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Character Interview: Madam from Allison M. Dickson’s psychological thriller, STRINGS

Strings_Cover_253x391We’re thrilled to have here today Madam from Allison M. Dickson’s thriller, STRINGS.  She’s coming to us all the way from the great state of New York.  It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Madam.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

It’s as truthful a portrayal as one can ask for. It was brutal and I wish people hadn’t seen some of the things that had happened, particularly with Victor, but I hope people can understand how trapped I felt.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I’m a survivor, through and through. Dante, my chosen father, taught me well in that regard.

Worst trait?

I crave power and control.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Frances Fisher or Tilda Swinton would be wonderful.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Oh Benny Rosen… I wouldn’t call him a love interest necessarily, though he nearly had me fooled.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

I had a feeling it would all go south with Nina. There was always something about that girl…

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

As poorly as I have things, I don’t know that I could survive any length of time a captor in the Ballas house.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Some endings satisfy you. Others make you crave more.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?

I suppose I could ask for mercy, but given my life up to this point, I should know better.

Thank you for this interview.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I don’t think I’ll be staying put for long.

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Allison Author Photo1Allison M. Dickson is a writer of dark contemporary fiction living in Dayton, Ohio. Though STRINGS is her debut novel, she has been writing for a number of years, with several short stories (including “Dust” and “Under the Scotch Broom”) available on Amazon. Two of her stories were featured The Endlands Volume 2 from Hobbes End Publishing. In 2014, Hobbes End will also be releasing her dystopian science fiction novel, THE LAST SUPPER, and she is independently producing her pulpy dieselpunk noir novel, COLT COLTRANE AND THE LOTUS KILLER to be released in November of 2013. When she isn’t writing, she’s one of the co-hosts of the weekly Creative Commoners podcast.  She might also be found gaming, watching movies, hiking the local nature preserve with her husband and two kids who also serve as willing guinea pigs for her many culinary experiments.

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Book Review: Blood Moon, by Alexandra Sokoloff

 

Blood Moon.jpg 250 x 375

Book Description

Book II of the Huntress/FBI Thrillers

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.

The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.

But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks – and wants – may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

Purchase BLOOD MOON

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

My thoughts…

This novel was a hell of a ride. Sokoloff has a gift for creating engrossing plots and heart-racing thrillers. I read the first book in the series, Huntress Moon, and although I loved that first instalment, this second one was even better.

First of all, the whole thing about the female serial killer–actually, a vigilante–is quite compelling, especially because our protagonist, Roarke, develops torn, conflicting feelings toward her. And we can’t help but do the same! Sokoloff has done her research well and she incorporates lots of information about the mind of the serial killer. She does this skillfully, however, without including long information dumps like some other authors do. Roarke is a sympathetic hero with a high sense of honor and justice. There are lots of twists and turns, yet the story evolves organically, with the right balance of quiet moments between the thrills. Lots of atmosphere, lots of interesting setups.

If you haven’t read Sokoloff’s novels yet, I highly recommend you do. She’s one of my favorite authors these days and her stories never disappoint. One more thing, although Moon Blood is the 2nd one in the series, it holds well as a stand-alone book, as the author incorporates bits of backstory here and there to quickly draw readers right into the central plot of the series. In sum, if you’re a fan of suspense and thrillers, I strongly recommend you pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

Read my interview with Alexandra Sokoloff HERE.

Character Interview: Special Agent Matthew Roarke from Alexandra Sokoloff’s Huntress/FBI thrillers series

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Special Agent Matthew Roarke from Alexandra Sokoloff’s new thriller, Blood Moon, Book II of the Huntress/FBI thrillers. Roarke is a 35-year old FBI agent living in San Francisco, California.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Agent Roarke.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Roarke: There are things that I would do differently, personally. I deeply regret the course of action that led to the events at the end of the book.  Lives were saved but at a terrible cost.  I would give anything to do it over.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently? 

Blood Moon.jpg 250 x 375Roarke: I cringe at the obvious ambiguity of my feelings and motives. I can’t blame the author for that, though.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Roarke: Relentlessness.

Worst trait? 

Roarke: Relentlessness.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Roarke: The author is the expert as far as the film business is concerned. She says Kyle Chandler or Viggo Mortensen.  I defer to her.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Roarke: If I’m to be entirely honest, I have two.  One would almost certainly be fatal. One might be saving.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Roarke:  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve been apprehensive since the first book. This case is unlike any I’ve ever experienced. There’s no criminal precedent for a female serial killer. There’s no psychological precedent for Cara Lindstrom, period.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really want to be and why?

Roarke: I deeply admire my team member, Special Agent Epps. I wouldn’t say I’d trade places with him, but I would be a better person if I had his balance and moral certainty.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away? 

Roarke: It’s not over. I’m not going to leave it this way.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Roarke: Don’t get in my way.

Thank you for this interview! Will we be seeing more of you in the future? 

Roarke: I’m afraid so. The third book, Wind Moon, is unfolding now. As I said, it’s not over.

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Purchase BLOOD MOON

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

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AlexSokoloff bwABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, and THE SPACE BETWEEN, and the Top Ten Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI thriller series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON), which has also been nominated for a Thriller Award for Best E Book Original Novel. The New York Times Book Review has called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction writing workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog, and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.

Find the author on the Web: 

Website: http://alexandrasokoloff.com

Blog: http://www.screenwritingtricks.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/alexandra.sokoloff

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlexSokoloff

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/axsokoloff/

 

 

Character Interview: Lilly, from Rebecca Reid’s psychological thriller ‘The Coop’

We’re thrilled to have here today Lilly from Rebecca Reid’s new psychological thriller, The Coop.

Lilly is twenty-something living in an undisclosed location.

It is a pleasure to have you with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so much  for this interview, Lilly. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I think Rebecca did the best she could given my situation. It was difficult, to say the least. Her portrayal of me is nothing but fair – she gave me my own voice, what more could I ask for.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

It is shameful, some of it, and distressing for me to confront but I got to be myself. She was lucky; she got to capture me at a very vulnerable stage in my life, only few people saw. I am what I am due to circumstances I had no control over – I would really rather not dwell on how I may have been portrayed.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My ability to transfer my emotions. It doesn’t take a genius to distract themselves from a moment they are in, anyone can do it but some of us use it as a means of survival. I have confronted things in life no-one should have to deal with.

Worse trait?

That I am so used to protecting myself that I refuse to accept change, even if it’s for the better.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Kiera Knightly

Do you have a love interest in the book?

That would very much depend.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

From the very beginning. It’s complicated. You’ll see when you read it.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Mathew. He is another example of circumstance. Through exploitation he is both the victim and the villain.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I like it. It’s both closure and a whole new beginning. It provides clarity for both myself and you as the reader.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Tell my story. Let them see.

Thank you for this interview, Lilly. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Oh yes, in Book 2 of the Thickets Wood Trilogy, ‘Thickets Wood’.

Rebecca Reid was withdrawn from school due to illness at fourteen. Being limited in the things she was able to do, she wrote all the time − poetry, stories, feelings, thoughts. At 16 she had her own page in the local weekly newspaper, the Bangor Spectator, in which she covered anything and everything: fashion, beauty, film, teen issues etc. At 17 she became a model, doing catwalk, photographic work, and TV. In 2008 she graduated in English from Queens University, Belfast, and she was awarded an Arts Council writing grant in 2009. Married in 2007, she lives in N. Ireland with her husband and their three daughters. The Coop is her first novel, and part of the Thickets Wood Trilogy.

Visit Rebecca Reid on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccareid.thicketswood

Pick up your copy of The Coop at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009BBGY0E

A psychological thriller about the destruction of innocence.

Enter The Coop, a dark and mysteriously misleading psychological thriller.

A girl, apparently imprisoned in a room, is the thread of mystery running parallel to the tale of Thatchbury village.

Meet Howard and Lilly. They take you on a journey through Thatchbury where Mathew, the child from the coop, shoots Jodie Tiding, and so unravels the history of his loveless raising, her innocence and the dramatic events leading them to disaster.

The Coop is a darkly compelling vision of the layers of consciousness. Although conceived as the first novel in a trilogy, The Coop stands alone as a brilliant individual work of fiction.

Character Interview: Lilly, from Rebecca Reid’s psychological thriller ‘The Coop’ { #blogtour } + WIN #KINDLEFIRE

We’re thrilled to have here today Lilly from Rebecca Reid’s new psychological thriller, The Coop. Lilly is twenty-something living in an undisclosed location.

It is a pleasure to have you with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so much  for this interview, Lilly. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I think Rebecca did the best she could given my situation. It was difficult, to say the least. Her portrayal of me is nothing but fair – she gave me my own voice, what more could I ask for.

Click on banner to find out how you can win your own Kindle Fire HD!

It is shameful, some of it, and distressing for me to confront but I got to be myself. She was lucky; she got to capture me at a very vulnerable stage in my life, only few people saw. I am what I am due to circumstances I had no control over – I would really rather not dwell on how I may have been portrayed.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My ability to transfer my emotions. It doesn’t take a genius to distract themselves from a moment they are in, anyone can do it but some of us use it as a means of survival. I have confronted things in life no-one should have to deal with.

Worse trait?

That I am so used to protecting myself that I refuse to accept change, even if it’s for the better.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Kiera Knightly

Do you have a love interest in the book?

That would very much depend.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

From the very beginning. It’s complicated. You’ll see when you read it.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Mathew. He is another example of circumstance. Through exploitation he is both the victim and the villain.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I like it. It’s both closure and a whole new beginning. It provides clarity for both myself and you as the reader.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Tell my story. Let them see.

Thank you for this interview, Lilly. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Oh yes, in Book 2 of the Thickets Wood Trilogy, ‘Thickets Wood’.

Rebecca Reid was withdrawn from school due to illness at fourteen. Being limited in the things she was able to do, she wrote all the time − poetry, stories, feelings, thoughts. At 16 she had her own page in the local weekly newspaper, the Bangor Spectator, in which she covered anything and everything: fashion, beauty, film, teen issues etc. At 17 she became a model, doing catwalk, photographic work, and TV. In 2008 she graduated in English from Queens University, Belfast, and she was awarded an Arts Council writing grant in 2009. Married in 2007, she lives in N. Ireland with her husband and their three daughters. The Coop is her first novel, and part of the Thickets Wood Trilogy.

Visit Rebecca Reid on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccareid.thicketswood

Pick up your copy of The Coop at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009BBGY0E

 

A psychological thriller about the destruction of innocence.

Enter The Coop, a dark and mysteriously misleading psychological thriller.

A girl, apparently imprisoned in a room, is the thread of mystery running parallel to the tale of Thatchbury village.

Meet Howard and Lilly. They take you on a journey through Thatchbury where Mathew, the child from the coop, shoots Jodie Tiding, and so unravels the history of his loveless raising, her innocence and the dramatic events leading them to disaster.

The Coop is a darkly compelling vision of the layers of consciousness. Although conceived as the first novel in a trilogy, The Coop stands alone as a brilliant individual work of fiction.

 

Interview with Sharon Donovan: ‘It’s a tough journey that can only be achieved through blood, sweat and tears’

Sharon Donovan lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her family. Prior to the loss of her vision, she worked as a legal secretary for the Court of Common Pleas where she prepared cases for judges in Domestic Relations. Painting was her passion. When she could no longer paint, she began taking creative writing classes. Today, instead of painting her pictures on canvas, Sharon paints her pictures with words. Mask of the Betrayer is her latest book. Other books by Sharon are Echo of a Raven, The Claddagh Ring, Touched by an Angel and Lasting Love. Her Biggest Fan and Charade of Hearts are coming soon. You can visit Sharon at her website at www.sharonadonovan.com or connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/sharon.a.donovan.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Sharon.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Multi-published.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

Raptured was the first book I wrote, but certainly not the first book published. It went through several years of revisions, rejections and title changes before it was published as Mask of the Betrayer.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

My first book published was Touched by an Angel, a short story. It was accepted the first time but went through three revisions.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

Raptured is the first book I received the most rejection letters for. Sadly, the count was 21. The first rejection letter felt like a stab in the heart. After the first string of rejection letters poured in, I took a long, hard look at my manuscript. Deciding I needed to better learn the craft of writing before attempting to submit again, I enrolled in creative writing classes, learned how to take constructive criticism, joined writers groups, attended conferences and read all that I could in the genre of which I love. Suspense.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

The Wild Rose Press published my first book and I chose them because I met a contact at a writers’ conference. It really pays to network.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It was like receiving a reward after a long, hard battle.  My family took me out to dinner to celebrate.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

Had a website built and a blog. A website showcases my professional side, my books, reviews and videos. My bio and contact information is also listed here. My blog is a personal side of me, listing my interests, things I’m doing as well as author interviews to promote fellow authors. I joined every networking group that I could, did guest blogs and interviews to get the word out.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

No. Looking back, there are always things I might have done differently, but for the most part, it’s a tough journey that can only be achieved through blood, sweat and tears.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

I always remember the words of my first writing instructor. She said that the first book written is seldom the first book sold. It made no sense to me at the time, but it does now. My first book wasn’t published for so long because it lacked the skills necessary to make it acceptable. My first book was rejected 21 times and went through several rewrites and several title changes before getting published. I grew as a writer over the years because I learned how to take criticism. If a reader is confused or is dozing off at what you consider a pivotal point in your story, something is wrong. Ultimately, the goal of an author is to please the reader and make them want to read more. I learned that I’m a better writer than I was yesterday, but not as good as I will be tomorrow.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

Know everything about the genre in which you want published. Read it, research it, live it. I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to sell my book to literary houses that were not a good fit for my book. Know precisely what your genre and subgenre is and take all the guidelines each publisher writes seriously. If one thing is the slightest bit off, it will be rejected.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

Being called an author, receiving rave reviews, being nominated and receiving awards, and book signings.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

I didn’t choose writing as a profession. Contrary to most authors, I never enjoyed writing. I loved to paint and painting picturesque scenery was my passion. My career was as a legal secretary where I prepared cases for judges in the Court of Common Pleas. In my early twenties, I developed diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to progressive blindness. For the next two decades, vision came and went. After one fateful surgery, I lost all vision and all hope. But when I attended a program for the blind and learned how to use a computer with adaptive software, converting text to synthesized speech, a new dream arose. Needing to channel my creative muse, I decided to try my hand at writing. And after a long and winding road, it did. Today, instead of painting my pictures on canvas, I paint my pictures with words.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

I would say I made lemonade from lemons.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

That’s up to God. I’ve learned the hard way to live each day to the fullest and make each day count. We never know what the morrow will bring.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Never give up on a dream. Decide what you want and go after it. Reach for the stars.


Special Note: Sharon, unfortunately, won’t be here with us today because she had a heart attack and is still in the hospital but is on the road to recovery. If everyone would please keep her in your prayers, we would greatly appreciate it. We at Beyond the Book wish her a speedy recovery!  If you wish to leave a comment, please do so at www.sharondonovan.blogspot.com.  Get well, Sharon!

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