D.J. Swykert

D.J.  Swykert’s short fiction and poetry have been published in The Tampa Review, Monarch Review, Sand Canyon Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors and Spackle, spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and BULL. His novel, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, won a literary competition with The LitWest Group in Los Angeles in 2002.  Alpha Wolves, D.J.’s Noble Publishing’s bestselling novel, was released in April, 2012.  Children of the Enemy, D.J.’s OmniLit’s bestselling novel, was published for the first time in 2009 and a third edition published in September 2012 by Cambridge Books.

Hi D.J., Please tell everyone a bit about yourself.

David SiguertD.J.: I’m a blue collar person from Detroit. I’ve worked as a truck driver, dispatcher, logistics analyst, operations manager, and ten years as a 911 operator, which was the very best job of all of them. I write stories like you’d watch a movie and put them down on paper. I have written in different genres; crime, romance, and even a little bit in literary fiction. The last sentence in my writing bio is always: He is a wolf expert. I am not a biologist. I raised two arctic hybrids, had them for eleven years, and have written two books in which they join the other protagonists.

When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?

D.J.: The first thing I ever wrote was a poem to impress my art student girlfriend. That was right after high school. It wasn’t very good, but she was impressed with my effort. I’ve been scribbling things ever since.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

D.J.: I’ve always wanted a career that I enjoyed. I looked at writing as a possible means to that end. I’ve had some small success, enough to be encouraging, but I’ve always worked for a living. If there’s a central theme to my writing it’s that all life has value. My characters tend to question norms. I tend to question what is considered normal. I like animals, I have empathy for the hardships they endure and my protagonists usually do as well.

Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

TheDeathOfAnyoneD.J.: The Death of Anyone is essentially a mystery/suspense story with romance and a little science in it. The story centers on homicide detective Bonnie Benham’s search for the killer of young girls.

This book has a couple of the same characters from an earlier unpublished novel I hold the rights to titled Sweat Street, but I wouldn’t consider it a sequel. If I have some success with The Death of Anyone I may look to publish the first book. And perhaps consider another story with Detective Bonnie Benham. This is not the first time I’ve written from a female POV, but it’s the first time for a female police detective.

What’s the hook for the book?

D.J.: The book introduces readers to a DNA search technique not in common use here in the U.S., Familial DNA. A lot will be written on this subject as the real life trial of Lonnie David Franklin, The Grim Sleeper unfolds in California this year. The trial will set precedence for future use of this DNA search technique and I suspect will eventually lead to a Supreme Court decision on it’s admissibility as evidence. The defense is going to severely question LAPD investigating Lonnie Franklin in the first place as there was no direct evidence linking him to the crime.

How do you develop characters? Setting?

D.J.: They say write what you know, so I set my story in Detroit, where I grew up and lived for a long time and can authentically describe the city and places for the scenes in my story. When I make up a character I usually visualize someone in my head and then give them the characteristics I believe suits the character in my story. I wrote a story about a thirteen year old girl trying to save a pack of young wolves from a bounty hunter. In my mind I visualized Maggie Harrington as Jodie Foster in an old film, Taxi Driver, where she played a thirteen year old prostitute. I used Jodie’s image to describe the girl and my own feelings for animals to impart her emotions concerning the wolves. This is how I generally develop a character.

Who’s the most unusual/most likeable character?

D.J.: I think Bonnie Benham is both unusual and likeable. She was originally in narcotics, but washed out. In her own words she became more “narcotic” than “narc.” As she investigates the murders of adolescent girls she is trying to resurrect herself as well as seek justice for the victims. This makes Bonnie a very edgy homicide cop. The story contains several suspects who are both likeable and unlikeable.

Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

D.J.: I’m a ponderer.  I do a lot of thinking about my character and the story in my head before I begin to write. I usually have figured out how I wish to end the story. When I begin to write I put my character into a situation and from there the chapters all point towards the ending. It doesn’t always work out quite as simply as this sounds, but this is how I begin.

Do you have a specific writing style? Preferred POV?

D.J.: I think my best writing is in first person. But The Death of Anyone and Children of the Enemy are in third person past tense, which most readers I think prefer. First person works good as a narrative for a strong character in a short book, but since it can only get into the one character’s head it can get a bit tedious.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

D.J.: I grew up in Detroit, so, for crime or mystery stories I’ve set them in Detroit, which unfortunately has held the Murder Capital of the World title several times. I have also written stories set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where I lived on the Keweenaw Peninsula for a decade. Love it up there, a true wilderness much like Alaska only with smaller mountains. But the winter is extremely long, turbulent and prohibitive.

Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

D.J.: I liked this review left on Amazon:

The Death of Anyone by David Swykert, reads like a Jessie Stone movie, was a true page turner for me. His subject is close to our hearts and the viewpoint is an eye opener. He has interwoven the personal problems of some of his Characters making them real. He also has a flair for writing some romantic scenes that most ladies will find endearing. If you enjoy a mystery, some anxiety and a little romance I would recommend you read The Death of Anyone.

What are your current projects?

D.J.: I have an offbeat/quirky romantic tale titled The Pool Boy’s Beatitude. The book will publish this summer by a small Indie press out of Detroit, Rebel e Publishing. They do have a book distributor and a small print run will be done. It’s the story of an alcoholic physicist who drops out and is cleaning swimming pools to earn a living, skimming what he refers to as the “Infinite Pond.” The story follows the human orbit of Jack Joseph and his trail of broken relationships until he ultimately lands himself in a county jail.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

D.J.: I have a page on an artistic collective called: www.magicmasterminds.com You can find information about my work, and me on the site, and see a host of other amazing artists, musicians and writers.

Thanks for joining us today, D.J.!

D.J.: Thanks so much for the opportunity.

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Anna Dagmara Cameron

Anna Cameron has always had a passion for writing.  She wrote her first novel, The Crest,  in 2008 and publishes her books under the pen name, A. Dagmara.

Hi Anna, please tell everyone a little about yourself.

Anna: I am thirty-five years old, married with children.  I have over fifteen years experience within the business community as a jack-of-all-trades.  Originally born in Poland, my family fled to Austria when I was four years old. The climate in Poland at the time, sadly, was volatile during the Union strikes. My family, consisting of my mother, father, and younger sister, lived in Austria for about six months until we were granted asylum in the United States. We immediately settled in the State of Maryland, where I currently reside with my Husband and children.  My family have moved back to Poland in recent years.

My life thus far has been an amazing journey. I consider myself more than just a survivor, a firm believer in truly living life. I was a young single mother who eventually married her high school sweetheart, followed by the birth of a second child, who unfortunately passed away at a young age. My eldest daughter and I bonded further than just a mother and child from that moment on. We grieved, mourned, and got through it together.  Now, at sixteen, she and I find courage and inspiration through each other.

When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?

Anna: The writing bug never really bit me, as I had been writing short stories and tales of woe since I was about ten.  By fate, and after reading a few books leaving me disappointed and frustrated with some of the story lines, possibly by their pace, I found inspiration to write what I would have preferred to read. During a stint of being ill with pneumonia, inspiration hit. Three weeks of fevers, lethargy, and bed rest, I wrote The Crest.  The intention to publish never occurred to me.  It was when I moved three years later, and my current husband picked up the dusty manuscript without my knowledge.  He read the manuscript and loved it immediately, suggesting I set a goal to one day publish.  I entertained him, stating that I would one day, simply to stop pushing the subject, never truly intending to publish.  Both embarrassment and lack of confidence hit me hard when I reminded myself what I had written in the first manuscript.  See, the genre in which The Crest falls under is an Adult Paranormal Romance, Erotica. Needless to say, I was a bit modest to the writing, or more like some of the scenes in the book.  Being my husband, I was insecure about how he would perceive me for writing about such an intimate subject.  Over a year ago, he decided that I needed to do this.  Revisiting the manuscript, I spent another four months re-reading it and altering it.  Since that time, I was so entrenched in the story I wrote two more books to follow it up.  I guess you could say I fell in love with my own characters.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish?  Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

Anna: When I decided that I wanted to share my stories, the first thing I hoped for was that there were more readers, such as myself, that are annoyed with the pace of the average romance novel.  In real life, we don’t wait until we know we love the person to dive into all that leads us there.  Relationships are not a cookie cutter from each person, so why are most of romance novels?  Yes, their plots all vary, but the pace and structure of the romance between characters are not.  Personally, I’ve read over four hundred book alone in the past year and a half, and only a handful were against the grain. I wanted to have a “reality” approach. Perhaps I’m going against the grain and many do enjoy the long, and drawn out pace.  I also felt that I didn’t want to be predictable when it came to the development and story of my characters.

Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

Anna: My most recent book is Holt’s Holding, due to be published in January 2013. This novel was intended to be a stand alone, until many of my trusted “beta readers” insisted on a sequel to the story. More than happy to oblige, I planned for a second book. Holt’s Holding, is very closely related to many of my experiences living in Maryland, though very fictionalized.  The Plot of this story is varied with a huge twist three fourths of the way into the book.  The main Character, Lillian Holt, is in her mid twenties.  Lillian, the only survivor to a house fire that took her family, finds herself amidst a corporate takeover of her father’s company, which has been safeguarded until her twenty fifth birthday.  Having known this day would come, she had spent seven years preparing and plotting her revenge.  Perfectly positioned, she falls in love, only to have her heart broken.  Her story is of survival and perseverance, as she learns that life is about living not plotting.  A preview of Chapter one is available on the website: www.adagmara.com

What’s the hook for the book?

Anna: The biggest hook to the story is Lillian Holt herself. Not all is as it appears to be. She is what most woman want to be, strong independent and driven.  However, like most of us, she’s flawed and has a lot of unwanted baggage. The development of her character leads into a world of underlying secrets and twists, sure to keep the attention of a reader.  Her strength is one of inspiration and her inner turmoil is emotional heart gripping.

How do you develop characters? Setting?

Anna: Most of my characters are inspired by actual people, events, and conversations – mostly conversations. However, my settings along with plot are inspired from dreams. The Crest, my first novel, was completely inspired by a dream. My daughter’s tenacity, humor, and strength inspired the main character. Though the character differs from her, it was my daughter’s nature that I modeled the main character after. I wanted to highlight those qualities within my characters and strive to do so.

Who’s the most unusual/most likeable character?

Anna: In The Crest, my most likable character is Kurt.  He is a sudo, brother, and the main character’s best friend. He has known her since birth and kept watch over her. Being level headed and caring, he truly would do anything for her. As his character evolves through the story, it is easy to see how and why most of my readers fall in love with him. He is the good guy next door!

The most unusual character is Skylar, dark mysterious, not to mention the bad guy. In the second book in the series readers learns so much more about him and his motives, they won’t know whether or not they want to torture him or hug him.  He’s my loveable monster, so to speak.

Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

Anna: When writing, I typically find myself writing an outline; however, almost always straying away from it. I also keep a separate file on each character – their description down to how I want them to develop through the story.  Initially, when I first wrote The Crest, I went by nothing and just wrote it as it came. Not the best way to write, but amazingly, it worked. My writing and techniques, with time and practice, are ever evolving.  I’m not shy about calling myself a young writer, and even revel in it.

What are your current projects?

Anna: My Current project is the last book in the Guardians of the Realm series, The Gates. This story gives the reader an insight into the “Tri–Fecta”, by giving her a voice. Through the first two books, she has no voice, and the opinion of her is less than favorable. The Gates brings us to the conclusion of the search and epic journey, safeguarding the Realms.

I am also finishing up the second book in the Holt’s series, Holt’s Vaihn.  The second book answers many of the questions left unanswered and is set in New York City.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Anna: To learn more about my latest projects and upcoming events, readers can stop by my website: www.adagmara.com or find my author page on Facebook.

On my website, I offer previews of my books and latest projects, as well as encourage those to follow or participate in my blogs. In my blogs, I share with my viewers my current reads and thoughts. I’m a huge fan of books and emerging authors. Some of the best stories I’ve read were written by authors who could not get published traditionally.  They are my courage and should be respected for the time and work it takes to get our stories out there.  Happy Reading!

Thanks for joining us today, Anna.

Anna: Thank you for the opportunity.

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Rebecca Forster

Author of numerous books, Rebecca Forster spends part of her time speaking to philanthropic and writers’ groups about the brave new world of publishing for Kindle, Nook and other e-readers, teaching at UCLA Writers Program or having a ball at middle schools teaching with The Young Writers Conference

Hi Rebecca, Please tell everyone a little about yourself.

Rebecca: I started writing on a crazy dare after meeting my client’s wife, Danielle Steele. That dare lead to my first book being published. Since then, I have published twenty-six novels and quit my corporate job as an advertising executive. I received my BA from Loyola Chicago and my MBA from Loyola Los Angeles. My husband of thirty-six years (think a “When Harry Met Sally” relationship) is a superior court judge. My two sons are in creative careers. The oldest is a producer/talent manager in Hollywood and the youngest is a playwright currently serving with the Peace Corps in Albania. I love to travel, sew, quilt and play tennis.

When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?

Rebecca: The writing bug didn’t as much hit as it did present itself. I’m a sucker for trying new things. So, when a colleague dared me to write a book, I gave it a whirl. Who knew writing would become a passion? I started in women’s fiction but after about ten books my editor ‘fired’ me from romance. He said I kept killing people before they fell in love and perhaps romance wasn’t my genre. He was right. I read, write, live and breathe thrillers.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

Rebecca: When I began writing my goal was simply to save face after declaring I could write a book. I figured a nice rejection letter would prove that I had at least tried. Then my first book sold, and I was hooked. After that, I just wanted to keep writing books people would read. My intent has always been to continue to improve. It is interesting for me to go back and see where I started and where I am now. I take craft very seriously. I’m not so sure I have as much a message as I have a point of view about people and plots. The main objective is to always try to create an entertaining book. If it is also thought provoking, that’s fabulous.

Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

Rebecca: In December I released Expert Witness. This is book four in the witness series featuring Josie Bates, Hannah and Archer. A few months before that I released Before Her Eyes, a stand alone novel.

What’s the hook for the book?

Rebecca: It’s two in the morning when sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton, Josie Bates’ ward, slips into Archer’s Hermosa Beach apartment to see if Josie sleeps in his bed. But Josie isn’t there. In fact, Josie isn’t anywhere.

How do you develop characters? Setting?

Rebecca: For me characters and setting must be developed simultaneously. In the Josie Bates thrillers, the witness series, I was originally going to set the stories in Venice Beach but that setting didn’t bring out the qualities of someone as physical and strong and beach-loving as Josie Bates. I walked from Venice until I reached Hermosa Beach – that’s where the AVP tournaments are held (Josie was a college volleyball player). That’s where Josie found a home. The setting made her ‘blossom’. In Before Her Eyes, a beautiful model used to being pampered and the toast of New York finds herself wounded and alone, lost in a wild forest on the Oregon border. That setting created a depth character that never would have been revealed in a New York setting. In one instance the setting nurtured the character and in the other it provoked her.

Who’s the most unusual/most likeable character?

Rebecca: That’s a tough question. I think the most unusual character I ever created is Hannah, Josie’s sixteen-year-old ward. She is multi-racial, beyond beautiful, extraordinarily resilient and yet exceptionally flawed. For me, Hannah represents courage in its truest form. Likeable? I like the old man, Jerry, in Character Witness (not a part of the witness series). He was based on an old man who had once been a very prominent attorney in Beverly Hills. In his 90s his practice he wasn’t on anyone’s radar but he was still plugging. What great style he had. Oh, and I loved Amanda Cross, the heroine of Beyond Malice. She is a loser who keeps getting up until she finally is a winner. I love that about her. And, of course, Josie. I guess you can tell I have trouble choosing one character. Almost every character I write is based on a real person, I suppose that’s why I can’t decide which is the most likable or interesting.

Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

Rebecca: I always know the beginning and the end of a book before I write. If I don’t know the opening and closing scenes, the book doesn’t get written. It’s very strange but it’s more visual than a writing technique. I can actually see those scenes and hear the critical voices.

Do you have a specific writing style? Preferred POV?

Rebecca: I actually prefer to write in first person. Before Her Eyes is the book of my heart, actually. It is split between first and third person – two parallel stories – two points of view. But each book has a voice, and I try to follow where it leads.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Rebecca: It’s not so much my upbringing as it has been my marriage that has influence what I write. My husband’s early career was as a federal prosecutor specializing in organized crime in terrorism. Throughout the years he has moved on to become a municipal court judge and a superior court judge. He was also presiding judge of the Los Angeles court system – the largest in the world. His work has opened my eyes to the world of the law and politics, to how small people can get caught up in big things, and big people can be brought down by small mistakes. I think it’s a writers job to be attentive to their surroundings. It is the world of law enforcement that truly captured my imagination.

Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

Rebecca: That’s an easy one. “If Tess Gerristen and John Grisham had a literary love child, it would be Rebecca Forster.” I’m going to have that chiseled on my headstone.

What are your current projects?

Rebecca: I am working on book five and book six of the witness series. There are huge surprises in store in each. I firmly believe that a good series explores the personalities, connections, and lives of each character – not just the primary one. That means that the plots sometimes veer from the expected. I think this is how series characters become more than recognizable, they become real. I also have two scripts in development. I also have another book I’m dying to do – but first things first. Josie Bates has to live out her next two books.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

I would love to have anyone who is interested in my books or contacting me to visit my website at http://www.rebeccaforster.com

 I’m also on twitter @Rebecca_Forster and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Thanks for joining us today, Rebecca.

Rebecca: Thank you so much for this opportunity.

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Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers. She received her AA in Literature at Highline Community College, which originally sparked her passion for writing. In her free time, she also enjoys giving back to the community through participation and support of various educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest, and is currently the president of the Soulful Giving Foundation – a non-profit she and her husband formed to fund expanded research, and the care and treatment of cancer patients and their families.

Hi Kaylin, Please tell everyone a little about yourself. 

As many people know, I wasn’t born with a pen in hand like so many of my talented fellow authors. However, I have been involved with business and personal writing projects for many years. My careers have taken me in all directions, ranging from fashion modeling and interior design to office manager and art gallery director. Yet my love of reading and interest in creative writing has remained ever present. As a result of tapping into my imagination and utilizing my own life experiences, I have earned more than a dozen literary awards. My first novel, Flaherty’s Crossing was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest and my second book, Severed Threads, has already garnered two first place awards.

When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?

Kaylin: I was one of those kids who couldn’t put a book down, especially when it came to fantasy and sci-fi. When I hit my adolescent years, I turned into a romance junkie – buying used books at garage sales and begging for hand-me-downs from friends. In high school, I broadened my scope and got into mysteries and thrillers, and now I’m loving romantic suspense. So, I guess you could say I love all genres.

 When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp? 

Kaylin: I’m compelled to write because my brain keeps me up at night with possibilities. Once I have a story in my head, I’m completely consumed. If I don’t put it on paper or on my computer, I’m convinced I’ll be haunted by the failed opportunity to impact other people’s lives.

Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

Kaylin: Severed Threads is an action adventure story and the first book of three in the Threads series.

What’s the hook for the book?

Kaylin: Everyone is after the Heart of the Dragon, lives are on the line, but exactly what it is remains a mystery.

Who’s the most unusual/most likeable character?

Kaylin: I would have to say Ian Lowe. He’s a crusty Irish helmsman with an eye for the ladies, which often gets him into trouble.

Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

Kaylin: I typically create a synopsis then use this to write each chapter. But in actuality, I’m one of those authors who likes to let their character direct the story line and take readers on an adventure. Sometimes they even surprise me!

Do you have a specific writing style? Preferred POV?

Kaylin: I write third person and enjoy rotating points of view, however, when my characters are together, I try to stay in the main character’s head.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Kaylin: I was born in California and grew up in Washington and Oregon, so my stories tend to focus on the Northwest. I’ve also traveled around the world and am bringing my experiences into the Threads series.

Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

Kaylin:

 “I found Kaylin McFarren to be a very descriptive writer. She is able to describe people and situations in a clear yet interesting manner without becoming too wordy or boring. I would liken her writing style to that of Danielle Steele and I think her works will make a wonderful addition to the romance genre.”  – Charline Ratcliff, RebeccasReads

What are your current projects?

Kaylin: Severed Threads is the first book of three in the Threads series. I’m currently working on Buried Threads which brings my characters to Asia.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Kaylin: My website – www.kaylinmcfarren.com.   

Thanks for joining us today, Kaylin.

Kaylin: Thank you!

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N. K. David

N. K. David is the author of two published novels, It Is Time We Truly Know Why “Jesus Wept” and Most Perfect Exchange (The Cost of Liberty).  He has also written copiously about human rights abuse and religious tolerance. He believes it is a shame that men continue to be divided by their religion just as they were once divided by the color of their skin.

Please  tell everyone a little about yourself.

N. K. David: I was born on May 6th 1977 in the Eastern part of Nigeria, which is regarded as the Christian part of the country. At an early age, I wanted to study law/arts, but I ended up in science, which I have come to love, and I am currently in the medical field studying Veterinary medicine. I personally passed through a lot of struggles in my academic life because of a corrupt educational system.  I had to stand and fight against the corrupt Educational system and I am glad some people in Government answered my call and worked to change the system. It was during the struggle and in my quest for answers from higher planes of existence that my first book was born and published to predict the end of the struggle and other message for humanity. Today I have published two books and still counting.

When did the writing bug bite, and in what genres?

N. K. David: I started writing back in college because of the challenge and need to do well in essay writing in school back then. After an early struggle, I realized that my failure then was because I did not use my creative ability so I set it to work, and since then it has been working. It was that early age that I created my first story, Noble Killers. I gave the story line to my young brother who was involved then in screenplay writing. He wrote it in his own way, but I later wrote it in my own way. That was the first time I spent much time writing a long story and book.

I write mostly on inspirational, motivational, and emotional. But I also write religion, mystery, love, romance, and suspense.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish?

N. K. David: My goal is to contribute and say what I have to say to the world so that in future the world will remember that I was here and that I said or wrote such things. I also want to inspire and give people reasons to hold on in their positive struggle in life, especially those few that are working to help create a better and peaceful world for all of us because I am involve in such struggle which is a difficult task because of our diversity as humans.

Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

N. K. David: Yes my books always have a message in them, and I try to make it easy for people to understand. I try to make people understand the need for true religious tolerance and for people to look back in history and remember how we got here today because the truth is that we were liberated; if not, we would not enjoy the freedom we have today so there is need to let others have their freedom for as long as they do not stop us from having ours. But there is always a problem as people try to save others in this religious tangle, and other laws, traditions and cultures that need to be conserved. That is why some people are calling for the move to personal responsibility.

Briefly tell us about your latest book.

N. K. David: My latest book is a story that started in 1967 in United States to the present 2012. It was the time racism was said to be dwindling in America but discrimination still persisted in various forms. Then Michael, a black American, found help and love which was not so common from Lydia, a white American. Lydia’s family was divided in their stand on racism and her brother, William, was racist so he tried stopping Lydia from assisting Michael. Then one day, Regina, a black America, suddenly showed up in their family company and William could not set his eyes off her. He wanted to assist Regina but this time his sister, Lydia, opposed the idea. William did not know why his sister changed so suddenly and things got worse for him when Regina disappeared. That was when he realized how much he loved her so he wanted her back at any cost, but the true identity of the lady he knew as Regina was another thing he may have to handle.

What’s the hook for the book?

N. K. David: How Lydia kept Michael in their family company even when William did not approve his employment.

How do you develop character? Setting?

N. K. David: How I develop my character and setting depends on the work; however, my recent work is based on what people already know or have an idea so I try to give readers what they can easily picture so I make characters real and settings based on past events or research to fit the records in history.

Who’s the most unusual/most likeable character?

N. K. David: Lydia.

Do you have specific techniques that help you maintain the course of the plot?

N. K. David: Well before I start any book, I think of what I want to achieve or the message I want to send across readers so with that in mind my next task will be how to develop the story and send the message in clear terms. The task is always on developing events or things that will happen in between the book. Therefore, what I do is since I have my main message or how I think the story to end, I build other events around it and it is possible for new ideas to come in, and I have to see how it can fit into the story line and produce something thicker.

Do you have a specific writing style? Preferred POV?

N. K. David: I think it is left for the readers to confirm but I think my writings are always engaging and the messages are made clear and simply.

I love to write in first person but I also used the third person. I commonly write in present continuous tense because I usual imagine writing the story while it is happening, but it is for scripts made for movies where the story will be narrated at some point. I normally change such format to third or first person if it is to be published.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

N. K. David: I will easily agree that my environment and upbringing made me who and what I am today. This is because I started asking question very early in life and I did not accept the answers my seniors gave to me so I had to find the answers myself. I grew up in a Christian home, but I realized that even as Christians we consider our own sect better than other Christian sects so I had to ask why and what is wrong with the various Christian sects?  Then I realized that it is even worst when we consider the various religions. I could not hate someone simply because of his or her religion or because I think mine religion is better than others. I would not join the crowd and that is why I am what I am today. That is why it is not easy to find a life partner that understands or shares my kind of view in a developing country like ours.

Share the best review or a portion that you have ever had.

N. K. David:

 “In mankind’s quest for happiness, a lot of concepts have been devised and pursued- power and influence have been sought, acquired and abused, wealth has been amassed and abused as well, just name them. Astonishingly, happiness, which is the pinnacle of these endeavours, has remained elusive.

However, the solution to this seemingly intractable problem is unimaginably the simplest thing anyone can do as is presented by N. K. David in this thought-provoking, great concept and irresistible novel, which doubles as an indispensable guide and a clarion call for all ( skin colour notwithstanding) to endeavour to acquire the hitherto elusive happiness and its attendant peace, by deleting from our minds, records and altitude all factors of hate and racism, and replace them with genuine love and understanding.

“Just imagine a world full of love….” In fact, if you miss this book, you miss the very essence of existence, and happiness shall ever elude you.”

 E. U. Lawrence

What are your current projects?

N. K. David: I am working on other books, a few of which I think will be converted to movie someday like The Game and The Formula for ReincarnationThe Formula may be my next book to be published; here is about the book:

“After he discovered the formula for reincarnation (rebirth), he realized that it could be more dangerous than nuclear weapon so he decided to stop the research but some of his co-workers strongly wanted such powers and they can do anything to get it, even if it means to kill him for it. The only option he had was to stay alive even if he was dead because for as long as he is alive they will continue the plot to kill him and that maybe the only way he can protect his family, and the formula.”  The formula is combination of various scientific formulas built on trinity and the right application of the formula can be used to prove, even to a profane, that rebirth is really, but first the centre of the triangle must be sought and found.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

N. K. David: My books are available on many online stores like booktango.com It Is Time We Truly Know Why “Jesus Wept”  and Most Pefect Exchange (The Cosct of Liberty), authorhouse.com, Amazon, among others.

I am on many social sites like Facebook Page, twitter, linkedin, talent.me, David Kaluge hubpage , muttonline.com among many others. I welcome friendship and I love making good friends so people easily join me on facebook where I usually create my events and have my book pages or through hubpages where I post free articles.

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Black Diamond by Ja’Nese Dixon

Black Diamond by Ja’Nese Dixon is a romantic suspense novel about an undercover FBI agent investigating a vicious group suspected of trafficking conflict diamonds.  Ja’Nese chats about some of the key topics she researched while writing Black Diamond.

About Black Diamond
Camille Blackwell, an undercover FBI agent, poses as a jewelry purchaser in an international diamond trading company in hopes of identifying the domestic players in a vicious rebel group suspected of trafficking conflict diamonds. The Bureau requests CIA renegade Marc Fulton’s assistance with sweeping international intelligence to identify the major rebel organizations with the finances and stateside connections strong enough to evade criminal prosecution, despite Camille’s objections.

Their attraction is instant and tense; both resolve to focus on the case. But when Camille receives an encrypted memory stick from a murdered co-worker Marc may be the only person she can trust.Black Diamond is the eagerly anticipated debut novel by Ja’Nese Dixon. True love, like black diamonds, is rare and precious but when murder and a persistent criminal threaten a frail relationship, will love triumph?

About Ja’Nese Dixon

Ja’Nese Dixon writes fiction novels for readers yearning to escape and disappear into a good book. Ja’Nese’s debut novel, Black Diamond is scheduled for release in June 2010. She resides in Houston, Texas, with her husband and their two children. For more information visit http://www.janesedixon.com.
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Black Diamond by Ja’Nese Dixon Virtual Book Tour is organized by Nia Promotions, a marketing company that assists authors and publishers with using web-marketing strategy to market and promote books on the internet. Follow Ja’Nese’s tour at http://bit.ly/blackdiamondvbt.
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Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers. She received her AA in Literature at Highline Community College, which originally sparked her passion for writing. In her free time, she also enjoys giving back to the community through participation and support of various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

Shelagh: Please tell everyone a little about yourself, Kaylin

Kaylin: For the past twenty years, I’ve worked in PR and marketing for my family-owned conglomerate, the Yoshida Group, which consists of eighteen diverse corporations. I was appointed as one of nine commissioners to the Oregon Arts Commission by Governor Kitzhaber while working as the director of a nationally-acclaimed art gallery in Portland, Oregon. I’ve also served on numerous college and charity foundation boards, and continue my commitment to hospitals and children’s causes. For most of my life, I’ve written poems and short stories, and along with novels, currently write articles for a syndicated travel magazine. Although Flaherty’s Crossing is my début novel, it has already garnered numerous awards and received recognition as a 2008 Golden Heart® Finalist.

Shelagh: How long have you been writing?

Kaylin: Most of my life. I honestly remember writing poems when I was five years old. I got into short stories when I was in junior high and eventually some of them ended up in my high school newspaper. My interest in writing continued for years but was limited to public relations with an emphasis on press releases and daily correspondence. In regard to novels, although I’ve contemplated penning one for some time now, I’ve actually been writing manuscripts for a relatively short period of time.

Shelagh: What, or who, inspired you to write?

Kaylin: I had a great English teacher in sixth grade, Mrs. Tuttle. I remember her telling the class that we could create a magical world with words. She gave everyone a journal and instructed us to write something in it everyday. To this day, I still fill up journals with my thoughts, poems, and short stories.

Shelagh: Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Kaylin: When I started Flaherty’s Crossing, it was based on my personal experience – the death of my dad and my emotional journey to acceptance. But after opening myself up to an amazing literary world – reading extensively, doing writing exercises, taking workshops – the door to my imagination was opened. Now days, I literally “dream up” my stories from beginning to end and have had to resort to keeping a notebook on my bedside table.

Shelagh: What genres do you write and which is your favorite genre to write?

Kaylin: When I first started writing Flaherty’s Crossing, I had no idea how to define this story. After completing and entering contests, I learned to categorize it as mainstream fiction, involving all kinds of elements: suspense, drama, romance …you name it. But with my second book, I’ve become a bit wiser and made a conscience decision to write action/adventure romance. I believe this is rapidly becoming my forte. I can’t wait to get to the next chapter and to fish my characters out of shark-infested seas.

Shelagh: Can you tell us about your favorite hero and/or heroine in one of your stories?

Kaylin: Drew Coleman in Flaherty’s Crossing is one of my favorite characters. He’s an attractive, middle-aged divorce attorney who has spent most of his life trying to live up to his father’s expectations. In the midst of struggling with his obligations and job responsibilities, Drew’s marriage to Kate Flaherty explodes over trust issues and is left in total disrepair. However, when he learns his wife’s life is at risk, his priorities quickly shift and he discovers where his love and loyalties truly lie.

Shelagh: When you write about a hero/heroine, are there parts of your characters that you take from your own experiences in your life?

Kaylin: I suppose there are. Most definitely in regard to conversations, careers, and relationships. I guess that’s what makes them more believable –three dimensional, you might say.

Shelagh: Do you have favorite props that you use to bolster a story? Why do you use them?

Kaylin: Well, when I was writing Flaherty’s Crossing, I kept my father’s picture close by to remind myself of the kind of person he was. But aside from that, I’d probably say no. That is, if you don’t consider a periodic glass of wine a prop.

Shelagh: When you are writing a book, do the characters become a part of your everyday life? How do you deal with it if they take over your everyday world?

Kaylin: When my characters interact, encounter grave situations, and express their emotions, they become more real to me. I don’t think I’ve had to deal with them taking over my life; although, I do worry about getting them out of trouble if they’re cornered and I’m detained and not able to write for a while.

Shelagh: Do your families encourage you to write?

Kaylin: Absolutely! I think my husband believes I’ve somehow found my identity and purpose in life. As for my children, they’re awesome – asking me all the time how my writing’s going. My oldest daughter is an author as well and she’s constantly spurring me to stay focused and on track.

Shelagh: You have a busy life with a career and family. How do you find time to write? Do you have a schedule?

Kaylin: My children are grown, my husband travels extensively, and I have a great library with lots of peace and quite. This affords me the luxury of writing as much as I like, which could easily involve working from 10am – 10pm. However, my family finds ways to drag me away on family vacations, to movies, and to restaurants just so I don’t completely alienate myself.

Shelagh: If for some reason you could not write anymore, how would you creatively express yourself?

Kaylin: I actually studied visual arts in college and love to oil paint. Guess that’s why I ran an art gallery for seven years. I suppose if I couldn’t write any longer, I’d dig up my old supplies and find a way to paint my stories on canvas.

Shelagh: You have a special project for all of the proceeds from your book, Flaherty’s Crossing. Can you tell us about this?

Kaylin: I’m donating 100% of my proceeds to the cancer research center at Providence Medical Center in my father’s name. There’s information all about the research project I’m funding on my new website: http://www.flahertyscrossing.com

Shelagh: Why did you decide to give all of your proceeds to cancer research?

Kaylin: After witnessing my father’s relentless battle with terminal cancer and his passing at the young age of 64, my emotions were in complete turmoil. I was angry at him for leaving, at God for the suffering he endured, at the world in general for not taking notice. I searched for an outlet – a way to vent my feelings, and was fortunate in finding the resolution I needed by writing Flaherty’s Crossing. In the course of creating this story, I had the opportunity to speak to various individuals who have lost loved ones and came to realize that everyone is somehow affected by this non-discriminating disease. This novel became more than a fictional account. It evolved into a personal journey – one that my father has traveled on right beside me, inspiring and encouraging me all along the way. In order to honor his memory and to do my part to bring an end to this terrible disease in our lifetime, I have chosen to donate all the proceeds from the sale of this book to the cancer research center at Providence Medical Center, and strongly urge anyone who enjoys reading to purchase a copy of Flaherty’s Crossing.

Shelagh: Where can folks learn more about your books and upcoming events?

Kaylin: My websites: http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com http://www.flahertyscrossing.com

Shelagh: Thank you for joining us today, Kaylin.

Kaylin: Thanks, Shelagh!

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