Tag Archives: paranormal

Author Interview: Karen Michelle Nutt

No matter the genre her tales fall under, Author Karen Michelle Nutt tries to capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most mysterious and fabulous human phenomena of falling in love. I’m pleased to welcome her on No Wasted Ink.

author karen michelle nuttMy name is Karen Michelle Nutt. As a multi-published author, I spin tales for The Wild Rose Press, Highland Press, Victory Tales Press, and Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery. I have also ventured into self-publishing.

I reside in California with my husband. We’ve been married for thirty-two years and have three fascinating children, who are grown now and have started their own adventures in life. We still have a houseful of demanding pets. Jack, my Chorkie, is my writing buddy and sits long hours with me at the computer.

When I’m not time traveling, fighting outlaws or otherworldly creatures, I create pre-made book covers with my daughter Katrina Gillian at: Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing down my stories when I was about nine or ten because I thought it was fun. I wrote plays at first. My fifth-grade teacher let my friends and I perform one of them too. It was very exciting for a ten-year-old.

Later, I jotted down stories in notebooks. I still have those early writings. They were written in ink, not on a computer. So ‘spell check’ wasn’t available. I couldn’t erase or add words if they were needed. Definitely, a rough draft. My daughters, when they were young, loved those stories and read them over and over again.

However, after I was married and had three children, life seemed to be too busy to pick up a pen and write. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine asked me why I didn’t write anymore that I realized how long it had been. That week I sat down and started my first novel and haven’t stopped writing since.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I suppose I’ve always been a writer in my heart, but when I held my first book in print that my publisher had sent me, I truly believed it.

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

Evie Reid on a whim agrees to travel back in time to 1997 to change bad boy/rock star Bellamy Lovel’s path. She’s smart with a college degree, but she is still fan-girl crazy for the rock band, Civilized Heathens. Evie knows despite all Bellamy’s smiles and enthusiasm on the stage, he’s destined to end it all on one lonely night in a hotel room unless she can change his path.

Bellamy isn’t keen on having Evie as his personal assistant, hired by his bandmates to watch over him, and keep him on schedule. However, there is something about the woman that sparks his interest, despite his best to ignore her. When darkness threatens to consume him he realizes she may be the only light that will chase the shadows away.

What inspired you to write this book?

My daughter and I watched ‘INXS, Live at Wembley’ on DVD. We were sad to think the lead singer had died so tragically and there would never be another song written or performed by him. The time travel tale about Bellamy Lovel took root, but I wanted a happier ending for my rock star and sent Evie back in time to try and save him.

Do you have a specific writing style?

No matter how dark the story may be, I try to also keep some levity in the tale. Life is about ups and downs and everything in between. I strive to keep the characters real no matter if their human, a vampire or shapeshifter. I want them to have genuine emotions and flaws because no one is perfect. I want them to fall in love and by the end of the story, I want the characters to find their happily ever after even if its only for now.

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

It was inspired by an INXS song. It wasn’t the title or the theme but three words within the song that inspired the title. Two Worlds Collided became the title for two reasons. My heroine is from the future and my hero is from the past, but their worlds collide. Also, my heroine’s essence is what travels back in time to merge with her younger self in 1997. In a sense, her worlds collide so she can be with the hero and hopefully change his tragic past.

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

First and foremost, I hope the story is heartwarming, fun and simply entertaining.

Though Two Worlds Collided is a time travel romance with plenty of humor and steamy romantic moments, my fictional character, Bellamy struggles with addiction, depression, and suicide. They are all serious emotions that should never be overlooked.

Of course, thoughts of suicide are not necessarily something people announce to the world and this means loved ones often have no idea that their friend or family member is even contemplating such an act. However, there may be signs and risk factors, and while you might think you can’t make a difference by yourself, you’re wrong. Sometimes all it takes is one person to say something or do something that will change their decision. One smile, one comment, a conversation or even a gesture toward someone who is considering suicide could make all the difference in the world. It could instill hope and with hope they may seek help.

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

Though I’ve known people who have suffered from addiction and depression, Two Worlds Collided was inspired by the tragic story of a true-life rock star.

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

Not really a mentor, but I do have someone I can bounce ideas off and discuss story plots. This is my daughter Katrina, who is not only a talented cover book artist but also an author as well. We’ll sit down and brainstorm about where I should send my characters next.

I also have a very good friend who edits my work and she’s not shy about telling me if something isn’t working for her in the story. This is vital in penning a good tale. I value her honest opinions. Thanks, Cathy.

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

I’m blessed with knowing many author friends that I’ve met online who have shared their experiences on what works and what doesn’t work in the storytelling world. Both are important in striving to be a successful writer.

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

Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover” is the name of my book cover store that I co-own with my daughter, Katrina Gillian. I created the cover for Two Worlds Collided. There were a few covers created before the one you see now was finally chosen.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Be true to yourself. Write every day even if you don’t feel inspired. Sometimes your quick thoughts can blossom into something more.

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

Readers are what writers can never live without. The novel doesn’t only belong to the writer; it also belongs to the reader as well. Without the reader, the story is just ink on a paper and nothing more. Opening the book, reading those first words, this is where the true magic begins. I love readers! Thank you so much for loving books.

book cover two worlds collidedKaren Michelle NuttKaren Michelle Nutt
Huntington Beach, CA

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Two Worlds Collided

Cover Artist: Gillian’s Book Covers
Publisher: Twin Star Books

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Author Interview: Mirren Hogan

When I asked Author Mirren Hogan what she likes best around writing, she replied,  “What can I say, writing keeps me sane!”  Now that is a sentence most writers can relate to!  Please welcome her here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Mirren HoganMy name is Mirren Hogan. I live on the NSW south coast, Australia. I have a dog, cat, rabbits, chickens and too many parrots to count. For relaxation, I walk the dog in the forest behind our house.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing ever since primary school. At first it was just in my head, usually at night, but eventually, I started to put things down on paper. The invention of the word processor and computer helped push things along a little bit too.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t consider myself a writer. I didn’t consider myself an author until my first book came out last October, in spite of several short stories having been published before that.

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

There are so many current books, but I’ll focus on the first one, Crimson Fire. It’s a fantasy set in a world based on Africa. The main character is a young woman named Tabia who is sold into slavery to pay her father’s debts. She discovers that she has the innate ability to use magic, and her new mistress lets her train to use it correctly because it’ll increase her value and usefulness. Tabia is caught up in a savage coup and sent far from her home country. She struggles to find safety, security, and freedom.

What inspired you to write this book?

Initially, it was the glut of euro-centric fantasy in the market at the time. I love that kind of fantasy, but there’s a world of unique cultures (literally) out there which would make interesting settings or inspiration. I like to look at what others have done and do something different.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I think most readers who describe is as loose and easy to read. I’m not out to write literary classics, I’ll leave those to other writers. I prefer to write work which is more inclusive and available to readers of all levels, which can be enjoyed in a relaxed way.

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

The book had several titles during the writing and editing process, but I wasn’t happy with any of them. I scanned the text for something eye catching literally as I was preparing the submission for the publisher, knowing they’d change it if they didn’t like it. It stuck.

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

I can’t say that I deliberately put in a message, but the main character is lesbian, and has dark skin. The book isn’t ABOUT either of these things, those are just aspects of Tabia. I’d like readers to see HER first and the rest afterward, because that’s how I believe all people should be viewed.

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

There are aspects of Tabia’s insecurities which certainly come from me. Also, her desire to read, read, read, and learn are from me!

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

Jennifer Fallon and Anne McCaffrey mostly. They have female characters who kick ass, but their work is unique. I love unique. Being different has always been something I strive for. If something was trendy, I never wanted it. Life is too short to be a clone!

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

Every writer is a mentor. Every book I’ve ever read or didn’t finish reading gave me insight into how to be a better writer and storyteller. What not to do is just as important as what to do.

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

The amazing Druscilla Morgan. She designed the cover for an anthology I edited for Plan Australia, called Like a Girl. Her work is phenomenal.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read. Read, read, read. Think about what you liked or didn’t like about a story, it’ll tell you a lot about your strengths as a writer and the direction you’d like to go. Also, don’t be stuck worrying about genre. Write the story, figure the rest out later, and make your characters interested and flawed. Flaws are your friend.

Crimson Fire Book CoverMirren Hogan
Batemans Bay NSW, Australia

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Author Interview: Angela Horst

Fantasy novels are particular favorites of mine to read, which makes introducing a new fantasy author to you a delight for me. Angela Horst is a local author and one that I believe you will like. Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

author-angela-horstHello! My name is Angela Horst and I’m a stay-at-home mother to an energetic, sometimes impish five-year-old. I’m an avid reader, gamer, and all-around geek. I worked at Blizzard Entertainment, a gaming company, before quitting to start my life as a mom. My husband worked there as well (he actually gave me the interview for the job!), and after getting to know one another, moving to Austin, and moving back to California, we eventually got married.

I tend to write and read in the fantasy genre. My favorite book of all time is The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle, though I do delve into other genres like Stephen King once in awhile.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing consistently in high school. Having a free period and study times, I found myself with the time to daydream and be creative. I read voraciously, sometimes under my desk during class (which is probably why I’m not the best at math). Reading gave me the motivation to write. It helped me to escape, and the ideas that other authors had would inspire me to make my own stories.

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

The Nightmare Exterminator is a bit of an oddity. I’d call it magical realism, but there is also a pinch of paranormal, fantasy, and a good helping of humor. Noah Clifton has the ability to enter nightmares and rid them from a dreamer’s sleep – for the right price. His sidekick is a surly gnome named Guinness, and together they piece together clues in order to find out about Noah’s life before exterminating nightmares. Before he was even human.
What inspired you to write this book?

Funny enough, it was a dream! I had a vague sense of a man and gnome who defeated nightmares, and I used that skeleton to world-build around them.

Do you have a specific writing style?

For some unknown reason, it’s hard for me not to write as a first-person male. I can sneak in deeper thoughts with first person, and perhaps I write as male because I’m a tomboy? Whatever the reason, it does come with a drawback. It’s hard for me to get out of my comfort zone, though I do try to on some occasions as a challenge.

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

Not one that I thought about while writing. Noah is a jaded smart-alec who isn’t fond of human interaction at the beginning of the book. He is sarcastic and sees only the negative. By the end, this has lifted, and he is able to focus on enjoying life. If there is a message, I suppose it would be: don’t let life pass you by and live it to the fullest.

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

Peter S Beagle has influenced my writing the most. He has my whimsicality and while this is not as prominent in The Nightmare Exterminator, I’ve grown to write in his style of flowery, descriptive writing. He is inspiring in that there are so many ideas and talent in one man. I met him at a book convention when I was young, and I’ve loved his books ever since.

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

If not Mr. Beagle, I would say Brandon Sanderson. This man has a way with world-building that is second to none. I am a terrible world-builder. I’m good with details and scenes, but world-building is not my strong point. Mr. Sanderson can do it in his sleep. His book, Mistborn, has inspired me to be more aware of an over-arcing story and epic storyline when writing my own books.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Never stop reading. Reading is the best tool for a writer. Words, worlds, even sentence structure can cause inspiration. Have an idea that’s sparked from another author’s writing? Write it! Of course, make it your own. Add the flourishes that make you you. Tap into that creativity and let your muse do its job.

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

I appreciate any eyes I can get on my novel, and I wanted to thank Wendy Van Camp for allowing me this interview on No Wasted Ink. I wish nothing more than a reader of my novel to realize it’s 2 AM when they look up from their tablet. I want to take you on a journey, to escape the real world if even for a moment to show you my pride and joy. And hey, maybe you’ll dream about Noah and his companions when you fall asleep. Maybe they’ll come along during a nightmare and do what they do best.

Thank you, Angela.  It is always my pleasure to help fellow authors.

the-nightmare-exterminator-book-coverAngela Horst

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Author Interview: Dana Hammer

Author Dana Hammer is a writer, a housewife, a blood and guts enthusiast, and a lady. She hopes you enjoy her writing. When I heard her read from Rosemary’s Baby Daddy I was laughing so hard I about rolled on the floor. I’m excited to introduce this upcoming author here on No Wasted Ink.

author-dana-hammerMy name is Dana Hammer, and I’m introducing myself to you. It’s hard to know where to start with this sort of thing, because I don’t know who YOU are. Maybe you’re the kind of person who just wants the facts, ma’am, and you just want to know, like, where I live and how old I am and stuff. But maybe you’re a more curious sort, and you want to know my favorite movies and what my hobbies are. Or maybe you’re a creep and you just want to know if you can have a pair of my used panties. In order to cover my bases, I will answer all of those questions, in order.

  1. I live in Anaheim.
  2. I am 34 years old.
  3. My favorite movies are Kill Bill, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Django Unchained and I Heart Huckabees.
  4. My hobbies are: writing, enjoying art of varying quality, reading the profiles of prospective adoptive couples online and judging their suitability as parents, and birding.
  5. No, you cannot.

I hope this has been informative!

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always written little things here and there, mostly to amuse myself when I was bored. I started writing in a more serious way when I worked in finance, because I hated that job with my whole heart, and writing kept me sane.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Honestly, not until I published my first book. Though I fully subscribe to the notion that a
writer is a writer both before and after publication.

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

Sure! It’s called Rosemary’s Baby Daddy, and it’s a comedic fantasy novel about a woman
named Lori who gets impregnated with a demon’s baby. She decides to abort the baby to hide her infidelity from her husband, but then the abortion clinic gets destroyed by a freak lightning storm. From then on, all kinds of crazy events happen.

Meanwhile, the father, the demon Pazuzu, can’t stop meddling in Lori’s life. He knows he’d be a really terrible father, but he can’t help himself; he’s always wanted a baby. In addition, he has to somehow protect his baby from his ex-girlfriend, Lamashtu, who is the demoness responsible for baby death.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had a terrible, terrible pregnancy. Pretty much anything you can think of that can go wrong with a pregnancy – yeah – that happened. So I wrote this book to cheer myself up.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to think of myself as a concise, direct writer. If you want a lot of purple prose and
descriptions of the sky, I’m not your gal. My goal is to tell a story and to entertain you, and I hope my style helps me to achieve that.

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

Actually, I didn’t. I was having a lot of trouble with that, and a friend of mine, Rhiannon
Aarons suggested “Rosemary’s Baby Daddy”. At first I was like… my character’s name isn’t Rosemary. But then I was like, so what?

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

I don’t know that I’d call it a message, but there is a definite theme, or “moral”, if you will. Basically, this book is a metaphor for how pregnancy (and new parenthood) throws your life into total disarray. You behave in ways and associate with people you never thought you would. You’re shocked at what you’re willing to sacrifice, and what changes you’re prepared to make, in order to be a good parent. Your body becomes a strange, alien thing that you don’t even recognize. You start to care deeply about things you never gave a thought to before; like which preschools in your area have Mandarin immersion programs and which restaurants have high chairs. It’s trippy.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or something from real life?

Not really. I was pregnant when I wrote this, but Lori is nothing like me. Oh, and I’ve never had sex with a demon.

Although,there is one part that was loosely inspired by real life. One day, when I was about four months pregnant, I was sitting in my living room and I heard this really strange squawking. It was birds, but not any birds I’d ever heard around here before. So I went outside and saw a FLOCK OF PARROTS. In Anaheim! Right outside! I thought I was going insane! Then I found out that there are actual flocks of wild parrots in Orange County; mostly former pets that have escaped from homes. But this incident was sort of the inspiration for the scene in the book where birds attack Lori’s house.

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

I read a lot of Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe during my formative years, and I still love
them both. I’m not sure if my fondness for dark subjects was something I learned from reading them, or if I read them because they spoke to my pre-existing fondness, but either way, they are both quite inspiring to me. I love any writer who isn’t afraid to embrace subjects that many people might find scary or unpleasant.

I also love Christopher Moore and Douglas Adams. Their madcap, quirky and hilarious stories make me super happy. If I could be any writer in the world, I’d be one of them. If I work really hard, maybe someday I might be worthy of fetching Christopher Moore a cup of coffee or polishing Douglas Adam’s tombstone, but I’m not there yet.

Is there a writer you would consider a mentor?

I wish! If a really great author wanted to mentor me, I would be so excited, I wouldn’t be able to contain myself. It’s all I would talk about. I would name drop endlessly, and eventually, my poor mentor would get sick of me and probably take out a restraining order against me, and that would be the end of the mentorship. But thus far, no one has reached out to me with the offer. If I could choose my mentor, no question, it would be Christopher Moore. But there are literally dozens of writers I would love to have as mentors, too.

Who designed the cover of your book?

Sheryl Sopot from Hyperchick Design did my book cover. I chose her because she’s
awesome, and we’ve been friends for years.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes. Be independently wealthy. Failing that, marry someone who will support you financially while you write. You need to have free time if you’re going to write a book; you can’t be spending all your time at an office doing spreadsheets. Also, read a lot. It makes writing a lot easier. Also, alcohol is your friend. Unless you’re an alcoholic. Then candy is your friend.

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

Thank you for reading my book! I really hope you enjoy it.

rosemarys-baby-daddy-book-coverDana Hammer
Anaheim, California

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Author Interview: Ann Snizek

Author Ann Snizek writes young adult urban fantasy with a fresh science fiction twist. Please welcome her here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Ann SzenikWho am I? I’m an eclectic person and a bit of a homebody. I do enjoy going out and doing things, but I completely enjoy my quiet time at home. We have a small homestead-in-progress (meaning we are slowly working toward being as self-sufficient as possible). I love animals, art, music, theater, movies, and nature. I tend to get obsessed with learning when something strikes me as interesting – which often happens – and I just run with it, devouring as much information as I can.

When and why did you begin writing?

It might be cliché, but I’ve always loved writing. I learned how to read before I started kindergarten and I spent my recess time in elementary school with paper and pencil in hand. Yes, life happened and I didn’t always get the chance to write, but story ideas constantly come into my mind and beg for me to preserve them in writing.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After all those years of writing, I still didn’t consider myself a writer until I self-published my first book in 2012. Even then the concept felt foreign to me. There are still days that I forget that I have several books published.

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

I have several books in the works, but I’m trying to focus on For: Giva de Vine (Payton Chronicles 2). It has been a long time coming and I feel guilty for not finishing it already. How can I call it a series when I only have one book published? Second to that book is The Sword of Israj (Tunuftol book 4) which has also been a long time coming as life happens quite often.

What inspired you to write this book?

I don’t remember how the details came about initially, but I wanted to write a story that my dad would be proud of. He passed away in 2010. He loved the arts and even wrote some himself. That side of my family was big in the arts. My grandparents owned and operated their own theatre with my grandmother acting, creating costumes and sets. My grandfather was a playwright and director.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I try to write in a natural manner. I want to produce something that I would enjoy reading. I love connecting with my characters and going new places. I want to feel that I can relate, but also have unexpected things happen.

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

I like to play on words. The title for book one is To Eris – Human. So, For: Giva de Vine had to come next.

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

I guess if I had to pick a message it would have to be to find your own inner strength. You can often do more and be more than you let yourselves believe. Reach for the stars.

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

Some things are taken from my own life or lives of those I know and love. Others are pure imagination. I like to blend the two. I feel it allows readers to connect as well as dream bigger. Even if you haven’t been through the same experience, everyone experiences basic emotions. That is what I try to convey.

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

Anne McCaffrey has long been a favorite writer. She started with a story idea that completely took off into a universe of its own. Still, with all her popularity, she always seemed to stay true to herself. Neil Gaiman and J.K. Rowling are amazing too. They create amazing new worlds with no limits except the imagination and they started at rock bottom and worked their way up. I hope to be even partially as successful as they have been in their lives.

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

I try to pull techniques from books I love to read and apply it to my own writing. I constantly strive to improve my skills and grow as a writer. I don’t have a specific mentor as such. There is no one person that I go to for guidance. Instead, I look to books and push myself to learn more and always get better.

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

This cover is the only cover I’ve ever purchased. I saw it and just thought it called to me and fit the feel of what I wanted. Purchasing it actually spurred me into action and I started playing with my computer graphics program and have started creating covers myself.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep writing what you know and love. Always push yourself to do better, but have fun. If you don’t enjoy writing it, how can you expect readers to enjoy it?

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

I love to hear from my readers more. I wish they would give me more feedback. If you enjoy my books write a little review, let me know, and tell others. I’d love to connect with them and find out what it is they like about it and why.

To Eris Human Book CoverAnn Snizek
Rural, central Virginia

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