Category Archives: Author Interviews

Author Interview: Nicholas C. Rossis

It is my pleasure to introduce up and coming author Nicholas Rossis, an avid reader and author of fantasy, science fiction and children’s books here on No Wasted Ink. I hope you enjoy his interview as much as I did.

Author Nicholas C RossisHi Wendy, many thanks for having me here. My name is Nicholas Rossis, but I write under the pen name of Nicholas C. Rossis. As a friend said, it’s like Clark Kent’s glasses. No one can identify me when I use that middle C! I write fantasy, science fiction and children’s books, while I also have a special, ongoing love affair with short stories.

When and why did you begin writing?

Ever since I remember myself, I have enjoyed writing. At school, many of my classmates dreaded essay-writing, whereas I could count on my essays to be read in class. In 2009, I felt ready for a career change and decided to try again my hand at writing. A Greek newspaper had a segment called 9, that included a short science fiction story each week. I submitted my story, not expecting much. They published it, and sent me a cheque for 150 euros. I was ecstatic. Sadly, by the time I had written and submitted another couple of stories, the newspaper had ran into financial trouble and discontinued that segment. So, I sent one of the stories to a short-story competition, and, to my great surprise, won. The story was published in an anthology called Invasion.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Right after receiving that first cheque! :D

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Sure! I am currently working on three projects, actually. One is my second children’s book, called Musiville (you can actually read my first one, Runaway Smile, for free on my blog.

My second project is my second collection of short stories, to be called Infinite Waters. I love short stories, and they are one of my favorite genres. This collection includes many of the shorts I have written in the year since publication of my first collection, The Power of Six.

My third project is Pearseus: Endgame, the fourth book of my epic fantasy series, Pearseus (fifth if you count Schism; the prequel to the series). It continues the story from where Vigil left. Although the main threat has been dealt with, the two main factions on the planet are preparing for all-out war. The characters are forced to fight for what they believe in or lose it all. The remaining story lines will be wrapped up in this last volume.

What inspired you to write your books?

My first inspiration is, surprisingly enough, sleep. More precisely, my dreams, which often morph into stories during that special time of the day when you lie in bed half-asleep. My second inspiration is, of course, reading. There are so many wonderful ideas out there, and they act like seeds in my head, to bloom at night and transform into new stories that just have to be written.

Do you have a specific writing style?

As you can probably tell from my cross-genre writing, I prefer the stories to tell me the genre they’d like to be written in. However, yes, I have gradually developed my own style – or, as I like to think of it, found my own voice. This is an ongoing process, of course, so it’s constantly evolving.

There are many stylistic similarities in my work, although there are obviously genre-specific differences as well. Still, I’d like to think that a discerning reader will have little trouble identifying my work from someone else’s.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

I’ll focus on Musiville here. My illustrator and friend Dimitris Fousekis is currently illustrating it. The idea is that animals-musical instruments share a picturesque village. When they all start carrying their own tune, an unexpected invader wreaks havoc. The title, Musiville, seemed very appropriate for a village full of musical instrument-shaped animals!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are many messages, but, in my experience, everyone reads books differently. You sit down and write, then analyze what you have written. I can tell you what my personal take is on each story, but that assumes you and I got the same thing out of it.

For example, I got a strange call from a psychologist family friend the other day. She said she loved Runaway Smile, my first children’s book, because it said exactly what she had been struggling to convey through her own unfinished book: that all men would turn into criminals if not for the mother’s love.

When I indicated that this was not my personal understanding of the story, she refuted me, explaining that I obviously did not understand what I had written.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I have this theory of creativity, that builds on Jung’s archetypes. These are unconscious structures that live in our soul and help us organize our lives and make sense of things.

According to my theory, everyday experience filters down to the soul, where it is shaped by the archetypes into novel forms. Artists of any kind are able to regurgitate the new creations back into their consciousness, in order to share them with the world.

This is a long-winded way of saying that yes, I think that all experiences in my books are based on everyday experience. However, it would be hard in most cases to pinpoint which experience gave birth to which passage, as they get all mangled up on their way into my unconscious and back.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I love Philip K. Dick’s works, and find him tremendously inspiring. Indeed, I consider him a modern-day prophet. His short stories taught me everything I needed to know about that genre, while his many ideas have repeatedly found their way into my work. Then, there are Tolkien and Martin, two of the main influences in fantasy: Tolkien practically invented the genre; Martin redefined it. Also, Clark and Asimov, who showed us how science fiction needs to be rooted into hard fact, to be believable. Their work, and especially Asimov’s Foundation series, have heavily influenced Pearseus. Finally, there’s Herbert, whose Dune series has also been a main influence. In fact, I couldn’t be happier when a reader described Pearseus as “a cross between Dune and Game of Thrones”!

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

That would have to be Dick. I’m currently reading his Exegesis, which is in effect his personal correspondence, and am fascinated by it. Indeed, Exegesis is the best trove of wonderful ideas, as far as I’m concerned.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

I design the covers of my books, with the help of my childhood friend and illustrator, Dimitris Fousekis. He’s the one who has illustrated the Pearseus logo and the scales, and done all the illustrations for my children’s books.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t bother with writing, unless you’re passionate about it! It’s not an easy profession, in the sense that it can take years to build your audience and make a name for yourself. So, for a long time, you may have to work late nights, write whenever you have time and spend a lot of time “normal” people spend socializing, working on manuscripts that no one might even see.

If, however, this is fun to you – as it is to me – then, by all means go for it. Never before has publishing been so easy, with the advent of self-publishing. Just make absolutely certain that your manuscript has been professionally edited and proofread before submitting to Amazon, Smashwords etc!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

As I often joke, the only thing that grows faster than my waistline is my list of books to be read! So, I really appreciate it when people take time off their busy lives to read my work. So, the one thing I wish I could tell them is that I love each and every one of them! I wish I could give everyone who has read my books a cookie. Heck, a whole basket for those who have reviewed them!

Book Cover The Power of SixNicholas C. Rossis
Athens, Greece

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Cover Artist: Dimitris Foussekis
Publisher: Delta Ekdotiki.

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Author Interview: C. S. Marks

C.S. Marks prefers the classic epic tale, told in a slightly more contemporary voice. Her work may be read and enjoyed by all ages and on many levels of complexity, from the superficial action/adventure to the deep, thought-provoking level appreciated by the more serious and introspective reader. I’m honored to feature her on No Wasted Ink.

Author CS MarksI’m C.S. Marks, best known in the writing world for the Elfhunter trilogy. I hold a Ph.D. in Life Sciences, I am a life-long horsewoman and competitive long-distance rider, and I have spent the past 23 years as a Professor of Equine Science. My other interests include art, archery and bow-making, songwriting, and filk-singing. (I also have thirteen dogs on the farm. Ye gods.)

When and why did you begin writing?

I don’t remember when I first began writing; my dad was a Professor of Literature, and he instilled a love of words, reading, and writing at a very early age. Serious writing began the year he died suddenly…to fill a hole, I expect.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I’ve just released Outcaste, which is the first in a new Alterran series. I’m currently working on the second in that series, entitled Anastasi. Also starting work on an unrelated novel.

What inspired you to write this book?

Let’s go back to the beginning, to Elfhunter.
Actually, it was the villain, Gorgon Elfhunter, who inspired me. His is a story that just needed to be told.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I probably do, but not sure how to describe it. As with any writer, it has evolved over the years. I like well-written narrative, I hate infodumps, I try to include enough description to fire the readers’ imaginations without overdoing it, and I love dialogue. Others have described my stuff as “Martin-esque with a bit of Stephen King influence.” I find that interesting, as I didn’t read anything of Mr. Martin’s until after the trilogy was long finished. My love for Tolkien is obvious, but my style is quite different.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

It is the story of Gorgon Elfhunter. There could be no other title. Sometimes the title of a book won’t reveal itself to me until the book is nearly finished, as was the case with Ravenshade.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That is a vast question, and there are many ways to answer it, depending on the reader. Over the course of five novels, the “message” has developed with the story. If I had to condense it, it would concern themes of good and evil, love and hate—and what happens in between when the lines are blurred and the path is no longer clear. It would focus on the choices we make, which define our character, and that we are not at the mercy of circumstance if we choose to defy it and remain true to who we are. The newer series really focuses on the nature of prejudice, and how it may (or may not) be overcome.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes, some are. The horses, for example, are all based on horses I either have owned or currently own. I have been told that I write some of the best horse characters in fantasy, which is not surprising considering my life-long obsession. There are countless other examples of events and characters based on experience…I’ll keep them to myself for now.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I adore James Herriot. From him I learned to write what I know and tell my story from the heart. I admire Stephen King, who taught me the rules of writing and how to break them. I will always love Tolkien…the man who defines what epic fantasy is, and should be, at least to me.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

My dad would have been a great one. It is one of my greatest regrets that he did not live to see my work in print. He was editing my stuff since I was about eight years old; from him I learned to loathe exclamation points and not fear the occasional adverb.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Concept by me, artwork by Hope Hoover (Elfhunter) or John Connell (Fire-heart, Ravenshade, Outcaste). Hope and John were chosen for the quality of their work, and because they are willing to work in close cooperation with the author.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Of course—don’t we all? In a few words, “Try to be realistic in your expectations, hire the best editor you can afford, and realize that not everyone will love your work…and that’s ok!”

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

You guys know how much I appreciate you. If you loved the Elfhunter trilogy, wait til you read Outcaste. And if you loved Outcaste, wait til Anastasi comes out. (You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.)

Book Cover ElfhunterC.S. Marks

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Cover Artist: John Connell
Publisher: Parthian Press

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Author Interview: Robert Mullin

Robert Mullin is a cryptozoologist who has traveled to Africa three times in search of a living dinosaur. He was featured on an episode of the History Channel’s television show, Monster Quest. I am pleased to welcome him here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Robert MullinMy name is Robert Mullin, and I am a couch potato who has traveled to Africa three times in search of an animal whose physical description matches that of a living dinosaur. I am interested in a number of eclectic subjects, most of which reside just off the borders of the known realm.

When and why did you begin writing?

Though I had done a number of smaller projects in my early years, I didn’t begin writing in earnest until I was in college, when an English teacher told me, upon reading one of my papers, that I was going to be a writer. Coincidentally, my cousin and I were playing with the beginnings of a story at the time, and I decided to see if my instructor’s words were prophetic.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably not until I finished my first “real” novel in 1998 and realized that, clunky as it was, it was a complete, coherent story with the potential for broader audience appeal.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Bid the Gods Arise tells the story of two cousins sold into slavery on another world and getting caught up in the machinations of an ancient evil that hunts their souls. The series is a mythic hybrid drawing from a number of genres, from epic fantasy to supernatural to science fiction. These are not set at odds with each other, but part of the whole cloth of the narrative.

What inspired you to write this book?

My late cousin and I used to take walks and talk about movies and novels we enjoyed. One of our laments was that there were a great number of stories whose premises were sabotaged by poor execution. While we’ve all seen a number of well done but unoriginal films, we felt that most of the really interesting stories that could have been truly great were lackluster because the treatment did not meet the high bar set by the concept. Perhaps somewhat arrogantly (or at least naïvely), we set out to rectify that with our own story, borrowing liberally from various things we found interesting, but in a setting entirely our own. All good authors steal, but the smart ones file off the serial numbers, so I don’t tend to reveal most of my inspirational sources.

I can say that my Star Wars fandom has probably played the most significant role in terms of how I approach the fiction itself. While that series, like most masterpieces, is inherently flawed, I very much identified with the notion of trying to make the unfamiliar familiar, and utilizing grand mythic themes to tell otherwise simple human tales. I tend to prefer mystical/spiritual fantasy to magical fantasy, so in that respect as well the story borrows heavily from the Star Wars model. I deliberately tried to stay away from the fantasy/sci-fi clichés of unpronounceable names and implausible magic systems, and instead focused on real, memorable people who are the true heart of this cosmic drama.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think so. I grew up reading the classics, so I had to unlearn what are now considered bad habits for writers. I have not read the works of most of the authors I have been compared to, so I can’t really say how accurate those comparisons are.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The title literally woke me up one night as I was still working on one of the early drafts. It seemed to sum up the primary theme of the novel and have a unique cadence. It might be a bit like catching lightning in a bottle; the tentative titles for the subsequent novels in the series don’t have that structure though they will feel consistent.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I prefer readers to draw their own conclusions. Like Tolkien, I “cordially dislike allegory,” and “prefer history—true or feigned—with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers.” I don’t think it’s possible to read Bid the Gods Arise without knowing where I stand on certain things, but I would hope that I do not bludgeon readers with my worldview, but rather allow it to shape the tale just as most authors do, consciously or unconsciously. I suppose that if there were one thing I would hope people take away, it would be the notion of hope and choice in the face of what appears to be fate.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The relationship between the two primary characters is an oblique homage to the relationship I enjoyed with my own cousin, and one of the recurring dreams the visionary character has is a dream that used to wake me up at night when I was a boy. The other characters and events generally draw more from history, the classics, or people I know secondhand. My travels to Africa did help shape a few elements, but they came after the first drafts of the novel were done, so they aren’t overt.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jules Verne, Herman Melville, Timothy Zahn, to name just a few. Each one of them has taken me to other worlds (or at least far away and exotic places), and the latter, more contemporary, has the gift of getting me to turn the pages without being aware of the fact that I am reading. The authors I most admire have created worlds to which I long to return, either because of the magic of their storytelling or the power of their convictions.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

C. S. Lewis, because of the approach he took with his novels. He and Tolkien decided that when no one was writing the books they wanted to write, they would just have to write them themselves. That’s something I can definitely identify with. But I also very much admire the way he integrated his personal apologetics, philosophy, and worldview into his novels. Lewis was a brilliant man, and I would have loved to sit at the feet of the master and learn all I could from him.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

James Cline of Kanion Rhodes Studio. He had done the covers for a series done by a friend of mine (K.G. Powderly’s Windows of Heaven series), and I actually suggested him as a possibility for my fellow Crimson Moon Press author, J.C. Lamont. After he proved that he was able to visualize some of the unique concepts for her books, I talked with him about my own.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to publish the first book before the second is complete. Get off Facebook. Don’t let life stress you out to the point that you forget to write.

Oh, wait, this is supposed to be advice for other people.

Read everything you can, and learn as much as possible about the craft. Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist. If you think you’re ready to publish, sit on it, finish the second book, and then go back and revisit the first.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thanks for taking the time to let me talk to you, and I look forward to feedback from new readers! For the longsuffering fans waiting patiently for the sequel, please do not give up on me.

Bid the Gods AriseRobert Mullin

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Cover artist: James Cline
Crimson Moon Press

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Author Interview: M. P. McVey

M.P. McVey is an up and coming fantasy and science fiction author. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Author MP McVeyMy name is Michael McVey. I write fantasy and sci-fi books and stories under the name M.P. McVey. I live in Columbus, Ohio with my ever-patient girlfriend Laura, and our two cats; a one-eyed cat with a deviated septum named Stanley and an ornery kitten we call Gandalf, the mostly grey.

When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote a couple of short stories during my early years in elementary school. Of course, they were part of school work, but I remember loving the creativity that it involved—writing stories in made up places with strange twists and even stranger characters. It was very empowering for a young kid. Then in the eighth grade I had a teacher named Mr. Evans that told me that I had a ‘way with words’ and encouraged me to write more, which I did.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Some people get pretty creative with how they refer to themselves, whether it be writer, author, novelist, scribe, poet, or playwright. My friend Joe and I (Joe did the wonderful artwork for my cover) often joke about being wordsmiths, because of how diligent we are with our word placement. But as far as being considered a “professional writer”? I’m not sure if I’m there yet, but I’ve considered myself a storyteller for many years.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Plod On, Sleepless Giant is a contemporary fantasy that was released this past February 2015 by Mount Air Publishing. It takes place in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, but tells a story that delves deep into our world. At the center of Earth lives Temelephas, an ancient elephant chained to his wooden wheel. He was created to remember nothing and to feel nothing … only to walk and turn our globe. But over time he changes and begins to remember things and experiences emotions that he is entirely unfamiliar with. And as it happens, he momentarily stops his walk and the earth ceases in its turning and chaos ensues on the surface above. From that point on we see how the humans in the story—and the powers that be—choose to carry on, and how they set out to fix the wrongs that had been done.

What inspired you to write this book?

The funny thing about ideas is how they sometimes just appear out of nowhere. The idea for Plod On, Sleepless Giant actually came to me in a dream. I was moving through dark caverns, the light of flickering flames bouncing off of the curving walls. There was a loud, thundering noise and the ground shook, but I kept moving toward the noise. I found myself in a large cave, and the noise was terrible. There in the middle of the cave was an ancient elephant chained to a large, wooden wheel. I remember the elephant—whom I would later name Temelephas—very clearly, in my dream he was so ancient and slow, and appeared to be chiseled out of granite. It was at that moment that I knew he was the reason for the turning of our world. When I woke I was very anxious and I quickly wrote the idea down on a scrap piece of paper; just the idea of an ancient elephant and his wheel. It would take me a few months to even conceive of the story that would build around him.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Yeah, I’d say I have my own style. It really is the fingerprint of the writer, the only trace of evidence we leave at the crime scene. I think my style is more about a rhythm to the words than anything else. I like to write flowery prose at times, but I also like to write something pretty straight forward from time to time, like a punch to the face. But the rhythm of the words, that’s where my stamp lies.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The title came last, I had simply been referring to it as Temelephas throughout the whole writing process. I think the title was more of a plea that I felt would be heard by my ancient elephant … a plea from the world for him to press forward, as we all must at some times—no matter how terrible things may seem. Temelephas doesn’t sleep, you see … in fact, he’s pretty interested in the idea of it—especially the part about dreaming.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I try not to be too preachy when it comes to things like that, but I suppose that we can’t really help it. All writers are telling you something, whether they know it or not, but I never set out to tell anything more than a story. I really enjoy it when readers tell me the messages they take away from the book … little pieces of wisdom that they carried away from the page. I can’t help but feel pride in that … that words I wrote somehow sparked an idea in another person’s head, and maybe it will be passed on from one person to another. A string of ideas that may trace back to one little section from a book I wrote. So they ask, “Did you mean this?” or “I love how you said that”, and I smile at them. Maybe it meant that and perhaps this … I’m glad that people read my words so carefully.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your life?

Everything we write is somewhat based on something in our lives, right? I have characters in my book that are directly based on people I know, some are even named after them. The little blonde girl named Addison on page 114 is actually based on my niece of the same name. I remember the page so specifically, because she loves it when I read that little part to her. But all of the main characters are completely fictional, though they may be fragments of myself. I think the views and attitudes of each character, however, they may vary, come from me a bit. I seem to have left a little of me inside each of them.

What authors have influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

This is a great question. I think W.P. Kinsella has influenced my life the most. He is a very talented author that has had many struggles through his life; he has had to hold many jobs as he came up as a writer, never finding success easily. I like to see people become successful that had to work hard for what they have. It reminds me that the road that lays before me as a writer is a hard and long road, but that the destination is worth the hardships.

If you had to choose, is there a writer you would consider a mentor? Why?

I would have to say Kinsella for that as well. I wrote to him once, having heard of his accident(he had been hit by a car and the injuries he sustained had affected his ability to write), I wanted to wish him well. I told him about my own writing and asked him what advice he might pass along. It took him nearly three months to respond, but he did. It was a very friendly email and he spoke to me about his accident a bit and the frustrations he felt over his inability to focus on his writing. He told me to read and read and read, which is the best advice for any would be writer.

Who designed the cover for your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

My best friend Joe Reisinger did the artwork for the cover. He’s also a talented writer, when he finds the time. I knew I wanted him to do the cover when I first started writing the book. He has such a great imagination, and he and I pretty much saw the cover the same way in our minds.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just as Mr. Kinsella said … read, read, and read some more. Anyone can come up with an idea for a story, it’s in how you tell the story that makes it a good one. We only learn the skill of storytelling from hearing and reading stories. So read until you feel your eyes may fall out of your skulls, and read to your little ones if you have them.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Most importantly, thank you for reading my book. I know the world is a busy place and free time is a commodity that we have very little of, so thank you for spending even a bit of it with me.

Book Cover Plod On Sleepless GiantM.P. McVey
Columbus, Ohio

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Cover Artist:Joe Reisinger (he has no links, sadly … but he can be contacted through me)

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Author Interview: R. Lee Walsh

When I asked epic fantasy author R. Lee Walsh to describe herself, she said, “Author, Artist and student of the impossible.” I think that this is a good description of how most authors feel about themselves. Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

Author R. Lee WalshAm I the only one who feels awkward when talking about themselves? As a mother of two beautiful daughters who are nearly grown now, my life is filled with the typical joys and angst of raising strong, independent, women. I’ve also been the at home caretaker for my grandfather who suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s. I always consider myself a mother first, then a writer and last an artist and poet. I’ve been writing now for thirteen years, three of those full time.

I live in scenic North Idaho and also have two dogs and a cat who I find are the perfect writing partners. They listen attentively and never criticize me for those entire days I wasted on a chapter that seemed like a good idea when I was taking a shower but may or may not have merely been a side effect of watching too much YouTube, not enough sleep or too much Splenda in my coffee.

As a full-time writer, my life sounds pretty boring on paper. I mean, I sit in front of a computer several hours a day and dream up ways to torture my imaginary friends with hopeless situations, supernatural villains and unsolved mysteries. There are wondrous days when my friends surprise me and all my plot lines mesh and many others where I bang my head against the refrigerator at the end of the day and wonder how I ever thought I could do this job. However, the truth is, I love my life and what I do. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

When and why did you begin writing?

Interestingly enough, I began writing during a very stressful time in my life. My family was dealing with a terrible tragedy and to make matters worse I’d been suffering a health crisis and underwent several painful surgeries. I started writing as an outlet during my recovery and discovered a gift I didn’t know I had. Thirteen years later I’m still writing but feel like I’m just getting started.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I really considered myself a writer when I finished my first book. It was a memoir about my life during the year when my whole family was falling apart and just writing it was a huge accomplishment. I also had some award winning poems that sparked a line of greeting cards. While I very much enjoy writing non-fiction and poetry, fiction is my passion.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

The Last Scribe Series is a ten part epic fantasy about the last surviving descendant of Enoch, an unusual girl who unknowingly inherits the secret of creation. Based on actual prophecies and controversial historical information hidden in the Apocrypha, supernatural forces wage war for control of this unusual girl who has no idea that the seemingly innocent things she’s writing in her diary are actually creating a new world.

While there are multiple installments in the series, in order to give your readers a better understanding, the long and short of it goes something like this:

According to a six thousand year old prophecy hidden in the Apocrypha, the last surviving descendant of Enoch will inherit the secret of creation, enabling him or her to create the future with the stroke of a pen. In order to protect that survivor, the identity of the last descendant has remained one of mankind’s longest running mysteries and is considered by most scholars to be the most dangerous person who will ever live.

Behind the scenes of the world’s largest mega-church, 18-year-old Hope Matthews can’t wait to leave for college. As far as she’s concerned, her stepfather’s meteoric rise to fame as America’s favorite televangelist has done nothing but make her life miserable.

Constantly surrounded by cameras and an embarrassment to her famous family, the only thing worse than her reputation as a troublemaker are the rumors surrounding her personal diary. When a jealous prank between siblings puts the unreadable contents of that diary into the spotlight, she’s labeled as suffering from mental illness. She soon finds herself the target of a bizarre conspiracy, accused of a brutal murder.

Wanted by the authorities and unaware of her world changing power, she flees from the sheltered life she’s known. Hiding herself in an underground world of runaways, rebels and graffiti artists, she’s secretly followed and protected by a powerful stranger named Yuri, whose mysterious origins run deeper than the scars that cover his body. A violent encounter uncovers the truth about her heritage, and she is faced with an impossible choice – if she saves herself and the people who betrayed her, it will destroy everyone she loves.

From the streets of Portland, Oregon, to the catacombs of Paris, an ordinary girl with an extraordinary destiny must find the courage to write a new world into existence as supernatural forces wage war for control, all of them determined to rewrite the future of humanity by becoming masters of The Last Scribe.

What inspired you to write this book?

One day I was in a second hand book store and saw the Apocrypha. As someone raised in a very religious environment, of course I’d never been allowed to read it. I took it home and read through the whole thing in a few days and when I was done, I knew I had my story.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’d like to say I’m pretty simple and straight-forward with a touch of humor, but others say world-building and dialog are my strong suits. I don’t know if style is something I can decide for myself at this point.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

It started out as something else and was developed with the help of Michael Neff of Algonkian Workshops. He and I went back and forth several times and actually wrote the synopsis before finally coming to The Last Scribe.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Each and every person has the power to change the world.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

You know, all writers take some from their own lives and some from others. Being a writer makes you a student of human nature. There are little bits of everyone I’ve ever met in my characters–some more obvious than others. But at the end of the day, I’d have to say the characters wrote themselves. I’m always amazed at how they take on a mind of their own and tell me what they think instead of the other way around. The Last Scribe is really about Hope and her journey to uncover the truth about her heritage and ultimately the purpose of her life.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring? This is such a hard question because it depends on circumstances. I remember reading books during certain times of my life and being inspired, then reading them again and wondering why I liked them so much. However, I do have some that I will always love, like Ted Dekker and his When Heaven Weeps Trilogy. The allegorical nature of the story really moved me. I also loved Dean Koontz and the Odd Series as well as his darker, more terrifying novels like What the Night Knows and Relentless. I love the way he always threads faith and hope even in amidst the most horrifying story.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why? I’m going to say Dean Koontz. I’ve read all his books and truly love how he uses every day people to tell outrageous, horrifying yet somehow inspirational stories. I don’t know any other author who does that.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator? It was a collaboration between myself and Tim Alexander of DieAtlantic designs. He’s been my website designer for years and got what I was trying to do from the start. I’d recommend him to anybody who wants killer artwork for their books and websites.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up! I can’t tell you how many writers I know who have given up on their stories without ever finishing them. Join a writing group with people you don’t know (objectivity) and really invest yourself in it. Listen to advice and critiques with an eye for improving your writing, not just arguing your point. If you want to be good at any craft, connections, and commitment and ongoing education is paramount. Also, write because you want to and not for money.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Every last one of you, the good and bad have made what I do worthwhile.

The Last Scribe Book CoverR. Lee Walsh
Lewiston, Idaho

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Publisher: Story Merchant
Cover Artist: Timothy Alexander

The Last Scribe

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