2017-05-01: Interviewed by Don Massenzio

Dear friends and readers,

You certainly have heard of author Don Massenzio, the creator of the Frank Rozzani Detective novels.

If you know Don, you know his blog. Do you happen to also know Don Massenzio’s ‘A Perfect 10 with …’ category? Today, his blog post with my interview went live!


As we did the interview a few weeks back, there is something new:  There are now two five-star-reviews for In a Small Compass – Vol. 1.  🙂

Please visit Don’s blog (https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/) and enjoy his interesting blog posts and shares on writing.


Interview – Lisa Burton (Wild Concept)




Dear readers,

please welcome today’s interview guest Lisa Burton (famous character of C. S. Boyack‘s book ‘Wild Concept‘ – Craig’s website: https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/)! You may also know her from my ‘FF: Neighbors!’ series (http://inasmallcompass.wordpress.com/)

This interview is my way of celebrating my favourite book character of the year 2014.  🙂



Lisa Burton walks into the interview room and sits down. She wears a chequered flag print leather jacket, a black knee-length skirt, and white pumps. She scrunches her strawberry blonde victory rolls and crosses her tattooed leg over the un-inked one.


Thanks for coming to our video conference today, Lisa. Nice jacket.

Isn’t it cute? I picked it up in Vegas.

So what did you think of Whitelyn?

I liked it. The desert is so picturesque, and the people are all friendly.

Did you enjoy working on the case with Sheriff Jim?

I really missed police work. It’s hard having all this high-tech gear and not being able to use it. I had to keep some of my abilities under wraps, but that’s nothing new. I’m glad I didn’t have to shoot anyone.

What was the most unusual piece of evidence in this case?

I’m upset about the poor monkey. Luckily, they have found him a new home in the meantime. I suppose the most interesting was the business card that used lenticular printing.

So it changed images depending on how you looked at it?

Right. Dumb and dumber thought it magically meant only Steve could dial the right number.

So did Craig like the story?

Lisa leans forward and winks.

He’s still crowing about being a character in a story.

She lowers her voice and wobbles her head to mock.

‘I even got dialog in episode 39.’

She leans back in her chair.

He has no idea what it’s like to be a character in a story. Let him try getting shot with a Taser, or finding your friend completely disassembled.”

So what do you think of Jim Burrell?

He’s such a nice man, and he really cares about justice. He cares for Lester and the other people in Whitelyn. He also seems like the kind who would be good to work for. He’s a little bit blind to other things around him though.

What kind of things?

Well, it’s kind of obvious Trudy has feelings for him. I think he likes her too, but he’s embarrassed to act on them. She would be a good match for Jim, and he ought to wake up to that fact.

If you received another call for support, would you do it?

I suppose that all depends. I’d love to help, but I have responsibilities too. If I didn’t need to be gone too long, and Craig would watch Bunny, I’d do it.

So when are you heading back to the Writing Cabin?

I’ll probably leave today. I took several casinos for a lot of money.

She leans her head to the side and speaks out the side of her mouth.

A lot of money.

She uncrosses her legs and sits straight.

They won’t rest until I leave town. I’ll drain my tear reservoir before leaving so it doesn’t freeze. There’s a big storm over central Nevada.

You have a lot of high-tech equipment. Can you tell me if there are really aliens in Whitelyn?

No. I mean, I am capable, but I just can’t tell you.

Oh, come on. It will be our little secret.

Lisa stands up and makes a locking motion over her lips.

Sorry. Thanks for hosting me; gotta ride.

Thank you very much for joining me here today, Lisa!


More about C. S. Boyack, Wild Concept and his other works


Review – Wild Concept

Review – Arson

10 Statements – C. S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack on Amazon


Interview – Ali Isaac on Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

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Dear readers,

please welcome today’s interview guest Ali Isaac (website: http://aliisaacstoryteller.com/)!

This interview is part of Ali’s blog tour to celebrate the publication of the second book in the Conor Kelly trilogy: Conor Kelly and the Fenian King.

Ali, thank you very much for stopping by and talking about the very important topic of self-publishing vs traditional publishing.  🙂



You self published your first two books, Conor Kelly and The Four Treasures of Eirean, and Conor Kelly and The Fenian King. Why did you choose the self publishing route over traditional publishing?

I was impatient, plain and simple! I wanted people to start reading my book straight away. I did try querying agents and publishers, but it’s such a subjective process. I was proud of my new book-baby, and I got sick of all the rejections, even though I knew everyone, even the most famous authors, gets them. The independent publishing scene was just starting to take off at the time. I watched it with interest, and after reading an article about Amanda Hocking’s success, I decided I wanted to be a part of this brave new wave of Indie authors.

What is the hardest aspect of self publishing?

Well, you have to be able to fulfil so many different roles within the publishing process, that you begin to feel like a jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none! It’s hard to find the time in the day to fit it all in without neglecting your other real roles, ie employee, mother, housekeeper, dog-walker, children’s taxi-service, you get the picture. So most of my writing and publishing work gets done in the morning while the kids are at school, and late in the evening when they are in bed. I am not at my most alert at these times, it has to be said! But writers are driven to do what they do, I don’t know why. It’s hard to be effective in such a wide variety of roles, too; we’re not all cut out to be great at editing, or marketing. Artistic, creative types are usually rubbish at the business end… all we want to do is carry on writing, not spend time formatting and tweeting.

Which aspect of self publishing do you enjoy most?

Of course I enjoy the creative side of what I do, the writing. It is pure escapism from real life for me. But there are other creative elements I have had to work on, too, such as designing book covers, and making trailers. I had never done anything like this before. It was quite daunting, but I surprised myself by really enjoying this side of my work. Of course I have a lot to learn still, but I’m heading in the right direction. There have been some unexpected pleasures, too. For example, I set up my blog to support my books, but in actual fact, my blog has taken on a life of its own, which I really love! And through blogging and the use of social media, I have come into contact with some really lovely people who have become friends, even though we’ve never met.

If a Big Six publisher came along tomorrow and offered you a contract, would you take it?

Ooooh, that’s a hard one! I’m sure I’d be very flattered and excited that a Big Six publisher found my books good enough to be willing to invest in me. I should probably jump at the chance, but I have worked so hard to achieve so much on my own… I’d hate to give that up and lose it. It would depend very much on the terms and conditions. If the offer was good enough to provide financial security for my family, I’d be mad to refuse! But the reality is, big publishers are not willing to take a risk on an unknown author in the current publishing climate. I may find myself with an editor, and an in house cover designer, but I’d lose all autonomy, and whilst it would be fabulous to see my books in print on the shelves in every book shop in Ireland, if the first print run failed to bring in enough dosh, my books would never again see the light of day. I’d still end up doing all my own publicity and marketing, and be handing over most of the income to the publisher for my troubles. On the other hand, having a smaller share of larger sales might be better than earning a larger share of not much at all, lol! At this stage, it’s not about money for me; it’s about my books being read.

So, what have you learned along the way on your self publishing journey, and what would you have done differently?

I learned that I did everything wrong with the first book! I hit the ‘publish’ button with absolutely no author platform to support me whatsoever, and the only people who bought my book were my friends and family! Now I have a blog with a clear message, a presence across social media, a mini blog tour, and a small following… my platform is petite but perfectly formed and growing. I’m in a much better place for the launch of the second book… did I tell you it’s available on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Apple from Monday 14th July, lol! With hindsight, I would have waited until all three books in the trilogy were ready at once, before publishing, rather than release them years apart. Indie success seems to come from keeping your head down and getting on with producing a catalogue of good quality writing, not by getting hung up on marketing or distracted by social media, and that’s just what I intend to do.

Thank you very much for joining me here today, Ali!


More about The Tir Na Nog Trilogy

Blurb for Book 1 – Conor Kelly and the Four Treasures of Eirean
Conor Kelly is not your average hero. Trapped inside a body he can’t control, Conor’s mind is as active and alert as that of any teenage boy. On the outside, however, he’s about as interactive as a lump of wood.

Then he meets Annalee. She claims to be a Sidhe Princess, some kind of fairy royalty, apparently. She offers to take him into the magical realm, where her people wield the power to help him. 

But is she just some child-snatching lunatic psychopath, or can she be trusted? On the other hand, what’s he got to lose? 

He soon discovers that Tir na Nog is not the benign, dreamy land of legend. Nor are its inhabitants, the Sidhe, the benevolent fairy folk of Irish mythology. To accept their help has a cost, but for someone who doesn’t value his life, death is a risk worth taking. 

With the blood of Lugh, God of Lightning, tingling in his veins, the boy in the wheelchair must dig deep, if he is to unlock the inherited powers dormant within him. Only he can defy disgraced Sidhe-King, Bres, who seeks to avenge himself on his brethren, and subject all mankind to his tyranny. 

In the race to recover the legendary lost talismans of power, the Four Treasures of Eirean, before Bres gets his hands on them and becomes invincible, Conor begins to wonder just whose side Annalee is on, as her chequered past comes to light. 

There are other obstacles, too; Ruairi, the Chieftain’s son, and worse, his own crippling self-doubt. Not that anything’s going to stop him. For the first time in his life, Conor finds he is not restricted by his physical limitations. Still, it’s not going to be easy. 

Nothing worth fighting for ever is. 
Book One of The Tir na Nog Trilogy begins an epic fantasy adventure which takes us back in time to the shadowy past of Ireland’s long lost legend, where fairy kings and Gods walk amongst mortals, and where feats of magic, swordsmanship and courage were customary.

Blurb for Book 2 – Conor Kelly and the Fenian King
It’s happened again. Somehow, Sidhe-Princess Annalee has embroiled Conor in another hopeless quest on behalf of her people, Ireland’s fairy folk, the Sidhe. Last time, he very nearly got himself killed. This time, things look even worse. 

For a start, Annalee can’t help him. She’s been imprisoned, accused of murdering her own father. The people of the magical realm are at war amongst themselves, whilst Tir na Nog crumbles into the sea and disaster strikes.

The sacred sisterhood of the Morrigan has arisen, wreaking havoc and destruction which threatens not only the future of the magical realm, but the world of mortals too. The Morrigan must be stopped, but how? The heroes of old are all long gone. 

Conor Kelly is just a boy in a wheelchair, but with the help of feisty side-kick Ciara, his drop-out cousin, Conor sets out in search of the mysterious Fenian King, prophecied of old to awake from his slumber beneath the green hills of Ireland, and ride to the aid of his people in their hour of greatest need. 

Along the way, Conor unearths a personal secret which undermines all he has believed about his own identity, throwing him deep into confusion. Floundering in the darkness of uncertainty and fear, the mortal boy must dig deep if he is to overcome his demons and save his friends. 

However, the search for the Fenian King is anything but easy. Known by the name of Fionn mac Cumhall, his exploits as leader of legendary war-band, the Fianna, are still told with awe today. 

So just where do you start your search for Ireland’s greatest hero? Well, first you google it, of course. Then you ask the cat…

Book Two of The Tir na Nog Trilogy continues this epic fantasy adventure which takes us back in time to the shadowy past of Ireland’s long lost legend, where fairy kings and Gods walk amongst mortals, and where feats of magic, swordsmanship and courage were customary.


Interview – David Coles



Dear readers,

a little while ago – on 2013-10-05 – I introduced British author David Coles to you by providing his 10 Statements (10 Statements – David Coles). On Friday, 2014-03-07, my husband and I had the great pleasure to meet him and his wife Jan at the National Railway Museum in York for a short interview.

David, you and your partner in writing, Jack Everett, have written awesome books for different genres. What is your favourite genre?

My favourite genre is definitely fantasy and science fiction, perhaps favouring fantasy slightly more. Like Jack, we grew up when UK libraries were stocking f&sf from Victor Gollancz – we didn’t know each other then, of course but we both used to wander round the shelves looking at all the yellow jackets: VG’s trade mark.

Researching for a story – do you enjoy it that much that you are already inspired for another book?

I enjoy researching, I think Jack finds it less enjoyable but in both cases, it can lead to another book. Since Jack is often the initiator of a particular book, my research goes on at the same time as writing, thank goodness for the Internet and Google maps.

How do you and Jack split your work on a book?

This has changed over the years. At the start of our partnership, we used to write alternate chapters and try to leave the hero in big trouble so the other had to get him/her out of it before continuing in the same way. Nowadays, Jack has graduated to thrillers at which he is better at coming up with ideas; so now, I follow along behind checking facts as I go and adding further ideas to the plot. A case in point is our forthcoming DI White novel: “Damaged Souls” (ms has just gone to the publishers last week) where I added a full preliminary chapter following the villain’s service in the Bosnian conflict and setting the scene for his subsequent activities in the UK.

What about post-processing – how much time does it normally take?

Post-processing, I assume you refer to editing and polishing; takes some months. Jack & I will read and polish the manuscript twice, sometimes more and then divide it into separate chapters to be dealt with by our editor at the publishers – Barking Rain Press. Ti Locke is an editorial director and fantastic editor and I count her very much as a friend. She queries words or phrases not used in America: … parked on the verge – no such thing: parked on the roadside grass. Just one example of how a common language separates our two countries. She also suggests connections or possibilities we haven’t noticed. That process takes at least 6 weeks: two checks through the manuscript with each chapter being returned each time with the queries and a final check once the manuscript is ready for printing and eBook conversion. Turning the edited work into print-ready copy is no small task either and must take its turn in the queue.

What is your next project – would you like to provide a little teaser?

We’re contemplating a fourth outing for our DI White – a more light-hearted Agatha Christie type of thing and just possibly, a third sf volume in the “Arcady” series, though not with Gyle Meredon this time (as far as we know). Adele has already started a second in the “Amaranthines” series; she wants to write 3 or 4 books, each one narrated by a different character; this one by ‘Uncle Max’ is set at the turn of the 12th century in Rome – now there’s a job and a half of research.

Preview – Prologue

Amaranthines series - preview:  Prologue

Amaranthines series – preview: Prologue


Thank you very much for these amazing insights, David!


Dear readers,

for more information on David Coles, Jack Everett, Adele Abbot, and their works, please refer to the following related articles. Further reviews are upcoming, among others Postponing Armageddon by Adele Abbot.

Related articles:

Review – 1/1: Jihad-Britain

Review – The Diamond Seekers

10 Statements – Jack Everett

10 Statements – David Coles