Author of the Day – Carrie May Lucas

Author Pic 1Hi Carrie, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions.

Thank for so much for having me Lucy!

Can you tell us how you got to be an educator on sexual abuse?

I believe the most troubling times in life are what build and strength our character, and so after I was assaulted I knew I’d eventually want to use my experience to help others. The first time I was asked to speak was by my legal advocate at their annual fundraiser in front of a thousand people. It was such an honor that she thought of me as the type of strong person capable of doing such a thing, I knew I had to prove to her she was right to believe in me.

As a professional author and speaker what do you feel is the medium that reaches the most people?

Dealing with a subject that can be very hard to talk about, it’s almost impossible to understand the wideness of your reach. Not everyone who was impacted by your story is willing to come forward and say so. So, sometimes it’s hard to feel like you are making a difference at all. But I believe the deepest way to reach people is sharing such an emotional experience through my writing. It is one thing to spend an hour listening to someone speak on stage, and completely something else when you spend 30 hours deep inside their emotions and mind connecting with them. Plus, I can never express what I’m wanting to quite like I do in my writing.

Do you feel yoga helps you cope with daily life and its challenges? Which pose is the one you would love to master but can’t?

I do yoga for fun and strength but I run to cope with daily life and its challenges. I try to run 3-5 miles every morning before I start my day. It helps keep my anxiety in check, and gives me a chance to think clearly when I have no distractions. It is hard to run while I’m working on a project though, because I find myself constantly getting great ideas I have to stop to jot them down!

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Fruit. And wine (so totally, fruit too). My three year old would eat berries for every meal if I let her, so we are always picking up something fresh at the farmer’s markets or our neighbour’s gardens. And life always needs a good cocktail.

What is your favorite dish and can you give me the recipe?

braised ribsMy mom was always cooking gourmet meals for my family growing up, so I picked up my cooking skills and taste for good food from her. I never realized how lucky I was in that way. One of my favorite things she makes (that now I cook) is braised short ribs. They take all day to slow cook in the oven, and the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. The wine that it’s braised in makes the flavor so rich, you don’t even want to add a starch. And it’s actually not that difficult to make. You can find the recipe on foodnetwork.com

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?

0615886914

AMAZON

Where Fault Lies: A Survivor’s Story of Game, Shame & Blame was written after I was sexually assault by my boyfriend. There are a few books out about this subject, but none dealing with the interesting dynamic of partner rape. It was hard for people to understand. “I mean, you had sex hundreds of times. What’s the big deal?”

Of course I have an excerpt from Where Fault Lies

As much as I don’t want to admit it, this is going to impact me the rest of my life. The way I love, the way I trust. If my mother told me she was making chicken for dinner, I wouldn’t believe her. It’s not just that he pinned me down and had sex with me; Sayid wedged his way into a place no one had ever been and he used that to control me. It’s not just him that lost my trust. How can I ever trust myself again?

I can’t even hug my dad. This is not me.

I guess, there isn’t much I can do about that. The FBI considers sexual assault as the second worst crime to murder, but it’s a hard crime to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s easy to get tangled in the argument of consent, or find a way to insinuate the victim had it coming. She was wearing a short skirt, she was flirting, she was drinking. But rapists are not animals that snap when a target is vulnerable in front of them. Women cannot protect themselves from rape by wearing less revealing clothing or not drinking too much. Rape is not a crime of opportunity. Rapists calculate and plan and perfect their craft. They will only do it in an environment to which they feel they have the utmost control. It’s not that they cannot help themselves, it is that they simply do not want to.

And in a very real way, it’s as serious as murder. Rapists cut to the core and go after one of the most primal things we have that is sacred. So to cut deep, to take over, to take from, to rape—in the form of what may look like a sexual act, something that should empower and give pleasure and life—is horrid. It is the most horrid of actions that not only rapes what’s physical, but also what is not. They take from us our personhood. They empty the shell of our bodies. That is why they call us survivors. We are left to fill in the hole that is left after surviving our own murders. Rape spares the finite of the human body, while sacrificing the infinite of the soul.”

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

I actually named the book several times. I went through a process of asking myself who was the book really for, and who was my audience? Only once I was able to answer those questions, was I able to really have a good grasp on a solid title. I came up with many that I thought were excellent but they were too similar to other very popular books out there. When I found the final word combination, it felt similar to naming my first-born child. You toss around names for so long, and you even test one or two out. Then one just sticks. It’s like you call it that for so long, and nothing is any better, so you just start to feel like that is the name. And now, it’s her name so nothing else will ever feel right. It just fits.

And finally can you tell me something none has ever heard before from you? I just love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

I told everyone all I cared about was having a healthy baby, but I really wanted a girl. I even convinced myself it was a boy until the ultrasound because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Now, it’s not like I would have thrown him out with the bath water, or not loved him with all my heart. However, I was very ill my entire pregnancy and knew I wouldn’t be able to do it again. I always imagined having a daughter who I could teach to use make-up and who would sneak into my closet to wear my heels or dresses. I was a dancer growing up and I wanted to see the same from my child. I may have got more than I bargained for with my daughter. She is SO girly it’s obscene. But I love every little ounce of her. 

Aww, thanks, Carrie. I hope you will want to come back when you have more news, or just when you have a soapbox moment. 🙂

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Author of the Day – Kim Cresswell

 

newkimMAYHi Kim, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Lucy. I’m thrilled to be here!

What is the biggest difference between writing legal papers and fiction? Other than the obvious, one is non-fiction and the other fiction. 🙂

I think the biggest difference…is the tremendous amount of research when it comes to writing legal papers. Researching, reading, and citing cases can take months and even sometimes years in preparation for many types of legal actions. In fiction, in most cases, we can usually research a topic fairly quickly.

Name three topics you would like to educate adults on.

  1. Graphic Design

  2. Plotting a Fiction Novel

  3. How to Write a Book Review

Is there anything that really gets you on your soapbox?

Animal abuse. Gets me every time. I have spent a lot of years as an advocate for those who don’t have a voice and will continue to do so.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Not so much in my books but in my life…heck yes! Coffee! I will never give up my coffee. You can’t make me! <grin>

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

fish tortillasCabo Fish Tacos

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 lb fresh yellowfin tuna fillet or any other mild white fish
20 corn tortillas
4 -5 cups shredded cabbage

Diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large lime, sliced into 10 wedges
3 -4 chipotle chiles, canned, julienned (optional)
5 ounces fat-free cheddar cheese or 5 ounces fat-free monterey jack cheese (optional)

Directions:
Mix together lime juice, tequila, mexican oregano, minced garlic, onion powder, ground cumin, and 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro in a small bowl.
Place tuna fillet in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over fish.
Remove excess air from bag and seal.
Refrigerate for one hour, while you prepare your grill.
Prepare grill by spraying grill surface with non-stick cooking spray BEFORE applying heat.
Over medium-hot grill (gas, charcoal, electric) cook tuna or fish, turning once, until cooked through (you may just cook on exterior if you prefer).
(The cooking time will depend upon the thickness of your fillet; tuna can be eaten rare. Do not overcook your fillet, however.) Set aside.
Briefly heat corn tortillas carefully on grill.
Do not overcook, or they will get hard.
Break fish into small chunks or shredded pieces and place about 1 1/2 ounces on a double layer of corn tortilla for each taco.
Add shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro and squeeze a wedge of lime over the taco contents. If you like avocado, you can add some as well.

If you wish a spicier taste, add the chilies.

Those sound and look delish!

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?

REFLECTIONREFLECTION (A Whitney Steel Novel) is my debut romantic suspense. The book is about a reporter’s determination to expose an illegal human cloning project. The story evolved after Clonaid (a company founded by the religious sect called the Raelians, announced the birth of Eve, the “first human clone” in 2002 using the similar technique to clone, Dolly the Sheep. About 160 nations in the world have yet to outlaw the birth of human clones and others are allowing the creation of human clones as long as they are not put into a woman’s womb (how do we know they aren’t implanted?), add a kick-ass heroine, a sexy FBI agent, and a villain you love to hate, thus, REFLECTION was born.

And here is the back cover blurb.

Florida investigative reporter, Whitney Steel, has lived in the shadow of her legendary father long enough. To prove herself she needs to find the “Big” story.

She found it.

Now it may kill her.

After Whitney receives a lead pointing to the world’s first cloned human, now a small child, she vows to unravel the truth. However, sifting through the facts proves to have dangerous results, including death threats and murder.

When Whitney is nearly killed, but is saved by undercover FBI Special Agent, Blake Neely, he refuses to let her get in the way of his own objective—at least not right away.

Caught in a lethal game between a billionaire obsessed with genetic perfection, his hit man’s thirst for retribution, and a Colombian drug lord fresh out of prison determined to make Blake pay for his twin brother’s death over a decade ago…

Can they save an innocent child before its too late?

Faced with tough choices, with deadly consequences for many—Whitney soon realizes that sometimes a story becomes more than just a story.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

No, not at all. I think the title works perfectly for a book about an illegal human cloning project.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I spend some time promoting via interviews and excerpts on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr) but what works best for me is word of mouth which seems to generate the most interest in my work.

And finally, can you tell me something none has ever heard before from you? I just love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Most people don’t know this…

I’m a gamer chick! A gaming junkie. Have been since the ’80s. I’m a die-hard PC gamer and known to play first-person shooters (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), adventure, fantasy and RPG’s (Role Playing Games).

Thanks for being so open and giving me a yum recipe to add to my collection. Let me finish by reminding the readers they can buy their copy of Reflection at AMAZON and B&N

 

Featured Author Laurie E. Boris

Today’s featured author is the lovely Laurie E. Boris.

AuthorLaurieBoris_small

Hi Laurie, how nice of you to join me on my blog today and that you are willing to shed some light on what drives you to write these great books, but for that I need to ask you some questions. Brace yourself, for here they come …

Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?

If I’m in public, I keep it clean. “Woo hoo!” Yeah. That’s generally me.

Okay, sounds like a winner that one, but does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? And when did you first start with it?

Anything that gets the blood moving. I think I started using it when my husband introduced me to NASCAR and football. (Not sports I ever would have sat down to watch on my own.) And about the muse? I don’t muse much about my muse. I’m a writer. I sit down and write. The times it flows and the times it doesn’t, I attribute more to my physical and emotional state. For instance, when I can do little more than stare at the same sentence, it’s generally because I’m tired or need to eat or get some exercise.

Right, sounds like you are on the right track there. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Don’t Tell Anyone.

Is that a joke Laurie? Are you trying to wiggle your way out of this?

No, I’m not kidding. That’s the title. Yes, you can tell people.

Okay. 🙂 In that case, I’ll show the cover too.

DontTellAnyoneCover_LBoris300px

 

AMAZON | B & N | Smashwords

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Yes and no. Actually, it was excruciating. The working title had been The C Word since I started the first draft, because among the older generations of my family, nobody said “cancer.” It was the C Word, or never mentioned. Jewish superstitions, I think. But when I prepped the manuscript for publishing, the title was in use on at least six cancer memoirs. [This is not one, by the way, although a character in the book has cancer.] So I immediately thought of Don’t Tell Anyone, because nearly all the characters in the book have a secret and at some point ask their confidantes not to tell. Idismissed it initially, brainstormed about 250 new titles, and came back to Don’t Tell Anyone because my writing group and my husband really liked it.

If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?

Of this book, or in my writing in general? For this book, I toyed with making it a full-out, Coen brothers style dark comedy. But it didn’t work.

Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?

I love writing. I love editing. Constructive criticism, bring it on. Marketing, not so much. I’m an introvert. We’d rather talk to one or two people at a time. I’m working on that.

Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?

What drives the writing flow away for me is fatigue. Or if I’m doing something contrary to what my gut is telling me. That often means I’m off-track.

What does your muse look like?

The closest thing I’ve had to an actual muse is my late mother-in-law. She was one of my biggest fans. Sometimes she haunts my writing room and I can smell her perfume. I can almost hear her voice: “Finish that book already; I need something good to read.”

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

I frequently speak with them. We usually get along. If there’s a disagreement, it’s usually because I’m trying to make them do something they wouldn’t really do, or because they’re not ready to spill their secrets yet. You can’t rush a recalcitrant character.

Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?

Coffee or tea. Holding a hot mug centers me and helps me drift into the writing.

Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?

I don’t write every day. I mark my progress by the week. Some I write more, some I write less. My excuse? I was editing a client’s manuscript. Or there was a good episode of The Big Bang Theory on.

Hahaha, those are actually very good reasons to procrastinate.

But why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Because I don’t really like doing anything else.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

No problem, because I have no cats, dogs, or children. Although we have a lot of mice in our house, so one or more of the three would come in handy. I hear kids are really great at catching mice. Secrets? I always wanted to play second base for the New York Mets. Or be an umpire. I’m annoyed that I failed the height requirement to become a Radio City Hall Rockette. It took me five years to write my first novel (never published), and received 138 literary agent rejections, including one by an agent who also writes romance novels. In the book I make fun of romance novels. She was not amused.

Right, now let’s give out something about the writer. You know, some facts the fans would love to know.

Laurie Boris is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and former graphic designer. She is the author of three novels:

JokeCoverSmall

DrawingBreathCover

and Don’t Tell Anyone, of which you’ve seen the cover above.

When not playing with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she enjoys baseball, cooking, reading, and helping aspiring novelists as a contributing writer and editor for IndiesUnlimited.com. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

And finally we can we stalk, I mean follow, friend or find  Laurie on social media such as her websiteAmazon author pageFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads

Author of the Day – Lorelei Bell

Lorelei at my book signing 2013 AprilHi Lorelei, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. Not at all, this will be fun. Nice to visit you again, Lucy!

I know you have a job aside of the full time job that being an author is, would you ever want to leave that and dedicate all your time to writing or are you, like me, one of the lucky people to earn money loving doing what they love?  I would leave it in a heartbeat, are you kidding? Driving transit (bus) is no picnic!

If you were given the choice would you go visit the set of the original Dracula film, Nosferatu, or would you want to visit a place from True Blood, the series based on the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse novels? Probably the Nosteratu film, I’m a traditionalist.

And would you go there on your own, or in an organized group tour? No group tour. Ug! But I’d have to have my husband with me, he watches out for me. (:

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?  Well, blood, of course in my books–that sort of goes hand-in-hand with vampires, of course. Me, I’m on a diet, right now, so let’s say lettuce, cellery, and hard boiled eggs.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe? Oh, my, that’s a tough one, since most of my favorites I am not allowed to have (in a few months I might be able to eat a little of my potato salad–everyone loves it!) But, yeah, I can give it to you. Now???

Yes, please if you don’t mind. 🙂

POTATO SALAD (serves about 10-14)

10-12 fist sized red potatoes (boil in skins, about 20 min, check with a fork, if skins begin to peel get them out of the hot water and chill in ice water)

2 hard-boiled eggs- diced

1 stalk of celery – chopped

1/4 c. onion (red or white) – chopped

1/2 c pickle relish

(about) 3/4 c. Miracle Whip (or your choice mayonnaise)

1 T. mustard (I use Dijon)

1/2-1 t. salt (to taste – I try to remember to salt the water I boil the potatoes in)

dash of pepper

sprinkle paprika over top

Peel skins off potatoes, cut up into bite-sized cubes, mix in all other ingredients. You may have to eye the mayonnaise to your own taste. I like it creamy!

Hope you like this! It’s a family favorite for picnics. I can’t get out of having to make it for gatherings!

BEST version of cave with eyes-4What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?  “Vampire Caprice” and below you can read a short excerpt of it.

***

I paused, keeping three steps away. When I saw her apply bright pink lipstick, I knew she was either color blind or a demon. I was pretty sure this was a demon made up to look human, and my stomach roiled at the idea of what would happen if it came down to me against her—or him—whatever.

She had one of those faces that had a lot of years mapped on them and the jowls drooped. Dark red eyes flashed at me, and the slits for pupils, like a goat’s eyes, confirmed it. I didn’t think she realized her human facade was not quite perfected.

“Hello,” she said in a sort of crackly voice. I guessed she was a heavy smoker by the sound of things in there. Or, maybe the demon’s voice simply sounded this way.

“Hi,” I said cautiously. “Nice restaurant.”

“Yes. Yes, the food. Magnificent!”

Well, it wasn’t magnificent, but it was good.

Dagger of Delphi was jumping inside my bag, wanting to get out and do its job.

The demon-lady turned to me, and the brown eyes turned a demonic shade of red.

Everything went to hell. Literally.

The demon snarled. Hands turned into claws, it lunged, and I skittered away. My fingers fumbled with the zipper of my backpack. Shit! Shit-shit-shit! Finally, it unzipped. The dagger flew out of the backpack before I could get it open all the way. I stifled my need to scream, backed up into the wall, and knocked a small pedestal over with fake flowers on it. It tumbled to the floor making a racket. The scream that rent the woman’s rest room came not from me, but from the demon. It was a horrible scream, starting out like a roar, and then it went high as the dagger jammed into it’s chest. Instantaneously the thing that pretended to be a woman burst into blue and red flames. Flames engulfed it until there was nothing left but a sooty, charcoal mass in the general shape of a human, still standing, until it decomposed into a pile on the floor. It might have taken about two or three minutes from start to finish, but it felt like an hour to me.

“Oh, shit!” I said under my breath. The smell of burnt demon made me gag. I had to cover my mouth and pinch my nose. I needed the hell out of there.

The dagger had extracted itself and hovered before me. I swiped it out of the air and shoved it back into my backpack. The demon, and the clothes lay in a pile of smoldering black ashes on the old plank floor. There was a little scorch mark, but that was all. What could I do?

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title? At first I called it “A Gathering of Angels, Demons and Vampires”, sort of the sub-title now. And then, because I have been trying to keep with the musical words after the “Vampire” in the title, the word “Caprice” best described this piece because it’s all over the place with a lot of characters, and I’ve done a little experimental writing with 3rd person and first person chapters.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books? I try to get as many spots as I can on blogs, such as yours, and cross my fingers. I do have a fan base and they are just itching to get their fingers on this next one.

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it! After last year when my publisher quit and dumped 3 titles on me to get out there on my own, and I had to edit the third one, because he did such a lousy job of it, meanwhile I was trying to get this one done, plus get another book out… I’ve been sort of burned out and have been taking days off. Plus, I’ve become adicted to crocheting!

And finally can you tell me something none has ever heard before from you? I just love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂   I’ve always wanted to take a bb gun and shoot the butts of men who let their trousers hang off their asses. I’m a lousy shot, however, I’d probably miss (^;

 

Author of the Day – John Holt

JohnHi John, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. You’ve been here before, but I’m glad to see you return.

Hi Lucy, it’s good to be back here and thank you for the invite.

I’m curious, with summer coming will you be lounging in the garden, or are you more of an active person and will you go on walks and such?

Well, to be honest I’m not a very active person. The past few years have not been great from a health point of view I’m afraid. Ten years ago I had a heart attack. My heart is Ok but I suffer terrible headaches every week or so. Then two years ago I was diagnosed with a cancer. Well, I’m glad to say that the cancer is being kept under control, but I have injections every twelve weeks which aren’t exactly pleasant. Anyway enough moaning. I will certainly be out in the garden. We are also members of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and one of the RHS gardens is located about 8 miles away, so we shall certainly be going there. Furthermore this part of Essex is a beautiful part of the country, so we shall certainly get out as much as my health allows.

That’s good to hear, John. Stay healthy and writing I would say, and hopefully lots of the latter in the garden.

Do you like to spend time with friends discussing all sorts, and if so what? Or are you more of a recluse?

Certainly I like to spend time with friends. We discuss all kinds of things, politics, world affairs, local events, films, TV programmes. Never sport. Football, and rugby, and worst of all, F1 motor racing, leaves me cold. I don’t mind my own company either, and spend a lot of time writing, or promoting.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Well, I don’t drink beer, or spirits. An odd white wine or a sherry perhaps. I do, however, like my coffee. As for food do you count chocolate, because I do like a square or three of Chocolate.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

When it comes to food I have to say that I’m not wildly adventurous. I don’t like Chinese or Indian food. I don’t like anything spicy, or hot. Chillies, and mustard are no-no. For like plain cooking, roast potatoes, roast lamb, chicken, turkey. I like good old fish and chips. Pizza occasionally, and I do a rather nice home-made lasagna. Courgettes, mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, onions, all go into the mix with Quorn mince. Plenty of white sauce, and plenty of shredded cheese. Add Soya sauce into the mix, and voila..

Sounds like an easy recipe to me. I’ll give it a whirl and let you know. 🙂 

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?

image[1]The book featured today is “Epidemic”, the third to feature my private detective Tom Kendall. A drug is being developed by a corrupt pharmaceutical company. It is decided to test the drug in a small South American country where controls are not so stringent. Things go wrong and people die. A cover up is put in place. A young reporter is found dead. The evidence shows quite clearly that it was an accident: a simple, dreadful accident. That is the finding of the coroner and the local police. Furthermore, there were two witnesses. They saw the whole thing. But was it an accident, or was it something more sinister? Against a backdrop of a viral epidemic slowly spreading from Central America, a simple case soon places Kendall up against one of the largest drug companies in the country.


There was really only the one major news story that Monday morning. Oh, certainly, there was other news that day; there was no doubt about that. In fact, that weekend had been busier than usual. There had been a major landslide in the northern part of the country following a period of prolonged heavy rain. There had been a substantial amount of damage, but fortunately nobody had been hurt. One hundred and thirty miles to the south, in San Jose, trade discussions with Nicaragua had, at last, restarted after weeks of postponement and delay. On the labor market the Minister of Labor had announced higher than expected unemployment figures, causing widespread protests. And, last but not least, oil workers at the Attico Plant were threatening to take strike action for better working conditions.
Certainly, there was other news, but nothing was quite like that particular news item that dominated all the front pages on that day. Although every newspaper in the country ran the story, it was the influential “La Republica”, based in San Jose, which had broken the news first. The front-page banner headline simply read “Mysterious Illness Strikes” in thick, black letters, almost three inches high. But those three simple words graphically told the whole story, the news report that followed simply filled in the details, such as there were.
“Three people, two men and a young woman, were admitted into the local hospital at Punta Rojas, in the early hours of the morning,” it read. “It is understood that all three were suffering from respiratory problems, and all had a rash to the upper part of the body. A series of tests have been carried out on all three patients, in order to try to determine the cause of the sickness. The results of those tests are still awaited. Preliminary results are not expected until late tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. All three patients are said to be in a stable, but critical condition. An official spokesperson for the hospital said that at this stage it was far too soon to comment on the actual cause of the sickness. However, the symptoms were generally considered to be not too dissimilar to influenza. The spokesperson went on to say that the illness could be due to a previously unknown strain of influenza, or possibly, a mutation. The illness has preliminarily been dubbed Rican Flu by the hospital staff.
It is understood that the Attico Oil Company, which is based in the port of Almeria, employs all three people. It has been suggested that a chemical leak at the oil plant may be the cause of the illness, at least in part. The Health Ministry has said that at the present time there is no evidence to support this rumor. It also stresses that at no time was there any danger to the general public, and that there is no cause for alarm. The plant has now been evacuated, except for key personnel. The area has been completely sealed off. The authorities are stressing that the situation is now fully under control. Emergency teams, including chemical specialists, are currently on the site carrying out a thorough investigation. In the meantime the public are being advised to wash their hands, and, as far as possible, to keep away from crowds. Furthermore they are being told to only make essential journeys. Anyone feeling unwell should take two panadol tablets, drink plenty of fluids, keep warm, and rest.”
In the later editions there were no further details regarding the sickness. There was, however, a small additional news item regarding the alleged oil leak. “Rumors continue to spread regarding a possible oil leak at the Attico Plant. However, a spokesperson for Attico Oil has subsequently denied that there has been any chemical leak at the plant, as previously reported. The plant has been thoroughly checked and no problems have been reported. It is understood, from Interior Ministry sources, that the plant is to remain closed for the next few days at least, and possibly as long as until the middle of next week. It was also reported that there have been no new cases of the mystery illness.”

* * *

Epidemic” will be on kindle Countdown from May 8 until May 15. The price will be 99 cents. Increasing to $1-99 on May 11, and then back to the original price of $2-99 May 16.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

I haven’t so far. I try to keep the title short and snappy, and relevant.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

Marketing is by far the worst part of being a self published author. Sadly I cannot afford to pay for a major advert in a book magazine, or a newspaper. I use Twitter and Facebook a lot, some might say too much, but it has to be done. I am fortunate to know a few friends who blog (present company included) who are able and willing to provide some publicity for me. At present most of my sales are coming through Kindle Countdown, but that lasts for a few short days. So, if you have any ideas please let me know.

Do lot’s of blog appearances, like this one, and get on Google+!

And can you tell me something none has ever heard before from you? I can’t help it, I just love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

You are a mischevious little …. I hate to disappoint but I really don’t have any dark, or dirty little secrets. As for something no one has ever heard before, well for some years I was the Chair of our local branch of the RSPCA. The branch actually ran a rescue centre taking in not only stray dogs and cats, but foxes, rabbits, horses, swans, you name it. At that time I was a Chartered Surveyor operating my own practice. I did a lot of architectural work, designing extensions, new houses, and the various buildings at the rescue centre.

Well I can’t think of anything else, except to thank you once again for your support and friendship.

You are most welcome, John. It’s about time I get around to reading the books you’ve written. I’ve got a couple, but I’m slowly getting through my TBR pile and soon enough I’ll reach yours.

Let’s remind the readers once more that Epidemic is on Kindle Countdown at the moment for only £0.99 in the UK, and $0.99 in the US.