Interview with Author Philip M. Fishman

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I guess you could call me a late bloomer.  I didn’t write my first book until I was 69, which was a memoir of my brief teaching career, which began at age 65 .  My degree is in chemistry, and after graduating and receiving a ROTC commission, I  spent two years in the Army Chemical Corps. My final assignment was as an exec officer in a technical intelligence detachment where we analyzed potential enemy capabilities in chemical, biological and nuclear warfare.  For most of my tenure, I was stationed at Fort McClellan Alabama where I met my wife, who is from Anniston.  After discharge, I worked in various facets of the chemical industry for the next forty years first in technical service, and eventually Southeast Regional Sales Manager until an unplanned early retirement when I was 63.  For the next couple of years I was a consultant; and then I decided to try teaching.  When my wife suffered a stroke in 2008, I then entered my dual career of caregiver and writer.    

2) What inspired you to write your book? 

I have been a political junkie since childhood.  I’m active on FaceBook and most of my commentary involves politics.  When Trump was elected, I just felt compelled to write some type of critique.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?  

I see similarities to the rise of Hitler and also parallels with George Orwell’s 1984.  If not for his cult, we could probably dismiss the man, since after all, he’s in his seventies and won’t be around forever.  But, unfortunately,  I think the fascist movement that he has inspired will be around long after he departs.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?  

In my mind, one couldn’t find a more suitable character for a parody or a satire.  The fact that he contradicts himself continually is comical itself; but that his followers do the same thing makes it outrageously so.  I’ve pointed out that it would be disingenuous to be against everything he says or does, since he is on both sides of most issues from time to time. . 

5) As this book deals primarily with Donald Trump and his presidency, if you had the opportunity to ask him a question or confront him about one of the lies he told that you highlight in your book, what would it be and why? 

“Mr. President, you have been quoted as saying ‘ Promises are like predictions ; they might or might not come true.’”  If you don’t believe in your promises; why then should anyone else?

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership? 

Facebook by far.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there? 

Ask yourself first why you want to write a book.  If it’s to be a legacy or strictly educational.  I would encourage you to go ahead.  If, on the other hand, it’s to make  a lot of money; I’m sorry to say that you are probably in for a big disappointment.  Unless you are well known or have something really unique to say; the chances of you’re making it big are very slim.  There are just too many books out there competing for market share.  If I haven’t dissuaded you; then at least think about what might attract a lot of interest.  Who are your prospective audience and why should they select your book over all the others in the same genre or about a given subject?

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon? 

As stated above, I am in a dual career of caregiver to my wife and writer.  My first and most important responsibility is the former.  As time permits, I will continue to write.  I have written two short stories in the genre of Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone”.  So far, I have not come up with any more.  If any of your readers would like to contribute to an anthology for a nominal negotiated fee, they can reach me at

.   I’m also early into “”A Debate with an Atheist.  It’s too early to say if I will finish it.  And, then there may be some other idea that strikes my fancy and takes me in a new totally unexpected direction. 

About the Author

I have been fascinated by science since age five or six, when I got a telescope for a birthday. At that point I was going to be an astronomer, but that changed when I got my first chemistry set at about ten. 

B.A. Chemistry Indiana University 1961. 

First lieutenant Army Chemical Corps 1963. Last assignment – Executive officer technical intelligence detachment.

Retired in late 2002 after a successful career with a number of chemical companies including one that I started and a second that I co-founded in 1974 for recycling and disposal of waste chemicals.

After retirement became a consultant and then a teacher. 

Now in my fourth career as a writer.

My first book was a memoir of a brief teaching career that I began when I was 66. Title is “Teacher’s Gotta Dance”, available presently only on Kindle. Second book was a rebuttal to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, titled “A Really Inconvenient Truth-The Case Against the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming”. My latest is a novel, titled “Secession- A Republic Reborn”. 

Could States Start Seceding from the Union? This Author Thinks It’s Possible

Also a podcast interview (not the same). The interview starts seven minutes or so into the podcast.


Interview with Author Tomas Cudzis

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’m originally from Slovakia but live in the UK since 2005 with two year pause 2010-2012, when I bounced between the US and Slovakia.

After my parents divorced, my dad stayed in the Slovakia while my Mom went to live with me in the UK for few Years and then with my sister that is living in the US since 2004 to help her with household. She stayed there ever since with occasional trips to visit me or her sister in the Slovakia.

So now I do have 3 homes really. At hearth, I’m still Slovakian and even though I live in the UK for a long time now, I never applied to be UK citizen, still remaining Slovakian. On the other hand, I do go every second-ish year to visit my sister and mom that live in Las Vegas for my holidays and still plan to  move in the future into the US if possible. But truthfully, since I have been in the UK for all of my adult life now, UK feels like home the most. I’m very  glad and happy that I had the opportunity to be part, live, study and work in it, due to the UK being within the EU zone at the time (Slovakia is EU country). But now, since there is impending brexit, it could go all into a halt (since I’m still only Slovakian citizen). Currently, I’m about to finish my masters (in September) at Coventry University in Exercise and Sport Science, and will be looking at my options after.

To answer how I did get into writing…Well, it’s really down to a chance really. Ever since I have been growing up, I think I was very creative. There was always a story behind everything in my head. Listening to a music? I have seen in my head a story to it. An object of any kind? Instant story in my head. I have always seen it more like a movie.

Could visualize everything in my head and eventually, music became more prominent where there was always not just a story behind everything, but also a song that would reflect the emotion that I personally felt and fitted the narrative of the story in my head. The books are really a tribute to the Linkin Park music band songs to date. When I was a teenager still growing up,  I started to imagine a story where I was the hero (what a surprise), or rather a superhero like a Batman. It started all with the “In the End” song from Linking Park that I heard possibly in the radio. Then I got their whole first album: The hybrid theory and that created a whole anthology of stories (of my superhero) in my head based on that. Needless to say, their follow-up albums didn’t disappoint, regardless of them being always different in the style of music, adding more and more stories in my head with each new song. The only band that I can honestly say, that I do enjoy an cherish every single song they had made. All of them are “hits” for me. But naturally, with me growing up, the stories in my head changed into something slightly more realistic (slightly I admit), that didn’t necessarily involve a super-hero. I always wanted to be in a movie production industry, but never really got a chance. Either way, I was getting (way) older, and I felt that the stories in my head are slowly fading, vanishing even. I just thought, I should preserve them for myself, if nobody else, as I thought they were pretty cool.

After Chester (LP singer) had passed away, it prompted me into action before it was too late. Although the whole 4 books stories are largely changed from the original one (about the second, more realistic hero).  Mainly due to me either forgetting it, or that now I had to also connect it into logical order (one giant story made of pieces of my previous visions connected to the songs) that would include all of the LP’s songs. Also, because I tried to add controversy into it, things that would challenge the reader himself. As you know, in the books (or the one you did read) the characters express the way they think, to make it seem logical (or perhaps not). However, many times challenging if not controversial in their final decision and action. None of the characters are perfect, and more often contradictory rather than complimentary to each other. No-one is straight up good, or just plain bad with a perhaps exception on the truly evil (bad guys) side. Nothing is white, nor black. All is grey and the reader himself would be the judge to who is his “good” guy, the most reasonable, the most compassionate etc., no doubt different from reader to reader. Just like in real life.

We all have a bright and dark side. We all are liked, and certainly also disliked by someone else. It didn’t matter that we didn’t give them reason for it, or at least we’re not aware of it, it’s just the way life works. People are different, unique, sometimes with contradicting values, simply can’t please everyone. I’m glad that you liked my book, but I’m sure that for some others, the content may be too graphic, too controversial, too violent or simply not good enough quality. I accept that, but to finally hopefully and definitively answer your question how I did start my writing: I wanted to preserve what I still had in my head whilst giving a tribute to the People who perhaps influenced it the most – the Linking Park. My only worry was that since I am not a writer really, and I’m certain that I will not write for a long time after I finish the last 4th book (never say never), the books would not by a tribute by far, rather lacking the quality of content, uniqueness and excellence of the LP’s genius. Thank you for bringing me peace now, that I know at least ONE person did like it and appreciated it for what it is: an amateur work.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

Oh, I accidentally answered that I guess. Well, to preserve what little of the  stories I still had in my head, to give back a tribute to the people that largely influenced me, and certainly, it was also fun and satisfying to actually use and to present my creativity, to make it “come to life”. Before, no-one really knew. Nor my family or friends, what I could be capable of in terms of creativity. To them, my previous attempts to get into let’s call it “entertainment” industry, was just that – a talk with no real evidence of skill.

There is but one: one I did when I was still only 18y old back in 2004 as a diploma project.

It is rather basic in animation and graphics, but I did it alone on a already slightly dated computer at that time. The rendering process alone took 3 whole days and I had to borrow my friends PC’s hard drive so that I had enough space. I will include a link: Aliens attack earth vs 4 heroes animation
Aliens attack earth vs 4 heroes animationI am not a animator, i have wanted to be a games designer.I have made full concept game with storyboard and ever…

The character in the video with the yellow eyes is the original “superhero” me, the rest my closest friends at that time. Largely influenced by largely unknown “Guyver: the dark hero” movie. I hope that you did recognize the aliens, as of the actual alien’s franchise. Hope you enjoy that too.

Damn, I wish I had a chance to do what I would love to do, to be part of a movie productions.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope it will force the reader to think more. To try to understand other people actions and beliefs, not disregarding them instantly based purely on personal feelings, or opposing view on topic.

Although, I had not explored the possibility to give a reason and a story behind the “primary” bad guys. I do believe that we are not born evil, or good for that matter. Nature and nurture are both influencing how we will develop. I didn’t need the need since the “main” character is controversial and “dark” enough on his own, but his way of thinking is explained. Again, not that the reader could agree or disagree with his actions, but to try to understand why. Especially if you account for the previous two books and the first one where Tomas is only 12 Years old at the very beginning. Reader could read and perhaps understand (or not) why he does what he does, or how he did end up at this point (end of book 3). It is really complex.

Again, I hope it will make the reader be more emphatic (or critical) of everything around, and himself. Therefore, dare I say it?: grew as a person, taking away whatever he finds of value in the book, if any. At the very least, I hope he will enjoy reading it.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Oh boy, my sick head? This question really brought smile on my face, thank you.

Well, you know it is quite graphic in the action part, and “heavy” psychologically.

I am a person who hides his emotions (just like the main character), but is rich in experiencing them. The first book is largely reflecting this, as it is almost the real story of me until the main character starts street fights and then kills a person, of course. Many things have been changed for the purpose of a story (I moved into the UK not China for instance), but almost half of the book is the actual biography of me with added controversy in regards of “viewing” women, so that it fits the dark, imperfect character and the  lyrics of the songs of course. But to answer the question: I find it richer in emotions (especially if you listen to the dedicated song after), therefore better experience. Personally.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Violetta, I would ask her to “fix me”, please. But seriously, I would ask Peter to get me into the movie industry, I’m sure he could hack an account or two, or had straight up connections somewhere that would get me the ONE shot at “it”, that I always dreamed about.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I have virtually no exposure. You are the very first person showing any interest in my work so I must declare, that it will be your blog. Thank you! I do have FB, Patreon, Youtube, Twitter, Goodreads, Reddit and something called Wattpad, I even tried all kind of LP’s fan forums, but none really exposed my work to the world. Partly, due to me not spending all the time, attention and effort I possibly could have on it, I think and hope.

I did have to work and study (full time) at the same time for the last couple of years now, and I do try to live quite healthy lifestyle (gym, dieting), as I am Fitness specialist after all with many years of Personal training and healthy lifestyle consultancy experience, but this takes away a lot of time as well. The little “spare” free time that I have, I tend to use on relaxing (games, movies), but I still managed to produce 3 books along all of this going on in the last two Years. Admittingly, each book is almost twice in the length of the previous one. Mostly because I really wanted to start at the second that was just naturally shorter than the 3rd , but I didn’t want to start it like the star wars: with the 4th movie (story) first, then come back to explain why and how the hero got into that kind of situation, so I was very conservative with the first book.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

It is very hard to get exposure in this business if you are just starting up, or have no social media presence at all. But first you have to have a “worthy product”, before you should worry about that. Now, I’m not saying not to try to build audience (via social media optimally) before your book is actually finished, but If you have none yet, there is no point worrying if you’re not successful at gaining the audience. That is, if this is not your living of course. I mean, I’m not the right person to ask anyway I guess. I’m just amateur who doesn’t even plan to continue to write once the series are finished, and I never really cared that much about the monetary side of it. It would be nice if it could produce me some income, and it would be very much welcomed right now in my life as well, but it was never the purpose of it, nor did I count on it. In fact, I did at least spent money on a professional looking book covers without any returns as of yet. Don’t matter, I’m very happy with them and grateful to the talented artist who drew them. If I could, I buy illustrations from him as well, a professional editor, hire narrator for audio book and more. My patreon is about animating the books to life, perhaps one day I could afford it.

But back to the question: I think It would be wise to make sure that the book that you’re working on has something “to stand out” in it, something that would guarantee that your only real problem is the lack of exposure, not the quality.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

As mentioned before, after I finish (hopefully still this year) the last 4th book of the series, I don’t plan to write anymore. I do plan to invest into illustrations and an editor as soon as my finances would allow it. In most likely distant future after that, I am planning to animate the books. I feel that if this would be an animated series on the YouTube, it would be a lot more successful in terms of exposure than currently in the form of a books. It would also make me very happy that I did in fact (technically) made it into the entertainment industry after all. But that’s getting ahead of myself anyway. Just because you liked my book (one of them), it doesn’t necessarily mean other people will, therefore exposure isn’t all. You brought me hope that it may be “worth something” and thank you very much for that Anthony, so that I will continue best to my ability to try to get more exposure. Who knows, it may actually help somebody to “grew” as a person, or just to enjoy reading it, or hopefully bring even more fans for the LP band. They sure deserve it. Although, they’re massive in the US at minimum, and certainly don’t need my help to gain them more fans, any new fan that will find his way to them thanks to the tribute books would be also a massive success for me.
Anybody wants to show support, please like my FB page: Security Check Required

Interview with Author Al E. Boy

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into writing? 

I’d always entertained the idea of writing, but the sage, old advice about ‘writing what you know’ left me pondering what to write about. I made a few failed attempts many years ago, but always abandoned the projects when I realized the effort was going to be lacking.

What inspired you to write your book?

I’ve been a department store/mall ‘Santa’ since 1976, and the many stories and explanations I employed to answer children’s queries about Santa, Mrs. Claus, the North Pole, the elves, reindeer, Toy Shop, etc., had left me with a wealth of information to work with. Going back to what I wrote for Question #1, I now had something I knew and understood to write about. I created the reindeer character of Fawn to help facilitate combining all of my tales into a cohesive story.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

The ‘Fawn’ stories have a strong focus on friendship and family ties. Love, loyalty, and being able to depend upon those you hold dear is a major theme running throughout the books. In addition to that, I think keeping the joy and wonder of all things Christmas alive, no matter one’s age, is also an underlying theme.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’m an English and drama teacher. I truly enjoy putting smiles on children’s faces, and seeing their young eyes crinkle at the corners in amusement. Writing the trilogy, The Adventures of Fawn, I hoped to bring that same feeling to anyone and everyone reading the books.

What social media site has been most helpful in developing your readership?

I’m currently residing in Asia, and don’t use social media as much as my contemporaries apparently do. I’ve dabbled with book blog tours, Facebook groups, and various book review sites via the Internet. I can’t actually say which of these has proved most fruitful though.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting out authors out there?

First off, I’d suggest if any writer is thinking writing a book is simply a matter of quickly jotting some things down and making a pile of money—they’re dead wrong! People aren’t stupid, and they expect a certain degree of quality in the finished product, and if they don’t get it, bad reviews will understandably follow. Secondly, no writer’s work is flawless. Family and friends will oft-times tell an aspiring author their work is great, and offer little or no critical examination, or negative commentary. The author certainly likes to hear how good their work is…but it’s also very important to ascertain where the work falls short, where the plot holes are, where things could be improved upon. 

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books or projects on the horizon?

At present, The Adventures of Fawn is a trilogy. I wrote a fourth book, but wasn’t entirely pleased with it. It’s sitting in a file, waiting for me to return to it one day and make it a suitable companion to the other three books. Other than that, I recently ventured into more ‘adult fare’ and co-authored a thriller with a writer living in Cancun, Mexico. We’re currently looking for a publisher for it.

About the Author

Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.

It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!

Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

Additional info: ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls was awarded the Bronze Medal in Dan Poynter’s 2017 Global E-book Awards, is listed as ‘Recommended Reading’ with The US Review of Books, and was awarded an Honoree Medallion by indieB.R.A.G.. In addition, it has garnered a number of favorable reviews.


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Interview with Author Bryon Cahill

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Most authors will tell you they’ve been writing all their life. They’ll say, “I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen.” Well, technically, that’s probably true, if you count a few illegible scribbles. And I suppose I have been illegibly scribbling since way back when, too. But the better response would be that I really started writing in High School. I wrote unspeakably bad poetry for years and a great number of horrendous stories.

I majored in Writing at Marist College. That’s where I wrote my first novel. It was more trite garbage that will never see the light of day. Many more amateur, unpublishable books followed for years until I Am Marcus Fox came around. This was the first real, substantial thing I’ve been excited to share and put my own name behind.

What inspired you to write your book?

Honestly? My protagonist inspired me. He blasted his high-octane life into my head and poured himself onto my page. He grabbed me by the ears and demanded, “Listen! My story is electric! Write me!” What choice did I have? I fleshed him out and before I knew what hit me, Marcus was in charge, writing his own story. It was some next-level stuff. The man insisted on being a modern day Paul Bunyan braggart. But it’s hard to take anything he says without a heaping pile of salt grains. As much as I was honored to tell his tale, I still wonder who he might truly be, beneath it all.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Fiction is stranger than truth. That’s sort of become my motto and I’ve been flaunting it all over the place. That’s not an entirely well thought out message, though. One major theme in the book that Marcus tries to grasp from time to time is: Can a person ever really know another? What goes on inside our heads? No one really knows but us. And sometimes, not even we are sure of our own thoughts and perceptions of the world. Indeed, it if left untidy, our minds can become quite messy.

What drew you into this particular genre?

Again, I have to give all credit to Marcus. I never intended to write his story but when he insisted that his life was brimming with action and adventure, I was compelled to explore it. As for the psychological thriller part of the literary mashup, I discovered along the way that my protagonist was either a) the world’s greatest bullsh*t artist or b) a couple zebras short of a dazzle. And if it was the latter, I was going to have to do a lot of research on native Zambian animal tribes.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

There are plenty of characters in Marcus’ story who support him (or antagonize him). Some I would love to have a beer with and others I’d rather observe from a safe distance. But I think I’d most like to sit down with Marcus’ adopted father, Shumbuto. I’d ask him why he’s so sure of himself and his beliefs. Where does his blind faith come from and does he find it to be a strength or a weakness? Though most assuredly, he would give a non-answer, because he is a lovable, strong hearted, brilliant nincompoop.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I’m still working on this one, Anthony. I have a Facebook and Twitter presence where I post my oh-so-wordy, sometimes witty bloggys, and do whatever all else it is people do on social media.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out?

If you’re self-publishing, research everything you can before pushing the button. When you think you know it all, start over, re-read. Find new sources. Absorb more. And then when you finally do publish, you’ll probably do a lot of things wrong. Learn from them. That’s what I’m doing now. I’m learning the business. Yes, it is a business. As a writer, you probably only want to be creative. Of course there’s oodles of room for that but you have to wear all the other hats as well. There is an incredible learning curve. Maybe some day I’ll be off it but not anytime soon.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I am currently drafting Book 2 in my Lost Identity series (I Am Marcus Fox was Book 1). I haven’t really advertised the series notion anywhere else. People don’t want to hear that you have a Book 2 coming out until Book 2 is actually written and has itself a pub date. Readers get burned all the time by writers who start a series with good intentions but then fall off the face of the earth. I have no intention of going anywhere. That said, who said anything about a Book 2? Wasn’t me. Bloody rumors.

I also should have a Middle Grade novel being released later this year and possibly the first book in a Young Adult series in early 2020. If you’d like to follow my progress, you can do so by signing up for my e-newsletter on my website at There’s a free gift in it for you, if you do! Spoiler alert: It’s a short story about how Marcus Fox’s parents met each other.

Thanks for reading!

Fiction is stranger than truth.

(See! I use that line everywhere.)

About the Author

Bryon Cahill is an author for all ages. A Stay-At-Home Dad by day and night, he writes by proverbial candlelight in the wee strange hours of morning. REPORT THIS AD

In the past, Bryon was an award-winning writer and editor of literary publications for teens. His stories, influenced by phantasmagorical classics such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, do often steer off-course, alighting on the wings of the fantastical.

When not writing or Dadding, Bryon dreams of sleeping sheep. He summers, winters, springs, and falls with his loving family along the sunny beaches of the Jersey Shore.

I Am Marcus Fox is Bryon’s debut novel for adult readers. It will be available for human consumption on May 7, 2019. 

Novels steeped in magical realism for young adult and middle grade readers are forthcoming, as is more fiction for adults.

Website & Blog:

Amazon Author Page:




Interview with Author J.J. Angel

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Hello everyone!

My name is J.J. Angel and from in “the Boot of the South”, “the Sportsman’s Paradise” of the United States, aka Louisiana. I’ve been here all my life and I’m still here, now living in the state’s capital, Baton Rouge, for several years. I majored in Entertainment Technology (Film) and Digital Arts but surprisingly not Creative Writing. My first published title was, “Voices from the Bayou: Baton Rouge Student tackle Racism, Police Brutality and the Historic Flood”. It was an anthology of stories written by college students caught in the calamity of all these events within a single year. My specific piece titled, “Still Water Runs Deep,” is a deep rooted tale about my physical struggle as a flood victim blended with my own inner struggles drowning me within. The book is on Amazon and my particular piece is located in the flood chapters near the end. You’ll see J.J. Angel in there.

I started writing when I was still in early grade school. I used to be into drawing before I turned to writing. I get that from my mother who was an exceptional artist. My pen name is a part of her real name, Angela. My first and middle initial begin with the letter, “J”. So this is how I got into writing. I’m a small guy. I’ve always been little. That means as a kid I got teased a lot for not being as outgoing or athletic as the other boys. I wasn’t into sports at all. I stayed in the library during recess but outside that I used to be teased about everything. So what did I do? I started drawing stick figures but these were no ordinary stick figures. These were superhero stick figures. The kind who could fight off any bully and save the world! Somewhere down the road I started to create stories for these characters in my trusty notebook. The stories were episodic spanning ten pages back and front (20 pages an episode) using pen and paper. I think I had about four or five tablets. Each were a different color and represented a different arc of the series. I did this for a few years until I finished Jr. High. I felt writing stories like that were for little kids and since I was in High School, it was time to do “adult things”.  I dropped novel writing in favor of poetry because all the cool kids were writing poetry. I was such a follower during that time of my life. I did not want to be that oddball loser but ended up being the oddball loser who writes poetry. I even remember my Biology teacher asking what I wanted to do when I graduated. I told her I wanted to be a writer and she told me I was living a pipe dream. I kept my writing ability a secret in fear of being judged and when my senior year came, my writing dreams were over.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

What inspired me? Myself. I’m not being egotistical or anything. It had been seven years since I wrote a single damn thing. That was a weird period of my life but that’s another story for another book. Anyways, one day while I was moving I found an old box. Before I threw it away I decided to look through it and guess what I found? One of my old Lost Fighter tablets from grade school. It was a bit worn but the stories were still there in glorious ink. I stopped what I was doing and decided to read through it after all these years. My God! I had run-on sentences as long as anacondas. However, there was something else there. I had a great imagination and whole lot of heart. This is what I loved to do. This is what I really wanted to do. Take people on my visual journey and inspire them to do the same. What happened to the kid who had a big imagination and so much hope? I had given up on him. I was afraid of the ridicule for being a boring useless writer. It was me being bullied again. How can I create such fantastical superheroes or noble warriors who stand against the forces of evil when I can’t even stand against my own self-doubt? That was moment I realized what I had been running from and what I needed to do. That was the first day I picked up my laptop and pressed NEW DOCUMENT in Word.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Oh Lord. Well, I was telling my writing colleagues Potentia is a deep story under all the science fantasy lip gloss it has on. I want readers to look at it with an open heart and mind. Potentia is Latin. It means force, power or political authority. There are points in the book where I play around with that meaning. I like the idea of hope and believing in yourself, even when things look opposite of that. Karissa, Rupert, and Amare have periods of courage despite the odds they are up against. Even though she was injured, Karissa still made herself continue to the other side. She doesn’t just give up and fall down waiting for her attacker. She keeps on going and the crystal reacts to that emotion! Same for Rupert and Amare. These young adults are going up against supreme cosmic entities who could rip them to pieces. These are my main “bullies” (for now…*wink*) of the Universe. Despite this, Rupert and Amare show great courage at times. First, you need to believe in yourself. Second, you need to search deep within yourself. Third, you need to find that spark. Last, you need to bring that spark to life. 

When the story says the boys discovered Potentia, it’s saying they discovered the power (authority) residing deep within them and once they accepted it and believed in it, they could create something spectacular. Something powerful enough to repel the invasive shadow-like creatures trying to eclipse them.

I want readers to not only note the hopeful and brave moments, but see the themes of  acceptance. This book has a lot of diversity in it. Rupert is German-American and Amare is African-American. They have a tight knit friendship despite their racial backgrounds and physical differences. I want readers to see the strong levels of friendship here. They are like brothers. A strong brotherhood. Teamwork does make the dream work! Even Ya’asha is confused by how the two boys can fuse powers together so easily. We humans know how it’s done though! Plus one for humankind! There is also an LGBT character mentioned in the story. So I try to be as inclusive as possible.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I have a really big imagination! I’ve said that too many time now. I love the unknown and space is full of it. Even so, there were still some other experiences that brought me into this genre, both real and fictional. In fiction, I loved R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series as a kid. It’s what got me into horror fiction for young adults. I’m a big fan of Ridley Scott as well. I love his movies, Alien and Legend. Legend was a dark fantasy and is one of my all-time favorite films still to this day. There is something magical about that movie that fueled my imagination as a kid.

Now for the realistic side. As a child, I know two instances where I thought I saw dark figures or shadow people. They scared the hell out of me but made me interested in the paranormal/supernatural. Speculative Fiction is a beautiful genre and Science Fantasy has the power to captivate the entire world. I love it!

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I was originally going to pick Ya’asha for this but he’s too much of a smart-ass to sit down and answer questions cooperatively so I think I’ll go with Karissa. “How does it feel going from a character that dies in Chapter 4 of the original draft to one of the central protagonists in the final draft?”  

I want to see if she will glare at me. Perhaps, death might have been more desirable than what’s she going through currently? I also like cats and she hates them.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I want to say it’s a tie between Facebook and Instagram. Thought, I think Instagram is more on the visual side of Potentia. Facebook might be one since I started with it, but Instagram is catching up since I put way more content on it now. My Twitter isn’t too hot right now but hopefully people will look in my direction and be like, “This little guy has created a story that has many layers beneath it. I’ve read it and found some things from incorporating many systems of beliefs within it.You have to be an active protagonist while reading and search for hidden meanings.” (Hint: One of the characters wakes up after a nightmare and sees 5:55 on the clock.  (According to numerology, this combination means huge changes are on the way! And boy are they! *grins*)

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?


8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m currently going over Potentia The Shadows sequels, Tales of Potentia: the Awakening and Tales of Potentia: The Clash. First drafts are complete for both of these. I have two or three more after those. Legacy, Rebirth and War.

Stepping outside the world of Potenita, I’m working on a fantasy story called, “Arabian Rhapsody”. It’s supposed to be a novella but I have too much going on with the mythological monsters, faeries and other things. It’s getting a little stuffy right now. We’ll see how that one develops.

I have a horror I’m working on which is turning out to be a creature-feature splatter-fest. Screams!!

I also have a chapbook on Amazon called, “Poetic Vibrations”. You can check that out as well.

Well, that’s it for me, for now.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful day!

About the Author

J.J. Angel, also know by his other pseudonym J.J. Angelus, is an energetic, humorous, but equally focused creative author who enjoys immersing his ideas and creating imaginary worlds within the realms of science fiction, fantasy, and some horror. He is a former Entertainment Tech Film Major of Baton Rouge Community College and a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award for his contribution towards the anthology, “Voices from the Bayou”, with emotional and thought provoking narrative, “Still Water Runs Deep”. 

When he isn’t writing, JJ enjoys creature features, evening walks by the river, poetry, volunteering, and digital art and animation.


Facebook: Facebook profile

Instagram (regular): @powerthenovel

Instagram (Music): @jjs_soundscapes

Twitter: @powerthenovel

Interview with Author D. Elizabeth Ayers

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Well, I was a lonely kid, and like most lonely kids growing up in the 70s and 80s, I read a lot and watched a disgusting amount of television and movies. So, my mind was always focused on how stories unfold. I also had geeky, well-educated parents who knew things about storytelling and myth. They would point out things like foreshadowing and symbolism in stories that made me incredibly curious to find out more. Strangely, I started off my creative life in the theatre and did a lot of acting from the age of twelve to the age of about thirty. Even though I might not ever act again, the theatre gave me a great background in character development and scene building.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

I was in England in 2003 and one of the places I visited was Bath. In the circus, (I’ve attached a link to a Wikipedia image for your reference), there is a beautiful grassy area and a very small copse of trees. Apparently, the architect who designed it believed Bath was the center of druid activity and designed the King’s Circus with the measurements of Stonehenge in mind. After visiting the Jane Austen House in the morning, I had a little picnic snack under those trees and I communed with the trees and, I think, druids. I conceptualized a ghost story that involved a body snatching element. This initial idea took a little time to marinate, and I wrote some ideas out that never came to be. Ultimately, it became This Pale Mortal Shell.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

There are two takeaways I hope will come across. The first being, don’t take anything for granted. It can be snatched away from you at any moment, and even if you get a second chance, you might still lose it. Live in the moment and make the most of what you’ve got! The second is, I hope readers understand my view on right action, especially when you’re using magic. I’m afraid to say too much here without spoiling it for future readers, but I’ll always advise people to be careful with the power they yield!

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

 One thing was that when I was a kid, there was not a lot in the way of kids’ books and there was absolutely no YA, so I had read everything there was to read by the time I was ten, and I graduated to adult fiction. I think my mom was just glad that I was reading voraciously, so she didn’t monitor the material much. I started reading a lot of ghost stories and Edgar Allen Poe. Then I graduated to Stephen King when I was about eleven. I guess you could say I was kind of a dark kid. There were also things happening in my personal life that drew me to the paranormal and magic. In addition, I was the kind of kid who often paired off my plush toys and dolls because I didn’t want anyone to be alone, so I guess I was a romantic kid as well. I started reading paranormal romance a lot after I had the idea for This Pale Mortal Shell just to get a sense of what was out there, and I absolutely fell in love with the genre. Up until then, I had only experimented with historical fiction/romance.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I’m actually really having a hard time answering that one because there will be major spoilers! So, I don’t know if you have a protocol for dealing with that. The character that was probably the hardest to write is represented in three different characters in the story. The Young Rocker, the Goddess, and the Omnipresent Voice in Tristan’s limbo are all representatives of what I like to call the Universal Consciousness and boy do I have some questions for that one! One would be “Do people really get what’s coming to them, good or bad?” “Does everything really happen for a reason?” is another question. I like to believe that the answer to both of those questions is yes, but I’m often uncertain when really crappy things happen to undeserving people and vice versa. I won’t get all political as a writer yet, but I think you all can imagine what I mean.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

To be honest, I’m still feeling my way around the social media world. I’m what some people might call a digital immigrant, which is a person who uses technology but wasn’t born into it. I have been playing around with the biggies, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but I’m also working on my profiles on Goodreads and Amazon. At the moment, I’m getting a lot more feedback/connections on Twitter, and I like it a lot. I do sometimes hate being limited to 280 characters, though!

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

First and foremost, you must do two things pretty much every day, even you only spend an hour a day doing them: Read and write! And persevere! Not many writers are amazing right out of the gate. I think Mark Twain was one of the few, so be ready to kill your darlings and take the hard feedback when you get it. But also, stick to your guns if you really believe you are right and it’s not just your ego talking. You should also believe that you can get better every day and tell the story that people want to read if you keep working at it.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m so glad you asked! I have the first in a series coming out this fall. The series is called The Selkie Chronicles, and the first of the series is called Only Skin Deep.

Here’s a little teaser for that series:

The selkie. Those hot-blooded, sea-dwelling creatures on which the phrase “love ‘em and leave ‘em” was coined. Unfortunately, in the twenty-first century, they’re not so focused on the seduction of unwitting but oh-so-willing humans even though it sure is fun once in a while. These days, they spend more time building up their own societies and domains and living within the constraints of their politics. Very few people even remember they exist, and a select few humans have been chosen for mutually beneficial partnerships to protect the selkie race from discovery. Occasionally, these relationships have tragic outcomes, but every once upon a time, the right human and the right selkie can set each other free.

And the blurb for the first of the series:

Sloane’s finally met her tall, dark, and handsome. The only problem is, sometimes he’s chubby, spotty, and smells of herring. But hey, nobody’s perfect, right?

Sloane is a disowned heiress turned waitress living in a small seaside town in west Scotland. Llyr is a selkie prince living in a kingdom thousands of feet under the sea and hundreds of miles away. It seems unlikely that the two could even meet let alone fall in love. But when she inadvertently calls him, he is able to take human form and journey to the surface.

Sloane and Llyr must battle disapproving fathers, wicked stepmothers and other deadly enemies to make their relationship work. Along the way they discover secret treasure, unravel the truth about the past, and overcome the sins of a father and a mother. Against all odds, they find a way to bridge the gap between humans and selkies, and together they break the ancient curse which threatens to keep them apart.


And I also have a YouTube channel though it’s pretty thin at the moment. I like to have soundtracks for my novels which are in the playlists I have there.

Interview with Author Rina Z. Neiman

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’ve worked in music, fashion, high tech, and retail. Writing has always been an element of my professional career.

What inspired you to write your book?

My mother’s life inspired this book, and the understanding that her story was so deeply intertwined with the establishment of the State of Israel. Sadly, she died when I was eleven years old, and I was too young to know what questions to ask. Following my father’s death years later, I discovered her photographs and documents, most of which I had never seen before. Under pictures of best friends and boyfriends, whose names we’d never know (or how they affected her), I found an illustrated sketch book by her brother. Avraham was the uncle we never met, but knew was her best friend. The book tells the story of a trip they took to the Galilee in 1947. For the first time, I had an inside view into the most significant relationship in my mother’s life, and an intimate portrait of her as a 17-year-old. I wanted to tell not only her story, but the story of the Sabra generation, the first generation of modern-day Israelis.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

  • We are from our birthplace.
  • The importance of family and community.
  • War is about losing loved ones.
  • Resilience in the face of adversity is key to survival.
  • What led to the establishment of the State of Israel. The events in Europe during WWII had repercussions that affected the whole world.
  • A portrait of the unique Sabra generation.
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What drew you into this particular genre?

I began this project as a straight biography, but quickly found it was not possible to corroborate particular facts about my mother’s life. It also became clear that there was a broader story to tell about the time period and her generation. I’ve always found historical fiction compelling to read, and love that it can transport you to a different time and place.  

What I like about writing an historical fiction novel is that there is a timeline of events that I was able to follow. I could intertwine those events in ways that I knew, or had to imagine, affected my mother. Here’s an example: While researching the time (1940s), and place (Tel Aviv), I came across an incident that happened in 1941 that I never knew about. My mother never spoke about it, and it wasn’t mentioned in most of the histories of Tel Aviv. Shortly after the Italians entered WWII, an squadron of Italian planes dropped bombs on my mother’s neighborhood killing 137 people. Even though I didn’t know how it affected my mother, it became clear to me that this was a scene that I had to write. What would it be like to be a 12-year-old girl caught in such a frightening event?

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook and Instagram for now, and I’m working on my Twitter presence. With my WOW blog tour, I can see how effective the world of book blogs can be.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

  • Take classes in writing. Learn the craft.
  • Create a timeline with an outline. That’s your path.
  • Find a writing group.
  • Write THE END. Are you sure? Better check it one more time…
  • Polish your final piece.

Self-marketing is part of the publishing world now. The best way to create interest in your story is to find like-minded people, and promote to those you are connected with. Network with other writers, writing groups and organizations that may have an interest in your work.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I have two projects that I’m currently outlining. There is a sequel to Born Under Fire that follows Shula in Manhattan in the 1950s, and her work at the first Israeli consulate in New York. And, because it’s based on my mother, the highs are high and the lows are devastating.

The second is a music-centered novel that takes place in New York in the early 1970s.

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About the Author

Rina Z. Neiman is a writer, event producer and public relations professional. Born Under Fire is based on the true story of her mother, Shulamit Dubno Neiman, a Sabra, a musician and one of the first generation of modern-day Israelis. Rina lives in Marin County, California with her husband and son. This is her first novel.REPORT THIS AD

You may find out more about the author and her book by visiting the website Also, you may find her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

— Blog Tour Dates

May 20th @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin! So, grab your coffee and join us today as we celebrate the launch of Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book. THIS AD

May 21st @ Karen Brown Tyson Blog

Make sure you stop by Karen’s blog today where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how to manage time and distractions during the book writing process. If you are writing a book – or thinking about writing one – this one is a post you don’t want to miss!

May 22nd @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog today where you can read her review about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

May 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog again where you can read the author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about why researching primary sources is so effective.

May 23rd @ Bri’s Book Nook

Looking for a new book? Make sure to stop by Bri’s Book Nook and find out why you need to add Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire to your reading list.

May 24th @ One Sister’s Journey

Today is a can’t miss review by Lisa over at One Sister’s Journey blog. She’s sharing her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.REPORT THIS AD

May 26th @ Reading Whale

You won’t want to miss today’s stop at the blog Reading Whale where you can read this Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about when you can finally start writing your book after all that research.

May 27th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf

Fill your bookshelf with good books! Stop by Veronica’s blog and read author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about writing biographical fiction and when to dramatize real events.

May 28th @ Helen Hollick’s World of Books

Join Helen Hollick’s Tuesday Talk over at her blog and read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how videos can reinforce your historical novel.

May 28th @ Book Collab Blog

Make sure you stop by Morgan’s blog Book Collab where you can find out what she has to say about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

May 29th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

If you love historical fiction, make sure you visit Anthony Avina’s blog today where he features author Rina Z. Neiman’s blog post about how she researched her historical fiction novel Born Under Fire. You won’t want to miss this!REPORT THIS AD

May 31st @ Jess Reading Blog

Are you interested in writing history for young adults? If you are, you will absolutely want to visit Jess’ blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman talks about writing history for young adults and what grabs them and what loses them.

June 1st @ The World of My Imagination

Come by Nicole’s blog today where you can read her review of Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire and enter to win a copy of the book.

June 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Can’t resist a good book? Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog today when he reviews Rina Z. Neiman’s incredible historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

June 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Looking for your next great read? Make sure you stop by Bev’s blog today and catch her opinion on this fascinating historical fiction novel Born Under Fire.

June 4th @ Amanda Diaries

Today’s stop is at Amanda’s blog where you can read what she thinks about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire. REPORT THIS AD

June 5th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog today where you can not only read her review of Born Under Fire but also enter to win a copy of the book!

June 7th @ Bookworm Blog

Feeling bookish today? Make sure you stop by Anjanette’s Bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s powerful historical fiction book Born Under Fire plus read an interview with the author.

June 8th @ Jessica’s Reading Room

Today’s tour stop is a fantastic guest post written by author Rina Z. Neiman about how to make stories interactive. A must-read for all the writers out there!

June 9th @ Jess Bookish Life

Need a new book in your life? Stop by Jess’ blog today where she shares her opinion about the historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

June 10th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Are you doing research for your novel? Make sure you visit Bev’s blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman is talking about top 5 ways to research secondary sources.REPORT THIS AD

June 12th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Get to know author Rina Z. Neiman at today’s stop over at author Anthony Avina’s blog where he interviews the author.

June 14th @ Bookworm Blog

Visit Anjanette’s blog today and read a guest post by the author who talks about making your story interactive and why adding music is so effective.

Visit Wendi’s blog at Strength 4 Spouses where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about the importance of writing during deployment.

June 15th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Welcome to Strength 4 Spouses Blog!

June 17th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog over at 12 Books and find out her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

June 19th @ Inquiry and Beyond

Join Kathy on Instagram and on her blog PYP in Paradise as she reviews and features Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

June 21st @ Choices Blog

Interviewing someone for your book? Make sure you visit Madeline Sharples’ blog today where Rina Z. Neiman talks about how to conduct interviews with people who are (and who are not) willing to talk with you.

June 23rd @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog

Need a new book? Make sure you stop by Wendi’s blog where she reviews Born Under Fire by Rina Z. Neiman.

Welcome to Strength 4 Spouses Blog!