Tag Archives: science fiction

Author Interview: Madeleine Holly-Rosing

Author Madeleine Holly-Rosing has a husband that likes to call her mono-polar manic. Whether he is right or not, this is one author who can turn out a rousing thriller of supernatural steampunk fun. Please welcome Madeleine to No Wasted Ink.

My name is Madeleine Holly-Rosing and I’m the writer of the steampunk supernatural series, Boston Metaphysical Society. It began as a six-issue graphic novel mini-series, but it has expanded to two graphic novel sequels (and another one coming), an anthology of short stories and novellas, and a novel.

I have an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA where I won the Sloan Fellowship among other awards. I’ve had a few scripts optioned and done some work-for-hire, but nothing produced yet. However, while I was there, I wrote the TV pilot for Boston Metaphysical Society which I then adapted into a graphic novel after I graduated. I also wrote a PSA which was co-produced by Women In Film. (The PSA won a Gold Aurora and a Bronze Telly.) And I’ve run six successful Kickstarter campaigns for Boston Metaphysical Society and wrote the book, Kickstarter for the Independent Creator.

I recently retired as a Fitness Instructor for LA Fitness after 18 years, and I’m working on rebuilding my right shoulder after having it replaced. With a titanium shoulder joint, you could say I’m steampunk from the inside out! I also love to bake, especially if chocolate is involved, and I like to garden. And I love dogs. My current favorite authors are Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries) and Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone).

When and why did you begin writing?

I think I’ve been writing stories since I learned how to write. However, when I was in my early twenties I decided to stop writing until I got more life experience under my belt. And that’s exactly what I did. About ten years later I started writing again. It definitely made my writing better.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably when I optioned my first screenplay. It was great to have someone pay me for my work.

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

You bet. Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets is a prequel to the original six issue mini-series graphic novel. An alternate-history steampunk supernatural thriller, it dives into the lives of Elizabeth Weldsmore Hunter, her ex-Pinkerton husband, and her father as they deal with political intrigue and her growing psychic abilities.

The book also won a silver medal in the Feathered Quill Books Awards in the scifi/fantasy category as well being chosen as the overall top pick for Adult, YA, and Children’s categories.

The original six-issue graphic novel mini-series is about an ex-Pinkerton detective, a spirit photographer, and a genius scientist who battle supernatural forces in late 1800s Boston. Bell, Edison, Tesla, and Houdini are also involved in the storyline.

What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to write Elizabeth Weldsmore Hunter’s story. We only learn a bit about her in the graphic novel, so I wanted to give old fans (and new ones) a chance to get to know her.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I go pretty deep into world-building, but make sure everything is character-driven.

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

That was fun. I knew the core theme of the book was about secrets, but a friend and I brainstormed it together through Facebook messaging.

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

A couple actually:

  1. Women have been saving the world forever and no one knows it.
  2. Secrets can kill.

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

Hahahaha. No. Since it’s set in the late 1800s and has paranormal elements, I can safely say it’s not based on someone I know or events in my life. However, I do use historical figures in the graphic novels and reference a few in the novel.

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

Lois McMaster Bujold. Her characters rock and her sentences are beautiful.

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

I’ve been fortunate to have had mentors for my comic book writing, but not really any for prose. However, I do have awesome beta readers that keep me honest.

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

The amazing cover art was done by Luisa Preissler and the title graphics were done by Anke Koopman. I saw a painting Luisa had done on Facebook for a steampunk novella which I loved so I tracked her down. My original thought was to have three characters on the cover, but that was outside of my budget, so I settled on having her depict Elizabeth Weldsmore Hunter, one of the main characters. Turns out that was the best decision.

The cover won a silver medal in the Authorsdb.com cover contest.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Finish what you write. Then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. And find good beta readers.

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

Welcome to the word of Boston Metaphysical Society. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Madeleine Holly-Rosing
Los Angeles, CA

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Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets

Luisa Priessler – https://www.luisapreissler.de/

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What Do You Know by Peter J Foote

The laziest answer given to the aspiring writers during Q&A’s or interviews when asked for advice is: “Write what you know”, but what does that mean?

It’s the trite answer given when vision is lacking or the author is keen for the day to finish. BUT there is a pearl of wisdom in there and I believe we should examine it together, so buckle up.

Though before we start I should caution you, nothing you read in this article will be earth-shattering or groundbreaking. Others have trod this path before, and will again, but I believe my unique perspective adds something to the question.

That’s right, I said unique, in that each of us has our unique memories and encounters that molded us into who we are now. My childhood on an apple farm, studying archaeology, or that unfortunate zipper “incident” when I was six may turn up in a story, I’m referring to something richer.

My story begins in the fall of 2015. I was at a crossroads, but we’ll chat about that later. Until that point, my writing comprised a handful of short stories I penned in the 90s that will never suffer the light of day and countless roleplaying adventures that went unplayed. At that point in my life, the writing was an outlet that struck at random.

So what changed? I had.

I ended a seven-year toxic relationship, it was something I knew was wrong when it began. Since we weren’t harming anyone (no marriage or kids, just played house on weekends), I allowed it to continue because I didn’t believe I deserved better. When I became brave enough to end it, I struggled to talk about my feelings, so I tried my hand at putting my emotions and journey into the written word. “The Silence between Moons”, a tale of a lone ranger and a She-wolf that could take human form was the result, and it became my first sale.

That’s what I knew, the sense of dismissal, the heartache, the feeling that I wasted my best years on a relationship that had no future. Weaving a fantasy tale around my hurt allowed me to feel like a hero, when before I felt like a villain since I had caused hurt and disappointment. Distancing myself from my feeling as I wrote the story wasn’t easy, nor should it have been, but that “over the shoulder” position I allowed myself, helped heal me more than I expected.

I hope your decisions have been better in life, each of us carries around mistakes, hopes, and joys, that emotional “baggage” that makes us the unique beings that we are. Beings that have a story to share with an audience, that connects us to others and that sense of connection is one of the greatest gifts that we can share with our readers.

Having a sale under my belt broke down my walls. Here was a way for me to express myself in a way that had a meaningful impact upon me, it gave me a strength to share myself with others. I hadn’t realized that my words, what I knew, could find a home in tales of wonder and adventure, and bring readers along for the ride.

That first story was clunky and not my best work, but it will always hold a special place in my heart. It led me along a path to tell new stories, explore myself, meet new people that I won’t have met otherwise. After it followed tales which explored how Might doesn’t always make Right, with my story “A Troll by any other name”, how a handful of jelly beans can forge a friendship in my award-winning story “Sea Monkeys”, along with dozens of others. What I know has evolved and changed me, I expect you’re the same. You can surprise yourself when you look through old stories, or journals and ask yourself “Who was I then, what did that version of me know?” That question makes excellent story fodder and can provide wonderful insight for character motivation.

I’m a short story author, and I have the utmost respect for those who tackle novel-length projects and series. We can use writing what you know in 100 words drabbles right up to 100K+ works and everything in between. The stories in which I have shown what I know, be it betrayal, forgotten loves, or soul-crushing shame, has far out-sold those in which I have told the message, and this is where your personal experiences can help you.

So I challenge you, to look within yourself and ask “what you know”, and how you can use it in your writing. One word of warning though, this can be a difficult exercise, it’s upsetting when exploring uncomfortable memories, so I want you to prepare yourself and practice self-care. Not every story you write needs to be a deep, soul-wrenching essay that frays yourself open, but I want you to be true to what you know. You’re an ever-evolving bundle of joys, sorrows, and decisions that get remade every day, and I look forward to reading what you know.


Peter J FootePeter J. Foote is a bestselling speculative fiction writer from Nova Scotia. Born and raised on an apple farm, he studied archaeology in university, and always had a passion for the “what if”, and an appreciation of nature. Outside of writing, he runs a used bookstore specializing in fantasy & sci-fi, cosplays with his fiance, is an active Freemason, and alternates between red wine and coffee as the mood demands.

Having the distinction of appearing in each of the “From the Rock” anthologies published by Engen books (Sci-fi from the Rock, Fantasy from the Rock, Chillers from the Rock, Dystopia from the Rock, and Flights from the Rock), Peter is also the celebrated winner of the “Awkward Author” contest sponsored by Chuck Wendig, autographed proof has pride of place in his writing nook, which you can see on here.

Peter considers himself a genre writer, with Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror being his preferred method of storytelling. He has recently taken to writing drabbles for Black Hare Press, finding the challenge to write a complete story in 100 words a great way to improve his writing skills.

His short stories can be found in both print and in ebook form, with his story “Sea Monkeys” winning the inaugural “Engen Books/Kit Sora, Flash Fiction/Flash Photography” contest in March of 2018. As the founder of the group “Genre Writers of Atlantic Canada”, Peter believes that the writing community is stronger when it works together. GWOAC has grown from a handful of members to over 300 regional authors of all skill and ability, which focus on networking and support to build a stronger genre writing presents in Atlantic Canada.

Author Interview: Nicole Luttrell

Author Nicole Luttrell is a speculative fiction writer. She writes about dragons, ghosts, and spaceships. Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

Author Nicole LuttrellI live in Western PA with my darling husband, a loyal dog, and a spoiled cat. When I’m not writing I’m reading. When I’m not doing one of those things, which is rare, I can be found working among my herb garden, haunting yarn stores or exploring the multitude of caves that surround my town.
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When and why did you begin writing?

I was telling stories as soon as I had words to tell them with. But I started writing when I was thirteen when I came to the dawning realization that this was something that could be done for a living. That people could make their lives all about telling stories.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Right away. As soon as I decided I wanted to be a writer I got a copy of The Writer’s Market at the library. I never considered this just a hobby, just a dream. This has always, right from the beginning, been my life’s goal. I’ve considered myself a writer from that moment.

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

Right now I’m publishing my most recent novella, Station Central, on my website. It’s about a detective and a food stand owner who both live on a space station. They keep finding themselves in increasingly terrifying situations as these creatures called the Hollow Suits wipe out mankind on Earth, then turn their sights on the stations that hold the last examples of humanity.

What inspired you to write this book?

I love Star Trek, and I wanted to write something in the same vein. I wanted to write a story about a detective in a space station. But I also wanted to talk about food, as that’s a big thing with me. So I wanted to tell the story of a farmer, a chef, who moved to the stations to bring honest food to the stars.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to think so. I tend to tell stories from at least two points of view. But writing style, I think, is not an intentional thing. I think a writing style comes out or it doesn’t.

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

The title of the series, Station 86, is actually a secret. I’m waiting for someone to guess why I chose the number 86. But the title for the most recent book is simple. The main characters, Sennett and Godfrey, are just trying to go on vacation in the original space station, called Station Central.

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

I talk about a lot of things. Gay rights, gender equality, religious freedom. But mostly, the point of my novels is not to give a message. It’s to tell a good story.

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

I loved reading Ann McCaffrey as a little girl, and I consider her the original science fantasy author.

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

Stephen King. I think I’ve read On Writing about a hundred times. Honestly, every writer should read it.

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

The first two covers were from an artist named Jeremy McCliams, who unfortunately isn’t in the business anymore. I designed the second two covers.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read and write as much as you can. Consume stories, any stories that you can get. But don’t let the work consume you. You don’t want to look up from your desk to find yourself alone. Live and experience the world. Then bring those stories to the page.

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

Support indie writers. Not just me, not just anyone. There are some amazing stories out there, and not all of them are getting picked up by the Big Six.

51fxP9XGG+L._SY346_Nicole Luttrell
Butler, PA.

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Seeming: Station 86

Cover Artist: Jeremy McCliams

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Author Interview: Michael Prelee

Author Michael Prelee is a graduate of Youngstown State University and resides in Northeast Ohio with his family. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Author Micheal PreleeHello, my name is Michael Prelee and I write in two genres, science fiction and crime fiction. My first novel was the scifi crime story, Milky Way Repo, published in 2015 by EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy. I followed it up with the second book in the series, Bad Rock Beat Down in 2017. Also in 2017, my first contemporary crime novel, Murder in the Heart of It All, was published by Northstar Press. I live in Northeast Ohio with my family and that setting has influenced my work a great deal. The area I live in has a history of organized crime and corrupt government, both of which are seen as themes in my work.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been interested in writing as far back as I can remember. I remember reading Encyclopedia Brown mysteries and the Mad Scientist Club books in elementary school. In junior high I discovered Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and the true crime genre. Our school library had copies of the Bloodletters and Bad Men books and I read all of them in 6th or 7th grade. I like to think we had a really cool librarian. As I got older, I realized I had my own stories to tell and discovered that if I just stopped depending on regular sleep I could find the time to pursue writing.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I thought I accomplished something when I got the first letter of interest from EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy for Milky Way Repo. They were the first people, aside from my beautiful wife, to say they enjoyed my story about starship repo men and thought we could turn it into a successful book. Up to that point, I had been collecting rejection letters like baseball cards, but you know, even those have value. You can’t get a rejection letter until you’ve completed your work and have a finished manuscript to be evaluated. You’re successful once you accomplish the goal of finishing your story. Anyone who has ever done it knows the feeling of joy you get when you complete it and think you can’t make it any better.

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

My latest work is Murder in the Heart of It All. It’s a crime story set in the small town of Hogan, Ohio. The residents there are plagued by personalized, anonymous letters revealing dark secrets better left hidden. Tim Abernathy is a young reporter tasked with investigating who is sending them. As Tim closes in, the letter writer becomes desperate to protect his identity and murder ensues.

This book explores themes that impact so much of the country. Tim is a Millenial having trouble finding a job in his field, someone in the story is struggling with opioid addiction, others are older and have to deal with the hardships that follow plant closings and underfunded pensions. The story is an examination of the problems currently facing people in the Midwest, Appalachia and other parts of the country.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’d like to have a really deep and thoughtful answer to this question, but I’m going to be honest instead. I’m a true crime junkie and I really enjoyed the Unsolved Mysteries series. There was nothing scarier than Robert Stack telling you something terrible had happened and no one had been caught. One of the crimes profiled was that of the Circleville Letter Writer. In the 1970s and 1980s, this person sent crude, hand-written notes to people in Circleville, OH threatening to expose their secrets. No one was ever identified or convicted for sending those letters. This story percolated in my mind for a few years and then all the pieces began falling into place. I was able to take the area I live in for a setting and use this crime as a framework to build my story.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I enjoy writing in third person omniscient style. It allows me to present various points of view, including the antagonists. Elmore Leonard once said “the bad guys are the fun guys”, and he was right. Villains are fun to write and I need to write in a style that allows me to express the viewpoint of all the characters in the story who have something to say.

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

See, no one ever asks that so I’m glad you did. A while back the State of Ohio’s motto was “The Heart of it All”, so I swiped it and incorporated into the title.

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

I think so and it would be “Life is tough”. When you’re young, sometimes you think older people have it easier because they’ve beat down the problems you have. You think people in their fifties have their career established and they’re better off financially because they had time to earn and save. What you don’t know, and probably won’t understand until you get near retirement age, is how quickly all that security can be stolen from you because someone in management makes a decision that eliminates your job. Everything you’ve worked for your whole life can be yanked from under your feet and it has nothing to do with how hard you worked or how well you did your job. The economy is always good when you have a job and it’s terrible when you don’t, no matter how old you are. Our area is struggling through this again because General Motors just closed the GM Lordstown plant.

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

The setting in my book is an amalgamation of all the small towns I live in growing up in Ohio and Pennsylvania. My family is very blue collar and they shaped my view of the world growing up, so it’s their fears, anger, and victories I’m sharing with these characters.

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

Now this is a great question! Stephen King was the first writer who made me realize how important characters were to a story. It didn’t matter if it was a young girl starting fires with her mind, a young teacher who could glimpse the future at a touch, or a band of survivors walking across flu ravaged America, I wanted to know what happened to them next. That’s what kept me reading. Will Charlie McGhee make it? What will Johnny Smith do with this flash he’s seen? Will Fran and Stu make it to Las Vegas? I just couldn’t stop turning the page. I also love Elmore Leonard for the way he writes dialogue and the way he plots stories. There are times I read his novels and get so lost in the way the characters speak that the plot kind of sneaks up on me. I think I like their writing because they enjoyed putting words on paper. That mad joy of expressing themselves comes across in their writing

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

The covers for my books are made by the publishers, and they do a fantastic job. EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy has terrific people doing the covers for the Milky Way Repo series and North Star Press has similarly talented people putting forth a fantastic effort. I love the way that typewriter looks on the cover of Murder in the Heart of It All.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My only advice is that there are no shortcuts. Writers sit down and put words on the page. You can be an expert in literature, understand how to break a story, and daydream fantastic ideas, but until you put in the hours actually writing you haven’t accomplished anything. Next, read as many books by as many writers in as many genres as you can. You can’t write well if you don’t read. Finally, seek out sources on writing to see how others have done it. They’re willing to teach, so be willing to learn. I recommend the following:

* Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing
* On Writing by Stephen King
* Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

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

First, I’m still at the stage of my career where I get to meet many readers face to face as I try to sell them books at ComiCons, book fairs, and farmer’s markets, so let me just say, “Thank you!”. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for speaking with me, listening to my pitch, and buying my books. You can’t imagine the thrill of someone buying something you created. It means everything to go into a book store and see there are fewer copies on the shelves because someone took a chance on me. It feels great.

Second, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews are everything to writers. They help us with exposure, marketing, and selling more books. It doesn’t have to be anything long, just a simple rating or a few words saying you enjoyed the work. Honestly, a review is the best thing you can give an author.

mwrMichael Prelee
Near Youngstown, Ohio

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Milky Way Repo

Publisher: EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Author Interview: Kumar L

Author Kumar L is a writer of sci-fi and fantasy – adventure, thrills & drama with a positive outlook on what the future may hold for humanity. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Author Kumar LHi. My name is Saurabh, but I write under the pen name Kumar L. If you want to discuss faster-than-light, time travel and black holes or new mobiles phones, then I am your person. I am a tech enthusiast and social media newbie. I enjoy travelling and am fluent in several languages. A mechanical engineer who loves pulling apart gadgets and exploring their innards; I write science fiction stories and try to bring technology alive in my books.

I live in Mumbai, India with my wife and two daughters who are both aspiring engineers as well.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started off by writing small articles on my professional LinkedIn page. I am a huge science fiction fan and religiously follow Star Trek and Star Wars. I had been toying with an idea for a story in my head, and just started penning it down. I completed it in 2017 and published it the same year in May. As I was finishing the first draft, I realised it could be made into a series and thus started my journey.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Hmm. I think it was only after a year, once I had the second book published, and the translation of book 1 into Hindi completed. Three books look good on the Amazon Central profile!

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

I’ve just completed the draft for the third book in the Earth to Centauri series – Black Hole: Oblivion. The series has a female protagonist Captain Anara and covers a journey chasing alien signals to the Alpha Centauri star system. The current book covers their exploits when faced with the most formidable force of nature – a black hole.

What inspired you to write this book?

Again, the series is progressing as I write and I try to incorporate new ideas which may appeal to my readers. In each book, there is a specific situation the crew of the starship tries to resolve while the core story moves between three planets. I wanted to bring forth realistic science for readers using simple language everyone can understand.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not sure how my style would be identified, and I am not an expert at grammar. I use simple language and try to tell the story through conversations between the characters with a bit of imagery. Most reviews have said they like the lucid simple content.

How did you come up with the title of this book?
As I said, I wanted the events to be realistic and had read about the planet Proxima b, which is expected to be found near the star Proxima Centauri. That planet fit perfectly with the story of the novel. The book was to be based on the first journey from Earth into interstellar space and so it became ‘Earth to Centauri: The First Journey.’

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

A few messages, in fact, some may be cliched but relevant nevertheless:
We need to appreciate the differences between people and accept them.
Women will become more assertive as time goes by and gender differences will reduce substantially.

Humankind will transcend the issues of today, survive and thrive. The future is bright even if it is not utopian.,

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

Not really, but I have drawn on some of the lessons from my former bosses and tried to share some of their wisdom.

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

Jeffrey Archer, Amish, and JK Rowling. Mostly because they engage the reader into the story using simple relatable language and build a believable fantasy.

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

As a self-published person, I tried to make the cover myself at first. The result was really bad. I really did not know much about how this is done, so I found a designer on upwork.com. She did a decent design but had not done much work in the scifi genre. Anyway, I went ahead and published with her artwork. A little later I decided to change the cover and took advice from a few other self-published authors especially on FB groups, found another designer on Upwork who’d worked in this genre and got a great looking professional cover. For two of my short story collections, I designed the covers myself on Canva as I wanted to keep the costs really low, but for the third book of the series, I found another person who has done simply outstanding work.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Quite a bit. In fact, I wrote a small book – One Step at a Time – Your self-publishing masterplan, which is available for free download from my website.
But the most important piece is – self-published authors need to be good marketers as well. They must know the basics of FB, Insta and other modes of social advertising at the very least.

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

Thank you for buying my books, and leaving me great reviews. I improve my craft with every new book and I work hard to keep you engaged and entertained.

First JourneyKumar L
Mumbai, India

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Earth to Centauri – The First Journey

Cover Artist: Alex and Cathy Walker

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