Interview with Holli Anderson

907264_10200814485352916_525574333_nTell us about your publishing journey.

I feel very fortunate to have found Curiosity Quills Press and to have been accepted into their fold relatively quickly. I queried 5 agents with whom I had spoken at a writer’s conference in Seattle. Of those 5, one requested a full manuscript with some revisions before deciding she couldn’t take on another YA novel just then. A friend and fellow critique group member mentioned Curiosity Quills at a meeting one evening—and I queried them that next week. The rest, as they say, is history. They loved my manuscript, and here we are today with a newly released novel! The entire process was rather short, which is why I feel so fortunate. The time from finishing my novel to signing a contract with CQ was 6.5 months.

What part of being a writer do you love most?

I love the writing process. I’m not much of an outliner or planner when it comes to writing. I know the beginning and the end of my books, and I just let the characters and the story take me there. I love it when my story takes an unexpected turn—unexpected even to me, as I’m writing it. I love it when my own writing surprises me—makes me laugh or cry. Writing takes me away from the problems and stress of everyday life, especially when writing the first draft of something.

Which part do you hate the most?

I honestly haven’t “hated” any of it. I was worried about going through the editing process for the first time. I thought I would hate it. I worried about being asked to change my story that I’d worked so hard to create. As it turned out, I realized my editor was on my side! We worked together to make Five: Out of the Dark so much better than the original version.
If I had to pick something I don’t really like about being a writer, it would be the marketing aspect. I feel so clueless when it comes to marketing and publicity! Luckily the crew at Curiosity Quills has been fabulous to help promote my book. My husband, Steve, has been a huge help with this part of it, as well, and we really appreciate the many answers to questions and advice from CQ while he’s learning.

What life advice have you been given, that you wished someone had given you sooner?

I love the advice given by Thomas S. Monson, “The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” I wish I would have realized the wisdom in these words as a stressed out young mother.

If you could have a magical power, what would it be and why?

This is a tough one. If I could have only one magical power, I would choose healing. I am an ER nurse by day and a writer by night. It would be wonderful beyond measure to be able to help people suffering from horrible injuries and diseases. To lay my hands on someone and banish cancer to the outer regions of hell where it belongs, or to reconnect a severed spinal cord so a paralyzed victim could walk again, to relieve the terrifying inability to draw a breath caused by an asthma attack, to take away someone’s chronic pain—yeah, definitely healing.

What inspired you to write “Five Out of the Dark”?7762084-256-k921909

The idea for Five started with a very vivid dream I had. I woke from it and immediately wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget it. Teenage kids in an underground setting, fighting some unseen enemy that was trying to take away their ‘space’ there. I can’t remember if the kids were magic in my dream, but they definitely had to be magic for my book!

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

This is another hard question! I love so many of the characters I’ve come to know over years of reading. I think I would choose Harry Dresden—the wizard from Jim Butcher’s amazing series. Harry very frequently makes me laugh out loud as I read.
I would eat . . . pizza, not because it’s my favorite food (it isn’t), but because Harry lives in Chicago and I’ve always wanted to try the pizza there!

Who are your favorite authors and why?

If I had to pick one favorite author it would be Brandon Sanderson—the man is a genius! He could re-write the phone book and make it epic. His Mistborn series is one of the few series I’ve read in my life that I was completely floored by the unexpected ending. I had no idea it was coming.
I also love Jim Butcher (see the dinner question above). His characters can have me laughing one minute and crying the next—always sitting on the edge of my seat.
And, J.K. of course. I could re-read the Harry Potter books a hundred times and never be bored.
I could add dozens more, there are so many amazing authors out there.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on Book 2 of the Five series. The first draft is done and has been through my awesome critique group, now I just need to find the time to sit down and implement their suggestions and fix a few things before sending it off the my publisher.

Where can fans find you online?

I have a website that can be found at They can also like my Facebook page, Author Holli Anderson. I have a Twitter account @HaAuthor and I’m on Goodreads.

Buy Five out of the Dark

Nicky, thank you for the interview. I hope you all read and enjoy “Five: Out of the Dark”.  A pleasure Holli, I’m looking forward to book 2!

Book Review: Shadow Embraced by Cheree Smith



No escape.

Those words haunt Scar’s dreams. She thinks the creature that terrorises her while asleep isn’t real, but when she’s abducted and taken to a reform school meant to contain creatures too dangerous to function in society, she starts to wonder whether she isn’t some monster.

She turns to an underground fight club full of vampires, werewolves and witches established by the students to control her urges, and who is she kidding, she loves to fight.

When fighters begin to disappear, turning Scar into the prime suspect, she must race to prove her innocence before her true nature is exposed.

The only problem is that she’s not entirely sure she’s innocent.

About Cheree SmithCheree-Smith-225x300

Cheree Smith lives in a country town in Australia as a high school English teacher where she writes paranormal, horror and dark stories for young adults. She enjoys listening to and learning about legends and myths, watching scary movies and dreaming up new worlds where monsters can come alive. When she is not in her writing cave she can be found listening to music, even dabbling in the occasional writing of music or reading.

Website –  Blog – Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads

My Review:

Shadow Embraced is a kind of Harry Potter meets Twilight, and although there’s nothing really new here, in terms of story line, it’s still a great read – especially if you’re a Twilight fan.

From a writer’s perspective the whole book is written first person present tense, which is really hard to maintain – so my hat is off to Cheree for doing this – keeping it present tense is a great way of cranking up the tension and keeping the reader in the moment. There were a few mistakes in there – but I’m assuming that’s because I had a galley copy rather than the finished manuscript.

The whole story was interesting and it encapsulates the whole supernatural world nicely. It was written exceptionally well and the plot was thought out – which is always a tick in my book as, with paranormal stories, it’s all too easy to simply rely on that aspect to make your work interesting.

Scar was a a slight let down as a character – she’s kind of two dimensional and the only interesting part of her is that she is a Dhampire. But, in her defense, it’s kind of a hard thing to find out – so perhaps she would be all-consumed by that and not much else.

I’d give Shadow Embraced 4 stars out 5 as I really loved the Twilight books and, in the absence of any new ones coming out any time soon – this really filled a gap.

Link through here for a competition

Link through here for a competition

Interview with Bonnie Ferrante

Bonnie Ferrante

Bonnie Ferrante

Bonnie is one of my fellow Noble authors and she loves living in Northern Ontario, Canada even though she spends most of the long winter indoor writing. She chants, bikes, gardens, reads, stitches, volunteers, studies the Dharma, paints, plays/works on the computer, attends live theatre, enjoys being trounced in scrabble by her husband, Fred, and is often found ripping up pieces of her yard or stripping furniture. She hates cooking and cleaning and loves her robot vacuum, (too bad it can’t move the furniture). Her son, stepsons, and extended family keep her young. Once upon a time, she was a grade school teacher. She has entirely too much imagination and not enough opportunity to indulge it.

Tell us about your publishing journey.

I wrote short stories for magazines and anthologies and a newspaper column while I taught part time. When I became a full time teacher, writing fell by the wayside, although I wrote plays for my drama club and worked with a Young Authors club.

When I stopped teaching, I decided to tackle novels, which is what I really wanted to write. Noble Romance Publishing accepted my first book, Dawn’s End. I wrote two sequels, Dawn’s End Poisoned, and Dawn’s End Outworld Apocalypse, which they also published. All three are ebooks and the last is also a paperback. They can be understood in any order, although they are chronological. The trilogy is speculative (a blend of fantasy and science fiction) and written for ages 16 and up.

I have two self-published collections of short stories. Some were contest winners and some were previously published in anthologies that are now out of print. Bouquet is a trilogy of Buddhist themed fantasy and science fiction stories. Inhale contains contemporary stories, some with a fantasy twist. They are available on I priced them at $0.99 as a way to bring in new readers.

My Amazon author page with links to my books

I am currently working with Tradewinds Books in Vancouver, British Columbia on a historical paranormal novel entitled Switch which will be out in 2014. It is about a young disenfranchised woman whose ability to see ghosts endangers herself and her family. When she has the opportunity to learn herbalism, it seems she may be able to contribute to her family’s survival, but this takes a macabre twist.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I always wanted to be an author. I just didn’t have the time, training. or confidence to pursue it full-time until 2009.

 What’s your views on social media for authors? Which sites do you recommend?

If you are just starting out, I’d say stay away from too much social media. It will eat up your writing time. There are, however, terrific blogs by authors and agents on writing that are invaluable. Also, keep abreast of what is happening in publishing. Some of the good ones are: Evil Editor, The Write Practice, The Creative Penn, and Janet Reid, Literary Agent.

Once you’ve reached the publication stage, it is essential to have your own professional facebook page separate from your family/friends one. Goodreads would be the next one I’d say was essential. You may want to have a blog, but if you are already struggling for writing time, I wouldn’t recommend it. There are so many out there now you really need to have a niche to pick up followers. Twitter and Linked-in can also be helpful.

My Facebook:

 Twitter: Bonnie Ferrante 


 What’s your favourite part of the publishing process?

The best part of writing is the first draft where my mind is free and I’m juiced at the prospect of what I’m about to create.

You’re currently writing a historical paranormal novel – what’s your fav time period and why?

I love Tudor Times in England (1485-1603). It was such a turbulent period in history, so full of extremes. Life was full of more than the usual amount of change: political intrigue, religious revolution, plague, war, female queens, and innovation in the arts.

When it comes to the paranormal – what still scares you?

I enjoy vampire and monster stories, but a part of me is always aware that it is fantasy. Ghost stories, however, shake my beliefs. There are so many strange incidents of haunting that I am never sure what is real and what is imagination.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Read and discuss what you read. Examine what propelled the plot forward, how the author made you care for and understand the characters, what worked, and what didn’t work.

Write every day. It doesn’t have to be something you plan on publishing. Be critical of your writing. Reread it and polish it.

Take writing classes, in person or on-line.

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