Author Interviews

Author Interview: Christine Edwards

Giovanni Valentino, editor of Strange Musings Press, interviewed me after two of my stories were featured in anthologies by his fine press. The interview is available here, and descriptions of the two featured stories are available below. 


The Good Whiskey Made Me Do It is a humorous romantic story of love gone wrong.


What really happens when the common man comes into money? Jeff inherits not only wealth, but also wisdom, and his wife doesn’t approve of the latter. His problems don’t end there, and he blames it all on the good whiskey.

This piece was published by Strange Musings Press in their debut Romantic Ruckus anthology.


Free Bodies is a micro-fiction horror story.


The undead shop for unoccupied bodies to wear in the same way the living peruse for new threads. Kellen thinks little of the people whose bodies he lists online, until one day his is up for grabs.

This piece was published by Strange Musings Press in their debut Alternate Hilarities anthology.

Strange Musings Press publishes witty stories in a variety of genres, namely science fiction and romance. 

Author Interview: Melissa Foster

I am thrilled to present my interview of Melissa Foster, author of COME BACK TO ME, and several soon to be released novelsMelissa is also an active member of the writing community, and helps fellow writers achieve their dreams through her website: Fostering Success.

1. What are you reading right now?

Right now I'm reading one of my favorite authors, Diane Chamberlain. I'm reading HER MOTHER'S SHADOW. I love Diane's books because they're easy reads, not too stressful, but enough of a hook to keep you riveted to the pages and enjoying your escape.

2. Tell us a little bit about COME BACK TO ME.

It's funny, I thought COME BACK TO ME was a contemporary fiction book, but when it was picked up by USA Today's book blog as a romance, suddenly it struck a chord with romantic suspense readers. I think that is a well-suited genre for the story, but I will warn readers that I do not write typical happily ever after endings, so beware if you're a romance reader--you've been forewarned. 

COME BACK TO ME is a very emotionally and suspenseful story that I came up with the summer before my husband left for Iraq, then researched and wrote when he was in Iraq. It's the story of a young couple, Tess and Beau. Beau is a photographer who accepts an overseas assignment in order to gain international attention for his work. Beau's helicopter is shot down, and Tess is notified that he did not survive. Meanwhile, Tess finds out she's pregnant, and tries to put her life back together, while Beau, found alive in the desert by two Iraqi women who are escaping honor killings, makes his way across the desert and back to the US. No spoilers here. That's about all I can say without ruining the story for those who have yet to read:-)

3. Which one of your characters is your favorite and why?

I adored Suha. She was such a surprise character for me. I had never written a character like her before, and her strength, and even her stand-off attitude were endearing to me.

4. Do you prefer to write or edit?

Are there really authors who prefer to edit over writing? 

5. What did you do to pass the time while waiting for your very first manuscript to be accepted?

I wrote another book and went very gray. I'm always writing another book. 

6. What is the most nerve-racking part of the publishing process?

I think the most nerve-racking is reading the reviews. Even now, I cringe when I take a moment to read them. There are some that make no sense, then there are others that are constructively critical, and others that are glowing. I love them all, but the mean-spirited reviews do sting.

7. What is your favorite free author resource or blog?

My favorite resource is Twitter. You can gain access to just about anything you need via social media these days. I can connect with readers, authors, cover artists, learn new writing techniques--just about anything I need or want can be found via Twitter.

8. If you could only give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Write, write, write, then polish, polish, polish. 

9. Can you tell us about your next project? Word is you have three novels coming out very soon.

Yes, this was a very busy year! I finished three novels and the next one to be released is TRACES OF KARA, coming in early 2013.

For my thriller loving readers, TRACES OF KARA is a much darker book than any of my previous books. TRACES OF KARA is a psychological thriller, or dark women's suspense novel. Author Rachelle Ayala describes it as "Hannibal Lector, Freddie Kruger and the Tami Hoag villains combined with the emotional bond of Jody Picoult, Jane Fitch, and Steel Magnolia." Yes, it's that dark, so be ready for a wild ride!


Kara Knight can't wait to leave her hometown for the promise of nursing school and a fresh start on her future--leaving behind an over protective mother, a broken heart and painful memories. However, twenty-five miles away, the twin she doesn't know exists is determined to be reunited with the sister he cannot forget.   

Kara is abducted and thrown into her obsessive captor's delusional world. As the past she thought she knew unravels around her, Kara struggles to make sense of the memories that come creeping back, threatening her sanity and her safety. Meanwhile, Kara's mother races against time to save the daughter she fears she will lose when a long-held secret is revealed. The hours tick away as her captor plays out his plan--to take Kara with him into death at the exact moment of their birth, never to be separated again. 

TRACES OF KARA is an action packed, pulse pounding psychological thriller/suspense novel that features a determined killer who slowly loses his grip on reality as his carefully detailed plan starts to fall apart and a heroine determined to move forward with her life who now must reconcile everything she believed to be true about her family with the reality of their tragic past.

Be sure to check out COME BACK TO ME and Melissa's blog and awesome writer resources.

Melissa's Books 
Melissa's Website
Author Education: Fostering Success
Follow Melissa: Twitter and FB Fanpage
Chat with Melissa on The Women's Nest
The World Literary Cafe, Where readers and authors unite!

Thanks so much for your time, Melissa, and all the great things you are doing for the writing community. 

Happy writing,


Author Interview: Christine Steendam

Seasons greetings!
I am pleased to announce the second author interview in our series belongs to Christine Steendam, author of Heart Like an Ocean.

1. What are you reading right now? 

I just finished Entangled Dreams by Carmen DeSousa and I’m about to start Breaking the Nexus by Lindsay Avalon.

2. Tell us a little bit about Heart Like an Ocean

Heart Like an Ocean is a historical romance/coming of age story about a girl (Senona Montez) that was born into privilege but runs away from an arranged marriage. Along the way she gets help from a British Privateer and learns that life on the other side is not as simple or as easy as she thought. And, of course, add in some romance and love triangles and you’ve got Heart Like an Ocean.

3. Where did the inspiration for Heart Like an Ocean come from? 

I was sitting out at the ranch I used to work at one afternoon, looking out to the horse pasture, and I envisioned a girl running to her horse, upset. I pulled out my notepad and began writing the scene, which turned into 1600s, arranged marriages, running away in the middle of the night, and swashbuckling. But the horse is still there, and still plays a major role in Senona, my main character’s life.

4. Which one of your characters is your favorite and why? 

I have to say Brant. At first it seems like he’s got it all figured out and then we slowly begin to see beneath the surface. Plus it’s so fun to write his bad-boy side.

5. Do you prefer to write or edit? 

I love both. They each have their own merits and down side. I love writing and discovering where the story goes but it can also be exhausting and hard when my muse decides to go on vacation and I can’t. I have a very strict writing schedule most of the time. Editing, however, is like polishing that car until it gleams. Sure, it can be frustrating when I look at a page and I can barely see the black through all the red, but the next draft is always better so it outweighs the cons. Plus, there is something very satisfying about crossing out entire paragraphs with a bright red pen.

6. What did you do to pass the time while waiting for your first manuscript to be accepted? 

I started writing the next one. I never sit still. LOL!

7. What was the most nerve-racking part of the publishing process? 

The contract. It was so hard to make a decision. I really wanted to sign the papers the second I got them but I knew I had to take a step back and think about it and read it over with my excitement put aside. I ended up signing in the end, but it was very scary to hand over my hard work. In the end I couldn’t be happier though. 5 Prince Publishing has a great team to work with and my editor is fantastic. 

8. What is your favorite free author resource or blog? 

I love Whenever I have a grammar rule I’m not quite sure on I can count on her tips to explain it in a really easy way to understand and remember. is also a great place when you are looking to start submitting. Great tips on how to write query letters as well as lists of agents and the genres they are interested in. It’s an invaluable tool and gave me a great place to start when I had no clue how to write a query letter.

9. If you could only give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be? 

Take your idea and just write, write, write until it’s all out on paper. Don’t edit until you’re completely done. Don’t even look back. Just write.

10. Can you tell us about your next project? Word is you have another novel in the works. 

The book I am currently working on is a contemporary romance set on an Alberta ranch. It involves all kinds of excitement with an inheritance, debt, a mysterious ranch hand, and stolen cattle. I’m very excited about it but it’s still in the baby stages. I should be finished the first draft by the end of December.

Thanks so much for your time Christine. 

Be sure to check out Heart Like an Ocean when it debuts in 2013, and check out Christine's blog and FB author page.

Happy Holidays,


Author Interview: Melissa Turner Lee

I am pleased to announce the first author interview for this blog is devoted to Melissa Turner Lee, author of the following fiction works: The Difference Between Night and DayThe Earth Painter, and The Man Painter.

1. What do you think it is about the nachos and soda scene in, The Difference Between Night and Day that everyone loves so much?

Do they love it? I didn't know. I don't get lots of feedback on that one. The first person I sent it to said that scene was too quirky. but I like quirky characters. I mean how often do we think someone is just strange until we get to know them?
2. The Earth Painter has been called original, unusual, and has received rave reviews. How does that feel?

I'm always happy to have readers enjoy my work. It thrills me.

3. Are the scientific overtones in, The Earth Painter a hint at your personal interests? not at all. I live with a guy who loves loves loves Biology and so do our kids.

4. As a writer, were you concerned about having Christian and paranormal overtones in your YA novel?

I write what I want to read but can never find. I am a Christian so my beliefs are always wi th me but I don't want to write only for Christians which is what Christian fiction is--fiction for Christians. I write that but I also want to write books everyone can enjoy.

5. The Man Painter is also being received very well. Did you always know that, The Earth Painter would have a sequel?

Yes, my stories usually show up in my head with a beginning and end.

6. If your novels were turned into movies, would you be interested in writing the screen plays?

No no no, I write novels. But I'd love to have input so my characters and such didn't go off in a different direction.

7. Do you prefer to write or edit?

8. What was the most nerve-racking part of the publishing process?

Finding editors I can afford. And I still need another edit. *sigh* I hope to save up for a more extensive edit of them all.

9. If you could only give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Write. Don't wait for it to be the "right time" for for it to be "easy." Will never happen if you wait for that.

10. Can you tell us about your next project?

I'm writing a Fantasy Steampunk with author, Pauline Creeden. We have a debut and giveaways coming very soon. You can keep up with that on my facebook page Melissa Turner Lee or my blog

Melissa's books are available for purchase at: Amazon.comBarnes and Noble, and Books a Million

This interview wouldn't have been possible without the awesome website and Mrs. Lee. Thank you both so much!