Archive for the ‘Author Interviews’ Category

“Steps up several levels into an exciting category all its own. It’s thriller, cold case, mystery suspense, and police procedural, all rolled into one exciting novel. Set amidst the political drama that comes with Washington DC and the Pentagon, a current multiple murder becomes a search years in the past. With a young, hot lieutenant assigned to NCIS, and his beautiful new wife, you have all the makings of a bestseller.  Nicely done, Ms. Carr!” – Review by Merry Citarella, Mystery Suspense Reviews

The Latest Best-Selling Thorny Rose Mystery Available Now!

Get Your Copy Today!


Join us for this tour from Jan 20 to Feb 28, 2020!


Book Details:

Book TitleThe Nutcracker Conspiracy (A Thorny Rose Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  388 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   January 30, 2020
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries,
so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on
stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some
mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!


Book Description:

Three years ago, the nation gasped in horror when the President of the United States barely escaped an assassination attempt that left two dead—the vice president’s wife and the attempted assassin.  Even after numerous investigations proved otherwise, conspiracy theorists argue that the assassin was acting on orders from the CIA, FBI, and every federal agency within a hundred miles of the capital.

Aspiring Author Dean Conway is the last person Lieutenant Commander Murphy Thornton wants to spend his Saturday afternoon when they end up at the same wedding reception table. While their wives tend to bridesmaid duties, Murphy is trapped listening to Dean’s latest work-in-project—completing the manuscript of an investigative journalist who’d disappeared months earlier.

“She was number twelve,” Dean says.

“Twelve?” Murphy asks.

“Twelve witnesses connected to or investigating The Nutcracker shooting have died either in an accident or suicide.”

Two days later, Dean dies suddenly―but not before sending a text message to Murphy:



Author Interview with Lauren Carr/The Nutcracker Conspiracy

  1. What was the highlight of writing The Nutcracker Conspiracy?

How the mystery unfolded. It’s difficult to explain without giving away any spoilers. When working on a plotline, I always start out with the mystery. We have the crime and the mystery that needs to be solved.

During my writing process, I work the case in my mind. I solve the mystery myself. Of course, it is fictional, so I can change the facts because they aren’t really facts. During this process of The Nutcracker Conspiracy, I was surprised and delighted to have the mystery go in a completely different direction than my mysteries usually go.

  1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I believe writers are born writers. They may not be penning novels or selling books on Amazon, but they’re writers. You can tell a writer by asking them how their day was. A normal person will say, “Fine.”

A writer will set the scene with the weather. “It was a dark and stormy night, …” Do character development. Establish the conflict and build to a climax. Ten minutes later, you’ll forget what your question was. But that will be okay because you enjoyed an entertaining story.

  1. You started out your writing career writing a humor column for a local newspaper. What inspired you to start writing mystery novels?

I loved murder mysteries. In the back of my mind, I wanted to writer murder mysteries, but I never dared. I thought murder mystery writers had to be wickedly clever and I didn’t think I was clever enough to do it.

Maybe it’s because I was such a murder mystery fan and read so many, but I went through a spell where I would solve the mystery by page forty. I knew all of the formulas in writing mysteries because I had read them all.

Or, I disliked the long stream of protagonists. It seemed like most were so damaged and broken. That’s because the writers wanted to make their protagonists vulnerable, thus more relatable to the readers. But there’s a difference between vulnerable and broken. I had no respect for the detectives. Your readers have to respect and like the protagonist.

One day, I tossed a book across the room and said, “I could write a better mystery than this.”

And so I did.

  1. What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Write what you love. Think about what you want to tell your readers and write it. Forget about what’s selling. That’s other people’s writing. If you write what you love and love what you write, then it will come across between the lines and your readers will come.

  1. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good murder mystery writing?

Keeping your focus on the mystery. Many writers in the name of realism or character development or whatever, stray away from the murder mystery and take the reader down the path of drama. Sometimes it’s a love interest or a comical side plot.

While readers may enjoy the characters and grow to like or even love them, a mystery writer must not forget that the prime objective of a murder mystery is the mystery.

Not too long ago, I was watching the latest episode of a murder mystery series. The series was on its fifth season. I used a timer and discovered that out of forty minutes only twelve minutes was focused on the murder mystery. The rest of the episode, close to three-fourths, was devoted to the protagonist’s love life and a comical side plot between the other series characters.

The mystery wasn’t even that challenging. The show’s writers had shifted the focus of the murder mystery show from mystery to romantic drama. Not surprisingly, the viewing audience had dropped, and the show was cancelled.

Could it be because the original viewing audience was mystery fans who stopped watching because the mystery was reduced to a subplot?

My books are character driven. I do include witty bantering between the characters and even insert a quick love scene, but always, with every scene, I strive to move the mystery forward.

  1. What’s next for Lauren Carr? What are you working on now?

The fourteenth Mac Faraday Mystery! I’d started writing Came Upon a Midnight Murder in September, but then Murphy of the Thorny Rose Mysteries started talking to me and I had to set Mac aside to write The Nutcracker Conspiracy. That’s the problem with imaginary friends. Sometimes they get jealous of each other.

Anyway, I am back to writing Came Upon a Midnight Murder. Deep Creek Lake rocks with scandal when, during a Christmas party attended by most of Spencer’s rich and powerful, the host is murdered.

This year, we’re going to celebrate Christmas in June!

Check Out These Other Thorny Rose Mysteries:
“The plot was original, fresh and fast paced in spite of the “traditional elements” employed which can normally be found in any other
thriller of this genre. The USP of this story would be its unpredictability. When you think you have it all guessed up, the plot
would change its course keeping you hooked. There were a lot of suspense twists and turns that kept the momentum up. Needless to say, the writing was simply perfect. One thing that writer needs to be lauded for is the humor she inculcated in the book. Minus those humorous parts, the book would have been one serious read.” – Reviewer: Book and Ink


Book Description:

Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.

Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.

The case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.

In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to shift
through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?

“Mysteries, murder, danger, and memories that threatens their lives keeps the action and suspense at a high level and even when the answers are found, it left me wanting more.” – Review by Sherry Fundin of Fundinmental

Book Description:After ten months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in the darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family while visiting family at the winery near-by, and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

 Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Audible
Add to Goodreads

Murder by Perfection is a wonderful read and a perfect to escape from the challenges of a busy day. Danger, intrigue, humor, and love all take their turn in this tale which will keep you reading into the wee hours.” Review by Marilyn R. Wilson, Olio by Marilyn

Book Description:Beware: Perfection has a dark side!

Frustrated with their busy schedules, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday attempt to find togetherness by scheduling a weekly date night. The last thing Jessica Faraday expected for her date night was to take a couple’s gourmet cooking course at the Stepford Kitchen Studio, owned
by Chef Natalie Stepford―the model of perfection in looks, home, and business.

When Natalie ends up dead and Murphy goes missing, the Thorny Rose detectives must peel back the layers of Natalie Stepford’s life to discover that the pursuit of perfection can be deadly.


Buy the Book:
Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson
Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include
mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

Tour Schedule:Jan 20 – Library of Clean Reads – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview / giveaway
Jan 20 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Jan 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview / giveaway
Jan 20 – – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Jan 20 – redpillows – book spotlight / guest post
Jan 21 – My Reading Journeys – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview / giveaway
Jan 21 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 22 – Jypsylynn – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Jan 22 – eBook Addicts – series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 23 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Jan 23 – Leels Loves Books – book review of A Fine Year for Murder
Jan 24 – Bookmark and fork  – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Jan 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – book review of Murder by Perfection
Jan 28 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Jan 29 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Jan 30 – Library of Clean Reads – series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 30 Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Kill and Run / giveaway
Jan 30 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 31 – fundinmental – series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 31 – redpillows – series spotlight
Feb 3 – b for bookreview – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 3 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – book review of the Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 4 – Christa Reads and Writes – book review of the Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 4 – Blooming with Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 5 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Murder by Perfection
Feb 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – series spotlight / giveaway
Feb 6 – Dab of Darkness Book Reviews – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview / giveaway
Feb 7 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 7 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Murder by Perfection
Feb 10 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 11 – Laura`s Interests – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 11 – eBook Addicts – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 12 – FUONLYKNEW – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 12 – Leels Loves Books – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 13 – Casia’s Corner – book review of Kill and Run
Feb 13 – I’m All About Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 14 – Pause for Tales – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 17 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
Feb 18 – Bookmark and fork  – series spotlight / giveaway
Feb 19 – JBronder Book Reviews – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 19 – Literary Flits – book spotlight of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 20 – Svetlana’s reads and views – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 21 – Divas With A Purpose – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post
Feb 24 – Laura`s Interests – series spotlight / giveaway
Feb 24 – My Devotional Thoughts – series spotlight
Feb 25 – Peaceful Pastime – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 25 – Svetlana’s reads and views – series spotlight
Feb 26 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight of the Nutcracker Conspiracy / author interview
Feb 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 26 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / guest post / giveaway
Feb 26 –fundinmental – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 27 – My Devotional Thoughts – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 27 – Read and Review – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 28 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Feb 28 – Casia’s Corner – book review of The Nutcracker Conspiracy
Feb 28 – Adventurous Jessy – book review of the Nutcracker Conspiracy / giveaway
Enter the Giveaway:

CLICK HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway


Jeffrey Poston has added two significant African-American fiction characters to the entertainment world, and hopefully to the big screen sooner rather than later. Hero Jason Peares, forced to survive as an outlaw, and hero Carl Johnson, mistakenly labeled the American Terrorist. Both protagonists represent not just the everyman, but the everyman who looks trouble in the face daily just because of a society plagued by racism. These ordinary men suffer trials and tribulations because of their ethnicity and kick ass anyway.

the collectionWe’ve known and loved movie characters only Samuel L Jackson, Clint Eastwood, Lennie James, and Denzel Washington could truly bring to life—Jeffrey Poston’s two key characters reminded me of the qualities in all these actors that made those movie personalities real. As I read, Lenny James was the face of Carl Johnson and a cross between Samuel, Denzel, and Clint was the face of Jason Peares. It would be an injustice to movie lovers far and wide not to get these books into production for the big screen!

What if the police came for YOU?

Untitled designJeffrey Poston has woven an intricate and suspenseful tale with a very realistic view of police use-of-force doctrine and the power of the government in attempting to prevent domestic terror attacks. In his series inspired by his own brush with police brutality, Poston brings visibility to issues behind today’s headlines: police violence, racism, and constant threat of terrorism.

Poston’s books have been well received, garnering 5-star reviews from all corners of the country. Grady Harp, an Amazon Top-100 Hall-of-Fame reviewer, says American Terrorist is “one of the most poignantly important novels about life as we are experiencing it, in the US (and the world), yet encountered. This man writes with the passion of a crusader, but never steps away from allowing his story to speak on its own.”

In an interview, author of best-selling American Terrorist: Where is the Girl Jeffrey Poston said:

“I wrote the novel because ten years ago I was jacked up by police, and for ten years I’ve been dealing with the trauma of that experience. This is a work of fiction, but the perceived violence of police against non-white citizens is a complicated topic. What I’ve tried to capture are the thoughts and feelings and fears of a wanted man trying to deal with the loss of his family, his dignity, and his very reason for living.

“Of course, a good novel needs plenty of action, suspense, and plot twists. So what if an innocent Black man was assaulted by federal cops who take everything from him? What if he goes berserk and decides to do to them what that they did to him? But what if he is the only person in the world who can find a missing child who will surely die if he doesn’t find a way to work with the same police who destroyed his life?” – Read the full Making of American Terrorist at

Enter to win 1 of 10 signed paperbacks of this best-selling action/thriller/suspense novel on Goodreads:

at1Everyman Carl Johnson’s mundane life is turned upside down when mistaken identity makes him the target of our government’s Terror Event Response unit for the kidnapping of Madam President’s daughter. Brutality and torture and the needless shooting of his only son cause him to spiral beyond reach of the most elite, highly trained agents while he attempts to uncover the plot behind it all and rescue the girl.

About the Author

Before pursuing a writing career, Jeffrey obtained an electrical engineering degree in laser optics and was an Air Force officer and gentleman. He lives in the great American southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The acclaimed author has created two significant African-American fiction characters to the entertainment world, and hopefully to the big screen sooner rather than later. Hero Jason Peares, pushed to survive as an outlaw, and hero Carl Johnson, mistakenly labeled the American Terrorist. Both protagonists represent not just the everyman, but the everyman who looks trouble in the face daily just because of a society plagued by racism. These ordinary men suffer trials and tribulations because of their ethnicity and kick ass anyway.

All Books by Poston

American Terrorist: Where is the Girl?

Contagion: American Terrorist 2

Courage: A Jason Peares Historical Western (Jason Peares Westerns Book 1)

Legacy Of An Outlaw: A Jason Peares Western (Jason Peares Westerns Book 2)

Warriors: A Jason Peares Historical Western (Jason Peares Historical Westerns Book 3)

Manhunter: A Jason Peares Historical Western

Coming Soon:
Head Shot: American Terrorist

Carl Johnson, known as the American Terrorist, takes on today’s most controversial news headline: Police Brutality. While tracking leads to find those responsible for the assassination attempt on America’s first female president, Carl Johnson finds himself in a confrontation with militarized police in a major US city. To protect innocent civilians, Johnson has to defy laws which clearly support the police and government.

This fictitious but heart-wrenching story tackles the complex social issue of Americans versus Americans, and takes a deeper look at who stands to gain from the hardline stance many police units take against protesters. If this topic covered in today’s real news coverage disturbs you, then you won’t want to miss this free short novel, HEAD SHOT. – Sign up on author’s website to reserve your copy, currently in production.

The Joshua Experiment

How hard can it be for a squad of government mercenaries to kill a super-smart six-year-old boy who literally has the power to destroy the world? Plenty hard, when Raven is protecting him. – See more at:

Connect with Jeffrey Poston



Twitter: @booksbyJPoston

Google Plus: +Jeffrey Poston

Goodreads Book Giveaway
American Terrorist by Jeffrey Poston

American Terrorist

by Jeffrey Poston

Giveaway ends October 01, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

After you read the American Terrorist series, leave us a comment with your thoughts on whether you’d buy a ticket to see the movie, and if so, who would you cast as Carl Johnson?

Debra: Hello and thanks for tuning in for this edition of Talk Radio with NO Radio. So glad you could make it. I’ll be interviewing Katey Schultz today. Actually, we will be hitching a ride with Katey to squeeze this interview into her very busy book tour. I’m on the side of NC128 near Mt. Mitchell right now, waiting for her to pick me up. We’re just going to tag along for a bit. I haven’t met Katey before. I asked her what she was driving, so I could watch for her and she said, “A Volvo. You can’t miss THE CLAW!” but wouldn’t tell me more…she said I’d know. Now I ‘m really curious!kateyshultz at home2

While we wait, a little background information to share with you. Katey has actually been living in North Carolina, very close to where I live, for about 10 years now. She is actively involved in many things and living a full-time writer’s dream! At the end of our interview, I’ll share a link so you can check out her amazing adventures. Katey’s unique series of short stories is titled Flashes of War, just released on May 27th by Loyola University Maryland, and is zooming up Amazon’s ratings list! Like many veteran and literary reviewers have already expressed, I was awestruck by how she wrote such an amazing account of what life is like for various people affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without having any military or Middle Eastern experiences of her own. She did this all through research and creativity and the book is brilliant. Wow! This book has 5 stars from some very reputable reviewers, including a New York Times contributor. Well, you’ll see!

Oh, this must be Katey. Here comes a late model Volvo, screeching around the bend. It looks like she’s got stuff tied onto it, a pair of hiking boots and loppers, a few boxes of books. The car looks a bit worse for wear, and it has, um, artwork on it? Oh cool, that’s a giant typewriter painted on the hood! How clever! Very interesting…let’s meet Katey and then we’ll ask about this car.

Katey: (opens car door, steps half out, and waves) Hi Debra! Come on! It’s safe, I promise!

Debra: I trust you and it must be, as much as you travel. (climbs into the passenger seat) Hi, hello there, wow, this is quite a car. Tell us a little something about it won’t you?

Katey: Oh, well, I’ve had this car since 2008 and while it’s not the fastest, it is very dependable. With over two hundred forty thousand miles on it, I’ve taken it across the Rockies and back twice already.

Debra: Ok, but what’s with the giant claw thingy on the grill?

Katey: That’s a hand-blown glass lobster claw I rescued from an artist friend of mine’s trashcan. We both thought the claw was ridiculous in all the right ways, so we attached it to the car because…well, why not? Inspiration comes from the strangest places sometimes and THE CLAW came to signify going after life, perhaps, in some small way, like a crab that relentlessly goes for what it wants.

Debra: Brilliant! Very creative. And now I get the name…many people name their cars for various reasons. I have a muscle car named Michelle, myself! A story for another day. So where are we off to, Katey?

Katey: Without spending too much time on that, actually, because I don’t want to broadcast too much just now, I’m working on raising funds to get THE CLAW to northern Alaska where it can roam alongside the caribou during their great migration. I feel that will be the final step in my car’s epic journey.

Debra: Very interesting! I was looking over your site and I just don’t know where you get the energy! You are involved in so many things and your book has already been a great success.

katey n monster truck rallyKatey: I get a lot of thrills from the Monster Truck Rallies I’ve been entering THE CLAW in, lately. Like my book—which many people were surprised by, since I’ve never been to war—my car is also much more than meets the eye. Just because THE CLAW doesn’t have a double muffler doesn’t mean it can’t compete with the best of the best in the rallies. So I guess you could say that my creative spirit is filled by competing with the big rigs. When the last shirtless, screaming fan has left the stadium, I go home with a real sense of peace and harmony. There’s something about sliding around in the mud on four tires, or watching the underbelly of a jacked-up Ford truck as it drives over and above THE CLAW (my side view mirrors get clipped, but whatever) that really fills my creative well.

Debra: (holding onto door handle and tightening her seat belt) For someone who didn’t grow up in these mountains, you do know how to take the roads pretty well. I’m impressed! So, Katey, at this point, my readers have seen my book review and I told them about the book. Now I’m most curious if you ever felt yourself becoming emotional when writing intense scenes for Flashes of War, or if there is a specific passage where this was the case?

Katey: The high drama and violence of war are not prominently featured in my stories, so it was really those moments that look at the human face of war that felt most emotionally challenging to write. One scene comes to mind from the story “Into Pure Bronze,” which features two Afghan boys who sneak out at night to play soccer in Kabul Stadium. One day in school, there is an air raid. The boys have to huddle against the wall with their classmates and they feel very scared. During this scene, the narrative slips into the mind of the narrator, Pirooz, and whenever I read that passage I feel very strongly that I want that boy—and all children experiencing war—to be able to live without suffering.

Debra: That was a moving story. I almost cried! So tell us, when you first get the idea for a new story, do you find that the finished product tends to differ quite significantly from your original idea, or does the original idea remain more or less intact?

Katey: I think because I had to do so much research in order to write authentically about war, cultures, and countries I never personally experienced, my original ideas for a story remained more or less intact. For instance, after researching about the U.S.’s initial missions in Fallujah, I had a new understanding for just how brutal the circumstances were. It made me wonder about very basic necessities of life—such as food, water, and shelter—and how soldiers and civilians got along without these things. I knew that platoons had spent the night in bombed out buildings in the middle of the city-as-war-zone. What if a soldier had to go to the bathroom? It may seem like a strange thought, but in warfare we are all still human beings with needs. So I wrote “Poo Mission,” (click here for 3-minute video) which is 1 of 26 flash fictions in Flashes of War. There are also 7 full-length stories in the book. As with all the stories, it’s less about war and more about the impossible decisions people have to make, and why they do what they do.

Debra: Is there a particular scene from your book, Flashes of War, which would translate well to canvas and provide a powerful inspiration for a dramatic or emotional piece of artwork?

Katey: I’m so glad you asked! Gold Quoin Press in collaboration with the students of Bradley University created 2 beautiful, limited edition, letter pressed broadsides with original artwork based on my work. I’ve got some in the backseat, but these can also be viewed online here, and full footage of one of the stories, “While the Rest of America’s at the Mall” can be viewed by clicking the link. The “bullets” were hand-tamped into the special paper and the original artwork is by Robert Rowe.

Debra: Oh wow, that question usually trips people up! Well done! Let me try another one then. (evil smirk and Katey gives a playful smile in return) Tell us something about you we won’t find on the Internet?

Katey: Oh, do I have to answer that one? Just kidding. Well, Google is pretty amazing at unearthing things online, but let’s give this a shot: As an undergrad at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, I played rugby for four years. We were a tiny school with a tinier team in one of the roughest sports. Not to mention that rugby came pretty late to the Western United States. What you won’t find on the Internet is a photo of the expression on my face when I tried to tackle a particularly hefty University of Santa Cruz rugger during Regional Finals one year, and she just kept running and running…dragging me down the field like a rag doll.

Debra: Oh my gosh, I would have been so embarrassed!

Katey: What can I say? It toughened me up. I didn’t mind…though the sport did cost me one concussion and two bones in my feet.

Debra: Well, you are tougher than I ever was, I got those injuries just playing softball, not a full contact sport! Never was very coordinated to be playing sports but softball was fun. Anyway, next question, what’s the best and worst thing about being an author for you, personally?

Katey: Social media and social media. It’s great being able to stay connected with so many friends and fans from across the globe and to sell books online, but I don’t always find it fulfilling to maintain an online presence and “share links” or “retweet.” That said, it’s part of my job as a self-supporting writer to not only engage with my community, but to add to the dialogue. I try to take it all with a grain of salt and give what I can, but also maintain boundaries. One year from my book launch, I’m rewarding myself with a month-long “no social media” retreat from the Internet.

Debra: Agreed! It’s so time consuming, necessary and fun, but just time consuming too…really cuts into my writing time if I don’t watch it! This question is a popular request from readers: If you were to write a fictional story based on a real-life celebrity, who would you feature and why?

Katey: I would write a satire of the life of Britney Spears, which would include more insight than one might expect. Such as: delightfully rambling passages of what it’s like to dance with a chair, or, stabbing realizations about the trials and tribulations of youth celebrity life.

Debra: Oh! Not Britney Spears! However, I have to say after your work on Flashes of War, I’d probably read it, and like it, too! Katey, do you have any advice for other authors at this point?

Katey: Hire a publicist. Jessica Glenn of MindBuck Media is mine, and she’s great!

Debra: I can see by your author platform and all of your events and public exposure already, she did an excellent job. Thanks for sharing that. Do you have a favorite review or has anyone expressed a particularly nice compliment about your writing, which stands out as your most memorable piece of praise?

Katey: One of my favorite moments was after giving a public reading at a library in Sitka, Alaska. (I was also there for another Monster Truck Rally. Try competing with the big guys on the middle of an island in the North Pacific!) During the Q&A, the first person to raise his hand was an Iraq war veteran. He asked me if I had served in the war and where. I hadn’t served in the war, but his question was the highest compliment I could have asked for. It spoke to the authenticity of my work and made all the hours of hard research seem to pay off. Also, Author Doug Stanton really gave me a jump-start with one of the kindest blurbs on the planet. His blurb is on my website:

Debra: Fantastic, really, I can only imagine how you felt in that moment at the reading. What was his reaction when you answered?

Katey: He responded with quiet, but authentic approval. Later, he took a writing workshop from me and we became friends.

Debra: We’re almost at the bottom of Mt. Mitchell, Katey, so one last question for you. Do you already know what you are going to work on next?

Katey: Yes, I have completed the first draft of a novel, tentatively titled The Longest Day of the Year. This is based on two stories from Flashes of War—“Aaseya & Rahim” and “The Quiet Kind.”

Debra: Thank you so much for meeting with me for this interview and letting me ride in THE CLAW. I wish you all the best success in uniting THE CLAW with the Alaskan caribou migration…and with your book, of course. I hope you’ll stop into the studio sometime and keep us posted on what you are up to!

As promised, here’s the links to connect with and learn more about Katey…I’d keep her on my radar, this young lady is going places!

Flashes of War is available now!

Flashes of War book trailer – Check out this great YouTube video and look for her other videos too!

Bimonthly newsletter:

Talk Radio with NO Radio is a mock radio show, and uses fiction skit based story lines designed to let you learn about the person behind the book, have a laugh, and hopefully enjoy the non-fiction responses to actual interview questions, even more. These skits couldn’t be possible without the authors taking the time to collaborate and do a little writing too. Today I’d like to thank Katey for her time and her support in bringing this “broadcast” to you. While we never took that ride in her car, we did talk at length to make sure even the fiction is very close to the truth of what you would see if you passed Katey in traffic, what she’s up to right now, and her answers truly represent an interesting and adventurous writer living the dream!