The Reading Voracity of Author Rayne Hall




Welcome Back to the reading series




Bringing you the best of the reading experience. 




There are those who read. Then there’s the avid readers. Beyond that, you have the chronic bookworms and voracious readers who set themselves apart from the pack. After reading this article, you’ll discover a person who is altogether in another realm when it comes to reading voracity. 





Contact lenses




Forensic Lenses seeks to discover the rich reading experience accumulated deep in the wells of the human heart. Taking an investigative and exploratory approach, case by case, I hope you’ll join me in this exciting journey.





used books at the bookshop








and Sulu the Cat




Rayne Hall


Rayne Hall is a Publishing guide, writing coach, the bestselling author of the Writer’s Craft guides who has three decades of experience in the publishing industry as a publishing manager, editorial assistant, magazine editor, investigative journalist, production editor, literary agent, and publishing consultant. WHEW. But the most impressive feat to me is that…










Yes, you read that correctly. 







Who influenced you in your early reading habits as a child?

I learnt to read early. At the age of 4, I startled my parents by reading a political newspaper headline out loud. They were aghast, because they had not taught me to read. I had somehow worked out the meaning of letters myself, though I can’t remember how I did it.

From then on, I devoured books, starting with small-sized illustrated children’s books from the ‘Pixi’ series which was popular in Germany at the time. Soon I grew bored and read bigger books, borrowed from my elder sister who encouraged me. There were a lot of religious books in our home, mostly gifts from a great-uncle who was a catholic priest, and they included some really exciting children’s stories. I also remember a book filled with stories about the lives and deaths of martyrs. That was scary stuff – it seemed that the reward for a pious life was to get crucified, burnt alive or eaten by lions!

When I finally went to school to be taught to read, I was of course bored. After reading about kings, robbers, goblins and pirates, the school book with pages of nothing but ‘i I i’ and ‘l l l’ held no interest. Even in year two, when we finally got a textbook with stories, I was frustrated, because I’d read the whole book on the first day which left nothing new for the rest of the year.

This is rather AMAZING. You seemed to devour books even before you were officially taught to read! You’re probably the most voracious reader yet. You’re voracity is off the charts!





Portrait of a very hungry, wild and angry young boy, holding and




*Who were your childhood favorite authors?

You may not have heard of them, because they’re German authors: Hans Baumann, Karl May, Anna Müller-Tannewitz. Erich Kästner. I was also a fan of Enid Blyton and devoured every book available in German translation. Once a week I took the bus into town and borrowed as many library books as the library card allowed, which was never enough. Eventually, I’d read every book in the library’s children’s section.

Now that’s an amazing feat. Reading EVERY book in the library’s children’s section. That’s completely mind-boggling.  You just elicited the WOW factor. 


Wow Surprised Word Astonished Surprising





*Tell us how you came to read around 500 books a year

I read very, very fast.

It’s not just your appetite for books, but also the pace of reading that’s stunning. 









*That comes down to about 10 books per week and 41 per month. That’s a lot of books. Are a lot of them forgettable? Which one’s touch you the most and why? 

I easily read a book a day, often more. Sometimes I don’t read for a day or two, but that’s rare.

I remember most of them, although not consciously. I often buy or borrow a book which feels familiar after a few pages and after a couple of chapters it’s clear that I’ve already read it many years ago.

If a book is forgettable, I won’t waste time reading anything by that author again. I wish Amazon had a feature for marking authors I don’t want to read again. On the other hand, if I loved a book, I immediately look for more works by that author.

You must have an awesome memory! Can I borrow some? There must be a longstanding history in the memory banks. I can only imagine.










*In your motivation to read so many books, are you searching for something particular?

I seek the pleasure of reading, of experiencing different worlds, meeting new people, learning new things, going on adventures without putting myself in danger. Sometimes I look for excitement, sometimes for something to smile about, sometimes for information, inspiration or advice.

These are all so lovely. It’s amazing how we can experience it all through the written word. Exciting!


*What’s your method? Do you aim for a certain amount books per week or month?

Not at all. That would make reading a duty.

Well said. 


*Do you have an outlet after accumulating so many experiences reading?

I’m not sure I understand your question. I always mean to review all the books I read, but I rarely get round to this, because I’m always busy reading the next book.

 There’s a wealth of experience just waiting to be mined. I would love to pick your brain sometime. 











*You’re a very experienced reader who must have a keen eye. What are your 5 biggest pet peeves?

Let me think.

1. Characters who sigh and grunt all the time, and heave deep breaths to steady themselves on every page.

2. Over-use of ‘began to’ and ‘started to’.

3. Gratuitous sex scenes.

4. Head-hopping/point- of-view violations, i.e. when I’m reading the story and experiencing the events from inside the head of one of the characters, and then suddenly I’m in another character’s head. That jolts me out of the story.

5. Writers obviously natural talent but haven’t honed their skill to the full level and instead used self-publishing as a short-cut before they were great. Had they continued learning their craft and revising their works, their books could have been great.

These are all very good. Everyone’s pet peeves are different but some are more common than others. Head hopping or POV hopping is definitely one of the more frequent ones. 











*How has reading affected your career in writing, editing and publishing?

I’ve become very aware of how important the free sample pages are. As a reader, I always download several samples, glance at the beginning, and decide which one I want to buy. Some books are appallingly written, and I won’t buy them. But I’ve also come across many books where the free sample had no real content. The sample was taken up by legal disclaimers, forewords, quotes, lists of the author’s other works, review excerpts – but no taste of the actual book. So I didn’t buy them. This has taught me to arrange the front matter in away that leads the reader straight into the main content.

I spot common mistakes, and see what kind of mistakes writers make most. These range from lay/lie confusions to early flashbacks. Knowing what mistakes writers make is useful when I guide writers in my classes, books and consultations.

I know which beginnings are overused, for example, the main character travelling to a destination, the main character waking up and readying himself for the day, the main character selecting a dress to wear for the special event. This knowledge helps me avoid those beginnings in my fiction, and it enables me to advise other writers.

It’s also the other way round: my writing and editing work influences how I read. I see flaws in books more than a ‘normal’ reader does. If I wasn’t a writer and editor myself, I would probably still perceive those flaws, but I couldn’t put a finger on what exactly is wrong, I would just sense vaguely that ‘I don’t like this’.

You must have a very keen eyes.











*As a person who has read probably thousands of books, what has changed over the years?

Are you asking about books, or about me? I’ll answer both. What’s changed about me is that I’ve become less patient. I used to read at least two chapters before giving up on a book I didn’t like. Now I don’t even read two pages. Two paragraphs is enough to tell me whether a book is worth reading or not. The free sample downloads are great for this. I guess I’ve become blasé in my assessment what books are worth reading.

What’s changed about books over the years? A lot! Thanks to ebooks and the indie publishing revolution, far more books are getting published, and a much wider choice is available for any taste. Books have become available catering to very specific niches. There’s more freedom for readers to choose, and more freedom for writers to write what they want. All this is wonderful.

The downside of this is that a lot of sub-standard stuff gets published. New authors don’t realise that their book isn’t good enough yet, and some people hire ghostwriters for ridiculously low rates to churn out book after book. But I don’t think this is a big problem, because readers can choose what they want to read, thanks to the ‘look inside’ and ‘download sample’ functions.

There’s a lot more interactions between readers and authors. In part that’s because in many cases, middlemen have been removed from the publishing process, and in part its thanks to easy online communications. In the past, if I wanted to write to an author, I had to write a snail mail letter c/o the publisher, who would forward it to the agent, who would forward it to the author, and if I was lucky, the author would reply. Most of the time, I didn’t get a reply, because the author was long dead (and I didn’t realise that), because the publisher hadn’t bothered to forward my letter (withholding fan mail was common practice) or because the author couldn’t be bothered – and I didn’t know which was the case. Nowadays, I simply search the author online, send them a message via their website, leave a comment on their blog or write a quick tweet. And most of the time, I get a reply. That’s wonderful. Often there’s a dialogue between authors and readers that wasn’t possible in the past.

Book buying has become easier. I remember how long I had to wait to get a book I wanted. I had to go to a book shop, order the book, wait for days or weeks for it to arrive… and then it was often a disappointment.

Now I click ‘download sample’, dip into those pages, and if I like it, I click ‘buy now’ and have the book within seconds.

Regarding book content, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot more sex in fiction. Erotic fiction has become easily available in a wide range of subcategories catering to every taste. It think the emergence of ebooks enabled that, because readers can buy the book they want without exposing their interest, and they can read it on their Kindles without anyone seeing. I remember as a twenty-year- old I wanted to read some erotic fiction. I waited until I went on a journey by railway, then at the destination station, where nobody knew me, I scanned the shelf for such titles and had to make a rapid choice without test-reading. Hot and blushing with embarrassment, I took my selection to the cashier. Back at home, I wrapped the books to hide the covers, less any visitors would see the titles. When I finally got to reading them, they were often disgusting stuff I didn’t like, because of the narrow available range and the hurried decisions. These days, I could browse at leisure, pick a book I really wanted to read, and read it discreetly on my Kindle. I’m no longer interested in reading erotica – I choose not to – but I think it’s good that other adults have the freedom to read erotica if they choose. And they don’t even have go through the mortifying process of taking the books to a cashier.

Sex has also become more common in other genres – so common that sometimes it’s difficult to find a book without sex in it. Personally, I prefer erotic tension to erotic actions, and when characters have sex, I prefer it if they keep their bedroom doors closed. I get annoyed when sex scenes are forced on me. I remember wanting to read some good urban fantasy novel and every one of them had gratuitous sex. Of course, the latest development is the rise of the ‘chaste’ book. In almost any genre, it’s possible to search for ‘chaste’ or ‘clean read’ books. That’s part of the diversity and increased choice, and is good.

In crime fiction – cosy mysteries and thrillers – specific real locations have come to play a much bigger role than they used to. Whole series are set in Edinburgh or in Colorado or wherever, often the place where the author lives. This local flavour has become part of the pleasure of reading crime fiction.

In non-fiction, I’ve observed that advice books are increasingly based on the author’s experiences, and include first-person sections. This makes the books more authentic and personal.

This is great info indeed, thanks!










*As an experienced reader, in your opinion, what makes a good book?

My answer would be different depending on what kind of book. A good book is a book that gives me what I want – and what I want differs from day to day and genre to genre.


I love this answer. It’s so succinct and to the point. 




A good book is a book that gives me what I want – and what I want differs from day to day and genre to genre.- Rayne Hall









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Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life. -Mortimer Adler




Reading a good book is living life dangerously- Benjamin Thomas

















Benjamin Thomas




Watch “Slapjack with Ryan Reynolds” on YouTube




Need a laugh? Look no further! Check out this hilarious video!



















Did you laugh? Tell me in the comments!!





Benjamin Thomas


Watch “How To Sell Two Million Books With Rachel Abbott” on YouTube


With Joanna Penn & Bestselling Crime Fiction Author Rachel Abbott
















Tell me what you think in the comments!!





Benjamin Thomas


Author Kevin Cady Introduces the Warren Files Trilogy




Everyone please welcome KEVIN CADY




Kevin Cady



Kevin is the author of the Warren Files Trilogy, a high school teacher from Colorado Springs who loves climbing in the mountains.









A Solitary Awakening



A Solitary Awakening: Book One of the Warren Files



Where are you originally from?

I’m originally from Oxford Ohio, a red-bricked college town tucked in the southwest corner of Ohio.

YAY Ohio! Woohoo!  I’m from Ohio and currently in the Dayton area. I’ll be going to visit a family in Oxford this weekend! 




Ohio wooden sign with agriculture landscape on background




Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have certainly not always wanted to be a writer, but writing was the one subject in school I deemed tolerable. I wasn’t a great student and wasn’t a great reader. Writing novels came to me as an adult because of the ideas I want to consider and convey. With how I work, writing makes sense, because it helps me understand, and ultimately manage the world I’m in.

I can certainly relate to this. Writing didn’t really take off until late adulthood. Everyone’s path is a little different, but that’s the beauty of it.




The right destination




Which authors have influenced you the most in your career?

Writers, and writing which has influenced me is a tough question to answer, because I don’t necessarily want my work lined up beside those people (half lighthearted and joking). But there are certainly writers who have influenced me, and writers whose work I greatly admire. I hope I can someday stack up. The people I admire (I feel) have written their own way, in their own style. I think Chuck Palahniuk, author of Lullaby and Fight Club (among others) is a perfect example of someone, who isn’t writing in the same genre as I am, but is a perfect example of someone who creates amazing narratives in their own way, almost as his own genre. When you pick up a Palahniuk book, you know who wrote it. I feel the same about a man named William Sloane, who published a couple of Cosmic Horror novels in the 1930’s, light years ahead of his time in my opinion. These two have surely influenced my writing, but a shortlist of others would include… Mark Danielewski, Steven Hall, and Alex Garland.

I haven’t heard of any of these but I always enjoy learning of new authors. 



What attracted you to crime writing?

I love crime writing because it generally centers around the darkness that lives inside people. I think this darkness is something interesting, and the idea that people do horrible things for a slew of reasons can be an exciting combination. What happens if we agree with motive but disagree with action? It can create unique moral dilemmas, and it can push big-picture questions out into the world.

YES. I love it. It’s quite fascinating isn’t it? The darkness of the human condition, legal grey areas and the impossibility of moral dilemmas are all too intriguing.




Moral dilemma ahead





Can you give us an introduction to Elijah Warren and the Warren Files Trilogy?

Elijah Warren is a man who lives for his job. He breaths and sleeps the FBI, and it might seem due to his lack of personal life. In fact, he lives the FBI to avoid a personal life. He’s cast off relationships and (since a tragic accident as a child) unofficially vowed to focus on the Bureau’s issues. When he is forced to work alongside Aurelia Blanc, an erudite detective whose vast intelligence isn’t superseded by her beauty, a twinge of something finds him affected, and when they’re pushed to find the esoteric, “Poetic Murderer,” the quandary becomes all the more real.

In the first book our protagonists chase the Poetic Murderer across the United States. They’re twisted and turned around, and rarely are gaining evidence it doesn’t appear they were set up to find. The first book focuses greatly on why things happen, and sets up the key pieces for the remaining two books.

The second book, Crooked Principles, takes the (now former) detectives to remote Grizzly, Alaska, where they’re snowed in and forced to track a killer who has killed a person per year for twelve years, leaving the town’s population at less than a hundred. It’s a very personal story, and as the detectives feel more and more stranded, more and more paranoid, their relationships are put to the test. New relationships pop up and affect theirs. Elijah Warren starts to feel like maybe he’s out of his depth, and comes ever closer to losing Aurelia as they search for Grizzly’s Secret.

The final book brings characters from both novels together, and the narrative becomes bigger than all they’ve done. Unbeknownst to them, their prior actions have begun a series of events that will come to  affect every human in the world. There is still a serial killer, one indicative of the Poetic Murderer’s work, but that’s not the greatest challenge this time. The protagonists are separated and pulled all across the globe, chasing a new enemy that threatens civilization at its core, and has for nearly a century. Elijah and Aurelia and their collective crew are the ones that must intervene.

AWESOME! I can’t wait to see how the story develops. 












When can we expect the next installment of the series?

The second book in the Warren Files Trilogy, Crooked Principles, is in the final stage of revision, and it’ll be available next summer!

AWESOME. It already sounds intriguing. 



Who are your favorite characters or protagonists, or sleuths?

One of my favorite characters ever written is Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium Series, by Stieg Larson. I was immediately captivated by her terse impassiveness, in combination with her unique technological skills. It made her immediately intriguing, and I wanted to know all I could about her. I finished all his books because I needed to understand Lisbeth and her story.

Another character I loved reading about was Hannibal Lector. His intelligence, way of thinking, and ultimately his relatability made him an unforgettable antagonist.

Wow. These are all noteworthy. I love how you felt compelled to understand Lisbeth Salander and her story. I don’t think an author could ask for more from a reader. Crafting an unforgettable antagonist is one of my hidden ambitions. BROUHAHAHAHA.




Child reading a book, wearing large glasses





What’s it like being a teacher?

Being a teacher, and the experience of it, is something I could have never foreseen. As mentioned, I didn’t like school, and didn’t do that well. I try to teach in an engaging way, one that pushes all students to critically think. I try to teach the power of thinking, and this year I’m getting to do so through a series of novels I’ve chosen. It is a senior level English class, and it is a unique year because I’ve taught these kids 6 years in a row.

I came to Atlas Preparatory when it was just beginning as a school, and each year we have added a grade (we started in 5 th ) . I’ve taught my students various courses, but I’ve moved up with them each year, and this year I’ll finally shake their hands at graduation.

It must be rewarding to see them grow and develop before they’re sent off into the world. 









You think you’ll ever write a YA series?

I’m certainly not opposed to a YA series, but I don’t know if it’d be anytime soon. I love some of the newer YA series because they’re able to engage thinking toward high-level societal issues, and so, if I was to write a YA novel or series, it would have to be deliberately tackling some sort of worldly dilemma. I would want people to be engaged by and love the story, but I’d want a greater purpose for it.

Well put. I can tell you put a lot of thought behind your writing. Excellent.



Favorite quotes?

Do the right thing. (It’s the motto I give my students.) We don’t know what we don’t know.







Your time is much appreciated!







“Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does anybody else.” -Unknown






“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” -Mark Twain





The book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. – Harper Lee






Over and out….












On the train….





Benjamin Thomas


The Impact of Reading & the Power of Storytelling with Lorna Faith


Welcome back to the new reading series FORENSIC LENSES 



Join me, as we go deep sea diving into the intrinsic view of the actual reading experience. Interviewing authors, bookworms, and voracious readers alike.

Words are powerful. Especially when crafted by a skillful author who knows how to tell a great story. While I love interviewing authors and displaying their work, I equally enjoy getting a glimpse of their reading life. That’s what this series is all about folks!

Come, let us take peek….




Eye scanning. Concept image. Concept image

















Lorna Faith pic 800X800




Lorna is a fiction & Non-fiction author, storyteller, blogger, podcaster, story coach and lover of books!


Bio: I love to write unusual historical romances that have been known to include scarred heroines, brave heroes, far too much scheming, evil terrorists and always a way for the two lovebirds to find their sweet happily-ever-after.

When not writing fiction, I love to help first-time and struggling writers get rid of their fear of the blank page and self-publish their stories. In the in-between time I can usually be found either drinking green smoothies, or cleverly think up another way I can convince my hubby and four college-age children to watch yet another old movie;)


Are you originally from Canada?

Yes, I am originally from Canada… and still live there. I was born – the youngest child of 11 -in the far north woods 50 miles north of Fort St. John, British Columbia. We were a family that lived off the land. My Dad had a little more than a section of land, where we grew crops like wheat, barley, canola, oats, hay and more. We also had milk cows, chickens, pigs, a couple of horses, a goat, a lamb, 2 cats and 3 dogs.

We butchered cows and pigs in the fall for our meat for the winter (we did this with our neighbours) and milked the cows every morning and evening for our own milk and cream.

So each of us kids knew how to work – but what I loved most, was that we learned how to play as hard as we worked. We made our own go-carts, wooden stilts, tree forts as well as rode trail motorbikes, rode horses, and played baseball as a family on Sundays.

The summer I finished elementary school, we moved to Hythe, Alberta. Dad and Mom had bought a hobby farm and that’s where I lived until I got married at 19 years of age 🙂

That sounds like a lot of fun! A nice big family on the farm. You definitely don’t see large families like that anymore. I think the hardest part for me would be waking up at 4 am to milk the cows.





Which stories did you grow up reading?

My mom was always reading bedtime stories to us after the days work was done. She would sit on a creaky wooden chair in the hallway that separated our 2 bedrooms (where we slept 2 to a bed – some of the oldest children had moved out of the house by then) and would read Hardy Boy mysteries, Nancy Drew stories as well other children’s books like Hans Christian Anderson or Uncle Arthur’s bedtime stories. 

So I grew up with a big interest in stories. There were always stories told around the supper table of some sort of mishap that happened on the farm that day, or my dad or mom would tell stories of their life growing up after their parents immigrated to Canada.

Listening to and reading stories through my growing up years, definitely made a big impact and fed my love of storytelling.

I always enjoy hearing this part of someone’s life. How they were impacted by particular stories and their early reading habits. 




~When you read a great book, you don’t escape from life, you plunge deeper into it.-Julian Barnes





Can you name 5 or more books that had the most impact on you? (As a child or adult).

I’m not sure that I can keep the list to 5… but I’ll try. My first real love of stories was when I read the Hardy Boy mysteries for the first time. I loved how they would always get the bad guy in the end…. but I especially loved the suspense leading up to where they discovered who the bad guy was. 

Then in my teens I read Anne of Green Gables, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Little Women, Gone with the Wind and Pride and Prejudice. I remember feeling like a whole new world of stories had opened up. I thought to myself, if only I could write stories that were so captivating and descriptive someday, I’d be thrilled. 

In my 20s and 30s – while I was studying for my Bachelor of Music degree and later raising 4 children – I would binge read all the time. A few of my favourites were contemporary romances by Debbie MacComber and The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. 

Some nonfiction books that have really inspired me to push past resistance and have helped me to believe in myself are The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your life by Thomas M. Sterner.


“I thought to myself, if only I could write stories that were so captivating and descriptive someday, I’d be thrilled.”  I drawing on this statement.  I’m always fascinated how stories affect our imagination from a young age. From a child, through the teenage years and adulthood, they continue to have a major impact on us.  I’ve noticed that children attempt to imitate, reproduce or recreate what they see. I can see that you your statement above. I believe every writer has had that thought running through their mind at some one point while reading. 








Have you ever cried while reading? What were you experiencing at that moment?

Yeah, I’ve cried many times while reading a great story.

But, I can’t help it, I love a good cry-fest. I’ve cried while reading Anne of Green Gables. It’s this orphan girls struggle to be accepted and loved by family and the town that pulls at my heartstrings.

Another book that made my cry through the whole reading of it, was A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer. To me this is easily one of the saddest true stories of abuse I’ve ever read. This little boy suffered horrific abuse from his abusive mother and others. I cried because of his desperation for love and acceptance and that he still continued to fight for survival in a home where he was thought of as worthless.

Also another real tear jerker is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I cried at the boy and his father traveling by foot in a post-apocalyptic world, trying to eek out an existence when all seems lost. I cried because of their losses, their struggle to survive and was inspired by this profound and moving story – of their journey. The father and his son are inspiring as they still imagine a future even though no hope seems to remain. They are each other’s whole world – and they are sustained by the love they have for each other, in the face of total devastation. Amazing story.

These are all admirable and very touching. I hate crying, honestly. But if an author can evoke tears through their story  It’s a 5/5 star read in my book. Only a few books have managed to accomplish that feat so far. One book I recently added to my TBR list had me crying just by reading the premise! It’s called M is for Munchers: The Serial Killers Next Door, by Alexandria Constantinova Szeman. 











What are your favourite genres?

My favourite genres are Historical Romance and Contemporary Romance. I especially love how characters are in a big mess at the beginning of the story and how they are transformed through acceptance and love 🙂 I love it when each of those genres also includes a little bit of suspense and mystery. Also, I do love reading Dystopian novels too – like Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Testing, and others.



Who are your top 3 – 5 characters and what do you love about them? (If you had to marry one of them who would it be?)

There are a few characters who have stuck with me.

One of those characters is Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. I love that Lizzy grows into a strong, confident woman who isn’t afraid to say “no” to marry the man that her mother wants her to marry. She is respectful to her parents and people around her, but she is strong and many times it’s Lizzy who in her maturity, points out the folly of some of the actions of her sisters or parents.

Anne Shirley, from the story Anne of Green Gables sticks out in my mind from when I was a teenager, as a girl I could relate to. She had to survive through abuse, fear and rejection and continued to grow and transform herself into a better person as she grew up. She didn’t let all of life’s struggles ruin her… instead it made her stronger.

Lastly, I like the character of Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind. Rhett is a man of strength who falls deeply in love with Scarlett. Even through all her temper tantrums, he still loves Scarlett, that is until the very end when Rhett discovers even he has a boundary line that Scarlett crosses. I like how he is practical, that he still does what he needs to do, to help his friends, that he respects his mother and that he is generous throughout the story to Scarlett, despite her childish ways.

Of course, if I wasn’t married already… I would definitely marry Rhett Butler! He’s a man of strength, exciting, adventurous, respectful, generous and loves deeply 😉

Awesomesauce!  Gotta love your favorite characters. You do crazy things when you’re in love. 








Do you have a favourite antagonist or anti-hero?

Well, as a big fan of Star Wars, I’d have to say Darth Vader is a pretty convincing antagonist. For me, I loved learning of Darth Vader’s background. That he as Anakin Skywalker – a goodhearted jedi and hero of the Clone Wars and a powerful Jedi – that made me see him as more than just an anti-hero. So with the fall of the republic, when Anakin Skywalker became a disciple of the dark side, and eventually became known as Darth Vader, I felt I understood him a little better… he seemed more human somehow… even though he was the bad guy.

Darth is my absolute favorite antagonist. He’s such a, well, force to be reckoned with.  No pun intended. 















As a reader what are your top 5 pet peeves?

What a great question… and one I took some time to answer.

For a bookworm like me, who finds reading not only relaxing, but often therapeutic, there are many things that have become pet peeves. Maybe there are other readers who can relate.

Spoilers. I really don’t like it when I find a book I’m excited to read, only to have someone else tell me how it ends… before I get a chance to read it. Ugh.

Waiting for Library Books. With 4 kids, we’ve often gone to the Library to read or have ordered books from the Library online. It’s super disappointing borrowing a book, only to realize that you are number 20 on the list… which means you have to wait a couple of months before you can read it.

A book with a promising start that begins to go downhill. I feel a little miffed as a reader, when I love the first few pages or chapter of a book and then the story suddenly takes a turn for the worse. It feels like all my hopes for a good read have just been dashed with cold water ;(

Being interrupted while reading a good book. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels a little annoyed at constant interruptions when you’re in the middle – or near the end – of a good book. Although, I must say as far as my family goes, they don’t interrupt me so much anymore when they see I’m reading a book.

Poorly Edited Books. For me, this means not only poor grammar or typos, but also repeated metaphors and descriptions or when the storyline is way too predictable. I guess I just really like some surprises in a story.

So those are some of my pet peeves. But I’m also a reader who loves to give first-time authors a good chance. I’ll read the entire first chapter before I’ll decide if I want to keep reading or pass on a book. I think it’s because I totally get where new authors are coming from… and if they choose to keep writing books, I’ll give another one of their books a chance, because I know as writers we keep getting better in our craft, the more we keep writing.

I love your list, but I love your understanding even better. Very touching.












In your opinion and experience, what makes a great story?

There are a few details, in my opinion, that make a great story.

First a really great story is easy to read. I love it when the story is so easy to read, that I just get “caught up” in the moment.

Secondly, great stories have captivating characters. I love characters that are flawed and yet they are transformed somehow throughout the story. I love coming to ‘the end’ feeling inspired 🙂

Third, a story is compelling when it has a sense of wonder. For example, in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia tales, the creatures and land of Narnia are so unusual and exotic, that as a reader I feel a sense of excitement and my curiosity is piqued because of the newness of it all.

Fourth, I love a story theme that is easily recognizable and that is meaningful. Common themes are: good vs. evil; love conquers all; or sacrifice, redemption, acceptance, etc. When your flawed characters face soul-searching themes, it’s a pretty compelling reason to keep reading.

Fifth, I do love a story where there’s a lot at stake for the characters. Where they give up everything for love or they have to face an evil villain that challenges all they believe in – and the characters are forced to overcome the odds. The best stories I’ve read, are those where characters were changed and they also changed their world around them for the better.

I LOVE IT! This pretty much says it all!  Wonderful.




Kid with bear toy






“The best stories I’ve read, are those where characters were changed and they also changed their world around them for the better”.-Lorna Faith





How do you help writers tell their stories?

I do love to help first-time and/or struggling storytellers, to write, self-publish and market their stories to their unique audience of readers. I’m passionate about helping new writers, because I spent so many years trying to get over fear and insecurity that I could actually write. Then it took me a few more years of searching on Google for answers on how to self-publish my novel. After all those years of trying to figure this out, I became passionate about helping to save writers time and money – to avoid the mistakes I did. So, for new writers who are struggling to write and self-publish and market their books, and are tired of struggling and failing over and over again, they can get Write and Publish your first Book as a Free eBook download – along with The Storyteller’s Roadmap mini-course when you click here: The Storyteller’s Roadmap





Receive the Western Historical Romance Free Book download. The link is here: A Most Unsuitable Husband


Subscribe to Lorna’s Podcast on iTunes at this link: Create A Story You Love

Or, You can sign up for new podcasts/blogposts to come to your email inbox every Thursday, when you add your email here:







Lorna has her own Youtube Channel: CREATE A STORY YOU LOVE. Check out the videos!

I’ve included a wonderful video with Lorna & Joanna Penn entitled, Learn How to Trust Emergence in Storytelling with Joanna Penn. 








~Those who tell the stories rule society- Plato




~There’s a story in you, don’t be stingy. -Benjamin Thomas







Benjamin Thomas



Watch “Lip Sync Battle with Melissa McCarthy” on YouTube






Pull up a chair because this is downright HILARIOUS.













Did you laugh? Tell me in the comments!!!





Benjamin Thomas


Watch “Lip Sync Battle with Emma Stone” on YouTube






Ok, this has absolutely nothing to do with writing, but it’s so HILARIOUS I had to share it.  Need some laughs? Look no further…












Did you laugh? Tell me in the comments!!





Benjamin Thomas


Watch “Our Write Side Trailer” on YouTube


















Check out the website! 




Tell me what you think in the comments! 




Benjamin Thomas



Contemplating the Writing Life with Writer Rochelle Deans



Hi Folks! 

Welcome Back 

To the Story of the Writer 

Interview Series











History has reaped the countless benefits of those who tell stories. Of those who wield the untold power of the written word embedded in print, as well as the heart. Their word transcends even the ultimate barrier of time, as if their prose seeks out a soul for a tear, dollop of joy, a praise or a cheer.

What is the path one takes to become writer? Everyone has a different story. What laid the tracks before them? No two paths are the same. What inspires this particular breed of humanity? Come let us see–The story of the writer.
















Rochelle Deans



Rochelle is a freelance editor, author, lover of quotes and the smell of real books. She has written Harry Potter fanfiction, three novellas, a short novel and currently working on her third manuscript. I personally know Rochelle as a fellow writer through our AWESOME Facebook group, Wordplayers. Which was created and supported  by none other than the international bestselling Jedi Master K.M. Weiland.




You’re a writer; so what’s your story, or
what inspired you?

I’ve been a writer for pretty much my whole life. But I was exclusively a songwriter and poet in middle school and high school. I actually had a friend who signed my senior yearbook with something about how she knew I’d publish a novel someday and I laughed and told her I didn’t have the patience to write something that long. I graduated college with a degree in writing and literature and some AWFUL short stories to my name. It took me a few years to recover from the pressure of school (and realizing that I wasn’t a natural-born genius storyteller), but I decided I wanted to give novel-writing a try. So I did what any (in)sane person would do, and I turned to fandom. I knew from the aforementioned short stories that I wasn’t good at coming up with dynamic, believable characters or putting them into dire situations. So I thought maybe if I used some characters I already knew were dynamic and believable, they would remain dynamic and believable, and I wouldn’t be so scared to hurt them, since they weren’t mine. I wrote Harry Potter fanfiction for two years, graduating from 1,000-word stories about the main characters to, eventually, a 50,000-word story that took place 1,000 years in the future and involved entirely original characters. Then, finally, I felt ready to write the book I wanted to, which was a YA dystopian novel. That was two books ago. I’m currently working on a YA contemporary.

Wow that’s quite a wealth of experience there. I’d love to see your songs, poems and YA writings! 











What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?

To write sentences as beautiful as John Green’s are in a plot that keeps readers turning pages. On the level of “what do I want to accomplish for myself in this career?” I would love to be able to do even a small book tour to schools and book stores and maybe even get shortlisted for some award. That would be awesome. But obviously, those aren’t reasons why I write. Mainly, I feel convicted to write stories about people struggling with their faith. Young adulthood is a time when so many kids begin to question the faith of their parents and the way they’ve grown up, needing to move into a faith of their own. Usually, this time also involves things that contradict the Sunday School answers we grow up with. So my goal in writing is to ask the hard questions and try to provide answers. Usually those answers are bittersweet.

That’s great you know what you want to write and who your target audience is. Not everyone has that you know. Young adulthood is definitely a time of trial for a lot of young people struggling with their faith amongst other things.





“The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday.” -David Schlosser






What 3 things have hindered you from completing your projects? (CONFLICT)

Pregnancy, young babies, and a day job. Most notably, I had the idea for my most recently completed MS in the summer of 2013. I started collecting ideas for a story in which everyone knows the day they’re going to die and got ready to write it for NaNoWriMo that November. Unfortunately for the book but fortunately for my life as a whole, in October I found out I was pregnant with my oldest child, and it turns out that morning sickness and trying to write 50,000 words in a month while working a full-time job aren’t really compatible. Surprisingly, I did manage to write 42,000 words for that book in 2014, when my daughter was between 4.5 and 5.5 months old, and finished it in the summer of 2015.

Rochelle that’s AMAZING. Keep writing! I really like the idea that you mentioned.  







You fail only if you stop writing – Ray Bradbury 




What keeps you motivated in achieving your dream? (DESIRE).

One of the main things that keeps me motivated is my writer friends. Two of my critique partners are 2016 debuts, and seeing their success spurs me on. They are awesome cheerleaders, keeping me on track and promising me that my stories have potential.

We have the same motivations! Having great writer friends and being fueled by their successes is quite invigorating. Birds of the same feather tend to stick together. We’re not alone! 









What’s your ANTAGONIST? What’s in the way?

My biggest antagonist is honestly laziness. Writing books is a lot of work. Some days (*cough* like today *cough*) it’s easier to stay in my pajamas and watch my kids play instead of doing the hard work of writing, revising, and rewriting a story worth telling. Now that I work from home, it should be much more doable to get things done. But I’m not the kind of person that can be trusted with a lot of free time.

I can completely relate to this struggle. It definitely requires discipline and character to whip out a complete manuscript. Sometimes its hard being your own drill sergeant. 





Drill sergeant with moustache






Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects, and what would you say to inspire them?

Honestly, if someone would have told me in 2012 when I started writing my dystopian novel that I’d be sitting in 2016 working on my third book and yet I was still agentless and book-deal-less, I probably would have given up. I was so sure my first novel would sell and do well that I actually made plans for when I’d quit my day job based on when I was going to query it. (This is me laughing at my past self.) Still, there isn’t much I’d change about the past four years. Yeah, I’m working on my third manuscript, but in the meantime I’ve had two beautiful children, made some awesome writing friends, learned a lot, and, to my biggest surprise, kept getting ideas for stories. Writing is HARD, and it’s a long game. To anyone who wants to quit, I would just say, “If you want to keep writing, even just a little bit, keep at it. Keep practicing, even if the writing is only for you. You never know what could happen one day. From what I’ve seen, the publishing industry moves at a glacial pace… until. When you hit that ‘until’ things start happening so fast you forget to breathe. So enjoy the slowness, enjoy getting to know your writing style, and especially enjoy learning, because if you don’t enjoy learning, there is no way to enjoy writing as a career.”

YES. This is great info. Totally soaking in this statement. I agree, writing is more like a marathon than an all out sprint.  Thanks so much for sharing!




Thanks Rochelle!!



You can connect with Rochelle on twitter at @RochelleDeans, or on her website at








“…enjoy the slowness, enjoy getting to know your writing style, and especially enjoy learning, because if you don’t enjoy learning, there is no way to enjoy writing as a career.” ~Rochelle Deans







The six golden rules of writing: 


-Ernest Gaines








~I will write my way into another life. – Ann Patchett







Writing is such communicable beauty; a mutual flight of feeling between author and reader. -Benjamin Thomas







“Writers aren’t exactly people….They’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald










Whatever you do….keep writing.






Benjamin Thomas


Resources for Readers via Diane MacKinnon

As a writer, I’m also a huge reader. Over the last 10 years, I’ve transitioned from someone who reads all my books in paper form to someone who uses multiple formats to get all my reading done. I love listening to books on CD and I always have a book on my Kindle app on […]

via Resources for Readers — Live to Write – Write to Live Great resources for voracious readers, bookworms and book lovers!


Diane MacKinnon is a writer, blogger, and master life coach. You can visit her website at



Tell me in the comments about your favorite reading resources and apps! 




Benjamin Thomas