Posts Tagged ‘author interviews’

Spark of Defiance
Games of Fire Trilogy Book 1
by Autumn M. Birt
Genre: Epic Fantasy
352 pages
Six months after a tragic war, the world of Myrrah has found peace.
But many of the heroes have not.
Wandering to avoid memories of lost friends and past actions, Zhao
reluctantly returns home to fulfill a promise to his sister. And to proclaim to
the elders of his people that their treatment of Air Elementals is
wrong. His homecoming is met with hostility but not for the reason he
expects. It is far worse.
To protect his gifted niece from a life of hardship and subjugation like
the one he endured, Zhao must rescue his sister. Even if she doesn’t
wish it. Quickly caught once again in events greater than he can
handle alone, Zhao struggles to prevent a personal conflict from
erupting into a larger battle. But friends are distant, and more than
a few are wrestling with new problems of their own.
Welcome BACK to the world of Myrrah full of elemental magic and epic
fantasy adventure!
A new trilogy begins in Games of Fire with book 1, Spark of Defiance.
Gates of Fire and Earth
Games of Fire Trilogy Book 2
415 pages
Success will destroy elemental magic.
Failure condemns this world and the next.
Named Guardian of the Elemental Spheres, Lavinia seeks the lost gates to
the spirit realm and their ancient guardians. But some of the
guardians have left their duties and those that have stayed may prove
as dangerous as her enemy, whose wrath threatens the world. To end an
ancient punishment inflicted on them by the Goddess for their role in
a forgotten war, the Ashanti will conquer this world and that of
spirit to gain power over death.
Lavinia must close the gates to stop the Ashanti, even though by doing so she
risks ending all elemental powers.
And the act has consequences greater than the ancient guardians imagine.
But one gate has a new guardian as
well as the old, and the last time he saw Lavinia, he tried to kill
her before she stole his power. And he’s been seeking revenge

Continue this epic fantasy journey begun in book 1 of the Games of Fire trilogy,

Spark of Defiance.
Friendships are tested as what is sacrificed is more than some are
willing to give. Welcome back to the world of Myrrah and meet the
Elementals of Fire, Earth, Water, Air, and Spirit who shape it. Pick
up book 2 of the Games of Fire trilogy, the
Gates of Fire & Earth,

A New Goddess
Games of Fire Trilogy Book 3

The time has come to end their punishment or the world.

For nearly destroying the world in an ancient war, the Ashanti were
cursed by the Goddess Mhyrah with lifespans of less than a decade. To
regain normal lives for his people, Beh’kana, the Ashanti King,
will conquer death by gaining control of the source of all elemental
magic: the spirit realm. Even if he must burn the world to do so.
After all, he already killed his closest friend to gain the Ashanti
But his defeat at the Earth Gate nearly cost him his life.
Lavinia did not seek to be named Guardian of the Spheres when she touched
each to gain control of elemental power. But now that choice has
propelled her to being the key to stop the Ashanti. She controls the
gates that allow magic into the world. And she must close them or the
Ashanti will cross into the spirit realm and gain power beyond
imagination, enough to enslave or destroy the world they once sought
to rule.
But with the closure of each gate, an elemental power is lost.
Only two gates remain open. Magic is faint. Just when the fight grows the
most desperate. To win needed help, Lavinia has promised a man who
once tried to kill her best friend that she would open the gates and
restore magic again.
It might give them the power to fight the Ashanti or it will give their
enemy the world.
Discover the end to the epic fantasy journey begun in book 1 of the
Games of Fire trilogy, Spark of Defiance, and continued through book 2,
Gates of Fire & Earth. The
struggle for the power over life and death as well as all the
elements comes to a dramatic conclusion. Can a cruel ancient
punishment be ended without destroying magic or the world? Welcome
back to the world of Myrrah and meet the Elementals of Fire, Earth,
Water, Air, and Spirit who shape it. Pick up book 3 of the Games of
Fire trilogy,
A New Goddess, today!
the world of Myrrah- full of elemental magic and epic fantasy
adventure with the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy!
Find them on Amazon!
Autumn is a best selling author in fantasy, epic fantasy, and war – not all
on the same series though! She is the author of the epic fantasy,
adventure trilogy on elemental magic, the Rise of the Fifth Order.
Her newest series is Friends of my Enemy, a military dystopian/ dark
fantasy tale laced with romance. Friends of my Enemy was released in
full in 2015 and is quite the story full of strong characters, tight
plots, and lots of action. Meanwhile, she is working on a new epic
fantasy trilogy, Games of Fire, set in the same world as the Rise of
the Fifth Order. The first book was released in March of 2016.

Author Q & A

Should you read the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy before reading Games of Fire?

You should definitely read Spark of Defiance, book 1 of Games of Fire, before reading the Gates of Fire & Earth. I did my best to lightly explain some of the pertinent events from the first trilogy, the Rise of the Fifth Order, in this new epic fantasy trilogy, Games of Fire so that you could start with Spark of Defiance.

But a few readers have said they got a lot more depth for having read the Rise of the Fifth Order first. They suggest you start there! It is certainly a great introduction to the world of Myrrah and the characters by starting with Born of Water, which is free to pick up. But I won’t say you absolutely have to.

Is Games of Fire a continuation of the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy?

The Games of Fire and the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogies are related in that they are set in the same world of Myrrah, utilize many of the same characters, and are full of elemental magic. Games of Fire begins with Spark of Defiance, which is set six months after the final book, Spirit of Life, of the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy ends.

New problems have developed, so the Games of Fire story line is stand alone trilogy with the same heroes from the first story. However a few events that happened in the Rise of the Fifth Order are the cause of the new challenges rising in Games of Fire. So the two series are linked, but each consists of a different set of adventures and issues to solve.

I’ve only ever heard of four elements, but these books have five even though it is based on elemental magic?

This is true! Five elements, air, earth, water, fire, and spirit is actually an eastern philosophy. I wish I could say I invented it. Lol. The difference really comes with the element of earth. Only dead things and soil can be controlled by an Earth Elemental, while plants or anything living (like the ability to change into another living creature) is something that a Spirit Elemental controls. Spirit Elementals are also able to control the other four elements, at least to some degree.

Part of the discovery in the Rise of the Fifth Order series is that the ability to control one element might indicate latent gifts in any element. However, it is always difficult to learn to control the element opposing your own. So a Water Elemental might learn to control fire, but only with difficulty! AND a few of the heroes have discovered that if you can learn to control fire, earth, air, and water then no matter what element you are born with, you can unlock some of the gifts of spirit.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
by Matthew Williams
Genre: Horror
In 1629 something visited the parish of Feckenham. The events that
followed were so terrifying that they never gained their place in the
history books.

Now in 2008, something seems to be wrong with Marie Watson’s young
Her father won’t believe her and her mother is nearing the end of her
Marie feels utterly alone.
But is she?
The Shady Corner
by Matthew Williams
Genre: Horror
A shady corner in life can be a dark and mysterious place, but in the
shady corners of the mind, the mystery and darkness know no

In a struggle with his conscience and haunted by images of murder, David
is given a choice to right the wrongs of his past.
Can he cheat fate and avoid his future? Or is the evil that dwells within
him more than it seems?
Only one thing is certain . . .
Fate can be cruel, but true evil can be brutal!
Born in 1975, Matthew Williams has been a keen fan of the
horror/thriller/fantasy genres for as long as he can remember.
Whether it’s a film, a TV series, or a novel; he is drawn to all
the different aspects of these genres. Mainly it’s the complexities
and the mysteries that can be expressed with freedom and imagination
that he enjoys the most.

A fan of authors such as Stephen King, James Herbert, Dean Koontz,
Richard Layman – to name but a few!
A fan of TV shows such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Breaking
Bad, American Horror Story – to name but a few!
A fan of films such as Saw, Seven, Eden Lake, The Descent, Quarantine,
Skeleton Key, The Sixth Sense – to name but a few!
Matthew now has a small body of work of his own with ‘The Shady Corner’
and ‘Shadowchild’ only the beginning of what he is determined to
grow into an extensive collection of horror/thriller fiction novels.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Guest Post from the Author


Where were you born/grew up at?

I was born in Evesham, Midlands, UK. And I was raised in the village of Feckenham, Worcestershire, UK. So far both of my novels have been set there.

If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

So long as I was able, I would spend it with my family in the theme parks in Orlando, I love it there!

What kind of world ruler would you be?

In my work as a manager I am extremely tolerant and like to offer people the opportunities and chances so that they can grow and develop as workers and people. Outside of work I tend to be far less tolerant and often joke that people who annoy me would suffer badly by my hands in the event of a zombie apocalypse, when rules and consequences no longer matter lol. I think the reality would be that I would be an awful world ruler, I would always put my loved ones before all others and would struggle to give the attention required to the rest of the world.

What makes a good story?

I think anything coherent and interesting can make a good story, it is really more about how the story is told and the characters inside the story that determine whether it ultimately turns out as good or not.  Personally I like mystery and suspense inside the story, that’s always something that I try hard to inject into my own.  Usually I drip feed details throughout the book so that I am always answering questions for the reader, while at the same time asking new ones. I think the other important thing is to make sure that all the loose ends are tied up. Nothing lets a good book down harder than unanswered questions that needed to be answered, so annoying!

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Writing is one of my favourite ways to unwind and relax, but cracking open a few beers and having a barbeque hits the spot pretty well too. Holidays! I love to travel and see new things, experience new places, and meet new people. Or it can be as simple as curling up on the sofa with my beautiful wife, a glass of wine and a good horror movie!

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

I’m not sure if I actually ever decided to become an author, I don’t think I’ve ever consciously made that decision. I wrote a story and enjoyed writing it, I went on a journey through the publishing process and loved every minute of it, and then I found people who loved what I’d written. So long as people want to read what I write then I will keep writing. I would love for it to be my full time career because who wouldn’t want to do something they love for a living, but until that day comes I will just keep going. If it never happens for me, then I will always know that tried my best and that I loved every step of the journey.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Shady Corner?

David Wilcox is the lead character, we meet him at various stages throughout his life. The story never strays far away from him, even when he is not in focus, he is always there somewhere. David’s family and friends play their parts in the story along with a few unsavoury characters, but David is the heart, the soul, and without a doubt – the darkness!

David is probably the complex character I have created. He may be the most complex that I ever create? You see, David doesn’t just have layers to his character, he has dimensions that control and dominate his very existence. It is clear after just a few chapters of the story that David is troubled and unstable. A few more chapters and it becomes clear that he is a monster. Yet as his creator I actually pity him, whatever he does, however evil he seems, I always knew something that my readers don’t learn until very end. I knew the reasons why!

David’s journey through the novel sees his struggles, his madness, and his torment. It also hurls the reader deep into the evil deeds as if looking at them through David’s own eyes!

Every piece of feedback I’ve had agrees that David is a monster, but only a few feel pity for him the way I do.

mary collins2On today’s edition of Talk Radio with NO Radio we are going on location to find Contemporary Romance author Mary H Collins.  We’ve been trying to get together for about a month now to do this interview but between writing, work and family, she just hasn’t been able to get away, so we are going to her.  This will be a complete surprise, she is not expecting us so, you, delightful reader, get a rare insight into the real person behind the books.  Right now, my husband is driving and we are almost there so take a moment and check out Mary’s website while we get situated to barge in on her:

Wow, did you see all those books she’s written?  Amazing and I bet you didn’t know that Mary has been a photographer since 1991?

So picture this, my husband has rigged up an old video camera, you know the old, really huge ones that weigh a ton.  He got the main light working, has taped one of those laser pointers for the red record light just under what has to be a 75 watt bulb and did some clever craft work on the lens part to extend it and make it look really big.  It looks like a huge TV camera if you look at it from the front.  The idea is to walk in, ask for Mary and get a huge reaction from everyone so everyone knows how famous she is, or should be!  So here we go, my husband is behind me with the camera and I have my big fake microphone as usual.  Opening the front door and action!

Debra: Hello! <lady at the front desk is wide eyed and her mouth hangs open as my husband shines the light right on her face>  Hi, I’m Debra Hartmann here with Talk Radio with NO Radio looking for Mary H Collins, I just need a few minutes to ask her some questions, is she here? <flips microphone forward for her to respond directly into it>

Receptionist:  <leaning into the microphone> Yea…really?  Who did you say you’re with?

Debra: Talk Radio with NO Radio, it’s a live show?  Have you seen it?  Is Mary here?

Receptionist:  No, I haven’t seen that, you’re filming this? <she tries to fix her hair, her face still shows such confusion it’s all I can do not to laugh> Uh, <picks up the phone and dials> Mary, there’s a camera crew here to see you and they are filming live, can you come up here, right now?

Debra:  Thank you!< turns to camera and speaks into microphone> Ladies and gentlemen we are just waiting for Mary to come out and we should be able to ask her some questions any moment now, just stay with us, live on Talk Radio with NO Radio.

Mary: Oh my goodness, what is all this?! <Mary has come through the door behind the receptionist desk with a number of people following her and is just as wide eyed as the receptionist now?

Debra: Hi, are you Mary H Collins?

Mary:  Yes, I am.  What is all this?  Who are you?

Debra:  Mary, it’s my pleasure to finally meet you. <extends a hand to shake and holds back laughter> Debra L Hartmann, host of Talk Ra-

Mary:  Debra!  I can’t believe it’s really you!  Wow, and you came all this way, the interview, but what’s the camera for?

Bob:  I guess I’m done now…<flips all the lights off and lowers the heavy contraption, is laughing after holding that in for the last 5 minutes or so>

Debra:  Mary, this is my husband, Bob, we thought we’d surprise you and come in with a big bang to get everyone’s attention. <laughter finally bursts through>

Mary:  <is looking around the room and busts out laughing too, points at the receptionist, still fixing her hair> Well, you certainly did cause a fuss!  Everyone, this is Debra, she wrote a book review on one of my books and I have been meaning to go see her to do an interview but-

Debra:  We came to you, you are always so busy, and don’t you guys ever get a day off? <points and snickers at the wide eyed group of people surrounding us now>

Mary:  This is Ron, my boss, Stacie and Judy, marketing, Rhonda, Louise, Gerald and Mike, photographers, everyone say hello, oh and that’s Tonya, our receptionist.

Debra:  Hi everybody, sorry for disturbing your work day, I hope we didn’t get Mary into any trouble.

Ron:  No, not at all, it’s a quiet day and this is quite exciting.  So why are you here again?

Debra:  Don’t you know that Mary is a published author of 7 great books?  I am here to interview her for my Talk Radio with NO Radio show.

Ron:  You don’t say?  We knew she wrote a bit but had no idea!  Mary, you’ve been holding out on us!

Mary:  Well, I, um, well-

Debra:  Ron, can we borrow Mary for about half an hour?  I’ll bring her right back, I swear!

Ron:  Sure, sure, in fact you can use the break room if you like?

Debra:  Mary, does that work for you?  We could sit and do this interview and then get out of your hair?

Mary:  Yes, that would be fine.  I’ll take you there, just follow me.

<We, and I mean my husband and all of the people that Mary introduced us to, head through the doorway in search of the break room>

Mary:  Hey, guys, a little privacy?  This is my big interview, scoot, all of you!

Crowd: Oh! Yea! Sure!  Sorry!  <they turn and head back to the reception area>

Bob:  I’m going outside for a smoke and leave you two ladies alone to do your interview.

Debra:  Thanks babe!  Be out soon.  Mary, are you mad, did we get you in any trouble?

Mary:  No, not in the least!  I can’t believe you came all this way just for me and what a hoot of a surprise, we will be laughing about this for the next week.

Debra:  Oh good, I was so hoping you’d be thrilled and get a kick out of some movie star treatment.  Your books are just wonderful and I think everyone should know more about you!  So, can I start by asking you to share something about your work here?  Tell our audience about some event that was particularly fun or exciting, besides today, of course? <settling into comfortable chairs at a round dining table after filling two paper cups with coffee>

Mary:  Hmmm, let me think, oh, this is good.  Years ago at Portraits Plus, which is the company I started with in 1991, the owner had the idea that we could photograph animals, as easy as people. We hooked up with some lady in Cleveland, TN, who ran a place called Pampered Pets, I think it was.  We did two or three shoots with everybody bringing their pets in, mostly dogs but some cats, birds and 1 snake. Another photographer and I shot it. You wouldn’t believe the chaos. We had dogs humping other dogs, dogs chasing cats, cats trying to get to the birds, and much, much more. The snake was huge and when the owner released it from its cage, it slithered away from him. Talk about 2 photographers running out the door, along with several other people. I think that was the last pet shoot we did.

Debra:  Oh, I would have been running out the door too!  I know you had shared with me that you are ready for retirement and just helping out a little longer here?

Mary:  Yes, I want to focus completely on my writing and enjoy my retirement.  I’m going to be 66 years old in July and I am done working for a living.  It’s about time for me to just relax and I have always wanted to write full time.

Debra:  Well, I do hope you get to do that soon!  I know I’d love to read some more of your books.  Let me jump right into the questions your fans have for you then, let’s see.  <flips through notes>  Ah, here we go, can you remember the moment when you logged into your author account and discovered you had made your first sale?

Mary:  Actually, I never checked it. Melissa Miller, at Hearts on Fire Books at the time, emailed me and told me My Sister’s Keeper was selling well and had made the Best Seller List. I didn’t expect it to start selling that early.  After that, I began checking the Amazon Rankings several times a day, it was like an obsession. <laughs> I’m now checking Amazon/UK Rankings, seems my books are selling better there than here. Right now, My Sister’s Keeper is 23,480.mysisterskeeper_maryhcollins

Debra:  Wow, congratulations.  Here’s one, about the book I just reviewed for you, Deception.  If it was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main character and why?

Mary:  Jodie Foster would be perfect to play Jillian.  She’s one of my favorite actresses. I’ve seen all of her films. She is so versatile and has portrayed so many different characters in many different genres. While writing the book, Jodie’s face came to mind. That’s how I pictured Jillian looking.

Debra:  Oh perfect, I can see that and I love her as an actress too!  Oh, here’s a good one, if you were to write a story featuring a fictional character from another author’s novel, who would you choose and why?

Mary:  I’d choose Blue Bailey from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ novel, Natural Born Charmer. I listened to this book on audio, while on a trip to Oklahoma about 8 years ago. It’s probably my favorite romance novel ever… Blue Bailey was hitchhiking in a beaver suit when a famous football player, can’t remember his name, picked her up, took her to his summer home and in the end they fell in love, as usual. I may have the book somewhere. It’s one of those books that you want to read again and again.

Debra:  I’ll have to find that one, it sounds good.  If you could invite one character from your novel(s) to a dinner party who would it be and why?

Mary:  I think it’d be Kevin Richards from Out of The Blue. I developed him to be my kinda guy, rough and rugged with a sense of humor. In the book, Kevin got a bad rap for leaving Erika for her sister. But in real life that happens sometimes and my books are all about what happens in real life. Unlike most romance novels, where boy meets girl – they fall in love – and live happily ever after, my stories run closer to what might actually happen in life.

Debra:  Very interesting.  I read Out of the Blue also, can I come to that dinner party or should you two be alone?out of the blue_Maryhcollins

Mary:  No! You can’t come. That’s how he met Erika’s sister. LOL!

Debra:  Ha!  Of course, I forgot!  <refills their coffee cups, notices box of donuts on the counter, snags one>  Would you rather sell 1000 books at $10/£10 each or 2000 books at $1/£1, what gives you the greater sense of satisfaction; overall earnings or overall sales?

Mary:  I’d rather sell the 2,000 at $1. I don’t write for the money. I get more satisfaction from knowing more people are reading my books. A while back my brother mentioned my name to one of his friends and her daughter requested him to get my autograph for her. She had read all my books and knew my brother well but didn’t know that we were related.

Debra:  Very neat!  That must have been a great feeling, knowing someone loved your writing so much!  What do you think stimulates sales the most; positive reviews or advertising?

Mary:  I’m sure it’s advertising. My Sister’s Keeper began selling well when it was first released in 2007 with Hearts on Fire Books, and is still selling more than all my other books combined, yet it had the most 1 star reviews. Yesterday I checked and it was 53,000 in the rankings. Of course it doesn’t go as low as it used to, but it’s holding its own.  I’m thinking about writing a sequel to it.

Debra:  You just never really know I think.  Even 1 star reviews are reviews and can have a positive impact on sales.  One theory is that it makes people even more curious than a great review.  I’m curious, Mary, how do you see the publishing industry changing over the next few years?

Mary:  I think more authors will self-publish. I’ve thought about self-publishing, Of course it’d be more royalties for me, but, Melissa over at Solstice Publishing is so good to her authors, I wouldn’t want to leave her. I’ve been with her since 2007. I don’t know how she manages all the stuff she does, plus taking care of her husband and two young boys who suffer with Asthma.

Debra:  It’s rare these days to hear an author so pleased with the relationship with the publishing house.  The world of publishing has changed so much!  Are there any book blogs or websites which you would recommend for an author looking to find potential reviewers for their book?

Mary:  Well, I always refer them to your site Debra. There used to be a site called, Ghostwriters Reviews, but they must have closed down or changed their name. They did several reviews for me. I wish I could locate them, but I’ve searched all over the web and can’t find them.

Debra:  Oh, so you are the one that’s been keeping me so busy!  Thank you for that Mary, I do love writing the reviews and doing these interviews.  I get free books to read and I get to meet some amazing people.  We still on for that flea marketing adventure over near Pigeon Forge soon as the weather allows?

Mary:  I can’t wait!! We’re gonna have so much fun. I’ll bring a gentleman friend of mine along and make it a foursome.

Debra:  Sounds good, weather is finally warming up for us so do let me know when you can take off for the weekend and we’ll just come right back up and make a day of it.  There you have it folks, real people, just like you are writing the books you love to read.  So support your favorite authors, write a review, comment on their blogs and web posts and watch for their new releases!  To wrap up, here’s a list of where you can find out more about Mary and all of her wonderful books.  Thanks so much for indulging me today, Mary, I’m so thrilled to finally meet you and I wish you all the best success!

The Talk Radio with NO Radio show is a fictitious skit written around the actual interview with the author, designed to capture the truth of the person behind the books and is accomplished through collaboration via email with the author.  Once written (by Debra L Hartmann, exclusively) the author has the final say on the skit content before it is published as a final check point that the written material truly reflects the authors dialogue and accurately represents them in skit.  To learn more about getting on the show, contact