, I grew serious about writing once I became too tall to be a horse jockey, lol. At the time, horses were my first love and I was reading all the Walter Farley books I could find. Soon it became clear I wasn’t going to be a small, fine-boned woman and turned to my other love: writing. I’ve been in the publishing business professionally for over twenty-five years now.

DEBBIE: My gramps used to manage a horse farm in New Jersey. They traveled all over the U.S. and Europe, even wintered the horses in Florida. He drove the coach and four. I even have a pic of him with the Queen’s husband, Prince Phillip, standing with the horses. So, we share a love of horses. Anyway…what is your favorite genre?

FAITH: Hmm...that’s a tough one. I have more than one favorite for various reasons, but if I have to choose, I guess it would be paranormal romance. Romance can blend with just about any other genre, but I love learning about the paranormal so I blend it with the romance.

DEBBIE: Laura is teaching me a lot about paranormal. She is paranormal ya know. Seriously! She’s got stories, I’m not lying!

LAURA: (rolls eyes) No one wants to hear about the ghosts and flickering lights. LOL But I do love, love, love paranormal romances! Debbie and I just finished one together, and I know from reading several of your stories that you like to throw in twists as well as delve into hot romances! So, what was your inspiration for Ruby, the White King, and Marilyn Monroe?

FAITH: A recurring dream soon gave me an entire plot. I liked it, so I started writing the novel.

LAURA: I’ve done that, too!

DEBBIE: I don’t know how you dream anything with all the coffee you drink. I swear, you’re wired 24-7. Truth be told, the ghosts and flickering lights you saw were just illusions from your sleep-deprived brain.

LAURA: (elbows Debbie) So not true!

DEBBIE: Anyway, the title…Ruby, The White King and Marilyn Monroe…is very interesting. How did you come up with Marilyn Monroe?

FAITH: Ah. Well, Ruby finds herself stuck with a hitchhiker with a dark past. She’s a knockout and looks a lot like Marilyn Monroe right down to the big boobs and the baby doll voice.

DEBBIE: Gosh, I can see her right now, the woman was a knockout!

LAURA: Deb, that’s not Marilyn. That’s a tourist wearing floaties. Just what is in that drink of yours? (sigh) So, Faith, I have to ask…we know your story ends up here in beautiful Key West. But where does it start out?

FAITH: It begins in Columbus Ohio, but Ruby, the heroine, finds herself on the run, so the story moves from Ohio through several of the southern states to end in Key West.

DEBBIE: Ruby, love that name. How did you come up with it? Did it have anything to do with Judy Garland and her red slippers? LOL Wizard of Oz and “there’s no place like home”.

FAITH: LOL, not The Wizard of Oz per se. I’ve always had a fascination with names that are different. I like names that are gemstones—my two daughters have such names—and I’ve always thought Ruby is a strong name that fits a spitfire woman well. That’s Ruby Nutter. As for her last name, it’s my mother’s maiden name. The Nutters are a historical family.

DEBBIE: Very cool!

LAURA: Yeah, so neat that you drew names from your own family like that. So, is this story have a Good vs. Evil type theme?

FAITH: Yes, with a few distinct twists.

LAURA: Nice! We love twisty stories! lol

DEBBIE: Definitely love twisty stories. I like being in suspense. Do you believe in reincarnation?

FAITH: I never used to but I do now. I believe there are some souls in the world given a second chance for whatever reason. Also, I often wonder if it’s not reincarnation, then maybe it’s inherited memories just like a child gets an eye color or freckles from a parent.

DEBBIE: That is a great belief. I would like to hope we get a second chance.

LAURA: Very cool idea. So, do you find the idea of reincarnation romantic? And who do you think you were in a past life?

FAITH: That depends on whether or not the man or woman coming back is psycho or not. LMAO! I sure wouldn’t want my nut of an ex to come back to pursue me as his wife in another life, yanno? However, my current hubby and I do feel as though we knew one another from before. It’s weird, but that feeling of familiarity is there when we look at one another. Neither of us has any real distinct memories of things, but we both share a dream that’s similar. I mentioned the dream earlier. It’s in the first part of the book, but there were no smoke monsters in my dream.

DEBBIE: We saw in your bio that you’ve written for several men’s magazines. I imagine these were fairly profitable. Do you find the male audience easier to write for, easier to please?

FAITH: Many of the magazines have ceased to publish fiction or they’ve gone online and no longer pay for it, but several years ago the money was excellent. As for whether or not it’s easier to right, the answer is both yes and no. The plots are fairly simple, but the sex scenes have to be certain ways according to what the magazine caters to. I find sex scenes boiler-plate material, so that’s the boring part of the story writing for me. I lucked out and found a nice writing home with a couple of magazines due to my sense of humor, which often made my characters real for the editors and readers.

LAURA: Switching gears here…do you have any pets? I have cats, fish, a guinea pig. lol

FAITH: Right now we have an indoor cat named Radar. He’s a typical bi-colored tabby who thinks he’s human. Radar is my constant companion. We also have an aquarium full of fancy goldfish, but I don’t think you can really classify fish as pets, can you? LOL. Our chocolate Labrador is no longer with us, but I do want an English Bulldog puppy as my next pet.

LAURA: Other than the part about having to take care of them…well, no, fish are not really pets in the conventional sense, I suppose. They don’t really interact with you. But I do find them very relaxing to watch swimming around. Nice to have when you need to decompress or just veg. LOL

DEBBIE: Haven’t you seen those kissing fish, Laura? They interact.

LAURA: I didn’t mean interact with each other. I meant they didn’t interact with the person cleaning the tank and dropping the fish food into the water. I swear, do you even listen to me any more?

DEBBIE: Nope. So, Faith, do you have any bad habits?

FAITH: Heh. (looks around) Cussing is one. I try really hard not to cuss, especially with new grandbabies just learning to talk. Oh, smashed your finger in the silverware drawer, Mamzy? Walk away. Walk away very fast before the D, A, and H cuss words light up the room in a pretty blue haze. I’m not the type who cusses like a sailor because I detest really foul language such as the F bomb, but I’m guilty of the common bad words.

DEBBIE: (hangs head) Okay, yes, I admit it. I’ve been known to have a potty mouth and drop the F bomb here and there. It’s something I’m trying to curb. I think I picked it up when I quit smoking ten years ago, lol. But it’s usually a tame SOB, unless I’m mad, lol.

LAURA: Um, Deb, you use that F bomb around me all the time. Hmm…(scratches head) But yeah, Faith, I hear you. I’ve got little ones, too. I usually end up growling. The boys look at me funny. LOL
....You know, one thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of these authors that we interview have talents…music, singing, art, pottery, sewing, jewelry making….it’s just amazing all the different stuff they do. What about you, Faith? I know you’re a talented author….any other venues?

FAITH: I’m a hell of a bowler (See? Cuss word!). We haven’t bowled for the last four years due to travel time and no babysitters, but I used to carry a 180 average. I’m also a good cook taught by a southern West Virginia mother and grandmother, I seem to have the natural ability to teach where the students have fun, and I also have a green thumb along with the ability to see humor in almost anything, even if it is sometimes dark humor, lol.

LAURA: BOWLING! Love it! I used to be on a league…my highest average was a sad 142. But it was fun!

DEBBIE: Broke my elbow when I was 18, loooong story, so while I love bowling, I suck, lol. But cooking on the other hand, I just love it! Love feeding people and seeing their happy satisfied faces, lol. Do you have any favorite hobbies while you’re not writing?

FAITH: Raising vegetables, flowers and herbs, but the veggies and herbs are more out of necessity than a hobby. I crochet when I have the time and inclination, but I do love to draw and paint. I don’t do it nearly as often as I like, though. Fulfilling writing contracts keeps me insanely busy.

DEBBIE: Love collecting the fresh veggies, hate every other part of gardening.

LAURA: I don’t have much of a green thumb…but I do love to crochet. I’ve made several afghans. I love learning new stitches. And you can tell when I’m stressed…all my crochets get very tight. LOL
....(To Debbie) So, can I ask her now? Is it time?

DEBBIE: Of course, lol. Laura and I love to come up with wacky final questions so be prepared.

LAURA: Okay! Here goes….
....You’re standing out on a penthouse balcony, and in a freak accident, you topple over the railing. However, your sweater caught on a loose bolt, and now you’re hanging by a thread...literally. Unfortunately, your sweater is unraveling fast and a psycho with a switchblade is leaning over the balcony railing, grinning down at you. All you have is a hairpin and Meryl Streep’s Academy Award that you’d been admiring. What do you do?

FAITH: Use the award by hooking it on the bottom of the balcony so I can pull myself over to it and get a grip to pull myself up. Then when the psycho tries to stab me, I’ll whack him over the head or in the nuts with the award. If Meryl gets mad I’ve dented her award—tough. She can win another one!

LAURA: Hahahaha! Wow! I think you survived it! And who knows, Meryl might want to use the incident in her next movie…. Debbie?

DEBBIE: Great answer. I was wondering how you were going to get out of that one.

LAURA: Thank you for visiting with us, Faith, and for sharing a vivid insight to your writing life. Happy sales on your wonderful story, Ruby, the White King, and Marilyn Monroe. It’s a wonderful, sexy story. Hope to see you on your next release!
....Oh! And let’s not forget the awesome Mocha Frappuccino! Molto delizioso!

DEBBIE: Yes, Faith, best wishes on all your endeavors. Next time, PLEASE bring me the cabana men, and forget the coffee, lol.

Laura: Okay, so now that I’ve sucked this coffee down…. (to a fellow tourist) Excuse me, would you take our picture? Thanks. (grabs Debbie’s arm and drags her back to the landmark) Smile! You’re at the southern most point of the U.S.!

Debbie: I said no pics. Trying to stay incognito here. Sheesh.

Laura: Too late! I’ll be posting it to Facebook next week! (looks around) Now, where is that boat? Ah…there it is! Come on, or we’ll miss it!

Debbie: Oh my GOD! You hired the hooded guy with the staff again?

Laura: Don’t be daft! That’s a hoodie, and we’re not on a trip to the underworld…. We’re going deep-sea fishing! Gonna reel in that mongo tarpin. We’ll mount it over your desk so you can remember our fab trip to Key West! (grabs her arm) Come on!
Faith's Bio:
F.L. Bicknell's work has appeared in a wide range of genres and publications such as: Would That It Were, Touch, GC, and Ohio Writer magazines as well as with publications in Canada and Turkey. Under her pseudonym, Molly Diamond, she was a regular contributor to Gent and Ruthie's Club and has had fiction published in Hustler's Busty Beauties, Penthouse Variations, and Twenty 1 Lashes. Ms. Bicknell is the author of several e-book and print titles, also writing as Azura Ice. She has served as co-editor and managing editor for three different publishing houses. She is represented by TriadaUS Literary Agency.


....Paranormal romance that takes off full throttle as demonic motorcycles and their beautiful riders chase Ruby to the rocky shores of Key West for a battle of epic proportions.
....Are they angels, demons, or something else entirely? Ruby must send them back to a hell unlike anything the world has ever imagined. But will she allow herself to love the White King who has found her again over one thousand years later?
....Reincarnated over the centuries. Stuck with a ditzy Marilyn Monroe lookalike. Falling for a rich albino guy. It’s just Ruby’s luck for Hell’s “real” angels to ride into this life and screw it all up.

....“Is he gone?” I asked.
....Solomon peeped through the curtains. “I don’t see anyone. After all that noise, it probably won’t be long before the motel manager tells us to leave too.” He let the curtain fall and looked over at me. “You know more about this strange stuff than you’ve been letting on.”
....“I didn’t want to scare anyone unnecessarily, and I didn’t want you to think...” I gritted my teeth and ordered the tears not to fall.
....“To think you’re a freak?” he supplied. “To treat you like shit because you’re different, or that you’re not what people consider normal?”
....“No,” I lied, “it’s just that—” The sob ripped free of me before I could squelch it.
....Solomon crossed the room and folded me in his arms, holding me so close I heard his heartbeat. Now was the time he was supposed to go crazy with fear, yell obscenities, call me names, and then leave so fast his shoes caught on fire.
....“Why?” he said.
....Sobs still spilled from my mouth, but I managed to squeak, “Why what?”
....He leaned back and peered deeply into my eyes. “Don’t do that.”
....“Do what?”
....I pushed against his chest, but he held me still.
....“Why do you clam up or run away whenever someone asks you something personal?”
....I sniffed and tried to avoid his penetrating gaze. “Maybe because it’s none of your business?”
....“Look, I’m not asking you to tell me all the deep dark secrets you might have.” He let me go and crossed his arms over his chest. “The fact that something unnatural is going on aside, I’d like to know a little more about the women I’m traveling with, that’s all.”
....He had me there. Hadn’t I gone through the same thing with Maureen last night?
....“For starters,” he said, “I’d like to know more about the incredible things you do.”
....“I honestly don’t know how I do them.” I risked looking at him and wished I hadn’t. The expression on that man’s face said he was determined to find out more. “Can we discuss this another time?” I turned away, needing some space. Most of all I needed time to process the fact he wasn’t already packing his bags. “I promise I’ll answer a couple of your questions if we can do it some other time.”
....“Fair enough.” He sighed. “So you really think that guy is tied to the hunters who murdered Gabriella?”
....“Come to think of it, the men who attacked my sister and me were really big too. I can’t remember many details about them now other than their yellow eyes and the smell of booze.”
....“Solomon, you’re in danger if you travel with me. You should go home.”
....“No. I refuse to leave you, Ruby. You might be able to ignore the chemistry and feelings between us, but I can’t.”
....That was the last thing I’d expected out of him. For a moment I said nothing. I couldn’t let Solomon know how much I cared for him, how much I wanted him. If I did, there was no doubt it would all come crashing down. At least for now he was still with me.