May 31

Are The Best Book Boyfriends Sinners? Try A Taste of “Sinners Craving”

sinners final coverReaders have been enjoying Megan Elizabeth for some time now. Her first book “Sinners Craving” is currently available for 99 cents. If you are looking for a new paranormal series filled with great writing, this might be the series for you? You can learn more about the author through this interview… Why don’t you give up your day job… and take up reading?

How important are characters, and how much time do you spend developing characters?

Characters are essential to every story. It is the characters to whom the readers connect. Without characters, there is absolutely no story. I spend a great deal of time on character development. From start to finish, it is a constant work in progress.

Where do you find the most inspiration for your writing? Do you write about your own life?

I never write about my own life; however, I find inspiration around me on a daily basis. From the smallest interaction at a store to major drama swarming around me, anything and everything can inspire a great scene or character.

What do you think makes a relationship great and engaging in a romance novel?

Characters within a romance novel need to have a certain spark that attracts readers; it’s like a fire between the two of them. It could be any emotion, though: anger, sadness, playfulness. Whatever it is, it needs to connect with the audience as well as your characters. I myself am a great fan of banter between characters.

What do you personally look for in a book you are writing? Are you looking for a particular kind of character? A female lead? What drives your interest?

While I’m writing my books, I really focus on the relationship between the characters, keeping the conflict in the story interesting, and writing hot sex scenes which hopefully people will like.

How do you handle sex—should it be all in—or should it be toned down?

I feel that the natural progression of relationships leads to sex at some point. When it gets to that point, I am all in. I want my readers to read my scene and not be able to put my book down at all. I want them to connect with where my characters are at emotionally as well as physically.

Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my writing late at night while sitting in my bed with my portable desk and laptop on my lap. For some reason, I find inspiration when it’s dark outside, I’m comfortable and have quiet all to myself.

How do you plan a book?

I plan my books in three phases. First, I start thinking about what I want to write, who the characters will be, and where it’ll take place. Then I start my outline, determining which plot twists and turns I want to happen in each chapter. Then I start writing my first draft, whereby I will inevitably deviate from my outline and change everything around as I write. Then comes the editing phase where you hate all your work and you’re convinced it’s going to kill you, then once you’re done, you hopefully have something you’re proud of.

If you hadn’t become an author—what would you have done with your life?

I’d continue on with my day job as a teacher, which I also love doing. It’s just that writing calls to me in ways that teaching does not.

Who are the authors you instantly buy?

This is an easy question. Kresley Cole is hands down my favorite author of all time. Anything she writes I download the day of release and read it non-stop until I’ve read it from cover to cover. She’s amazing, and I would recommend her books to anyone.

Who would be your perfect book boyfriend?

My perfect book boyfriend would have to be Max Stella from Beautiful Stranger. Just enough sweetness mixed with spice to get my attention and keep it. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good accent.

What was the last great book you read—and how did it inspire your writing?

I recently just finished The Player by Kresley Cole, and it was amazing. The characters were so well developed, the story was completely addictive and the ending was something I did not see coming. I couldn’t wait to dig into my next book after reading that.

Of all your characters—which one do you really identify with?

Out of all my characters so far, I identify most with Taylor. She’s the first female character I ever wrote, she’s so bad ass, just wants to do the right thing, is a single mom and struggles with man problems. I love Taylor because she appeals to be on a deeper level, and I think as my first female character, I put more of myself in her.

Which place would you love to see—but haven’t seen yet?

I am dying to go to Europe. Don’t ask me a specific country because I want to see them all. I’m greedy like that.

If you could say one thing to your readers about your books—what would it be?

Thank you for taking the time to step into my world for a while. I hope you enjoy it.

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When the sins of the past claim the future, the craving for more can turn deadly….

When the Goddess of Love and the Father of Evil determine your fate, do you fight back?

Matteaus, leader of the Fallen, never backs down from a challenge.

Not even when his fated female proves to be the most challenging of them all.

A former warrior in the Heavenly Kingdom, Matteaus, bears the scars from a past filled with misguided deeds. Determined to right wrongs, his drive for atonement is his only companion – until his next assignment brings him in to the fiery path of a beautiful female who’s been on the run for reasons of her own.

Taylor, having no patience for an unwanted love affair, tries to ignore the instant attraction to Matteaus. Yet, as their desire for each other begins to overtake, Matteaus’ steadfast determination keeps him on the path of righteousness, and away from Taylor’s searing touch. Now Taylor and Matteaus must join forces to protect the ones they love.

Could this be the mission that finally earns his redemption? Or will his past cost him everything, including the one female he is destined to love?

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meganMegan Elizabeth is a bestselling contemporary romance, and paranormal, author who currently resides in New Jersey, United States. Her first book “Sinners Craving: League of the Fallen: Book 1” was released in 2014. She has since written another book, in that series called Borrowed Sins, and has written her first contemporary romance novel “Bound To Me: The Leather Series: Book 1.”

Megan enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with her family when she’s not working on her books. Download your copy of “Sinners Craving” today right here.

May 27

When Will “Lone Wolf” Hit? An Interview with Western Writer Weldon Shaw

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Since his retirement, Weldon has had two novels published and set for release in 2015—“Pachuco” (historical fiction) and “The Rise And Fall Of Our Youth” (self-help). He enjoys writing fiction/ romance novels. He believes this gives him the ability to share his inner self and feelings about life with other people. Currently, he is working on a two-novel series entitled Lone Wolf. When Weldon writes, he places himself in the main character’s roll to bring them alive, thus you will see a hint of how this author thinks and feels. 

This new interview with Weldon will explain why his writing has been so popular over the last few years. But the important question is this… when will his new book “Lone Wolf: A New Beginning” hit the marketplace, and where can we get our hands on it?

 

Welcome, Weldon!

Thank you!

Why was it important for you to write Westerns? What drove that ambition?

I am a country boy who has always had a love for history, especially the history of what our country was built on.  Like most kids during my era, I was raised on the Old West movies.  I am a quarter Chikasaw Indian out of Oklahoma, and I love to read, talk and learn about the Native American cultures. The idea for Lone Wolf came about because of this love for the Native American culture.

How closely does the Western mirror the American way of life?

Lone Wolf is an action romance.  It is built on good morals and values.  It’s about breaking through cultural barriers, establishing trust between a man and a woman.  It is about real life and the forming of a true friendship that leads to true love.  The character Lone Wolf was brought to life by the values I was taught as a kid on how a woman should be treated.

What are your favorite Western movies?

That is an easy one—any Western made by “The Duke,” John Wayne.  I am also a big Sam Elliot fan, as well. My favorite writer is Louis L’Amour. He was a Rhodes Scholar and put great detail into his works.

How did those movies influence the way you write?

The Western movies were always about the true American values, the good against the bad.  I think movies like this not only influence the way you write, but more importantly, I think they influence young minds on how to carry themselves in life as they become adults.

Would you ever write a book about the Alamo or other historical events?

My first novel released was a historical fiction titled Pachuco.  It was about the transformation of Alta California to California and how it affected the Hispanic people through the years of a changing and evolving government.  When I write, I try to incorporate historical and cultural elements into my novels.  I am very selective of what I write about.  I try to stay away from the subjects that have been written about numerous times.

Do you believe in good and bad? Is that a concept that all who write Westerns should keep in mind?

Yes. Even in Lone Wolf, the story line is built on good and bad.  Lone Wolf will not hesitate to protect another person who cannot protect themselves, especially a woman. Let’s face it, there are very few books or even movies out there that are not based on good and bad.  It is as much about the story’s plot as any character in it.

Who is the greatest American folk hero from the West, in your opinion, and why?

I would probably say the James Younger gang.  They became outlaws—and who they were—because of people who had the backing of the federal government.  They were considered bushwhackers during the Civil War because they attacked Union-based cities and robbed them.  The Union also had their share of atrocities in the killing of civilians and the burning down of farms and cities, as well. I guess, overall, the Civil War in itself produced many folk heroes from both sides because it was the turning point of this country.

What will your next book be about?

Well, I am writing Lone Wolf: The Resurrection, novel 2 of the Lone Wolf series right now as we speak.  I will end the Lone Wolf series in novel 3. I have a Western in mind that is strictly an idea at this point. I also have a romance novel call Victoria In Search Of Myself that I need to finish. Also a horror novel call Interview With The Immortal One.

Do you think it’s important to have a large publisher as a Western author?

It is not necessary to have a large publisher, but if you get to the point where you are contracted by a major publishing house, it shows you that you have arrived as a writer, and your ability as a writer is being recognized.  Is it hard for a new writer to get into a large publishing house? Yes, very hard because they require your work to be submitted to them through an agent.  Is it hard to get an agent? Most difficult hurdle to jump over that you can imagine. I have been fortunate. All my books have been contracted by traditional publishers.

Are you ever surprised by how many Western readers there are in the world?

No, not really. I believe people like books about old history and, more importantly, good versus bad.  They like to see that guy portrayed who will stand up with good morals and take on a battle even if it isn’t his battle.

Would you ever write a non-Western?

I have two non-Westerns written as we speak. Pachuco is a historical fiction which starts in the 1860s and ends in the 2000s; and I have a self-help for parenting called The Rise And Fall Of Our Youth.  My next romance novel that I will write is Victoria In search Of Myself.  It will be based in current time.

How many Westerns have you written?

The Lone Wolf series will be the first that was written in the Old West time frame.  Pachuco is a narrated novel by an old man in his 80s who walks the reader through four generations of his family starting in the 1860s and ending in the 2000s.

How have reviewers treated your books?

The reviews of my books have been fantastic.  I sent Lone Wolf out to several female readers to get a feel for their reaction, and they are ecstatic about it.  Even though Lone Wolf is considered a romance, it is based on action, and because of this the men readers will love it, as well.

If you could travel back to the West and be a cowboy—would you?

Well, there is a lot to be said about that time period. Life was simpler as far as fewer distractions and less government oversight, but life was harsher.  The simple things we take for granted was a big deal back then.  Food is more plentiful now, you live in an air conditioned house now, even if it is a swamp cooler. Back then, there were no cool houses.  Food was not plentiful nor was money. The luxury of taking a bath, which most of us are use to taking once a day, was not that way back then.

If you were a ranch hand, you would more than likely go several days before you bathed, in some cases months.  For a lot of them back then, it was a horse trough or nearby creek. Going to town was a luxury and not a daily occurrence.  Electricity—how many can do without that? No, I think I am happy living in this day and age. It is not perfect, but it is convenient.

You can learn all about Weldon R Shaw by checking out his Amazon author page. His new book “Lone Wolf” will be released later this year. You can buy a copy of his current bestseller “Pachuco” today from Amazon.

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May 26

Western Star Lon Safko Arrives On “The Wild West Showdown With J.C. Hulsey”

Massacre! Book 1 in the Secret of the Lost Dutchman” is the first book in a new and exciting Western series from bestselling author Lon Safko based on the true story behind the legendary goldmine.

The secret of the Lost Dutchman goldmine has been legendary for as long as anyone can remember—this is the true story of that legend. When the Spanish government ordered distinguished officer Miguel Peralta to enter the United States with his military detachment, they have gold on their mind. The Spanish have been working the secret Lost Dutchman mine for years—but when a new deal is made with the United States, they will lose access to the almost infinite supply of gold held within it. Peralta’s mission is to remove as much gold as possible from the mine and transport it safely back to Mexico. As his small army winds towards the location of the goldmine, they slowly learn that they are not alone… and they crave only one thing—survival. As Peralta fights to keep his soldiers, including his brother, alive as a murderous enemy stalks them across the desert, he starts to realize the true cost of the gold, and the true meaning of how failure will change his life. Will Miguel Peralta manage to save his men, the gold, and his life, or will everyone die fighting for the gold the Spanish so desperately want?

Action-packed, fast-paced and written to entertain readers around the world, this new Western will be not only your introduction to Lon Safko, but the beginning of your addiction. Ride along with the Spanish soldiers sent to claim the gold of the Lost Dutchman goldmine. You can learn more about Lon Safko by visiting www.secretlostdutchman.com.

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Lon Safko Cover

First there were the Western movies. You saw them all.

Then there were the Western periodicals. You read them all.

Now you are reading the Western novels. You read them on Sunday,when you have that kind of lazy day– ‘I’m watching the Alamo, honey. I’ll do that yard work next weekend” kind of feeling going on. You read them at night when you have that “I’m kinda tired, but too tired to watch Jimmy Kimmel” kind of way with you. You read them in the morning before work. Hell, you read them before you make your weekly pilgrimage to Walmart. Let’s face it– you spend more time reading Westerns than doing anything else. But you haven’t read anything by Lon Safko. This, too, will change.

Safko, by definition, is an epic personality. He has pretty much turned the world of business into his own private playpen. He talks, he walks, he sells, he buys. He’s the Don, the boss, the dude. But a Safko Western? You’ve got to be kidding me–didn’t you know already? He’s the Duke. Take this here little known novel “Massacre!” and read it, and tell me if it makes you move the way you want to be moved. If it doesn’t, we are going to making an appointment with Doctor Kildare to see what’s wrong with you. If it does–you’re hooked. You’ve bought into Safko’s epic writing style.

Soon, I hope to be able to afford another visit because he’s sure as hell has cornered the market of addictive reading. The Western is alive and well, and Lon Safko is the king at the top of the tree.

You can catch the latest interview with Western star Lon Safko today by clicking play below!

May 26

Do Westerns Mirror The American Way of Life? An Interview With Western Superstar Cliff Roberts

Cliff Roberts Official

From politician to writer… that’s the direction Cliff Roberts has taken. This new interview with him will allow us to take a look at the man behind the books. Does Cliff Roberts believe that Westerns mirror the American way of life? Does Cliff Roberts want to write more Westerns? Does Cliff Roberts love Western movies? The answers are all here… Are you ready to delve into the mind of one of the great writers of today? Are you ready to find out what it takes to be a success?

 

Cliff, thank you for sitting down to this interview.

You are very welcome!

Are you ready?

You bet!

What will your next book be about?

I haven’t decided what my next Western will be about yet. I’m leaning towards an Indian uprising tale of some sort. Don’t worry, it won’t be too long before I write it. I have a couple of thrillers I have to clean up and publish, then I’ll get to play again. I consider writing Westerns as playtime, just like playing Cowboys and Indians when I was a kid. My next crime thriller is about a politician who has figure his way out of not one murder charge but two murder charges. It’s title is SPIN. Check out my other books too like Fatal Mistake, Apollo Road, Conch Republic, and The Fishing Trip to name but a few. Just put Author Cliff Roberts into Amazon, and it’ll take you there. Enjoy.

Why was it important for you to write Westerns? What drove that ambition?

I started Westerns because my PR man bugged for months to start. I’d always liked Westerns and was inspired as kid to write them, but life got in the way. I wasn’t sure I knew how to write a Western. I mean, how do you complete with Louis L’Amour? Then I remembered, I write books similar to James Patterson and Dean Koontz, and John Grisham and Tom Clancy, so why not try my hand at Westerns?

Are you ever surprised by how many Western readers there are in the world?

Yes, I was surprised at the number of people who read Westerns. At first, I thought it was one of the niche genres and that Westerns had pretty much faded into history. I was wrong. The Western readers are great, friendly and loyal to fault. I greatly appreciate their patronage. Thank you for reading my work, and I’ll endeavor to make each new book better than the one before.

Do you think the Western mirrors the American way of life?

I think Westerns are the basis of the American way of life. The good guy is always honest, sometimes to a fault; and he believes in fair play, family and doing an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. In the Westerns, good triumphs over evil without exception.

What are your own favorite Western movies?

The list is long, but some of them are Fort Apache, The Searcher, Rio Bravo, Mackenna’s Gold, Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, How the West Was Won and dozens more.

How did those movies influence the way you write?

They, like the thriller and action adventure movies I saw, have helped me understand how to stage my story and keep things coherent and the timelines straight. Westerns have helped me to understand there has to be a hero in most stories—a hero that the reader can relate to. He may not be perfect, but he’s close enough that the reader is sure to root for him through his challenges.

Would you ever write a book about the Alamo or other historical events?

I might. But all of the major historical events taking place in the West have been done so many times, it’s hard to think of new, fresh approaches to the story. But some of the not so well known historical stories might be interesting.

Do you believe in good and bad? Is that a concept that all who write Westerns should keep in mind?

Good and bad, good and evil are the underlying themes in all Westerns. I do believe in the concepts of good and evil and that they need to be the basis of every Western—and of your life, as well.

Who is the greatest American folk hero from the West in your opinion and why?

That’s really hard to say. There are good and bad folk heroes, and they had equal influence because of the way the movies and the media have portrayed them to our generation. But since you’re putting me on the spot, I’d have to say it was the pioneers themselves who were the greatest American folk heroes. The pioneers had to have been some of the bravest souls ever to live. They took just the clothes on their backs and went west into the wilderness. They faced months of grueling hardship with no one to turn to if it got too rough. They either did what had to be done or died. They faced hostile Indians, not just a few, but hundreds of thousands from dozens of tribes. Wild animals, bears, coyotes, mountain lions and poisonous snakes. They had to hunt game and forage for fruits and vegetables to eat all while dealing with the cruel and heartless weather that the Great American Plains and mountain west are known for. And if that wasn’t enough, they had to deal with the outlaws. Men who either chose to go west because they preferred to live a life of lawlessness or were forced to flee west to escape the punishment they justly deserved for crimes they committed. Yet, even with all these challenges, the pioneers went west in search of a better life, of land to call their own. Some thrived and others died, yet they persisted and persevered. So, yeah, the greatest American folk hero is the everyday man, the pioneer.

What will your next book be about?

I haven’t decided what my next Western will be about yet. I’m leaning towards an Indian uprising tale of some sort. Don’t worry, it won’t be too long before I write it. I have a couple of thrillers I have to clean up and publish, then I’ll get to play again. I consider writing Westerns as playtime, just like playing Cowboys and Indians when I was a kid. My next crime thriller is about a politician who has figure his way out of not one murder charge but two murder charges. It’s title is SPIN. Check out my other books too like Fatal Mistake, Apollo Road, Conch Republic, and The Fishing Trip to name but a few. Just put Author Cliff Roberts into Amazon, and it’ll take you there. Enjoy.

Do you think it’s important to have a large publisher as a Western author?

I think it is important to have a good publisher, no matter in which genre you write. I’ve had several publishers who failed big time at actually helping me or being part of my team for success. The larger, well established publishers seem to be out for the almighty dollar and that alone. Your success as a writer doesn’t matter to them, other than they get more money. If you’re asking who I’d consider publishing my Western novels, I’d say use Outlaws Publishing. That’s who I use. They will treat you right, and they really want you to be a success and place their success secondary to yours. Outlaws has several divisions, so they can help you publish in almost any genre. If you’re looking for a publisher, send your manuscript to Outlaws and see if they can help you. Oh, yeah, they don’t charge you to up front to publish your book and are extremely fair on royalty splits.

Would you ever write a non-Western?

Yes, I write in lots of genres. Crime thrillers, mysteries, action adventure, horror, sci-fi and non-fiction. My next book out is a crime thriller entitled “SPIN.” It’s about a politician who has to try and spin is way out a murder wrap. Well… make that two murder wraps.

How many Westerns have you written?

So far, I’ve written eight Westerns and I’m working on numbers nine and ten

How have reviewers treated your books?

Reviews are hard to come by. So far, they have been pretty much what I had expected. Although I have only been writing Westerns for about a year, I have written a number of other books, and usually (there is always the exception), I receive reviews that are seventy to eighty percent favorable. Mostly four and five star. Occasionally, I receive interesting negative ones, like the one where they didn’t like it because they were expecting to read a thriller and they bought a true story dealing with religion. Go figure? Why they’d bother to write a review that had nothing to do with the book?

If you could travel back to the West and live the life of a cowboy—would you?

No, I don’t think so. Whereas part of the Old West seems romantic and peaceful, it was a very dangerous place. Knowing me as I do, I’d probably end up having to learn to be a gunfighter and fast because I don’t take injustice well. I’d be out there trying to stop the lawlessness and probably get shot dead. Maybe I’d even become an historical figure if I did. The quickest lawman to get killed. Ha, ha, ha.

You can find out more about Cliff Roberts, and his work, by checking out his Amazon author page. If you are looking for a taste of Roberts talent… Check out his latest western, “Draw!” You can download it here.

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May 25

The Long and Winding Trail: An Interview with Western Writing Star E.C. Herbert

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E.C. Herbert, better known as Al, was brought up in Laconia, New Hampshire. His favorite childhood game, cowboys and Indians, inspired a lifelong love of the Old West and its history. His favorite author is Ralph Cotton. He and his wife, Marion, live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

This exclusive interview with E.C should explain why he has been so successful with his Western novels. He is a man who writes to entertain. So, let’s see what makes E.C. Herbert tick… Then, perhaps, we can head over and see which of his books we should add to our reading list next.

 

Let me start by asking you this question. Who is greatest American folk hero from the West, in your opinion, and why?

That would probably have to be Davy Crockett. Here is a person who truly believed in the cause and was willing to give up his life for it.

Why was it important for you to write Westerns? What drove that ambition?

As a small boy growing up in the ’50s, TV was limited, so I started reading Dime Store Westerns and fell in love with whoever the leading character was. This carried on until I was sixteen and bought my first car. Don’t really remember why I stopped reading. Retiring from a lifelong career, it didn’t take me long before I felt the need to be doing something. I took a position as a field tech rep. where I would have to travel the whole USA.  My first away trip found me in San Antonio, TX. “Remember the Alamo” came to mind. Soon, I was actually standing right in the middle of that historic structure. The rest is history. Over the next ten years, I was able to travel to and visit all the WILD WEST locations I read about as a boy. Tombstone, Dodge City, Wichita, Deadwood… etc. A heart attack forced me to retire, and once again I started reading my ever-loved Dime Store Westerns from the local library. Soon, I had the desire to see if I could write one. This now topped my “Bucket List.” My first Western, NEW DAWN at TWIN ARROWS, got written and published that first year. Another heart attack, two strokes, and having the first stages of Parkinson’s benched any more travel. Having enjoyed writing, I soon was on to writing another. GHOST RIDERS of BLOODY CREEK, BOUNTY HUNTER and NO MAN’S LAND followed. Now I am in the first stages of writing another.

Have you ever been surprised by how many Western readers there are in the world?

Not really. Having been around for a while, not too much surprises me. If I was looking at income from my Western books, then I would say there aren’t many Western readers in the world. In that case, I would have to be surprised.

How closely does the Western mirror the American way of life?

Not so sure it does anymore. The Western way of life was pretty simple. Although it was a hard way of life, most folk were happy with what they had. Today, Western movies paint a different picture. The American way of life today has an entirely different meaning.

What are your favorite Western movies?

WOW!! I really liked John Wayne, so my first choice would have to be THE ALAMO, THE COMANCHEROS and THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERETY VALANCE. Newer movies: the LONESOME DOVE series, THE QUICK and the DEAD, and, of course, SILVERADO.

How did those movies influence the way you write?

I really can’t say they did other than help guide me through using right words and phrases: I found myself leaning back in my chair and saying out loud: “What would John Wayne say, or what would Augustus say, or Captain Woodrow Call?”

Would you ever write a book about the Alamo or other historical events?

The four books I have out have lots of historically correct events in them with fictional characters. I don’t think I could write about just one event such as the Alamo.

Do you believe in good and bad? Is that a concept that all who write Westerns should keep in mind?

For the most part, I think the reason people read books or watch movies is because they want to experience the good feeling that comes over them when their character “lives happily ever after,” once they successfully make it through the bad things in their lives.

What will your next book be about?

It is another Western. The main character is a U.S. Marshal tracking down someone who is counterfeiting money to be used to fund the assassination of the president. Not only does he have to track down the counterfeiter, but also an assassin.

Do you think it’s important to have a large publisher as a Western author?

I really don’t know how to answer that question. I guess it would all depend on your reason for writing. Writing for your own enjoyment, for enjoyment of the reader, or for income.

Would you ever write a non-Western?

Probably. The last book I wrote, NO MAN’S LAND, takes the reader back and forth between 1847 with the migration of the Mormons settling into the Great Salt Lake Basin and a present day female author looking for her next number one seller.

How many Westerns have you written?

Four: NEW DAWN at TWIN ARROWS, GHOST RIDERS of BLOODY CREEK, BOUNTY HUNTER and NO MAN’S LAND.

How have reviewers treated your books?

I have not weighed that yet as I have just started to promote my books and am getting name recognition out there. I hope they will love them. I think that’s the wish of every writer.

If you could travel back to the West and be a cowboy—would you?

In a HEARTBEAT!!!!

Why don’t you check out one of E.C. Herbert’s great Western novels? You may be interested to know that “No Man’s Land” is now available as both a paperback, and as a Kindle download. You can also check out other great E.C. Herbert books here.

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May 25

The Writer Goes Adventuring: An Interview with Author Dennis Gager

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Dennis Gager is a writer of all seasons, and styles. His new book “Outlaws Last Stand” has been on the bestseller charts for sometime now, and keeps bringing new fans into the fold. What makes a writer like Gager so successful? I believe it’s the humility he manages to exude at every turn, and the stories he manages to pen with every second he has free. Can a writer ever write too many books? I don’t think so. But a writer has to have good stories, and a writer like Gager has the ideas to make each one of his stories unique.

This interview is about the very essence of what it means to write. I hope you enjoy it… It should be an interesting adventure…

 

Dennis, let me start by asking why it was important for you to write?

I write because I have all these ideas come to me all at once, and it helps me to focus my thoughts when I write. I enjoy it.

What really drove that ambition?

I like the idea of creating new worlds and characters, and seeing how far I can push my boundaries.

How closely do you try to keep to historical fact?

When I write a story about a location, I try as hard as possible to keep it as close to the historical fact as I can so my story will be believable to the readers.

Which movies influenced your writing the most?

John Wayne films. They’re classics, and they influenced me to write Western tales of heroes like John Wayne was in all his Western films.

What first got you interested in the written word?

My grandma. She always read Western tales to me, told me about Westerns she saw as a kid, and about real outlaws she learned about. That got me into the written word because I loved her stories, and it made me want to do research on the Old West.

Would you ever write a book about the Alamo or other historical events?

Yes, I would love to write a tale about events from the past like that and see how they would unfold through my writing.

Do you believe in the concept of good and bad?

Yes, I do believe in good and bad.

Is that a concept that all who write books should keep in mind?

Every story needs a hero and a villain—they play off each other very well. Without good and evil, there would be no story.

If you could go back to any time period, where would you go?

I’d go back to Tombstone and witness the greatest showdown in Western history—the gunfight at the OK Corral—and see what truly happened there.

Can you describe all of your books in one easy-to-read answer?

Fun, entertaining, mind-blowing adventure.

What will your next book be about?

A bounty hunter in the Old West who is hired to go after a cold-blooded killer.

Do you think it’s important to have a large publisher as an author?

Not at all. I think having a smaller publisher gives you creative control and a better environment to work in.

Is there any kind of book you wouldn’t write, or couldn’t write?

I wouldn’t write erotica. It’s not my cup of tea.

Do you think writers read more books than the average reader—or is that just a myth?

I can’t speak for other writers, but I enjoy reading a ton of books and always look for my next book to read.

How have reviewers treated your books?

Good and bad, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’m always open to fresh criticism and to see what reviewers like (and don’t like) so I can write a better story next time.

You can pick up the latest Gager bestsellers by clicking on the covers below. 

The Outlaws Last Stand New Cover storm to the past1

May 24

When The Sins Of The Past Claim The Future, The Craving For More Can Turn Deadly…. Paranormal Romance From Megan Elizabeth

sinners craving1

When the sins of the past claim the future, the craving for more can turn deadly…. 
When the Goddess of Love and the Father of Evil determine your fate, do you fight back?

Matteaus, leader of the Fallen, never backs down from a challenge.

Not even when his fated female proves to be the most challenging of them all.

A former warrior in the Heavenly Kingdom, Matteaus, bears the scars from a past filled with misguided deeds. Determined to right wrongs, his drive for atonement is his only companion – until his next assignment brings him in to the fiery path of a beautiful female who’s been on the run for reasons of her own.

Taylor, having no patience for an unwanted love affair, tries to ignore the instant attraction to Matteaus. Yet, as their desire for each other begins to overtake, Matteaus’ steadfast determination keeps him on the path of righteousness, and away from Taylor’s searing touch. Now Taylor and Matteaus must join forces to protect the ones they love.

Could this be the mission that finally earns his redemption? Or will his past cost him everything, including the one female he is destined to love?

You can download your copy now from Amazon for 99 cents!

*****

If you could work with any author who would it be?

Do I have to choose one? LOL. If I had to pick one it would be Kresley Cole. I admire her imaginative story lines, creativity and how well her books flow. Honestly, I’d just like to have the opportunity to pick her brain, once I get over being star struck, that is.

Who is your favorite author, and is your writing style similar to theirs?

Currently, I have two favorite writers: JR Ward (aka The Warden) and Kresley Cole. Though both of them are extremely talented, I think my writing style is more similar to Kresley Cole. She incorporates a ton off different aspects into her books much like myself.  She mixes all types of immortal factions as I mix immortal factions such as fallen angels and Greek gods.

What’s your favorite part of a book?

My favorite part of a book is that moment when your mouth drops open and you’re like, “I can’t believe that happened.” You find yourself smiling over it while people around you look at you like you’re nuts; then getting excited to read more–like the moment when you realize a character is so much more then you originally thought or a plot twist you did not see coming.

When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?

All of my characters are very personal to me. Their physical traits, mannerisms, and personalities are comprised of things I have experienced with other people. Many writers write what they know and are familiar with; I am no different. I write characters that I know and understand. When naming them, I take my time with it and make the connection I’m looking for. When speaking about them with other people, it’s like they are real to me.

How have your personal experiences affected your writing?

Well, my personal life was what started my journey into the writing world. I’ve have quite a few interesting experiences, and those experiences have made for good cannon fodder, so to speak. Usually, real events inspire the fictional ones in my books. They give me ideas for new characters, new story lines and plot twists.

What genre of books do you like to read? Do you limit yourself to only the genre that you write yourself?

I generally read paranormal; it’s where my love affair with reading began. I do try not to limit myself to one genre as reading many different genres can bring new aspects to your writing, but I’m always drawn back towards that original connection with paranormal. I find that when I read something else like contemporary, for example, I’m waiting for something to magically blow up or for the hero to reveal that he’s another species.

Were you always good at writing?

No, not at all. When I was very young I was diagnosed as dyslexic. Many specialist and educators believed that I would never read properly, be able to write or attain a college degree.  It took several years and a multitude of special classes, tutors and frustrating nights to get me where I am today. It’s been a struggle, but here I am with a B.A., CEAS and a publishing contract. It just shows people that anything is possible.

How do you get started with writing a story (as in, how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it).

Usually an idea pops into my head for a story. I think of the main characters and develop them in my thoughts making them ‘real.’ The story unfolds like a movie, and I just write it down. It’s like the characters speak to me and all I do is tell their story. When I started writing “The League of the Fallen,” I knew it had to be a series and have eight characters that I could focus on–one character for each book. Each one is clear in my mind. I knew Matteaus’ book had to be first and Mika would follow; then the others stepped into line. When I get geared up to write them, I always listen to music and let the words flow. Many of my books have theme songs that I relate them to.    

What advice would you give to people who “run out of creativity” when writing?

Take a serious break and do not under any circumstance try to force the story. Pick up about five books and just read. Do not think about your writing at all and then it will come back. The more stress that is put on the situation the worse the block will get.

What is the most important lack in your life?

Though I’ve had my fair share of bad romances, each bad experience has brought me to this point. Without some of the more difficult times I would not be as driven, strong or determined as I am now. But my life is definitely lacking the ‘happily ever after’ that many of my characters get. Every girl dreams of their own personal Prince Charming. I haven’t met mine yet. Hopefully, he comes with glasses, an affinity for reading and can make me laugh.   

Why a fiction book? What caused you to decide to write fiction?

Because my mind lives in a world of pure imagination. The world of fiction is an extraordinary place–the possibilities are endless. I don’t think the decision to write fiction was a conscious one; it is the direction I’ve always been headed. Ever since I was a child I would always dream up new characters. I’ve found where I belong and the people I want as my friends in the world of fictional writers.

You are in Walmart looking at books—you see your new book on the shelf—what do you think?

Holy s**t!! In all seriousness, it’d be very surreal for me to see my book on the shelves anywhere. It’s an exciting process to be in, and I’m just grateful to have anyone interested in reading it.

You are on a plane and someone asks if you are Megan Elizabeth and raves about your new book—how do you handle it?

I’d thank them profusely, then ask them what their favourite characters or parts were. Find out which other authors they enjoy reading, and ask if they had any books they recommend I read. Offer to sign their book for them and ask that they keep in touch with me via e-mail, twitter or Facebook.

You have the #1 bestseller in America—what would be your first thought?

I’d probably cry many, many tears of joy and be extremely grateful to all the people who supported me along the way. Then keep on writing. It’s what I love to do.

Are you at ease when interviewing? Do you find interviews generally exciting or boring?

I’m a very talkative person and love to meet new people. So for me interviewing is fun and exciting. I feel very at ease, giddy even. I tend to giggle when people ask me questions about myself or my writing. The questions are thought provoking and at times things that you usually don’t think about on a day-to-day basis.

Are you a woman with strong convictions, and do those convictions shine through when you write a novel?

Absolutely, I have a very strong moral compass, and when I write there are certain lines I believe I cannot and will not cross. I do put my characters through their trials and never make it easy because that is life; but my convictions shine through my writing When I believe something is wrong, I won’t make my Hero or Heroine do them. I might let my villain or antagonist cross that line, but eventually they’ll get what’s coming to them, one way or another. My black and white sense of justice demands it.

What puts you off when reading a book? Bad grammar? Awful editing? Slow stories?

I love to read and devour books like it’s nobody’s business. But one thing that puts me off is a slow story with names that are hard to pronounce. If I have to stop my reading flow to figure out how to say a name or place in my head, it irritates me through the whole story and distracts from what is happening in the book.

Is paradise self-made or can it be found? Is writing your paradise?

One person’s definition of paradise might be different than mine. That being said, to me paradise is self-made. Life is what you make it! Being able to write and share my stories that is one kind of paradise for me. One I would like to continue living in.

You’re out on a date with a guy and he tells you that he hates reading. Does that end the date or do you just consider that to be his loss?

Honestly, for me I wouldn’t end the date then and there, but it would be a huge strike against him. In the end, it probably wouldn’t work out. I’d be talking about the voices in my head, and he’d think I was beyond weird. But I’d still try, you never know how things might work out.

You enter “The Twilight Zone” and find yourself in a world without books or reading. Is your first reaction to explore this new place or to leave in disgust at the illiteracy of this new world?

It’d be the most miserable existence ever! I’d explore but then find a way out or attempt to change the world one book at a time. When I’m not writing, I’m teaching young students to read, so it’d be the ultimate challenge utilizing all my skills. Write a book and teach them all how to read it. 

Why do you think reading has become such a rarity in the U.S.A? Do you blame video games and modern pop music for its decline?

No, I don’t blame video games or music for a decline in reading. When your first experiences with reading are not pleasant, why would you continue to do so when you’re not required by your teachers? Have you ever looked at the reading lists that they push on students in the USA? When I was finished with high school, I thought all books were depressing and had a horrible life lesson. It’s sad really that because our choices are so limited that many children miss out on the entertainment factor involved is a good story. People forget that reading of any kind is exercise for the brain, even if it’s just a great story. We should be giving our kids books that they will love and can’t get enough of. The life lessons will come when they face situations on a day to day basis. We don’t need to overwhelm them with stories about students who are bullied through the whole book then commit suicide. Why can’t the required reading include the Percy Jackson series, Harry Potter or even the Mortal Instruments? Who wouldn’t prefer music or video games over a book that’s depressing and filed with “life lessons.” Teach them to love reading, and the decline will stop. People who never experience what a truly great story has to offer are missing out on a whole other world, and it’s our own fault for not exposing them to it at an earlier age. I know I wish I had discovered that stories could be amazing at an earlier age. I’ve been playing catch up for quite some time now.

Do you agree that writers have to be salesmen in the Indie world?

I think all writers have to be salesmen no matter if you’re an Indie writer or a traditionally published writer. If you want to be successful at something, then you have to work at it, just like in any other career. Though this is my first book and I am technically not considered an Indie writer because I have a publisher, to me no matter the circumstances you need to be a salesman. I hope to entice many people to buy “Sinner’s Craving” and in order to do so I’ll have to put my sales skills to the test. No one is going to do it for you, especially in the beginning.

*****

meganMegan Elizabeth is a bestselling contemporary romance, and paranormal, author who currently resides in New Jersey, United States. Her first book “Sinners Craving: League of the Fallen: Book 1” was released in 2014. She has since written another book, in that series called Borrowed Sins, and has written her first contemporary romance novel “Bound To Me: The Leather Series: Book 1.”

Megan enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with her family when she’s not working on her books. You can purchase a copy of her first book “Sinners’ Craving” today for 99 cents! Just click here to order your copy!

 

May 24

Rare New Alex Cord Art Movie Revealed: An Interview with Director Steve Carver

Alex Poe

Many people know actor and author Alex Cord from his work in the Western field, or from his iconic role on TV’s Airwolf. But have you ever wondered what his darker side is like? Recently, I was contacted by Steve Carver, a very talented photographer, who wanted to work with Alex. To my surprise, he told me that he made a movie with Alex back in the 1970’s. Long story, cut short, this is the movie: “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and to go with it ,we have an exclusive interview with Steve Carver.

You can learn more about Alex Cord by visiting his official Facebook page here. You can also learn more about Steve Carver here.

Enjoy the movie!

How did you happen to find yourself making a movie with Alex Cord? Did you know you’d be making a picture with him?

In March 1971, as a second-year directing fellow at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Studies, I had completed a final draft of a screenplay based on Edgar Allen Poe’s classic horror tale, THE TELL-TALE HEART. With a budget of $10,000 for this second short film project, my hope was to produce, direct, photograph and edit a 35mm black & white, 30-minute movie that would be exhibited commercially in theaters and on educational television.

I sought casting recommendations from several Hollywood directors mentoring at the Institute, and the suggestion of Alex Cord came from Martin Ritt who had directed him in THE BROTHERHOOD a few years earlier. Alex fit nicely into the role of the man servant in the story.

What was the picture about—and why did it appeal to him?

THE TELL-TALE HEART was considered a classic of Gothic fiction genre, and one of Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous short stories of murder and revenge. The eerie tale follows Alex as a man servant, who narrates as he is gradually driven mad by his obsession with the repulsive, filmy “vulture eye” of the old man he cares for, played by Sam Jaffe. After murdering and dismembering the old man, the man servant hides the body under the floorboards. Ultimately, his guilt manifests itself in the hallucination that the man’s heart is still beating under the floorboards, and when police come to investigate, he offers a confession, convinced that they can also hear the heartbeat.

While there is an ambiguity and lack of details about the man servant’s character and plot, I think the appeal of the role to Alex was in the narration leading up to the murder. In the film, the narrator denies having any feelings of hatred or resentment for the old man who had, he says, never wronged him. He also denies that he kills for greed and endeavors to convince the audience of his sanity. In declaring that he is not mad, he instills in the audience the sense that he might indeed be mad and confirms it as the story proceeds. The specific motivation for murder that he commits becomes focused on the old man’s sinister, clouded eye, which represented some sort of veiled secret, or power. Alex developed this interpretation for his character.

What was it like working with him?

As an inexperienced student filmmaker, it was less scary to direct a camera than to direct an actor. However, it was a privilege and pleasure to work with Alex. He arrived on the set fully prepared, full of energy and positivity. Although I had a vision for every shot in the film, Alex’s performance, his saturnine demeanor in front of the camera, far exceeded what I imagined in my preparation. He enjoyed rehearsing, which gave me opportunities to connect to him, improving the overall film quality dramatically.

Alex and Sam Jaffe worked well together and made me feel at ease and confident. Our relationships off camera added more depth to the acting, and as a result, created a positive atmosphere on the set. It was clear that Alex and Sam connected better to their characters because they were doing what they loved.

What are your favorite memories of the shoot?

The entire production of THE TELL-TALE HEART was a great, memorable experience. It was my second theatrical short film and a real labor of love. We were a very tight-knit group of filmmakers, partly students from the Institute, on a mission, no drama, committed to getting the filming right. Everyone was focused and driven since we had only ten, eight-hour days to film the script, so we really had to make the most of it. The entire film was shot in a large home in an exclusive residential area in Hancock Park belonging to James W. Fifield, a prominent doctor in the community.

A solid cast with Alex, Sam, Ed Binns, Dennis Cross and Dan Desmond made every day magical. The wardrobe, props, dressing, and equipment was on loan from Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, and Mole Richardson. Famed animal trainer, Frank Inn, participated with a black cat that was a spooky cutaway. The film also has an excellent, original and appropriate musical score by the brilliant Elmer Bernstein.

Another memory, although not particularly my favorite, concerns an incident that nearly took Alex and the other actors off the production. It began with a “Confidential” letter that I received from George Stevens, Jr., the AFI Director. In part, it said, “I was dismayed to see the item which appeared in the gossip column of Daily Variety. It served no purpose and was a disservice to the Film Institute. It has generated disquiet over our purposes here and unbalanced out relationship with the Screen Actors Guild which was based on a careful understanding.”

Shaken and angry, I wrote back to George and explained that a zealous crew member had called the gossip columnist without my knowledge or approval and related some erroneous information regarding the actors’ compensation. Because the incident greatly jeopardized the production, I immediately contacted an SAG executive to discuss the informal agreement and satisfy the problem. Fortunately, SAG and the cast were very understanding and cooperative, and the production continued the following day.

The incident caused a great deal of embarrassment and damage to my relationship with the Institute. However, a few days later George received a letter from Dr. James W. Fifield which said, “A group from your institution has leased a property from our family. I wish you to know how proud you can be of them – each and all.” He went on to praise our activities in making the film and mentioned his future support of AFI’s program.

Later that day, I received a personal note from George. It read, “Dear Steve: You have made a speedy recovery. The attached note to me from Dr. Fifield was nice to read. George.”

Alex Poe 2How was the movie received?

THE TELL-TALE HEART was shown in November 1971 with MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS in several popular theaters in Los Angeles to qualify for consideration of an Academy nomination. As a result, it was reviewed by numerous movie critics as “a good adaptation of the Poe story” because it did not rely on big budget techniques. Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Carver has adapted the classic Edgar Allan Poe study in psychological suspense and terror with considerable skill. It is an effective mood piece, a beautiful work in ominous light and shadow.” Other film critics stated that it was arguably the best film version of the story ever done.

Most memorable compliments that I received were from my mentors at The American Film Institute, George Stevens, George Seaton, Charlton Heston, and Gregory Peck. I will never forget their kind words.

In December of that year, the American Film Institute invited an audience of industry professionals to view a showcase of work by some of their student filmmakers. At the informal meet-and-greet reception afterward, I was approached by Roger Corman, who told me that he had directed film adaptations of Poe’s work and was impressed by my short film. Shortly after that meeting, I received a job offer at his new production company and went on to direct four feature films for him.

In 1972, THE TELL-TALE HEART won the Cine Golden Eagle Award and the Cork Film Festival Award in Ireland.

Can people see it still?

Yes, a copy of THE TELL-TALE HEART can be seen at the end of this interview. Also, there are several VHS tapes available for sale on eBay.

How do you feel about the movie now, looking back?

To this day, I am amazed by not only the movie that was made, but by the practicable knowledge I received at The American Film Institute that allowed me to go out and make the film. THE TELL-TALE HEART short film has had an immeasurable effect on my career in filmmaking. It gave me an invaluable opportunity to work with and learn from established actors like Alex and a keen sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Did you want to work with Alex again?

Yes, definitely. But the opportunity never materialized. Right now, I would like to photograph Alex for my photography book project described below.

What projects are you currently working on?

Seeking to refine my artistic vision, and motivated by a desire to take a break from directing, I have turned my attention to a different kind of creative challenge, hoping that it would provide a path toward deeper self-fulfillment. Motivated by a passion for black & white photography, I built a photographic studio and darkroom in Los Angeles to create exceptional images for exhibition, publication, and prestigious collections around the world, offering new interpretations of cultural heritages. I am currently creating a body of work that I consider to be among my highest artistic achievements.

Are you enjoying putting together a book of Western heroes?

Yes. The portraits that I am creating for UNSUNG HEROES & VILLAINS OF THE SILVER SCREEN are of some of Hollywood’s most respected and remembered character actors, many known from iconic Western movies. As celebratory chronicles, they capture the allure and mystique of the Westerner and the Old West, significantly incorporating the complexion of stylized 19th and early 20th century portraiture.

The volume will contain creative, rich and powerful visual representations with the camera searching into the nature of each actor, defining their diverse and auspicious personality, giving each portrait its special dimensions of inwardness and dignity. It will serve as a unique resource on the history of American cinema, and because of the interest generated from recent Westerns and classics playing on television, will attract readers all over the world and never become obsolete with a long life in print.

 

a feather in the ran

And don’t forget to check out the award-winning “A Feather in the Rain” by Alex Cord today! You can download your copy from Amazon here!

 

 

May 23

A Trilogy of Aviation: An Interview with Mike Trahan

Mike Trahan could be described as a “living legend.” In a world where everyone is a legend, we have to take that title with a grain of salt. Let me explain how Mike actually fits that title. Mike Trahan followed his dream to become a pilot. He had true grit and fought all the obstacles along the way. He became a military pilot and fought in a conflict far removed from his homeland of America. Mike is a veteran of Vietnam. When he returned home, he became a commercial pilot for an airline called “Delta” and achieved captain status. His record of achievement is high, and yet the man himself is so humble. Ask him what he couldn’t live without in his life and he will tell you that he can’t live without God.

Read this interview and then try one of his books. “The Gift” series tells of his rise to prominence as a pilot and frankly, if you aren’t moved by them, you have a heart made of steel.

Mike Trahan is exclusively with Novel Ideas. His first two memoirs "The Gift" and "The Gift Part 2: The Airforce Years" have been extremely successful. Mike is currently working on his third installment.

What was the hardest part of writing your new addition to “The Gift” series?

Condensing it so I can get sixteen years of life in one last book.  This is the last book in my autobiographical series entitled – “The Gift.”

What did you enjoy most about writing this new volume?

This is about the culmination of my flying career. It covers all my years as a captain on Delta Air Lines.  The first three books are about striving for that goal, and now that goal has been reached. I call it my “Happy Book!”

Being a pilot do you use a lot of jargon? Can you explain some of it?

I use a lot of aviation jargon that many readers are not familiar with – such as ILS, which means instrument landing system. RVR – runway visual range.  Category III Approach – which is basically a landing in zero-zero visibility, wherein we actually touch down without seeing the runway until the nose of the airplane comes down. I try to explain these things as they come up.

What is different about this book? How did you make this book different to other books about flying?

There are many books about pilots and flying, but few that actually take the reader along on those flights. I am doing that as much as I can. I want my readers to know what being an airline captain involves, intellectually, technically, emotionally, and physically.

Are there misconceptions that people have about your book?

Yes, there are.  Since these books are autobiographical in nature, people assume they are about me.  They are not!  They are mostly about people I’ve met along the way, and the airplanes I flew. I want my readers to know the people who were influential in my life, and there have been many great ones.

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre that isn’t so?

Many of my friends, who had followed my life before reading these books, thought I had it easy, and that all these good things just fell into my lap. Many have told me that their biggest surprise was learning how hard I had to work to get where I wanted to go. I endured many setbacks along the way to my ultimate goal, and these books are about how I overcame those things.

What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your flying that they should know?

I think it is important that my passengers know that they, and my crew, were always uppermost in my mind when I was in command of their airplane.  I sincerely cared about them, and I wanted their flights with me to be as safe and smooth as possible.

Mike Trahan, you are a man with many interest and inspirations. What truly inspires you?

I am inspired by people who overcome obstacles and difficulties in their lives, in spite of great odds against them. Our “Wounded Warriors” immediately come to mind.  They come home from wars with lost limbs, blind, and with all kinds of emotional injuries, and they overcome them. That inspires me.

Mike, you are an accomplished man. How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

I got here through hard work, tenacity, a lot of luck, and refusing to give up

Who are some of your favourite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

I always enjoyed reading a local author, Gordon Baxter.  Bax was a radio announcer, a pilot, a sailor, hot-rod driver, and all around interesting guy.  He could go up on a fifteen-minute flight and write ten pages about it. He saw things that others didn’t see and illuminated them in his writing.  He had what we call a “writer’s eye,” and he taught me how to develop that.  I knew Bax personally, and he encouraged me to pursue my writing and mentored me along the way.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

Useful?  I’m not sure if I found anything useful, but I did discover that writing has given me a new zest for life, and a greater sense of curiosity about things.  I take everything in everywhere I go, in case I want to write about it when I get home.  I haven’t discovered anything destructive about it.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I would have to say I am a part-time writer.  I am retired, but I have a lot of interests and obligations that take up a lot of my time. However, writing has become a wonderful diversion for me.  When I am writing a book, I usually devote four or five hours a day working on it.  I have often thought about going to the mountain region of New England and renting a cabin, so I can take a six-month writing sabbatical there.  I think that would be a lot of fun, and it would be interesting to see what comes out of it.

What are some day jobs that you have held and how have they affected your writing?

In my youth, I worked at my father’s mowing and landscaping business.  As a teenager, I worked out at the airport. My job was servicing airplanes and helping the mechanics. I was a part-time rancher for twenty years. I spent four and a half years as a pilot in the Air Force, and thirty-two years flying for Delta Air Lines.  All of these things gave me many interesting experiences to share with my readers.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

It depends on which theme you are talking about.  If they want to be successful in life, they should read the books with that in mind.  I came from an average background and have average intelligence, but because I had a passion for what I did, and the discipline and drive to get it done, I succeeded.   If they are interested in flying, reading these books will tell them what is involved in getting into that.

How do you feel about E-books vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

I think ebooks are great for people who like to read a lot and tend to travel.  They can carry an entire library in their Kindle reader if they wish.  Ebooks are quick and easy to publish, so, as soon as the manuscript is ready to go, you can have it in front of the readers in less than twenty-four hours.  That gets your book out there, and it creates interest for those who like paperbacks.

What do you think is the future of reading/writing?

I think ebooks are the coming thing, as well as audio books.  Those who cannot read because of blindness, or just bad eyes, can enjoy an audio book.  People who drive long distances can listen to them.  When I finish this last book in  this series, I am going to go back and do all four books in the audio format.

What process did you go through to get your book published?

At first, it was trial and error – lots of errors.  I discovered CreateSpace, which is the self-publishing arm of Amazon, and my friend, Fred Hubbard, who is an expert at MAC Computers, helped me format my first book and get it on Amazon.  Then I had the great good fortune of meeting one Nick Wale, who took an interest in my writing, and he has guided me through this maze since then.  All I have to do is write the book, and get it edited by a professional.  I use the services of Becky McLendon, who is a retired English teacher, and whom I call the Grammar Nazi.  Once Becky helps me find and correct all my errors, I send the manuscript to Nick, and he formats it and sends it to Amazon.  Once the book is on line, Nick takes over the promotional side of it.  I have been very pleased with both Becky and Nick. They have taken all the aggravation out of it for me, and all I have to do is write!

What makes your series of books “The Gift” stand out from the crowd?

I believe the subject matter is compelling.  Flying is still a romantic endeavour in most people’s opinion, and they like to read about it.  I also think my writing style appeals to the reader.  I write like I speak. The readers tell me that reading my books is like having me sitting there telling them the stories.  Apparently they like that.

How do you find or make time to write?

I am an early riser every day, so most of my writing is done before most people wake up.  I just make the time at other hours of the day.  If I am in the mood to write, I just go to my room, fire up my MAC, and write!

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Can you tell me a little about your writing process?

Since I am writing about the experiences in my life, I rely on memory more than anything.  For instance, if I want to write about a particular flight, I go to my old Flight Log Books, look up that flight, and start remembering everything about it.  I ask myself questions like – What kind of airplane was I flying? Who was with me? What were we doing?  Where were we going? What was the weather like?  Soon a picture of that event begins to emerge, and then it becomes a movie playing in my head. If I get deeply enough into it, I find myself present in that moment again. It is like I am re-living that experience, and all the emotions and feelings come back to me.  That can be a powerful experience, and some of my best writing happens when I reach that level of recall.

It’s hard to be a writer these days with all the competition you have to face. How do you promote your work?

I rely on Novel Ideas to do most of my social media promotion, and that relieves me of a lot of that hassle.  I also sell autographed books from home, and go to local book signing events.  Promotion is not my favourite thing to do, but I know it is a necessary evil, if I want to sell my books. And it does detract from my writing time.

How would you describe yourself as a writer?

I’m not sure.  I’m just a guy, who is telling a story.  I would have to say that, at this point, I am still a writer.  After I sell one hundred thousand copies of one of my books, I will call myself an author.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I like to read books by my fellow local authors and friends.  I am reading Becky McLeondon’s “The Day I Grew Wings” right now, and I just finished Captain Steve Taylor’s “Wheels Up.”  Both are excellent books.

What projects are you working on at the present?

“The Gift Part Three – The Delta Years” is done now.  This is the last book in a three volume autobiographical series, and covers all thirty-two years with Delta.  I’m not sure what I will be working on next.

What are your plans for future projects?

I am not sure which direction I will take after this autobiography is finished.  I am toying with the idea of writing a novel, but I am not sure I have the imagination required for that.  We’ll see.

Mike Trahan is currently having his series of books turned into audiobooks. The second in the series will soon be available on Amazon read by Paul Provo. You can download all three books in the series as E-books and as Paperbacks by clicking on the covers below.

The Gift The BeginningThe Gift The Air Force Years The Gift The Delta Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 20

Around The Campfire with Western Writing Raider W.M. Montague

W. M. Montague

W.M. Montague is an enigma when it comes to the writing business. His original release was a seafaring tale of adventure, plunder and good deeds. It was called “Mr Bonner and the Amazing Adventures of Poseidon’s Charge.” After that success, he decided to turn his hand to writing the Westerns he so loved. Now he has a second Western coming out, and his first, “Treason on the Trail,” has been a major hit for the past few months.

This interview could very well help you decide your next Western adventure… Are you ready to take a short ride with W.M. Montague?

Mr Montague, what was your first experience of the Western genre?

As a child, I was given several Zane Grey novels, which were very popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Later, I became interested in the TV shows that were popular at the time, and I didn’t miss any of them. I tried to see every John Wayne movie—and the first one I saw? It was “The Alamo.” Surely the greatest of Wayne’s performances.

Why do you think John Wayne resonates with so many people?

Charisma. It’s the charisma. Wayne oozed charisma. He could take any story, any script, any character and give them the traits of, what my generation would call, the greatest Americans. A noble people, with principles, personality and the ability to think about others—not just themselves. Wayne was the mold for the American way in movie form.

Would you say the character of Dave Rose is based on the screen personality of John Wayne?

Yes, I would. Dave Rose is a man who wants what is best for his town. He doesn’t wait around for the government to give him a handout. He doesn’t want help. He just wants to do the right thing. When his son is held by the sheriff unjustly, he finds himself faced with a choice—he can save his son, he can save the town—or he can do both, and just like Wayne’s characters, he strives to do both.

Do you love country music?

I do. That reminds me of a story, actually. remember one time, my folks and I attended a Hank Snow concert. We bought an album, and Hank signed it for us. When we got home we found that we had actually purchased an Elvis Presley record. Needless to say the good folks at RCA Victor had to send us a new album, complete with a new autograph. That was back in the day when customers came first.

Do you think Westerns say much about the American way?

I think Westerns ARE the American way. Look at any good Western movie, book or folkhero. America, or at least the America I grew up in, is a place filled with decent, hardworking people. A place where your children can grow up safely in a society where people make use of their lives. Just like in the Western, there are rogues, vagabonds, and even bad men—but society doesn’t just sit around waiting for the government to solve these problems. Society acts. I don’t believe in others solving my problems. I solve my own problems, as do the Americans I know. A good Western is a true pictorial of the American way.

Where can we find your new book, “Treason on the Trail,” and will there be a sequel?

You can find it on Amazon worldwide. You will also be able to buy it at one of my book signings, and it will be available through my new website soon. There will be a sequel, and that sequel will be coming out in May 2016.

You can hit the trail with the first W.M. Montague western. It’s available now from Amazon. Ride on over, kick down the door and pick up a copy of “Treason on the Trail.” You won’t regret it!

Treason on the Trail Final Cover

 

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