Meet The Author Monday – Kirsten McKenzie

KirstenMcKenzie

I want to thank you stopping by to talk with us today, Kirsten. Let’s kick things off with a little background. What brought you to the world of literature?
My father was an antique dealer, so my bedroom was stuffed full of hardcover copies of almost every Enid Blyton book ever printed, and numerous other classics. I always had something to read. It’d because of Enid Blyton’s books that I developed a love of reading and storytelling. And its because of my father that my books are stuff full of antiques!

That sounds like an exciting childhood. What genre, or genres, really draw you in?
Sweeping historical fiction, in the vein of Edward Rutherfurd’s huge tomes – London, Paris, Sarum etc. His storytelling is incredible especially the way he weaves all the threads together.

I’ve never been one to read fantasy books, until I read George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series. His descriptive details are perfect.

And Stephen King of course. All his books, even the ones I have to read with my eyes closed because I’m too scared…

Of course the King of Horror. One of my all time favorites as well. Is there any particular event that brought you across that line from reader to writer?
The Discovery of Witches series by Deborah Harkness are the books which inspired me to write. Is there anything more exciting than the ability to slip through time? To meet someone inspirational from the past?

Deborah Harkness has a wonderful series there. I have read some of her work. Have you chosen a specific genre or are you dabbling in more than one? 
I’ve written two historical time slip books, and I am about to publish my first horror novel. So yes, you can safely assume that I am dabbling in genres now.

A double threat then. How has your publishing journey been?
My first two books were published by Accent Press in the UK.
My horror novel will be published by Squabbling Sparrows Press in New Zealand due to it being a horror novel, and not historical fiction.

That’s great. When you aren’t taking on two genres, what fills your time?
My Twitter bio sums it up really:

Author. Actor. Antique Dealer. Mother. Wife. World Traveler.

I love traveling. I’m a full time author. The mother of two daughters. And the wife of a husband. I don’t do as much acting now as I did before publishing my books. And I will always love antiques, and the thrill of stumbling across some piece of treasure hidden in a drawer or a forgotten box.

Sounds like you have a full plate. I understand you have a story you want to share with us about your father’s antique shop. Please do.
When I was little, I was allowed to sell 50c postcards in the corner of our family antique shop. Then I progressed to being behind the counter. After my father died, my brother and I ran the shop together. Now I write about the things in the shop, and the customers, and the treasures, weaving stories around them. Its a passion, and it filters through to all aspects of my writing. A reviewer once described my writing as “Antiques Roadshow gone viral”.

Certainly looks like you have some interesting reads for our To Be Read pile. Thank you again for stopping by today Kirsten and I wish you luck with your work. If anyone would like to follow Kirsten and her work, you can do so at the following links.
And if anyone would like to be a part of our Meet the Author Monday feature, you can sign up by clicking HERE.
Advertisements

Meet the Author Monday – P.J. Mann

Today my Gentle Readers, I would like to introduce you to P. J. Mann. I’m excited for you to meet this fellow indie author, so let’s get to it. My questions/comments will be in BLUE and P.J.’s will be in GREEN.
pjmann

P.J. I love your graphic on your Facebook and website. Thank you for coming to visit with me today. It’s always fascinating to learn what started off authors as readers. How did it begin for you?
What made me a reader was just the passion of reading since the elementary school. I loved the places I could visit without even the need of moving away from my room. Perhaps I started to read less when I started to be a writer, mostly it is a lack of time. Being an indie author means that I have to do all the marketing on my own together with trying and produce something new, and that is a full-time activity that leaves little time for the rest.

Self Publishing, they tell us it is hard work but we all think it will be different. I know how that goes myself. So what genres do you enjoy the most?
Mainly I like crime and mystery, but also comedy books or erotica.

When did you decide you were not content just to read the works of other authors and wanted to create your own?
I started to write since I was a teenager, but that was not something meant to be a professional work. Mostly it was to discharge frustrations and to analyze myself. The real turning point was a few years ago, when life seemed to be a downhill road, and I needed something to keep me from depression. That was the point when I started to write and left a bit aside the reading part.

I understand having little time for reading anymore. I am glad that you found an outlet for your thoughts and feelings. Do you have a specific genre you write for?
I prefer to dabble in several genres, but they have all something in common, which is a deep introspection of the characters.

So, you are self published, what brought you to make that decision? Were you always planning to self publish?
As I had my novel finished, including the polishing and copyediting process, I started to look for an agent, but most of them didn’t have time to take other authors, and most of the publishing houses didn’t accept unsolicited writers. I believed in my novel, and I want it to be published, so I self-published with CreateSpace by Amazon. I do believe I still have a lot to learn about being an indie author, but I am ready for the challenge.

I am certain you will accomplish your goals. When not writing, how do you spend your time?
Since I’ve lost my day job in December, I am now fully absorbed by marketing and writing. When I don’t do that, you can find me alone in the woods, recharging my inner batteries in connection with the nature. I love photography, and I do believe that it has a lot in common with writing. They are two different channels, but they both tell a story.

A long walk in the woods, communing with nature, sounds great about now. I agree that photography can tell a story as well as the written word. I understand you have one more passion, and a funny story to go with it. Tell us about it.
I love to travel, and I travel in the most unusual destinations one can find, from conflict areas to out-of-this-world places, even if sometimes I like to indulge in more “normal” tourist destinations. By traveling, I have been gathering most of the inspiration for my novels, as I have met very interesting people and cultures. Perhaps the funniest anecdote is the trip on the night boat across the Kivu Lake in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We were supposed to leave with the morning ferry, but it didn’t get the permission to sail (!)
Funny is that personally, I wouldn’t have given the permission either to the night boat, as it was something that barely could float, and it was mostly used to transport every sort of goods and livestock. It has been a long night, I can tell you, but it was worth, and many times I am thinking about Africa, and all the times, I miss it a lot.

Sounds like an exciting life you lead. Good luck in your travels and your writing. If anyone would like to check out P.J. Mann’s work, or keep up with her travels you can do so at the below links.

Website: http://paperpenandinkwell.blogspot.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PJ.Mann.paperpenandinkwell/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PjMann2016
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/pjmann
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PJMann

roughdiamond-pjmann Check it out on Amazon Today

You too can be featured on Meet the Author Monday’s by clicking HERE and filling out the questionnaire.

Meet The Author Monday – Douglas L. Wilson

I know. I know. Our Meet The Author Monday feature has been a little MIA. But I have a great author for you to meet today, Douglas L. Wilson. His first published novel, Affinity’s Window, is available on Amazon. Let’s dive in shall we? Per the usual, my questions/comments will be in BLUE and Douglas will be in GREEN.

Thank you for stopping by Douglas. I always like to start off by asking my interviewees: What turned you into a reader or non-reader?
I’ve been reading for entertainment since grade school, and I am never NOT reading a novel. My earliest recollections are Dickens, and possibly Charlotte’s Web, but from then on I devoured everything I could get my hands on, from Sidney Sheldon to Stephen King. I love a good story, in any genre, and I can’t imagine a world without fiction.

A good story in any genre. I think we are cut from the same cloth. There is probably a favorite or two though. Tell us about them.
Horror and suspense thrillers. I eat em like candy. I’m also into fantasy, like Weiss and Hickman, and some sci-fi, but I’ll always come home to King and McCammon.

King is definitely King for a reason. At some point you crossed that line from reader into writer. What crossed you over?
I can remember a time, as a teenager, thinking about stories I’d read, and enjoyed, and trying to redesign the plots in my head. I’d even started jotting down story ideas, but my life took a turn down a much different path. I didn’t come back to writing until I was fifty years old. I missed a lot in those years, and I wish I could turn back time, but I’m writing now, and I’ll never stop.

I am sure your life experiences have helped you with your writing. Knowing your reading proclivities, do you have a specific genre you consider yourself a writer of?
Yes. My first love has always been horror. I’ve dabbled with a few ideas in other genres, but I always turn back to my one true love.

So, how did this journey begin for you?
I wrote my first novel five years ago. It was 330,000 words. I had no idea how this industry worked. My queries were deleted out of hand. While the story was good, the length was ridiculous. Then I had an agent take pity on me. She liked the story, so she told me what I’d been doing wrong. I was flabbergasted, and distraught. Taking her advice, and this wasn’t easy for me, I wrote another novel called Affinity’s Window. The agent loved it and signed me right away. She’s still my agent today, and my hero. Thanks to her kindness, and her belief in me, I’m a published author, but boy did I have a lot to learn.

That’s amazing. The world needs more agents like yours. Perhaps I will have to look her up someday myself. Outside of writing, how do you like to spend your time?
When I’m not writing, I generally putter around the house. My wife and I live with our two cats, and together the four of us lead a quiet life. I’m retired now, so writing does consume most of my time, it’s what makes me happy. 

Affinity’s Window is my third novel. I’ve since turned my original novel, that 330,000 word monstrosity, into two separate novels which will be sequels to Affinity’s Window. I’m currently finishing up my fourth novel, a story unrelated to the first three, and I’ve already started a fifth. Sometimes I flit around between stories, I can’t help myself sometimes, but eventually I land on something I can finish. It’s weird, but once I get going on an idea, if it’s a good one, the story just kind of takes over and directs me where to go. I feel like a conduit sometimes, but that’s okay. The story’s being told one way or the other.

It’s great to have that time to do what makes you happy and I wish you the best of luck with your works. Sometimes we just have to let the muses do their thing.

If anyone would like to check out Douglas’s novel, Affinity’s Window, you can do so on Amazon at the link below the picture. You can also connect with him on Facebook or Goodreads.

affinitywindow

Affinity’s Window on Amazon

 

You too can be featured on Meet The Author Monday by clicking HERE and filling out the questionnaire.