Writing Award-Winning Thrillers, Co-Writing And Going Hybrid with Rebecca Cantrell

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS

With Rebecca Cantrell & Joanna Penn

 

 

 

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Writing Award-Winning Thrillers, Co-Writing And Going Hybrid with Rebecca Cantrell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you read Rebecca Cantrell’s books? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

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The Story of Writer Pam Lazos

 

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So who is Pam Lazos?

 

Let’s find out!

 

 

 

 

 

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Pam Lazos is an environmental lawyer and the author of the eco thriller, “Oil and Water”, about oil spills and green technology, and of a collection of novellas, “Six Sisters”, about family, dysfunction and the ties that bind us; creator of the literary and eco blog http://www.greenlifebluewater.wordpress.com; a blogger for the Global Water Alliance (GWA) in Philadelphia; on the Board of Advisors for the wH2O Journal, the Journal of Gender and Water (University of Pennsylvania); a former correspondent for her local newspaper (Lancaster Intelligencer Journal); a literary magazine contributor (Rapportage); an editor and ghostwriter; the author of a children’s book (“Into the Land of the Loud”); and, because it’s cool, a beekeeper’s apprentice. She practices laughter daily.

 

Pam is also one of our wonderful authors in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week celebration beginning Feb. 12-22nd. Don’t miss out on all the fun!

 

 

 

 

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You’re a writer so what’s your story? Or what inspired you?

I think it’s less about inspiration for me and more about need.  I need to write. It’s either that or spend copious amounts of money on therapy!  I actually went to my first writing class because a friend dragged me along.  I went and never looked back. That was 20 years ago.  One of my first classes was a screenwriting class.  I think visually and it carries over into my writing so that class was a perfect fit for me.

The need to write is a great thing to have. Sometimes I sense an urge to write, but oftentimes not. But if I keep writing the need to write increases. Yay!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?

I think we’re all writers at heart. We all have stories we want to tell.  Some of us are better orators than writers, but we’re all storytellers.  Beyond that, though, I have this burning desire to educate people about the need to care for the environment and I often use my writing to get some of these environmental issues out there across a greater spectrum.  I do my best not to be preachy which is why I like thrillers because I can hide the information I’m hoping to convey inside the action.

It’s good that you have a specific passion to write about. That’s wonderful. A great topic too!

 

 

 

 

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

Oh, a full time job, my volunteer work, and, of course, familial obligations.  I have to either stay up really late or get up really early to get anything done.  I’ve been trying to dedicate blocks of time on the weekends, but we have a busy household so it’s not easy.

I salute you for writing books with so many responsibilities! It can be done!





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

That’s a good question and I don’t really know the answer.  I don’t think it’s simply the desire to be a rich and famous best-selling author.  I think it’s more visceral than that. Writing helps me sort out the messiness of my life. It’s almost as if I need to write to make sense of things.

YES. I LOVE THAT. I think deep down I feel the same way. Visceral. 





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

It used to be me.  I got in the way, either because of my inexperience, my lack of confidence, my lack of faith in myself and my ability.  But I’ve been working at this writing thing for almost 20 years now and I feel as though I’ve really hit the tipping point. I’ve put the hours in and I feel as though I could write anything anyone asks of me.

Wow. I love hearing your experience on this. It’s very inspiring for us newbies.





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Why do writer’s give up, quit, or never complete their work?

Hmmm, not sure.  You definitely need a tough exterior, have to listen to “no” about a thousand times, and yet still keep at it. Tenacity is key.  A lot of people want instant gratification, but unless you’re incredibly lucky, the business of writing is a long game.

That’s right! It’s definitely not a sprint but a marathon. 





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What would you say to a struggling writer who has given up?

You’ve got to write for yourself first and if you’re not doing that, then it’s probably a good idea to give up.  If you’re already writing for yourself, it’s likely that you’re still in this thing and that you’ll be in it for the long haul.

Well put. 





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BONUS: What else do you have coming down the pike?

I’m currently working on a psychological thriller about the pharmaceutical industry and a vaccine gone bad.

OH! I love that. Please keep me in the loop for that one. A possible ARC? Would love to help.



Thanks Pam!!




Connect with Pam Lazos

Amazon | Goodreads | Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth.-Chief Seattle







Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

The Story of an Author on a Mission: Sarah Key

 

 

What is your story Concept

 

 

 

 

“Every life lived is a story worth telling”-Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

 

 

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Life is a story, what does yours say? -Unknown

 

 

 

 

Today we have with us an excellent writer from South Africa, Sarah Key. She’s the author of Tangled Weeds and the Sister of Light series; The Dandelion Clock and The Butterfly Wind. Sarah is also one of our authors participating in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week event. Please check out the site for more details. It begins Feb.12-22nd, don’t miss it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Becoming a writer was a natural progression of my professional life. I have a liberal arts degree majoring in English and Psychology before training as a high school English and Guidance teacher. After that I moved into Adult Education in which I hold a Master’s Degree.

I worked at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) teaching academic writing before embarking on a project in the arena of HIV and AIDS, a devastating pandemic affecting many people in Southern Africa.

After a three year period of travelling the country, the UICEF and Department of Social Development initiative ran its course and I was at a crossroads. I was processing experiences of working in semi-rural environments with people who had very different social practices and cultures. I decided these, with a bit of flair and a stretch of the imagination, would make good stories.

I really appreciate your kindness in helping others. Education at necessary at every stage in life. Very unique. 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?

I began to write to make sense of aspects of life that affected or concerned me. I had been a social activist and was worried about many issues such as the instability of southern Africa and how this feeds into the exploitation of women and children (sex trafficking). I had witnessed the downward spiral that accompanies drug addiction, and I wanted to write novels that exposed the harsh realities of life to sensitise people towards these conditions and to increase tolerance and understanding. Wrapping them in the guise of fiction in a gripping psychological thriller was one way I thought would make them more palatable.

Writing, for me, is therapeutic and is a way I can release my creativity. It is something my soul demands I do. It gives me tremendous pleasure and, at times, a fair bit of pain too!

Wow. That’s a great way to release your creativity, Sarah. These are harsh realities the world has to deal with, but ‘m glad your muse has found an outlet to tackle them! I have tons of books to read but I’d like to make room for yours as well. 

 

 

 

 

 

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

I have completed all of my projects so far. My debut novel, Tangled Weeds is a stand-alone book and currently I have almost finished The Starlight Tide, the final book in my Sisters of Light trilogy, This follows The Dandelion Clock and The Butterfly Wind.

I have been writing since 2011 and, although I could have written faster, I have not put myself under creative pressure. Life gets in the way of art at times and I have been involved in raising our two daughters and have family responsibilities. At stages I have had a mini crisis of faith but I am doggedly determined and once a book is begun am driven to complete it.

Life does certainly get in the way at times. Much too often in my opinion, but I admire your determination! Once we start something it must be finished. That’s the way it ought to be.

 

 

 

 

 

Conflict builds character. Crisis Defines it.-Steven V. Thulon

 

 

 

 

 

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

Writing is my life’s purpose at the moment and that passion goes a long way to keeping me motivated. There is nothing better than seeing your book published with your name on the cover.

I have a highly active imagination and a plethora of ideas. Once a setting and a cast of characters invade my mind I am under siege! My characters develop through my stories; they evolve or devolve as the case may be. The moral dilemmas they face are of particular interest to me. I believe that good must triumph over evil and there is always a chance of redemption. I think that this message of hope must be offered to readers in these challenging times.

YES,  I love it! Purpose and passion are two big motivators for anyone. I love the imagination of authors! It keeps me turning the pages coming back for more. Can’t wait to read your books. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

One can always find excuses that delay or sabotage dreams.

This game can be overwhelming and doubt destructive. I am fortunate that I have a husband who supports me and my work, which is a huge factor. I have also learnt that it is more important to live modestly and do what makes you truly happy.

Your statements rings so true. Excuses, doubt, and lack of support all are formidable opponents. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects?

There are so many answers to that question. Writers often feel lonely and have no support. They cannot pay the rent by writing. Insecurity about the quality of their work shuts down their imagination and they run out of ideas and cannot finish their stories. They read other people’s books and feel inferior and are rejected too many times by publishers and/or their confidence is eroded by unfavourable reviews. They are overwhelmed by the fact that writing is the easy part of the job and the rest is too great a mountain to even attempt to summit.

This is a great list. An accurate one too! This is one of my favorite responses to this question. 

 

 

 

 

 

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What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?

Write for yourself. Write for personal satisfaction and mental gymnastics for your brain. Appreciate that writing is not easy. Some days you strike the keyboard with smug satisfaction and other days you sit tormented and tearful. Try to get into a routine of writing every day – even if it’s just for twenty minutes, The more you practice the better you’ll get.

Like everything in life, you have to deeply desire the final product and realise that it takes a lot of effort, sweat and tears. Finish what you start. It gives you a great sense of accomplishment. Writing teaches you discipline and courage and these attributes will stand you in great stead throughout your life.

Find a writing group or a mentor. Use social media to link to like-minded readers and writers – there are a gazillion out there. Writers are kind; they form communities and nurture and support each other.

Excellent! Medicine for the weary!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What else do you have coming down the pike?

Once I have completed my trilogy, I plan to write a novel highlighting the plight of rural girls in South Africa.

From the coastal city of Durban, to rural hills outside Ixopo, to smoky Alexandra Township and the posh suburbs of Johannesburg, Veils of Smoke will follow Nonhlanhla Biyela on a dangerous undertaking to try to locate her missing cousin, Sinazo.

Wonderful. Keep us posted on the third installment and the next novel. Would love to see how it pans out. 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much Sarah! You’re words have not been wasted. You’ll be a truly effective writer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Never be afraid to fly”

 

 

 

 

“Don’t climb the mountain others have built. It’s better to grow wings.”-Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Forensic Lenses Series with Author Sherrie W. Frontz

 

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Welcome back to the Forensic Lenses Series!

An investigative and exploratory approach into the minds of voracious readers everywhere.

 

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Today we have an author of Romance, suspense and mystery novels, Sherrie W. Frontz. She’s the author of When the Morning Comes, and Don’t Look Back from the Land’s End series.  Sherrie is also one our many talented authors in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week event, beginning Feb.12-22nd! Don’t miss it!!

 

 

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What were your first memories of reading as a child?

My first memories of reading were my mom reading to me as a toddler.  She worked with me and I was reading by the age of four. I read Gone with the Wind when I was twelve.

Thank God for Moms! 

 

 

 

 

 

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What were your favorite sleuths as a youth?

My favorite sleuth as a child was Trixie Belden.  I had all the books in the series that were available in the 70’s.

Good ol’ Trixie Belden. I hear her name quite a bit. 

 

 

 

 

 

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What else do you enjoy in a story besides solving the crime?

Besides figuring out the “who did it” part of a story, I enjoy the interacting of the main characters.

YES. I love this too. The dynamics amongst characters brings out more depth, dialogue and conflict!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Name your favorite classical and modern sleuths.

I have no classical favorite sleuths; as far as modern sleuths, Lucas Davenport from John Sanford’s prey series.

Eh, I don’t have a favorite classical sleuth either. I’ll have to check out this Lucas Davenport character and see what he’s about. 

 

 

 

How do they solve crimes and what makes them different from one another?

Both classical and modern solve cases by talking to witnesses and listening to their hunches.  Modern sleuths have the advantages of modern technology, dna bases, fbi profiles, gps tracking, cell phone records, etc.

I love seeing how things have progressed over the years. Of course, the main staples don’t change!

 

 

 

 

 

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Name some recent suspense books you’ve read. 

I recently read Triple Six by Erica Spindler and I re-read all of Tess Gerritson’s Rizzoli and Isle series of books over the past couple of months.

Thanks for the recommendations! Gotta love em’.

 

 

 

 

 

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Who are some of the best suspense writers?

Some of my favorite suspense authors are Erica Spindler, John Sanford, Lee Child, Tami Hoag

Lovely.  I’ve never heard of Spindler or Tami Hoag, but that’s never stopped me from finding great authors!

 

 

 

 

 

“The world belongs to those who read.”-Rick Holland

 

 

 

 

 

If you could pick a character as the director of the FBI, who would it be?

I think the best choice for director of the FBI would be Benton Wesley, Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s husband, written by Patricia Cornwell.

Awesome! Great choice. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you could marry a fictional character who would it be? 

If I could marry a fictional character it would be Lucas Davenport from the prey series.

Hmm. This Davenport character must’ve really scored some points. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At the scene of the crime…

 

Name 3-5 pet peeves as a reader.

If the print isn’t right I won’t read it. I hate when a story drags too.

I can’t stand dragging stories either. Since I normally finish every book, I end up dragging right along with them. *Sigh*

 

 

 

 

 

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Connect with Sherrie W. Frontz!

 

Amazon | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!!

 

 

 

 

“To a great mind, nothing is little.”-Sherlock Holmes.

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Use Your Own Life Story to Bring Depth To Your Writing

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY

WITH JOANNA PENN  & STEVEN PRESSFIELD

 

 

 

 

 

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What did you learn? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Forensic Lenses: History with Suzanne Adair

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It’s time for another edition of Forensic Lenses

 

An investigative and exploratory approach into the minds of voracious readers everywhere.

 

Today we’ll be spending time with award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair.

 

 

 

 

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WELCOME SUZANNE!

 

Suzanne is an award-winning author of historical crime fiction set during the American Revolution. She is also one of our talented participating authors in this years Mystery Thriller Week  event Feb. 12-22. Don’t miss it!

 

 

Suzanne currently has two series:

Mysteries of the American Revolution series

Paper Woman

The Blacksmith’s Daughter

Camp Follower

 

Michael Stoddard American Revolution Mysteries

Deadly Occupation

Regulated for Murder

A Hostage to Heritage

 

 

 

 

 

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When you read a book, what is your perception? What do you really see?

 

 

We all perceive things a bit differently. The subtle shifts in perception makes all the difference from person to person. The faculty of sight may be the same, however the interpretation and reflection is quite different. Different indeed.

Now come, let us see through the eyes of yet another talented author…

 

 

*Who shaped your reading experience as a child?

Preschool, my reading experience was shaped by my mother, a schoolteacher. After that it was shaped by peers, popular television shows like Star Trek, and the Space Program. (I’m a native of Florida.)

I really appreciate how important early reading experiences are. They help sow the seeds that develop much later in life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Which books had the most impact on you in the early years?

In elementary school I devoured books in the Nancy Drew series. I also enjoyed biographies of women like Sacajawea and Abigail Adams. Later I shifted to reading classic science fiction, horror, historical fiction, and mysteries.

I’ve heard many authors begin with the Nancy Drew series! Sounds like you have a wide ranging interest in books.

 

 

 

 

 

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*How did you develop a love for history?

That didn’t happen until I’d graduated from high school—where I had to memorize dates and details of long-ago battles without much context—and had the room to appreciate Florida’s fascinating history. When I studied history on my own, I discovered how horribly biased high-school history had been. History became fascinating because it was no longer sanitized.

Oh wow. You had quite an eye opening experience. I wonder why history books are biased? I’m sure that would open up a few can of worms!!

 

 

 

 

 

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*Did you read historical fiction or texts in high school?

Yes, I read biographies of people who’d lived centuries earlier. I tried reading historical romances, but although the historical periods often inspired me to research them on my own, the characters did not appeal to me.

Wow. Not too many teenagers read historical biographies. This is rather impressive. If I were to start with biographies it’d be deathly boring. Reading historical fiction would have the reverse effect however. 

 

 

 

 

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*Which books developed your love for science fiction?

Most fiction written by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Ursula LeGuin, Robert Silverberg, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, H.P. Lovecraft, and Poul Anderson. Andre Norton’s “Witchworld.” Anne McCaffrey’s “Pern.” Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Darkover.”

Great group of authors!!

 

 

 

*What sources do you read for American history?

In the last twenty years, there’s been a surge of research published by scholars and historians on the Southern theater of the American Revolution. That’s the setting for my series, and in the back of each of my novels, I include a one-page bibliography of those works that were helpful.

Oh good. I hope to get a copy of a few of your books soon. 

 

 

 

 

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*Name 3 of your favorite historical people.

Enheduanna, Hannibal Barca, Dag Hammarskjöld

Yikes. Never heard of these guys. 

 

 

*Name 3 things you hate about American history education.

Only three? Gee. It downplays or omits the successes of the “enemy” while downplaying or omitting American mistakes. It offers almost no hands-on interaction with historical elements, so it’s boring. And you don’t learn specific examples of how history repeats itself.

Now I can smell the bias there. It’s amazing what we willingly omit from the truth. 

 

 

 

 

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*What draws you to the American Revolution?

Religion was losing its stranglehold over people’s thinking as well as the running of governments during that time. Scientific thinking and processes were emerging as acceptable. Women also had more freedoms during the Revolution than they did prior to the war or for more than a century afterward. And with industry gaining momentum, the average person was no longer totally dependent upon handmade items.

Rather intriguing! 

 

 

 

 

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*Besides the revolution what are your favorite parts of history?

I’m fascinated with early civilizations, such as the people of the Indus Valley, Anatolia, and Sumer. However some periods of history I avoid because they’ve been done to death: Tudor, Elizabethan, Regency, Victorian, and recently WW1.

I have interest in the early civilizations as well. Most recently, the early native Americans. 

 

 

 

“History is formed by the people, those who have power and those without power. Each one of us makes history.”-Anselm Kiefer

 

 

 

 

*Name historical fiction authors or books you enjoy.

Ellis Peters, Mary Stewart, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ashley Gardner, Daphne du Maurier.

Thanks! I always love good recommendations. 

 

 

 

*Who are your favorite science fiction characters?

I have a soft spot for many of the characters (guests and regulars) of Star Trek: the Original Series as well as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Also Lois McMaster Bujold’s protagonist Cordelia Naismith in Shards of Honor and Barrayar; and Maggie Black, protagonist in Terri Windling’s The Wood Wife. And, of course, Princess Leia.

Hard not to like the old Star Trek classics. I love what they’ve done with the new series too. I’m a big fan of the Fringe, Star Wars, 100 etc. The list go on and on…

 

 

 

 

At the Scene of the Crime…

 

 

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*Name 3-5 pet peeves as a reader.

o Breaking a promise to the reader or otherwise not playing fair

o Creating a stupid villain or antagonist

o Dumping in pages of description or backstory that can easily be skipped

o Giving a protagonist unmerited rewards

*If you were a time traveler where would you go?

The future.

One that would bother me the most would be a stupid villain. I personally believe that ruins the entire story.

 

 

 

 

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*Which historical customs would you bring into our society?

o Courtesy and politeness. In my lifetime, I’ve seen people become outrageously rude.

Instead of finding it appalling, society now considers rudeness entertainment.

o A thirst for knowledge. Where have all the critical thinkers gone?

I always enjoy seeing the different responses to this question. Your last response is rather intriguing. 

 

 

 

 

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*If you had to marry someone in the American Revolution who would it be?

It would be someone with many of John Adams’s qualities, but he needn’t necessarily be a patriot. In addition to being intelligent, Adams recognized and appreciated the intelligence of women. He didn’t chase petticoats like Ben Franklin did. He wasn’t a party animal like his cousin Sam, or Paul Revere, or John Hancock. (Wow, get those three together, and they’d drink all your booze.) He wasn’t weird, like Thomas Jefferson was. He also didn’t allow sentiment to derail his logic, demonstrated by his ability to successfully represent the British soldiers involved in the Boston “Massacre.”

Wonderful. I need to learn more about John Adams. I have a  book about him buried deep in my TBR list. 

 

 

 

 

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THANKS SUZANNE!!!

 

 

 

*****

 

 

Bio:

Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair is a Florida native who lives in North Carolina. Her mysteries transport readers to the Southern theater of the American Revolution, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, and hiking.

 

 

Social media links:

Website and Blog | Quarterly Electronic Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

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Universal buy link for Deadly Occupation: Click here

 

 

Description for Deadly Occupation:

A wayward wife, a weapons trafficker, and a woman with “second sight”—it’s a puzzle that would have daunted any investigator. But Michael Stoddard wasn’t just any investigator. Late January 1781, in coastal North Carolina, patriots flee before the approach of the Eighty-Second Regiment, leaving behind defenseless civilians to surrender the town of Wilmington to the Crown. The regiment’s commander assigns Lieutenant Michael Stoddard the tasks of tracking down a missing woman and probing into the suspicious activities of an unusual church. But as soon as Michael starts sniffing around, he discovers that some of those not-so- defenseless civilians are desperately hiding a history of evil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!!! Don’t be a stranger…

 

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

Introducing Anya from Elderhaus by Anne Carmichael

 

 

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Anne Carmichael is also the author of the Magoo series, Darby at the Derby, and Polar Opposites. She’s also one of our wonderful authors in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week event. Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

GOODREADS

Gertrude spent the better part of her adult life scouring Europe for Helmut Klingenfelter, the father who vanished not only from her life and that of her mother but had forsaken everyone in his past.
With midlife looming on the horizon, Gertie made the decision to stop chasing the ghosts of the past and return to her childhood home of Pitch Pine, where she purchased a century-old house at 1211 Castle Lane sight unseen.
Elderhaus, as it came to be known, had a mysterious past of its own, one that would threaten more than Gertrude’s desire for finding happiness.

 

 

 

 

Who is Anyaleise Klingenfelter?

 

 

 

 

*Who is Anyaleise Klingenfelter?

Anyaleise Hoffmann (aka Anya Klingenfelter) is the mother of Gertrude Klingenfelter. Anya was born the daughter of a Jewish farmer named Jacob Hoffmann and his wife, Leah Hoffman.

 

*Does her name mean anything?

Anyaleise is a name of German origin. In German the meaning of the name Anyaleise is: Derived from a compound of Anna (meaning grace) and Liesa, which is a German diminutive of Elizabeth (God is bountiful).

 

*What part of Germany is she from?

from Alsace-Lorraine on the border of France and Germany.

 

 

 

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*How did you come up with the concept for Anya?

Right before I awoke on a Saturday morning, I heard the name Gertrude Klingenfelter in a sort of dream. When I sat up in bed, I knew that this is was the day I was to begin my novel and that Gertrude Klingenfelter was to be my protagonist. I started researching the origin of the surname Klingenfelter, which lead me to a town in Germany in the 1500s. It was called Lingenfelter and since people in that time didn’t really have surnames, they were known by the village where they resided. In my book, all of Gertrude’s father, Helmut’s, family spells their name without the ‘K’ to their name. One of the questions Gertrude has in her quest to find her father is why he added the ‘K’to their name when he came to America. [Helmut had been a very secretive man and had never shared anything about his pasts with his wife or his child. As I continued my research on the family name, I found myself studying Nazi Germany and the back-story of Anya’s family came to life. The back story was eventually removed from ‘Elderhaus’ during editing, as the publisher felt it detracted from the evolution of the story. I’m so glad that I’m able to share some of it with you here, as it was very compelling as I was writing it.

 

 

 

 

 

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*What was her experience like in Nazi Germany?

Jacob Hoffmann secluded his family in the hills outside Alsace-Lorraine. They farmed and lived off the land. Only Jacob ever ventured into town to purchase supplies and he sometimes picked up books for his wife Leah to home school Anya. Because they lived on the border of France and Germany, Leah taught Anya French and English, because she hoped someday her daughter would be able to leave the confines of their mountain sanctuary. One day, a strangely dressed man named Isaac who wore a tattered black hat with long curls down each side of his face appeared at their door and spoke in a foreign language that Anya did not understand. Her father, however, seemed to understand perfectly and hurried the man from the door and into the barn. She learned much later, that man irrevocably change their lives and those of future generations forever.

Anya overheard the following life-altering conversation between her father and mother in August of 1948:

“You and Anya must pack your personal belongings quickly and prepare for a trip via a military cargo ship to America. The American leader has signed a law called the Displaced Person’s Act. 205,000 displaced persons and 17,000 orphans are going to be permitted entry into the country and we will be among those immigrants,” said her Father. “In order to immigrate, a displaced person must have a sponsor who is willing to arrange for housing and employment upon arrival.

Perhaps you remember the man called Isaac, the transient, Hasidic Jew who visited our farm some time ago? It seemed he was traveling throughout Europe, as part of a mission trip to find, free and assist other Jews before they disappear, as so many of our brethren have done. Isaac told me the Nazi regime has been capturing trainloads of Jews and hauling them off to concentration camps where they are treated deplorably and murdered in gas chambers. He urged me to take our family and flee Germany.

Soon, their bags were loaded onto the cargo ship in Bremerhaven. After what seemed an eternity aboard the military cargo ship, they arrived in New York.

They spent two nights at a hostel in New York City before Isaac was able to manage transportation for them to Pennsylvania. He arranged work for Jacob at a small carpentry shop in Milford, near Pitch Pine”

 

 

 

 

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*What impact did this have on her?

Anya had been segregated from the community growing up, so she was very anxious to find new friends in Pitch Pine. That also made her vulnerable to people who befriended her for their own agenda….particularly the mayor’s wife, Dottie Franklin. Anya trusted Dottie with her life and Dottie betrayed her.

After Gertie finished college, she left for Europe to try to find her father and get answers to his disappearance. Anya went to work in Polka Dot’s dress shop, which belonged to Dottie Franklin, the Mayor’s wife . One day Dot came in to find that Anya had apparently hanged herself with several yards of silk brocade, but was it really as it appeared?

 

 

*How did this impact her relationship with her daughter Gertrude?

After her Helmut abandoned Anya and Gertie when she was just five years old, she trusted no one, except her mother. She found that animals were more loyal and loving than people and she ‘collected’ every injured or stray animal she found. Old Doc Myers would patch them up and Gertie would care for them until they were able to go back out on their own (wild animals) or she would find homes for the domestic animals.

In later life, her love for the animals lead her to her one true love and her collection of senior dogs is why she named her home ‘Elderhaus’ (which means ‘old house’ in German).

 

 

 

 

elderhause-house-image

 

 

 

 

 

*Who forced her to have an arranged marriage?

Anyaleise was seventeen when her family arrived in America. home-schooled me. Her father immediately set about finding a matchmaker who would choose a suitor for her. since she was almost eighteen years old and nearing an age when she would be considered an old maid.

As luck, or in Anya’s case fate would have it, there was just such a matchmaker right there in Pitch Pine. Her name was Zelda Baasch. Apparently, he had gone to Zelda with a checklist of the attributes he wished his future son-in- law to possess. Ultimately, Zelda returned to him with what she proclaimed to be the perfect suitor. She told him that the young man known as Helmut Klingenfelter was of German Jewish descent with an advanced degree in architecture and a 2nd major in Business Administration. Zelda was forced to admit that Helmut had not been forthcoming in sharing details of his past; but she knew that for so many refugees of World War II, there were memories which were too painful to recall, much less share.

Helmut told his prospective father-in- law, that he wished to raise his family in Pitch Pine. He said he wanted to become the City Planner of the township. He wanted to restore and develop the land and structures originally built by early settlers.

Anyaleise and Helmut were married in June of 1949 and exactly nine months to the day following our wedding, Gertrude Leah Klingenfelter was born.

 

 

*What are some facts about Anya that are not in the story?

Anya was far stronger than anyone ever gave her credit for and that’s not obvious to anyone who hasn’t been there themselves. She stood up to Helmut when she thought he was cheating on her and made the choice to raise Gertrude alone, rather than accept his philandering. She raised a child alone in a time when to do so was not as prevalent as it is today and she was wise enough to build a sizable inheritance to leave her daughter.

 

 

 

Thanks Anne!!

 

 

 

 

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Anne is the author of the Magoo Who Series, which includes Book 1: ‘MAGOO WHO? LIFE THROUGH MY EYES’ Book 2: ‘MAY I BE FRANK’, Book 3: ‘SILENT VIGIL’ and Book 4: ‘MAGIC & MIRACLES: A HOMECOMING’ and ‘DARBY AT THE DERBY’, whose release coincided with the 2015 Kentucky Derby. 

Amazon | Goodreads | Website

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

The Story of Entrepreneur & Author Gavin Mills

 

Welcome to another edition of…

The Story of the Writer Series

with Author Gavin Mills

 

 

 

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Gavin Mills is the author of Dup Departs: A Time to Go and Seed of Reason. He’s an entrepreneur of two companies, a former world dancer, and all around awesome dude. Gavin is also one of our participating authors of this years inaugural Mystery Thriller Week Event taking place this February 12-22. Don’t miss it!!

 

 

 

So, who is Gavin Mills? And what is his story?

 

 

 

 

 

story matters

 

 

 

 

 

*Where are you originally from?

I am South African born and bred, hailing from Springs, a small mining town on the apron of Johannesburg, the city of Gold.

Awesome!! I know a few peeps in S. Africa. In Cape Town and Johannesburg.

 

 

 

 

africa

 

 

 

*What kind of band were you in?

LOL! I was never in a band. I was a dancer. I started in engineering then computers and then did a flip flop and became a dancer. I must have been pretty good at it – I did my first professional show before taking a class! I went on to perform as principal dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris – a show with the hottest women on Earth. What a life!

Wow! I’m trying to picture you dancing in my head. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Introduce us to your main character.

Arnold Dup Preez makes movies – and everyone calls him Dup. He was a dancer when he was younger (funny that), and followed a natural progression into movie production. He has an ex beauty queen wife and two young kids, but his life is a shambles. His business is going to the dogs and he is less than impressed with life in the new South Africa. He is not overly ambitious and his business is floundering. He has reached a cross-roads in his life. He knows the journey ahead will not have a happy ending the way things are going, but does not know how to change. He is pretty desperate and open to suggestions – that could have bad outcomes. But deep down he has character and strength even he never knew he had. And being forced into corners will reveal his true mettle.

Nice. Our true colors shine when we’re under pressure. Way to go Dup!

 

 

 

 

“Character is the real foundation of all worthwhile success.”-John Hays Hammond

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Frustration in a world going bonkers? My first book was Seed of Reason – a fantasy. It is about a New Order that was going to right all wrongs – which then goes pear-shaped when the darker attributes of puppet-masters reveal themselves. It is a book that takes a look at people and society and questions a lot of things about life. It took me 7 years to complete and I am very proud of it. After that I decided to have some fun, and Dup was written with a very different intent –basically to press buttons and get pulses racing.

Interesting. At least your persistence paid off after 7 years. At this rate, my first book will be done after 7 years. 

 

 

 

 

 

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*What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?

I s’pose to be read – and hope some people like my stuff. Writing is a very frightening prospect at times. It is human nature to want people to like you when you are bearing your soul and placing your talents up for scrutiny. But the Goal? Hey: Fame and fortune! Lol!

Hahahhaha!! That’s great. I understand and agree about bearing your soul to the page wondering how it’ll turn out. I”m there right now. I love the simplicity of wanting to be read. That says it all. 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Three things that hinder? Me, me and me. We can all do what we set our minds to, but sometimes life gets in the way …Or that’s what we tell ourselves. I believe I can write, but sometimes when writing, question this conviction. But always, we have it within us to do. But that doing is sometimes really difficult.

I totally relate to this. Why is it so hard get past our fears? It’s a very subtle feeling. 

 

 

 

 

“Conflict cannot survive without your participation.”-Wayne Dyer

 

 

 

 

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

Ask that to the worker bee. It is in my nature. I chizel away in my little playground and believe that one day, some of the things I do will be great.

That’s right! If we believe it, it will happen. Plain and simple.

 

 

 

 

 

Motivation - Wooden 3d rendered letters/message

 

 

 

 

 

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

Family and professional obligations. I once heard that if a guy hasn’t made it by forty, he never will. I don’t think it’s as much an age thing as a family thing. When still single, I could do with my time what I wanted. Now my first responsibility is my family – and that’s not only financial. It’s love, my company, my time. This is a blessing, but with regard to dedication to creation, certainly a challenge – But one well appreciated!

Those are all wonderful things! I’m in the same boat. 

 

 

 

 

 

Belief Button with Glowing Blue Lights.

 

 

 

 

*If you have given up your dream, why?

I believe dreams change. What I dreamt for in my twenties are not the same things I dream about now. And it is this fact that brings the dynamics which forge our characters. When you get stuck in a dream, you miss out on the world of opportunities that pass you every day.

I like the spin on this. Very true. 

 

 

 

 

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*Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects?

I don’t think it’s only writers that give up. People give up in all careers and situations – the same as there are success stories everywhere in life. Giving up is not a milestone, it is a state of mind. We can achieve whatever we want so long as we believe it can be done, we believe we personally can do it; we start and then keep going, and resolve never to give up until it’s done. This is the mindset of success.

I love that statement!! Lovely. The mindset means a lot. Our state of mind throughout the process has a lot to do with it. Thanks for sharing. 

 

 

 

 

Change your mindset!

 

 

 

 

 

*What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?

Don’t be so dumb. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and looking to blame someone or something. And stop being so precious about whether it is a success or not. Set a date, stick to the date and get down to it. Keep going ‘til the end, and whether it is a best seller or spaghetti, pat yourself on the back for writing a book – because not everyone can do that…

Amen to that brother! I love the bluntness to this one. In other words, get ‘er done! Totally needed to hear that one. 

 

 

 

 

success

 

 

 

 

 

BONUS: What else do you have coming down the pike? 

I’ve got three other stories swimming around in my head. I have started on two of them. One is a prequel to Dup. A somewhat darkly humorous love story. Should be interesting…Beside that, life, life and more life – warm in the love of my family.

 

 

 

 

Thanks Gavin!

 

 

 

ME – GAVIN MILLS

 

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Gavin Mills started out studying Chemical Engineering before two year’s military service, becoming a 2nd lieutenant and serving as transport officer for 52 Battalion out of Ogongo in Namibia in the late ‘70s. Then into computers before giving up corporate life to become a professional dancer, performing first in South Africa and later in London, Paris, Spain and Portugal -some of the highlights being principal dancer in Moulin Rouge Paris France, Scala in Spain and Canary Islands, and Estoril Casino in Lisbon, Portugal. On returning to South Africa, he got into choreography, stage production and industrial theatre playing a significant role in voter education leading up to the historic SA 1994 elections. Then back to the corporate world focusing on event marketing and production. Today apart from his passion for storytelling, he also runs two successful

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can readers find out more about you and your work? Anyone wishing to find out more about me and my books can find me on Goodreads, my FB author’s page and Pinterest:

Goodreads | Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be a stranger!

 

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Discussing Plays, Novels, and Reading With Elena Hartwell

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Welcome to another edition of Forensic Lenses

 

An investigative and exploratory approach into the minds of voracious readers everywhere.

Please welcome novelist, playwright and teacher Elena Hartwell!

 

 

 

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Elena is the author of One Dead, Two to Go and Two Heads Are Deader Than One Both a part of the Eddie Shoes Mystery Series. She is also one of our wonderful participating authors in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week  event. Beginning Feb. 12-22. Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

 

 

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*Who influenced your reading habits the most as a child?

My parents taught me to love reading. I was read to extensively by both parents. My father would put his rocking chair in front of my and my older sister’s bedroom doors, and we would go to sleep to the sound of his voice and the shushing of the rocker on the hardwood floor. We read the Narnia series, the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, all the great books. The other big influence I had as a child was my paternal grandmother. Granny read mysteries and westerns, she got me into those genres.


I love that they taught you a *love* of reading. That says much more than just reading itself. 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Who were your childhood heroes?

Nancy Drew. Misty of Chicoteague and the two kids who own her. Lucy in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Outside the literary world, probably Carl Jung. My parents had a Jungian library for a while. It was the 70s.


Oh wow. Carl Jung. I’ve been enjoying his work too, among others. ENFP’s rock!! Everyone’s heroes are unique.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*What sort of books did you read as a teenager?

Mysteries – Tony Hillerman, Sue Grafton, I loved the Jean Auel Clan of the Cave Bear series. I read a lot of Sci-Fi – Robert Heinlein, Asimov,  Anne McCaffrey.


Lovely. I like Sci-fi too. Haven’t read Sue Grafton yet, unfortunately. 

 

 


*Any particular books that shaped you in this time period?

Watership Down was a big one. And The Hobbit. I use The Hobbit all the time when I teach story structure. Little House on the Prairie series, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls. Any book about horses, I’m still in love with them.


YES. I just listened to the Hobbit audiobook and it was wonderful. I got a better realization of the story this time around. 

 

 

 

 

“Reading changes us.”-T.Michael Martin

 

 

 

 

 

*How did you get into theater?

I dropped out of high school, so when I decided I was going back to school I had to start at a community college, because I didn’t qualify for a four-year. I started back, while working full-time as a bartender, and started with Spanish and Acting. Spanish because I’d need a language requirement and I’d been very good at it in high school. I grew up in San Diego, so there was a lot of Spanish spoken around me. I took Acting because I’d always thought it would be fun to try and I was easing into going back to school. I loved the acting class and went on to take every theater course Grossmont College offered, as well as working on a number of productions. I went on to get a theater minor at the University of San Diego, a M.Ed with an emphasis in teaching theater from UW-Tacoma, and a Ph.D. in dramatic theory and criticism from the University of Georgia. Throughout my educational years and beyond I continued to work professionally in theater and teach on the university level.


Very academic!  I’d love to hear one of your classes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Name the core elements of a play, and what is its purpose?

This could be answered a number of ways. I’m going to go with dialogue, conflict, and universality. Dialogue, because despite the fact there is action in plays and we go to watch them, not just hear them, the basis of a play is the text written by the playwright, primarily in dialogue. Conflict, because without conflict there’s nothing to overcome, and if there’s nothing to overcome, there’s no tension or rising action or character development, and universality because it is through the specificity of a character or event that makes the experience of going to see theater universal. We have the opportunity to realize we often struggle through the same issues, regardless of race, ethnicity, politics, or religion. I can watch a play about a black family and feel it resonate with my own experiences, even though I’m white. I can watch a play about gay issues or struggles of faith, and while I’m straight and agnostic, I can still find common ground with the characters. It also creates the opportunity to recognize our own prejudices and hopefully become more accepting and compassionate.


Very interesting. I’ve actually only been to one play so I don’t anything about the subject. Thanks for sharing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*How does the structure differ from a novel?

I would argue it really doesn’t, except there are no intermissions in a novel. I often hear people talk about “Three-act structure” – but as a playwright and novelist, I think novels are like One-Act plays, not Three-Act plays.


Interesting. I wish I could pick your brain more about this subject! 

 

 

 

*Have you written any plays?

Several. I’ve been published and produced around the US, and parts of the UK and Canada.

 

Awesome. I wonder what happens next? Do you submit it to someone for casting?


 

 

 

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*Name your top 5 favorite characters.

Bilbo Baggins from JRR Tolkien. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Pryor from Angels in America. Bosch from Michael Connolly. Kinsey Millhone from Sue Grafton.


YES. Bilbo Baggins is a wonderful reluctant hero. LOVE Bosch.

 


*Did your taste in books change while in college?

Nope.

 

Simplicity is bliss.



 

 

 

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*If all the books were going to be burned, yet you had your choice of three, which would you select?

The Oxford English Dictionary, Stephen King’s On Writing, and Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Then we could write new ones.


Oh wow. This is s fascinating choice indeed. Then writing new ones! You have the right kind of spirit!!

 

 

 


*If you could pick any fictional character for a sibling who would it be? Brother or sister.

Merlin the Magician. He would be an awesome brother. Though Gandalf would be a close second.


I can see you love magic! Personally I’d take Gandalf.

 

 

 

 

 

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*Name your favorite modern authors and what you appreciate about them.

Dennis Lehane, he writes stand alones, a contemporary series, and historical, I love his breadth.  Gillian Flynn for her strong, unique voice and proof women can write terrible people too. Blake Crouch, I can’t put it into words why his books enthrall me so, but I can’t put them down once I start them. Sue Grafton for her sheer tenacity and so many years of wonderful books.


Historical fiction is now one of my favorites. Not so familiar with the others. At least I haven’t read them yet. (Don’t hate me).



 

*What books would you like to recommend to us?

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens, Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger, Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.


Awesome. I’ve come across William Kent Kreuger. Thanks for the recommendations!

 


 

 

 

 

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THANKS ELENA!

 

 

 

Don’t be a stranger…

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

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The Story of Author Anna Patrick

 

 

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WELCOME ANNA!

 

 

Here we are with another story to tell.

So who is Anna Patrick? Well, let’s find out.

 

 

 

 

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So her story begins…

 

 

 

 

*Are you originally from Northern Virginia?

Yes, born in raised in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, outside of DC.

Ive never been to northern Virginia before. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*What do you do currently in your occupation?

I’m a Communications Associate for The Kennedy Forum, a mental health advocacy non-profit founded by Patrick Kennedy – his book, A Common Struggle, is a great read if you haven’t checked it out yet!

 Nice. Thanks for the book recommendation!

 

 

 

 

“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”

 

 

 

 

 

*Did you have a childhood fascination with fairy tales? Tell us about it and your all time favorites.

I don’t think it’s so much fairy tales, but just darker stories in general. I loved Alice In Wonderland, of course, and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe. Not your average childhood reads, but I think I had such an idyllic childhood that the dark and edgy stories captured my interest.

 That makes sense. I’ve read some of Poe’s work, but now enough.

 

 

 

 

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*What genre do you write?

Fiction. Leaning toward the magical surrealist side. I think the creative possibilities there are endless, and that intrigues me.

 Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

 

 

 

 

“Imagination is the reality of the dreamer.” -Scott Ringenback

 

 

 

 

 

*Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I read a quote recently that said something like look to your childhood passions to see where your life calling lies. I’ve always written, and I think when I reached an age where you start to question what you want to do, becoming an author seemed like a natural goal for me.

 I love that quote! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Where did you go to school? Major?

I went to Boston College and majored in Communications. I wrote Meditations In Wonderland there my last semester.

 Wow. That sounds like a major feat. Penning a novel in your last semester of college is remarkable. 

 

 

 

 

 

*What led you to write Meditations in Wonderland? Your premise looks pretty intriguing.

Thank you! I grew up loving Alice In Wonderland, and I was inspired by the dark tones it took on over the years as my generation grew with the story. From that landscape my story manifested itself in my mind over a few years, primarily starting when I studied abroad in London, saw Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript and visited Oxford, through to my senior year of college when I finally wrote it. It’s been called Pretty Little Liars meets Alice In Wonderland.”

 

Never been to Oxford, but Cambridge is beautiful. 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Would it be classified as a psychological thriller?

I can definitely see an argument for that. As a dark Alice In Wonderland retelling I think no one would dispute that. It definitely has a lot of thriller-esque scenes and notes of magical surrealism. And, of course, a little nonsense.

 It’s amazing to see what different authors are able to craft with their imagination. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Tell us a little about the main character.

Elizabeth is 24, and she lives in Brooklyn and works as an interior designer in the city. I think many people can relate to the themes she’s struggling with – confronting and acknowledging the darker sides of herself, struggling with mental static and getting lost in the noise. In a sense she has to reclaim herself after giving in to a pattern of self-destructive behavior. She meditates, falls down the rabbit hole, and the rest is history.

 

Wow. Makes me want to know more about her.

 

 

 

 

 

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

I don’t think I can pinpoint a single moment when I decided that I would be a writer – I’ve always just written, and then I couldn’t separate myself from the act of writing, it always felt a part of me. I used to carry around a composition notebook in elementary school that housed my first “novel,” scribbled in mechanical pencil between classes and after school, and eventually I graduated to my MacBook in college on which I wrote the manuscript for Meditations In Wonderland my last semester at Boston College. In terms of inspiration, I just follow that internal whisper that compels me to return to the blank page time and time again.

 

Keep following that internal whisper. And when you don’t hear it, write anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

“In terms of inspiration, I just follow that internal whisper that compels me to return to the blank page time and time again.”-Anna Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?

Having my writing published has always been the “ultimate” goal for me, and I think many writers can relate to that, however I think a more realistic goal is just to keep writing, to keep the process alive. The hardest part about writing, in truth, is the act of sitting down to write in the first place. If I can cultivate and keep my writing practice going, that’s a goal in itself that I think leads to the more penultimate dream of having your work published.

YES. I love this. The more realistic goal is to keep writing. I struggle with having consistent writing time so I completely understand this. The ‘butt in chair’ is the only way. 

 

 

 

 

 

butt-in-chair

 

 

 

 

 

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

Timing, spaces, and disconnect. As for the first, why is it when you’re about to shut your eyes and fall asleep, warm under the covers, does your muse begin to speak? I think mine might be a sadist in that way. So the first conflict for me is the timing of writing, capturing what I need to capture often against difficult circumstances for doing so, like commuting, unplugging for a night’s sleep, or while on a run. As for the second, my writing practice benefits from having a clean, creative space to work in with minimal distractions from my “to do” list, which is probably why I wrote my first novel out of my home in a local Barnes & Noble. Last, disconnect is often a gatekeeper I grapple with. Either feeling disconnected from the story, from myself, from my creative process, or just from the voice that compels me to pick up where I left off. Some days you’re just not “feeling it,” so to speak, and I think writers can all commiserate there. The goal is to at least try to make sure two out of the three are at bay on any given day to try to make writing happen, and keep it cohesive!

The writing process is so mysterious to me. Not sure if you’ve read Anne Janzer’s book , The Writing Process, but I was greatly helped by it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

struggle

 

 

 

 

 

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

If the story needs to be told, I’ll continue to tell it. When I don’t feel that ache in my bones to keep writing, I’ll stop, but I still have that voice that refuses to stop whispering.

Stories are great and equally mysterious. 

 

 

 

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

Aren’t all of the best antagonists just reflections of ourselves, or our greatest fears? The fear that any next novel wouldn’t live up to the first, or that those new daring stylistic choices won’t engage the reader the way we hoped they would – we all have our dragon at that gate. For me, it’s scales are green, shiny, and coated with that existential “if I finish this, I have to turn it over to the business side of things” doubts. Writing is the fun part, but I think it’s important to embrace every part of the process, even the parts that we might rather procrastinate in facing.

Well spoken. It’s always a constant battle. Let’s keep at it, shall we?

 

 

 

 

 

 

dont-give-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects?

I think leaving a project is a very personal choice, so the reasons could be many. The best reason is probably because the project no longer feels authentic, which I think is a noble reason to step away, and faced with the same reality I hope I have the courage to do the same if it frees me up for the better project waiting in the shadows!

Seeing the next project is always tempting!

 

 

 

What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?

Take your time away, if you need it, and return to it when you feel compelled, nagged, and eaten away to resume. Because then you’ll really enjoy it, and your reader will feel that, too.

For me, it’s a gut feeling. If I stop, then it returns begging to be written.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BONUS: What else do you have coming down the pike? 

I’ve been playing around with a sequel to my next novel, loosely based off of Through The Looking Glass, as Meditations In Wonderland was loosely based of Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.

 

Keep us posted on the release date! 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Anna!

 

 

 

 

 

 

meditations-in-wonderland

 

 

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for ridin’ the train!!

 

 

 

 

 

freight train

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be a stranger….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up for a reading challenge? Join the Book Hoarders Bucket List Reading Challenge  (Goodreads group here)

 

 

A Challenge for Book Hoarders Like Me at SallyAllenBooks.com

 

 

Don’t miss the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!! Check out Mystery Thriller Week on my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com