Out now – Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Tales

61oh11chGOLOut today is the Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Tales which includes my short story Madame X.

Jack the Ripper as he has never been seen before . . .

Countless theories have been put forward by Ripperologists as to the identity of the notorious Victorian serial killer, but in the absence of proof how can we hope ever to unearth his real identity? How many more plausible new theories based on the known facts can the experts hope to come up with?

In this wonderful collection of newly-commissioned stories, Jakubowski has compiled an extraordinary array of fresh explorations into the identity and activities of Jack the Ripper – this time unabashedly fictional, unrestrained by the facts of the case. Contributors include Vanessa de Sade, Sarah Morrison, Betsy van Die, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro and Sally Spedding

Cumulatively, they propose numerous possible identities, some already suggested by historians, others more speculative, including some famous names from history and fiction – even Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are on the case!

Available: hard copy, Kindle and audio book – so pop along to Amazon or your local book shop for your copy.

Book Spotlight: Sugar Skull by Glenn Dallas and Lisa Mantchev



Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.

Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.



Interview with Earl Staggs

Justified_Action_Cover_for_Kindle (2)Tell us about your publishing journey…

The thought of being a writer first took seed when I won an essay contest in high school. The thought lay dormant for a long time in favor of other things.  Thing like earning a living and raising a family.  When our daughters were grown and on their own, my wife and I burned our snow shovels in Maryland and moved to Florida.  That’s when I decided to give writing a serious try.

My first effort was a short mystery story.  I thought it was the best story ever written, so I immediately submitted it to a magazine.  A few weeks later, I received a rejection letter. Okay, I thought, their loss.  I sent the story to another magazine, then another, and another, all with the same result.  After a string of rejection letters, I suffered, I cried, I moaned, and I filed that story away.  Daunted but not totally discouraged, I continued writing short stories and submitting them.

Eventually, I received my first acceptance letter from The Cozy Detective Mystery Magazine for a story titled “Room Six.”  It’s funny how one acceptance can wipe out the pain of a whole stack of rejections.

Over the next few years, we moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and I placed a number of short stories in magazines and anthologies.  One of my stories even brought home a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year.

Then I decided to move to the next level – writing a novel.  Remember that first story, the one that picked up those rejection letters?  One day, I pulled it out, dusted it off, and read it.  Oh my gosh!  I saw why it had been rejected.  There were so many things wrong with it I suspected someone had sneaked into my file and sabotaged it.  Either that or I had learned a lot about writing since then.  Anyway, I rewrote it, and when I sent it out this time, two magazines wanted to publish it, one a print magazine and one an electronic one.  What to do?  Fortunately. I didn’t have to decide.  Both magazines agreed to publish it at the same time.  That’s the only time I know of that a story appeared in two magazines simultaneously.

A lot of readers liked the protagonist and the premise of the story.  The protagonist is Adam Kingston, a private eye with some psychic abilities. His psychic images didn’t solve cases for him, but sometimes they provided clues which led him in the right direction.  Sometimes, they only confused him because he had no idea what they meant.  Response and feedback on the story was so encouraging, I decided to take Adam into a novel.

The title of the novel turned out to be MEMORY OF A MURDER.  It’s still available in all the usual places online and off.  I’m currently working on a sequel.  The short story that led to it, that first story featuring Adam Kingston, is “The Missing Sniper,” and it’s available in ebook form at:  http://store.untreedreads.com

What do you love about being an author?

Everything except one.  I love it when an idea occurs, when the idea turns into words that make sense on my screen, when the idea becomes a finished story I’m happy with, and I especially love it when someone likes it enough to publish it.  The one thing I don’t like is rejections letters.  Yes, I added a few more to that first batch and no matter how many times I tell myself they’re inevitable even for famous writers, they’re still painful.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

George Clooney and Sandra Bullock would be perfect as the leads in MEMORY OF A MURDER.  There are other actors who would fit, but those two would be my first choice.  They could also star in my second novel, an action mystery called JUSTIFIED ACTION, if they wanted to.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

I grew up watching old black and white movies with Bela Lugosi as Dracula. Because of that, I can only think of vampires, zombies, or any other monster as horrible, scary creatures.  I prefer characters, even the bad guys, who are human.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

Probably to the mid 1800’s when cowboys with fast horses and fast guns ruled the Old West.  There was adventure, romance, lots of action, and the bad guys were dispatched with a bullet or a rope instead of a long drawn out trial followed by years of appeals.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?Mem Cover

Find what you’re best-suited to do and enjoy doing and work hard to be the best at it.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A winged unicorn.  They’re sleek and beautiful, they can fly above the ugly parts of life, and if someone gives them a hard time, they have that sharp horn on their foreheads.

Where do you write best? 

There are two places.  One is at home.  We turned a third bedroom into a computer room, and I write there. I also have a part-time job driving a school bus.  That takes two hours in the morning to get the kids to school and two hours in the afternoon to deliver them back home.  In between, there are about five hours all my own. I take my laptop to work and spend that time writing in the driver’s lounge. I’ve learned to shut out everything going on around me and go into a writing zone.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I recently read Harper Lee’s GO SET A WATCHMAN.  I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about.  While I found Miss Lee to be a smooth and talented writer, not much of anything resembling a plot happened until after midway through the book, and that plot didn’t draw me in as much as I like in a novel.  It’s easy to see why her editor made strong recommendations to rewrite it.  The rewrite, of course, became TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why? 

If I didn’t write mysteries, I’d probably write westerns.  Actually, when you think about it, many westerns are nothing more than mysteries in a different time period. In a western, the bad guys rustle cattle and rob stage coaches and the good guy has to hunt them down and bring them to justice just like cops go after criminals in a modern mystery.  You only have to substitute fast cars for fast horses and Glock nine millimeters for Colt forty-fives and the genres are very similar.

Justified_Action_Cover_for_Kindle (2)

I have a blog site at http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com where I showcase my novels and short stories.

Interview with Laurie Stevens

1ed2506db573f84b66154bd81aa46e2eTell us about your publishing journey…

I guess I’m known as a “hybrid” author. For a couple of years I tried to get my first book, The Dark Before Dawn, published the traditional way. I spent months perfecting

a book proposal — even lunching with the guy who wrote a book on the subject to get his feedback. I sent queries. I hired a professional content editor.
Everything! Nothing came of it. So I put the book on a shelf and went on to write and produce a stage play.  My husband pressed me to pick up the book again, saying it was too good to abandon.
By this time my writing had matured somewhat soI took another look at The Dark Before Dawn and revamped it. One of the songwriters on the play told me a mutual friend of ours had been published by Createspace.
I thought, if he could do it, so can I. So I self-published The Dark Before Dawn and then the second in the series, Deep into Dusk. The books received excellent reviews. The Dark made Kirkus Reviews
Best of 2011/Indie. Deep won the 2014 IPPY for Best Mystery/Thriller. All told, the two books won nine awards. That got me some attention. After running a promotion that caused both books to rank in the Top 10 on the Amazon sales charts
I secured an agent for worldwide rights and she sold the books to Random House, Germany. I’m proud to say that Todes Schuld (German version of The Dark Before Dawn) comes out October, 2105. With Deep into Dusk released in 2016.  This event also got me signed with a literary and theatrical agent here in the States who now is shopping my work.
What do you love about being an author?59c2aa47b2469d6f513d46b800bda69d (1)

As I’m sure you do, Nicky, I love the process. I love how an idea takes form in my head, percolates there, and then comes the challenge to use words in the best way possible  to

convey the story. Of course, getting a good review and making those who read it happy doesn’t hurt either!

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Gosh, could I have dinner with Harry Potter? That way, we could eat anything and anywhere because all he’d have to do is wave his wand.  Since I like Noir a lot, a dinner with Chandler’s Philip Marlowe might be interesting. But I’d have to order a salad, because knowing Marlowe, he might make a snarky comment about women who eat like pigs.

If your book/ story was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Can I fantasize here?  Bradley Cooper, with those empathetic blue eyes of his, would fit the bill nicely for the troubled character of Gabriel McRay. Michael Fassbender would work, too (remember, there is a German version!) A younger version of Ryan Gosling would be perfect as the villain Victor Archwood.

7b7226e3902c87673b45c4b38dc45586If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’m in love with the 19th century. When I go into Bed and Breakfast places from the 1800’s, I always feel like I’m at home. However, knowing me, I’d probably start freaking out that no modern medicines exist.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

I was given the advice to write, write, and only write and stop trying to fill every other shoe. I wish I’d taken that advice sooner.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’d be happy being a witch. She can fly, she’s into cooking (spells), She’s got power.

Where do you write best? 

I can write anywhere as long I’m not being annoyed by some nagging external force (use your imagination).

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I’m reading “Deep Down Dark” right now -(Not to be confused as a mutation of my two books), about the 33 trapped Chilean miners.  I do like it, although I thought the buildup (taking each and every guy and going into depth about his family life) was longer than it needed to be.

I read a lot of independently published books and review them on Goodreads. I do this as a favor to independents and also because some books really are hidden gems.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?ab46264769d85cf04f6682c728e4204a

Well, I’m about to begin a new series that is most definitely not psychological suspense like The Gabriel McRay series. I’m going to try my hand at a drama of sorts, more literary fiction than crime fiction. Why? To branch out and because the idea began to form.

Where can fans find you online?

You can check me out at www.lauriestevensbooks.com and I often update my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lauriestevensbooks. All likes are welcome!

Laurie’s Books can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005HFR2BI

Interview with John Stewart Wynne

John Stewart WynneTell us about your publishing journey…

 Long, circuitous. Plenty of dead ends, but a few highways.  Never easy.  But worth it.  I got my start self-publishing a short story about UFOs, Bela Lugosi, teen-aged kids with plenty of hormones, all thrown together on a hot summer night in a small American town.  I called it The Sighting and it attracted praise from Hubert Selby, Jr. and a Brit publisher John Calder — he published my first novel Crime Wave in England and the U.S.  It was a literary shocker set in pre-Giuliani Times Square.
My story collection The Other World  (City Lights–book, Untreed Reads–ebook) followed — hallucinatory tales about desperate people living on the margins of existence. Dark psychological suspense pieces. Circus performers, God-fearing families quoting passages from the Bible while hiding horrible secrets, prostitutes, drifters involved in murder, a rich, cross-dressing teen-ager in love with his chauffeur.  It did indeed seem like I was writing about an “other world” — but one that was unmistakably ours.
Untreed Reads brought out the ebook version of The Other World.  I decided I wanted to write two pure horror stories which they published as ebooks as well.  The Needles Highway is about a screenwriter driving home through the California desert to L.A. from his childhood hoThe Needles Highway copy 2me in Needles.  He glances up at the driver of a pick-up truck to find a skeleton behind the wheel.  A pursuit follows.  The scary apparition appearing in the heat of the noonday sun tries to stop him from leaving the desert.  But why?  I was able to create an atmosphere of horror but add a mystery to solve.  A great challenge.  I did the same for my contribution to Untreed Reads’ horror anthology Year’s End.  Stories by different authors about a horrifying moment that happens while ringing in the new year.  In mine, A Night in the Pampas, a werewolf hides in the tall grasses and threatens a group of Air Force men on a h
unting expedition in the Argentine.  Of course, the werewolf manages to bite one of their heads off!  But it turns out he has his reasons.
The Red Shoes (Magnus/Riverdale Ave.–book and ebook) followed, nominated for 2014 Lambda Literary Award as Best Novel.  It’s a modern retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale set in contemporary New York City.  The Red Shoes are a symbol of addiction and flight – once you put them on you can’t stop dancing. The protagonist goes on a bizarre and dangerous journey through rat-infested alleys, penthouses, places of worship, decadent clubs — Is it because of the red shoes or some other reason?  It’s a long, winding novel of 428 pages and I immersed myself in it.  See, I think the best thing you can try to do is convince publishers that your voice is authentic, whatever your theme.  You can’t fool anybody.  If you aren’t into your material 100%, nobody else will be.
My publishing journey has also meant spinning myself off from fiction by writing, directing and producing audio books over the years; I was nominated for two Grammy awards and wrote The Listener’s Guide to Audio Books (Simon & Schuster).  I loved creating scripts and directing multi-cast dramas for audio, such as the Star Wars series, or producing the original Gaston Leroux novel of The Phantom of the Opera performed by F. Murray Abraham. It’s great to collaborate on projects as you can feel isolated when it’s just you by your lonesome.  Right now I’m co-writing a novel with another author; never did that before.  It keeps you on your toes.
 What do you love about being an author?
To create a different reality with each book and to develop ALL kinds of characters, never judging them.
The Other World Untreed ReadsIf you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Dracula.  Hopefully we’d share a bowl of fresh blood.
If your book/ story was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
The Needles Highway would be perfect for Jake Gyllenhaal — he’d be great at portraying a man slowly sussing out the fact that he’s being pursued through the desert by a skeleton hell bent on making sure he doesn’t get home to L.A.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
The Roman Empire during Nero’s and Caligula’s reigns.  There was never a dull moment, always something going on.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Never to waste a minute thinking about trying to write something on a subject everybody tells you is popular at the moment.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
A ghost who could glide through walls and spy on everybody.
Where do you write best?Year
In public, in cafes.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
Suspense writer Ursula Curtiss — Don’t Open the Door.  Really scary.  It made me never want to answer my doorbell again.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
Light comedies, it’s fun to be funny sometimes.  In fact I wish I could be all the time.
Where can fans find you online?

Interview with Katherine Clark

Clark-hi-resWhat do you love about being an author?

 Robert Penn Warren once joked that many would-be writers want to “have written” instead of wanting “to write.”  So I guess I’m fortunate to enjoy the actual writing process: the time alone in front of the blank page when I can translate what’s inside me into words and transfer that to the page.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

My choice would be the narrator Nick Jenkins from Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time, because it’s clear this character is a stand-in for the author, who sounds like he was a delightful British gentleman as well as a literary genius.  What a wonderful—and rare—combination.  Of course we would dine at Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant.

If your book/story were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I’d love to see Cicely Tyson perform the role of the black midwife in the one-woman show9781611877700_med I’ve adapted from my book Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife’s Story.  If he were still alive, Philip Seymour Hoffmann would be perfect for the Capote-esque Eugene Walter of Milking the Moon: A Southerner’s Story of Life on this Planet.  (Gore Vidal wrote me that Eugene Walter was known as “the other Capote; the good one.)  And if Nathan Lane could put on a few hundred pounds, he’s the one to portray the monstrously obese schoolteacher in my novel The Headmaster’s Darlings. 

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I would never wish to go back in time because I rely on modern medicine.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Life is not a meritocracy.  The USA is not a meritocracy.  The capitalist/corporate publishing establishment in New York is not a meritocracy—literary or otherwise.  Get over it and get on with life and work as a writer regardless.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’m a huge fan of George R.R. Martin, so I’d like to be a direwolf.  Nothing is more important than protecting the remaining Starks and helping to restore order to Westeros.

9781611876376_LGWhere do you write best?

I write best on the couch in my study, with my ruby Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Cinnamon, next to me.  I also write best with freshly sharpened Ticonderoga pencils in contact with a white legal pad.  A computer which emits the hum of machinery and constantly pings with incoming email and various updates and alerts is not conducive to my writing process.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last two books I read were The Power of the Dog, by Don Winslow, and its recently released follow-up, The Cartel.  These two novels provide a fascinating depiction of the evolution of the drug trade, the rise of the cartels, and the collapse of government institutions in Mexico, along with a trenchant analysis of the American policies, programs and government agencies which have contributed to the problem instead of alleviating it.  Oh, and by the way, both these books are a page-turning great read.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I’d write crime fiction or detective novels because I think all novels are fundamentally Whodunits.  Who did what and why? is the essence of all good narratives regardless of genre, and I like how crime fiction brings the reader face-to-face with the essence of narrative. I’ve learned a lot about narrative structure and plot pacing from detective fiction.

If I had the talent and the knowledge, I’d write espionage or spy thrillers, because in these books the author can engage with important events of history and politics in a global context and also in a compelling way for the reader.  And when a spy is the protagonist, it allows the novel to explore existential issues of identity.

Where can fans find you online?

 Readers can find me on Facebook and at www.KatherineClarkBooks.com.



Interview with Lynn Hooghiemstra

IMG_0378Tell us about your publishing journey…

My publishing journey mirrors that of many writers, with the exception that my journey was interrupted when I changed countries and had to really boost up my language skills. I always wrote, and some twenty years ago I started submitting short stories to various magazines. I cringe now when I think of the stuff I submitted, but over time I improved and finally reached the point where a story got picked up by a fairly new publisher, Untreed Reads. That story morphed into a historical fiction novella ‘Tales from the Fountain Pen’ and another story in a different genre got picked up for inclusion in an anthology ‘Moon Shot, murder and mayhem at the edge of space’. Never one to rest on my laurels, I’ve kept writing. December 15th I have a YA paranormal novel coming out ‘Out in the Dark’. This one under a different name, Nicola Adams, so I don’t confuse my historical fiction audience. In the meantime I’m shopping the first of a historical fiction trilogy ‘The Coming Storm’ to agents and publishers. I’m looking to make that next leap. More details can be found on my website: elynnhwriting.com.

What do you love about being an author?

I love being able to explore different lives, different places and different time periods. I enjoy exploring the relationships of my characters and what motivates them. Why do they do the things they do?

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I would choose Death from Terry Pratchett’s Disc World books. We would meet on a rooftop terrace somewhere overlooking an ancient city, like Rome or Florence, have pizza and champagne and discuss the agonizing beauty of life and living. Death always struck me as character with great love for humanity and life.

If your book/ story was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?OITD_Draft-2

If my YA “Out in the Dark” were made into a movie I think I’d like to see a talented young, unknown actor in the lead. Or if possible a 17-yr old Matt Damon and a 17-yr old Gwyneth Paltrow. Kevin Bacon would be good as the highly psychic father held by a rogue military group who want to force him to use his abilities for nefarious purposes. Helen Mirren as the former madam/mortician wouldn’t go amiss either.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Vampires? There is something dangerously seductive about them. I suppose I’d have to say both sexy and a villain. Every villain has some trait we can relate to and possible even be seduced by and every hero has something we don’t like or fear, that hidden dark side.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

There are too many time periods too choose from. I’d want to be there in the early 1930s where airplanes were slowly coming into their own, surpassing those massive gasbag airships that were less than safe. But I’d also love to roam the stacks in the library of Alexandria. Every period that I’d like to write about I’d like to visit just for ‘in person’ To really be able to submerge myself in the time and place.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

You only need to stay one day ahead, don’t stress about 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year out.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

If I were a supernatural creature? I think I’d choose a Griffin. Half eagle, half Lion. The mythology around the creature is considerable and sparks the imagination.

Where do you write best? 

As the mother of an active teenage boy I’ve learned to write just about anywhere I can pull out my trusty Moleskine notebook and a pen. The desire and drive to write is so strong that I create a writing zone no matter what is going on around me, whether I’m at a robotics competition or music lesson or just waiting in a parking lot to pick him up. Ideally of course I like to write at my desk, usually accompanied by at least one animal (cat or dog) and a double cappuccino, without interruptions or noise.

downloadWhat was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The Blood Gospel by: James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell. I liked the history, the mythology and overall story. But what I didn’t like were some of the longwinded and drawn out chapters. In many books these days I find there is a tendency to over-explain, or to explain the obvious. As my 87-yr old proofreader/editor with the sharp red pencil always says: ‘Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your reader to understand what you’ve just said. Don’t over explain.’

If you didn’t write in your genre, what other genre would you prefer and why?

I would like try my hand at science fiction but I feel I need more science underpinnings than I have to create truly believable worlds and events. Science fiction allows a writer to take issues facing society and show them on a broader canvas and in greater detail, in a way that we may not have thought about before. Robert Heinlein, at his best, excelled in this. A particularly good teen novel of his is “Tunnel in the Sky” which I feel should be required reading for teens about to enter society.

Where can fans find you online?

Links to my blog and website:



Interview with Lesley A Diehl

3578Tell us about your publishing journey…

My first manuscript was a cozy mystery, and it was 120,000 words.  Yikes!  Once I learned to write fiction and genre fiction at that, I had success with a short story that won the Sleuthfest 2009 short story contest.  I think that gave me confidence because the next year a small press picked up my first book.  I published with a number of small presses, and finally my agent hooked me up with Camel Press which publishes my Eve Appel mystery series.  I also am self-publishing books.

What do you love about being an author?

I write cozy mysteries and short stories most of which are also cozy in outlook although I have written more serious stories.  Because I like to go for a laugh by creating unusual characters and scenes designed to give my readers a chuckle, and I’m entertained as I write.  I was trained as a psychologist, so I know there’s nothing that feels better emotionally or physically than a good belly laugh.  Laughing is part of why I love writing, but the other part is how liberating and satisfying it feels to create characters, places and stories, how satisfying it is to pull that stuff out of my imagination and transfer it to a story.

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you eat?

I always thought I’d like to drink champagne and eat chocolate covered strawberries with Robert Parker.  Because he married a woman in the mental health field and seemed to have a profound respect for therapists (note his character Susan), I felt he would understand me and my quirky outlook on life.  But alas the man died before the two of us could get together, so I guess I’d choose the same meal with Elizabeth George because I have the utmost respect for her ability to create characters with real emotional depth.

If your book/ story was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads? 

Can I choose the book or story?  If so, then I’d choose the stories I wrote for The Killer Wore Cranberry: Vols 1-4.  It’s the Thanksgiving anthology published by Untreed Reads.  The main character is Aunt Nozzie, a woman based upon my own six foot tall, very outspoken aunt.  There was just no one with my aunt’s verve for life.  And she was a great bartender!  But who could do this woman justice?  With a red wig and a few more pounds, Meryl Streep might be just the one.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?sporting_murder

My love affair with vampires ended in the late sixties and early seventies with the Hammer studies production of the Count Dracula story.  They cast Christopher Lee as the count, and there was something subtlety sexy about the guy.  Now the subtlety is gone, and I miss that.  Now it’s too in-your-face and doesn’t allow the reader/viewer to input her own imagination.  And, no, I never want to think of a vampire as a blood hungry monster because I’m too much of a romantic down deep inside (very deep inside—my friends would be shocked to hear me say that).

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

The Victorian period.  Although I hated the corsets, everything else about the dresses was very lovely.  If a woman has to live her life out as some man’s chattel, at least she should get to dress well.  I’d go back and speed up the women’s rights movement, maybe by blowing up a few more golf courses.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

The best and worse advice I got was to write what you know, so I began writing a mystery about a woman who was a psychology professor.  That first manuscript was so boring.  However, I discovered that a writer can take what she knows and convert it into something quite fun if she frees herself from what was and makes up what was.  It’s called imagination.  I found I had a lot of it once I got going.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I want to be the elf guy in The Lord of the Rings, you know the one who fires arrows and always hits his target.  He’s a force with which to be reckoned.  Nobody would mess with me with if I had those skills. He also has the best hair, so straight.  I bet he never has trouble with frizz in humidity.

Where do you write best? 

I do my best (and my worst) work at my desk in my office.  It’s my “now I’m creating stuff” place.  At my office in Upstate New York, I can look out my window into the lilac bush and see the birds.  In Florida, I look out the window and see…alligators.  No wonder my Florida based work is so weird.

Academic_final_200x300What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I just finished A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.  My husband had read it, and we went to see the movie.  I was so intrigued, I read it also.  It is charming, funny, enlightening and convince me that my first impulse not to hike the Appalachian Trail was the correct one.  But what a read about two out-of-shape guys who did it.  I loved it.  It was just the break I needed from reading my usually diet of mysteries.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

If I could master doing some sultry sex scenes, I might try my hand at romantic comedy.  Note that it has to be comedy.  I haven’t the chops for writing real romance.  I guess I’m just too much of a cynic (don’t tell my husband).  I really don’t think I’m fit for anything other than thinking up ways to kill off people, then creating a jazzy protagonist who can get the bad guys.

Where can fans find you online?

My website: www.lesleyadiehl.com

Twitter: @lesleydiehl

Facebook: facebook.com/lesley.diehl.1

The newest book from Camel Press is A Sporting  Murder, the third in the Eve Appel mysteries


A Deadly Draught


Poisoned Pairings


Murder is Academic



Angel Sleuth



Interview with Chris Bauer

FNF_SMTell us about your publishing journey…
Like Raymond Chandler, I began writing later in life as an unemployed oil company executive.I write the genre fiction I enjoyed reading.  I had started reading science fiction in grade school, followed by a period where I read everything Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote–my favorite his Mars and Center of the Earth series.  I reverted to science fiction, my favorites Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein, and transitioned to the Deathlands series, Raymond chandler, and Dashiel Hammett.  during the Hammett phase, I created two novels without success. Obviously agents couldn’t make THAT many wrong decisions, so I sought a writer’s group to polish my skills. Writers Under The Arch in St. Louis met at the largest privately owned bookstore, and the groups was all that a writer’s groups should be. The grup leader, Cindy Fehmel, set the tone with respect and tough love.  Successes and failures were share, and developed into writing lessons.  The ‘gestalt’ of the group proved infallible–every time I followed the combined advice, I succeeded in publishing the story. Everything I wrote would have been suitable for Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. My latest stories are with Untreed Reeds, a first rate electronic publisher and marketer.  Having proven I can succeed in the semi-pro market, the urge to create novels again infected me. I have completed ‘Airships, Land Ironclads, and the Empire of New France’, and presently working on Odeille, the Sisters of the Air, and the Empire of New France.
What do you love about being an author?
Being an author provides the opportunity to create an alternate reality replete in the fine detail, which ultimately means I’m in total control  Being in total control is a nice thing.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Philip Marlowe, in an L.A neighborhood bar. Sandwhiches probably.
If your book/ story was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Liam Neilsen would be the Empire’s secret agent Max Jaeger. Alicia Vikandar, of Ex Machina would be Odeille–a young woman of apparent delicacy, but with brains, emotional and physical toughness, a sense of justice, and determination.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Neither. I want to hunt down and kill the sexy leads and blood hungry monsters. A far more meaning vampire is the king in Gearge R R Martin’s Fevre Dream–victims of a genetic defect.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
The Victorian era would be an appealing time, not because of the straightjacket rules of social conduct among some social classes, but because of the tremendous technological breakthroughs. The period gave us the telegraph, the telephone, airships, the analog computer, and the flush toilet. Imagine going back with what you know know, and being able to create ti with gears and cogs and stem!
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Don;t let anybody persuade you that your dream is foolish. I allowed that to happen, and I’m writing decades later than I should.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
None I know are totally suitable. Doctor Who, perhaps. Or a creature with the wisdom of Gandalf, the courage of Obi Wan Kenobi, and the capacity for horrendous violence when appropriate.
Where do you write best?
On a screened in porch on a warm but not hot day, with plenty of craft beers, and that special someone somewhere in the house. Reality is that I usually write on lunch in the office of my day job.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
‘The Master and Margarita’, supposedly Mick Jagger’s inspiration for ‘sympathy for the Devil’. There are multiple themes of good and evil, mischievous servants of Satan, and redemption, all cast in the Soviet world of the 1930’s.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
If you include both Urban Fantasy and Steampunk as my current gener, I’d like to write hard boiled detective stories a la Raymond chandler.
Where can fans find you online?
I have no online presence, but two of my favorite stories  are available on Untreed Reads.

Interview with Leonora Blythe

intriguing ladyTell us about your publishing journey..
I was born in South Wales, and came to the United States in search of adventure. I was always
fascinated by the Regency Period and when I landed at job at Warner Books I began to write books
of that genre.  I had become friends with Judith Weber of Nat Sobel Associates and she agreed
to take me on as a client.  She sold the rights to several of my books to Fawcett and through her
overseas connections she sold the rights to England, Japan, Germany, Norway, Sweden and France.
An incredible journey that is now continuing with Untreed Reass.
What do you love about being an author?
The freedom to take a fantasy journey, where if I make a mistake or fall in love with the wrong
person I can correct it and then move on to a happy ending.  Also it gives me the chance to
immerse myself in other characters.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?miranda
Henry Pulling from Travels With My Aunt.  We would take the ferry over to Martha’s Vinyard and dine
on Lobster rolls.
If your book/ story was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
David Tennant and Keira Knightly.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Blood hungry monsters – nothing sexy about them at all.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
The Regency Period because a lot of social changes began taking place during that time
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Never be afraid of trying something new and keep copious notes of everything that happens to you.
If you were a superfelicianatural creature, what would you be and why?
A fairy so I could cast beneficial spells on people and watch them smile when their wishes come true.
Where do you write best? 
I own a shop and do most of my writing when things are quite – otherwise I write at home at the
kitchen table.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
Mountain Top School For Dogs by Ellen Cooney.  I loved the way she showed the love between humans
and dogs.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
Historical non-fiction.  To high light some of the amazing discoveries that were made in the olden days
without the benefit of modern day conveniences.
Where can fans find you online?
Untreed Reads, of course.  I also have a facebook page Leonora Blythe.  My biography, Lament of an Ex-Pat by
Leonora Burton, is sold on Amazon.