Who’s That Indie Author? Heather J. Bennett

Author Name: Heather J. Bennett

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Historical (1970s)/Romance

Books: Letting Go, Expecting to Fly

Bio: As a music fan, Heather focuses her writing on the undisclosed lives of musicians. She is the author of Letting Go and Expecting to Fly and the award-winning short story “Amsterdam” published through Southwest Writers. A native of Long Island, NY, she has been transplanted to Dallas, TX (y’all), where she works as a Marketing Coordinator.

What got you started as a writer? My 1st-grade teacher gave us an assignment and I’ve been a writer ever since.

What is your writing routine? I belong to a writing critique group that meets every Tuesday. A Zoom writing session every Thursday, another writing guild that has an ongoing café to use, plus a full-day writing retreat on the 2nd Saturday of each month, and in between, I try to write/edit at least 1-2 hours after work and on the weekends.

What route did you take to get your book(s) published? I am a self-published author learning more and more each day!

What things do you do to promote your books? I have a Facebook page, and an Instagram page, and am currently working on getting out now that the world is open again. I’d like to do some tabling events and readings. I just moved to the Dallas area and am still learning what it has to offer to authors.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? I like reading a variety of genres from YA to paranormal/supernatural to romance. I think I tend to read mostly YA because of the storytelling and they feel the most relevant to the world today.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? Oh, I much prefer dialogue!

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? My characters surprise me with every book! In Letting Go, my main character did something completely unexpected and I ended up crying at my desk – in the office because I was writing on my lunch break!

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? Getting a job offer here in Texas, finding someplace to live in Texas, flying home, packing up my house and storage unit, finding a mover, loading it all up and moving from New York – in FIVE DAYS. My new employer had no idea I was in New York – but I made it happen and it’s the best thing I’ve done.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life?  1. Moving to the Netherlands for 4 years. 2. Moving to Philadelphia for 18 years. 3. Moving to Dallas. With each move, I discovered more independence, and more places to explore, and learned that most people want the same things in life no matter where they’re from.

What would you tell your younger self? You don’t have to be the next greatest American author – you just have to keep writing. It will still bring you joy and the most interesting, amazing people will come into your life through your efforts.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I’ve never met a bear on a hike – but there is that meme… if you see me running, you’d better run, too!

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Oh, I always go for the Pop Tarts! They’ve got vitamins and nutrients, right? Almost healthy, even! (Doritos are a second choice, in case the vending machine gets stuck, but then I’d have Dorito breath….)

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? My kitchen only holds about 3. My friend’s kitchen, however? We had about 20 for Friends Thanksgiving each year.

Closing thoughts: I hope to be able to speak with you all soon!

Website and social media links:
Website: HeatherJBennett.com
Facebook: Heather J Bennett Novelist
Instagram: heatherjbennett_author
LinkedIn: heather-j-bennett


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? J.Q. Rose

J.Q. Rose

Author Name: J.Q. Rose

Genre: Mystery, Nonfiction, Memoir

Books: Your Words, Your Life Story; Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women; Arranging a Dream: A Memoir; Deadly Undertaking; Dangerous Sanctuary; Terror on Sunshine Boulevard; Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening

Bio: I’ve always been a writer in my heart, but being a mom and making an income were top priorities. I taught third graders until my husband and I decided to pursue our dream of being entrepreneurs in the floral and greenhouse operation. After we sold the shop, I had time to pursue another dream, writing as we traveled full-time in our fifth-wheel camper. 

What got you started as a writer? My mom. She was my second-grade teacher. When I finished my assignment, I’d visit my classmates. My mother was not happy with me for interrupting them in getting their assignments done. She told me to stay at my desk and write stories. So I did. And I guess I never stopped.

What is your writing routine? I set aside time to write every day after lunch. Sometimes it’s research when necessary. At first, it was difficult to sit down and write instead of finishing the laundry or reading a book. Now, if I have to miss my writing time due to an appointment or a meeting, etc., I resent it.

What route did you take to get your books published? After receiving 22 rejections from publishers, I self-published an eBook on Smashwords. I thought I would pull out all my hair before I accomplished this chore in 2010. For my first mystery, I decided to find a publisher after going through the frustration of self-publishing. I queried one who turned me down. I sent the second query to a startup eBook publisher who accepted the book. The publisher said they “liked my voice.” I’ll never forget that. Now I am a hybrid author with self-published nonfiction books and with mysteries and a memoir published by a traditional publisher.

What things do you do to promote your books? Virtual book/ blog tour, book signings and presentations, social media, an author website for blogging, hosting authors and being a guest at their blogs and podcasts. Plus, I publish a quarterly newsletter.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? Historical fiction to learn about 19th and 20th-century history.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? I love to write dialogue when the characters banter back and forth.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Yes, I thought I was writing a character who was so kind and helpful until it turned out she was a manipulator only looking out for herself. Did this change the plot of your book? Yes, she did. For the best, I might add.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? I haven’t really accomplished the job of being a mother, but it IS the most difficult challenge I’ve ever had and can still be today! I think one is always a mother even if the kid is old enough to collect social security. Grandmothering is so much more fun…

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? My Grandmother, Maw, really encouraged me to be a writer. My husband, Ted, has led us on a life of adventure and worldwide experiences. My friend, Bernie, instilled in me to be the best floral designer I could be and a businesswoman of integrity.

What would you tell your younger self? Stop spinning my wheels. Realize there are times when there is nothing I can do about a situation.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I have never met a bear on a hike; however, I have been in places with warnings that bears are in the area and read the posted signs that say “do not run.” To follow their advice seems impossible to me. I love to see bears but from the inside of the tour bus. 

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Snickers! What a treat to have loads of library books to read while munching a Snickers bar!

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Actually helping in the kitchen? Probably 3. But sitting at the breakfast counter or standing in the way e.g. in front of the refrigerator? Probably 10.

Closing thoughts: Thank you for the opportunity to be a guest on your series, Who’s That Indie Author? To the readers, thank you for stopping in today. I look forward to reading your comments and answering questions you have about writing. Please, keep in touch via the links below.

Website and social media links: 
Blog: Focused on Story
Facebook: J. Q. Rose, Author
Amazon Author: JQ Rose


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

In case you missed them! BCM post recap August 2022

Hey Everyone,

In case you missed them, here’s a quick look at Book Club Mom’s posts in August.

I read five books this month, one up from my normal four.

Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan – 5 stars. I’ve always liked survival stories and became totally engrossed in Steven Callahan’s first-hand account of how he survived for more than two months, alone in the North Atlantic.

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards – 4.5 stars. This Young Adult thriller is just as good or better than many of the adult thrillers I’ve recently read!

Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe – 4 stars. I was immediately affected when I listened to the audiobook of Toya Wolfe’s debut novel (published June 2022) about four young girls who live in the projects in Chicago and even more so when I learned that the author grew up in these projects.

The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex – 4 stars. This is a slow-burn atmospheric psychological drama that looks at the effects of isolation and separation.

The Party by Robyn Harding – 3.5 stars. About a month ago, I was getting a haircut and my stylist, knowing I have a book blog and work in a library, recommended this book, about a sweet sixteen party that went terribly wrong. I find books like this hard to resist and I wasn’t disappointed.

I made two YouTube videos and in one of them, I play the piano for you. I’m busy practicing and have a few more pieces that are almost ready to go.

RETRACTION!! Paperless announcement no good!

Book Club Mom is playing Bach!

I introduced two indie authors this month. Make sure you stop by
and read about their books and writing experiences!

Jacqueline Church Simonds

Jacqui Murray

Miscellaneous posts

First Novels by Famous Authors

BCM’s Touchy Topic Discussion: Should book bloggers rate books with stars or just review them?

Book on my radar: The Measure by Nikki Erlick

Grammar check: inbetween, in between, in-between or just plain between?

Book Club Mom’s Blog WOES and Other Obsessions

Thank you to these superstar commenters!

I hope you all had a great month. On to the next book!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray

Author Name: Jacqui Murray

Books: 6 books in the Man vs. Nature series; 2 Rowe-Delamagente thrillers; Building a Midshipman–the story of my daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy; and about 50 technology-in-education curricula books

Genre: Historical Fiction; Prehistoric Fiction

Bio: My first job was teaching in a dance studio I owned. That led to exporting wastepaper from a recycling center, installing cell phone antennas, and finally, a K-18 teacher. Because I had to write my own curricula, I realized I had a flare for writing and never looked back.

What got you started as a writer? Curiosity! I wanted to know how man survived when we had no defenses against the dangerous primal animals of our past. The available books dealt with artifacts and bones, not problem solving. It took about fifteen years, but I figured it out!

What is your writing routine? Because many of my daily tasks involve writing (teaching, write reviews for clients, and my own writing), I spend from 7 am to 6:30 pm writing. I take breaks every few hours, but my focus always is on writing.

What route did you take to get your books published? Like most of us, I tried to find a traditional agent for my first book, To Hunt a Sub. One showed interest, but we parted ways—amicably. When no one else stepped in to fill the void, I took the Indie plunge. I have never looked back.

What things do you do to promote your books? Other than my big book launch blog hop, I post to my Facebook page, my Linked In profile, and my Twitter feed. That’s about it!

What is your favorite genre to read and why? Westerns, hands down. The people in Westerns are hard-working, earnest, moral, task-oriented, and never quit. They share these qualities with my prehistoric folk so I enjoy reading how they solve incorrigible problems and face down enemies more powerful than they.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? No answer to that one! They both serve an important role in fiction.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? A resounding yes! In fact, I have an article I’ll publish in October with a long list of “What I learned from my characters.” This isn’t the first time, either. I had the same epiphany with my thriller characters and prior prehistoric fiction characters.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? There are so many, but arguably, the most difficult has been letting go of my two children. I want to step in, make everything right, tell them the decision they should make, but they’re adults. I can’t. They’re launched.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? It took a bit of thinking, but I figured this answer out: the forgiveness of God, the understanding of my family, and the purity of my many dogs.

What would you tell your younger self? Actually, nothing. There is a lot to be learned from mistakes. If I fixed all the things I did wrong, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? Because I read the Mountain Man genre, about the strong, independent folk who lived in the Rockies during the early 1800s, I actually know it’s not one thing. I would be aware of my surroundings. Bears have poor eyesight, so if I don’t move and I’m downwind, do they know I’m there? Is it a mama with her cubs (much more dangerous)? Is it a Black Bear or Grizzly? And all of that has to be calculated in about half a second.

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Can’t eat chocolate so that answer’s easy!

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? 10.5 (hehee)

Closing thoughts: Thank you for this opportunity to visit with your community, Barbara. This has been a lot of fun with unusual questions (A bear? Really?) Feel free to leave questions in the comments and I’ll answer what I can!

Website and social media links:
Website: jacquimurray.net
Blog: worddreams.wordpress.com
Twitter: @WordDreams
Instagram: jacquimurraywriter
LinkedIn: Jacqui Murray
Pinterest: askatechteacher
Amazon Author Page: Jacqui-Murray


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Looking for indie, self-published and hybrid authors – is that you?

Hi Everyone, I had an email incident last week and lost some replies to this post. If you emailed me about being featured and you haven’t heard back, can you email me again? Thank you!

Are you an indie, self-published or hybrid author looking for a way to tell the world about your books? Who’s That Indie Author is a great way to introduce yourself to readers. It’s also an opportunity to connect with bloggers and expand your network through connections on WordPress and social media.

Take advantage of a chance to show your talents. Submit an author profile and see your name travel from blog to blog and tweet to tweet!

Check out these recent Who’s That Indie Author profiles:

W. L. Hawkin
Bjørn Larssen
Leon Stevens
Mark Paxson
Geoff Le Pard
Darlene Foster
Christina Consolino
Anne Goodwin
Thomas “Buddy” Bardenwerper

Email Book Club Mom at bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Jacqueline Church Simonds

Jacqueline Church Simonds

Author Name: Jacqueline Church Simonds

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Books: The Heirs to Camelot series: The Priestess of Camelot (prequel); The Midsummer Wife (Book 1); The Solstice Bride (Book 2); Mistress of the Rose Moon (Book 3)

Bio: I have been writing for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil. Along the way, I have been everything from a lady’s companion, to a salesperson, to a rock band roadie, to a publishing consultant. Somewhere in there, I’ve written six books and ghostwritten an additional seven to eight.

What got you started as a writer? I always told myself stories. One day, my mom suggested I write them down. It took until I was forty to actually write a novel. (I have been a professional editor, so I was always in words.)

What is your writing routine? What’s that? Seriously, I write when/as/if I have time.

What route did you take to get your books published? I self-published my first book, Captain Mary, Buccaneer (I sold all three thousand copies and foreign rights to Italy’s Harlequin Mondadori). For this series, I went with a small press.

What things do you do to promote your books? I’ve done newspaper/radio/TV interviews, podcasts, website interviews and guest hosting, signings at bookstores/libraries/author events, a table at a garage sale, and a local convention.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? I read a lot of sci-fi, but I’ll read anything not nailed down. I post my quick Book Takes on my website.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? I often write a lengthy description, then turn it into dialogue because it reads better.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? Ava, the main character of my series, totally surprised me in the first book. In the first draft, I felt she was sort of lifeless. A fellow writer suggested I try writing in first person, so I could “hear” the main character clearly. I discovered Ava suffered from massive anxiety attacks/poor self-esteem/PTSD from a terrible event in her life. Although I went back to third person, it gave me a better handle on how to handle the character.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? I had a brain tumor and recovered almost fully from it. It changes the way you think about time and what you are doing here.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? Going back/finishing college in my thirties. Sitting down and writing that first novel. Recovering from brain tumor.

What would you tell your younger self? Own being a writer. Don’t give up because it’s hard and you’ll get no support. Get jobs writing. Write that big book that’s in your head. WRITE, DAMMIT!

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I stopped hiking long ago, but the best method for dealing with a bear is: don’t be where there are bears.

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? I almost went with Doritos, but then I’d get that fake nacho dust on my fingers and I wouldn’t want to leave that on the pages. I guess I’d get a Snickers.

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Ten? Last family Christmas at my folks’ place before they sold it. My kitchen is pretty quiet—my Hubbers is the cook and hates anyone else in there until he’s done.

Closing thoughts: I’ve been involved in publishing for twenty-two years. I’ve helped other people get their book babies published and launch their dreams. Indie and self-publishing is a great way to get our work out. We need more readers!

Website and social media links:
Website: www.jcsimonds.com
Facebook: @jacquelinechurchsimonds
Twitter: @jcsimonds (Caution: I am VERY political and this is where I vent.)


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Looking for indie, self-published and hybrid authors – is that you?

Are you an indie, self-published or hybrid author looking for a way to tell the world about your books? Who’s That Indie Author is a great way to introduce yourself to readers. It’s also an opportunity to connect with bloggers and expand your network through connections on WordPress and social media.

Take advantage of a chance to show your talents. Submit an author profile and see your name travel from blog to blog and tweet to tweet!

Check out these recent Who’s That Indie Author profiles:

W. L. Hawkin
Bjørn Larssen
Leon Stevens
Mark Paxson
Geoff Le Pard
Darlene Foster
Christina Consolino
Anne Goodwin
Thomas “Buddy” Bardenwerper

Email Book Club Mom at bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? W. L. Hawkin

W. L. Hawkin

Author Name: W. L. Hawkin (Wendy)

Genre: blended mystery/suspense/fantasy/romance

Books: Hollystone Mysteries—To Charm a Killer, To Sleep with Stones, To Render a Raven, To Kill a King, and Lure River Romances—Lure: Jesse & Hawk

Bio: W. L. Hawkin writes mysterious romantic adventures from her home on Vancouver Island, Canada. Wendy graduated from Trent University with a BA in Indigenous Studies, then went on to study English literature at SFU in British Columbia, and teach high school. She found her voice publishing poetry and Native Rights articles in Canadian news magazines and is now an Indie author/publisher at Blue Haven Press.

What got you started as a writer? I started writing poetry as a teenager to make sense of my world: “It’s a maze. It’s a haze. It’s a crazy place.” But when I saw Romancing the Stone in the 1980s, I wanted to be a romance novelist. Shortly after that, I wrote the first draft of what has become my latest romantic suspense release (Lure: Jesse & Hawk).

What is your writing routine? I write when the muse is with me and then for as long as my body holds out—some days six hours if I’m on, and other days not at all.

What routes did you take to get your books published? When I first wrote To Charm a Killer, I sent it to a few agents and publishers. I had some interest, but no one wanted to commit to a first-time author who wrote blended genres. It’s hard to sell.  So, I took a chance and published it myself. By that time, I’d finished my fourth book in the Hollystone Mysteries, I’d learned the ropes.

What things do you do to promote your books? I created a solid website and keep it updated. I enter contests and do readings/sales in my local community. Last year, I started working with a publicist who booked me on all kinds of media (TV, radio, podcasts, magazines) so I became comfortable talking about myself and my work (again, not easy for an introvert). I’m now able to approach people like you, Barb, and ask.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? Mystery/suspense is my favourite, no matter what century it’s set, and that’s what I write as well. Sometimes I venture into fantasy and action/adventure. I’m a regular reviewer with the Ottawa Review of Books so receive excellent ARCs from Canadian publishers.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? I don’t have a preference and you need to balance both in a scene to make it dynamic.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? Absolutely, and often. Once I connect with my characters, I meditate to get into an almost trance-like space where I can see and hear what’s happening. I’ve had reviewers say my writer is “cinematic” and I think that’s why. In To Sleep with Stones, one of the characters died in a very dramatic scene and I had no idea that was going to happen. I wrote that sequence in tears, and I think that raw emotion comes through to the reader.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? I quit high school in grade ten. In my mid-thirties, I was compelled to finish. One of the courses was Native Ancestry 11, and I had such an epiphany with that content, I wanted to go on and take university courses in Indigenous Studies. Coincidentally, I wrote the first draft of Lure: Jesse & Hawk, my latest release during that time. My ex-husband didn’t support me, so I left my marriage and completed my B.A. as a single mother going part-time to university courses for years. That was a challenging time, but also a healing time for me.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? One: reading The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell in 1990 blew open my world and taught me to follow my “bliss.” Two: leaving my marriage and taking my young daughter taught me many things about living in this world. Three: graduating from university and getting my first paying gig as a teacher gave me financial independence and a sense of moral/ethical living in a community.

What would you tell your younger self? Borrowing from my mentor, Joseph Campbell, I’d say follow your passion, your bliss, and doors will open for you. Bundle up your problems and leave them outside, then walk through that door carrying a sense of curiosity, wonder, and hope.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I sure have! I live in the Pacific Northwest on bear territory so regularly see them. Remember that you’re a guest on their land, back up slowly, and give them the right of way. Hawk meets up with a bear in Lure, and unfortunately, he’s unable to back up and walk away, but that’s another story.

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Doritos by default, despite the crumbs. I can’t eat gluten or cow dairy so until they start making junk food gluten free, and chocolate out of water buffalo milk and/or pure cocoa butter, I’ll stick to my corn chips.

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? In my whole lifetime? Probably a dozen at my parent’s wedding anniversary.

Website and social media links:
Website: Blue Haven Press
Linktree: https://linktr.ee/wlhawkin


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author Recap Jan-June 2022

Hi Everyone! Today I want to give special recognition to these indie authors and their books! Click/tap on their names to meet them.

From left Bjørn Larssen, Leon Stevens, Mark Paxson, Geoff Le Pard

From left, Darlene Foster, Christina Consolino, Anne Goodwin, Thomas “Buddy” Bardenwerper


And while you’re at it, take a look at some of the books they’ve written!


Would you like to be featured on Who’s That Indie Author? Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

Have you already been featured? No problem – share your author news on Book Club Mom’s Author Update.

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Bjørn Larssen

Author Name: Bjørn Larssen

Genre: historical fiction, fantasy

Books: Storytellers (historical fiction set in Iceland), Children (a dark Norse myth retelling), Why Odin Drinks (humorous Norse myth retelling)

Bio: Bjørn Larssen is a Norse heathen made in Poland, but mostly located in a Dutch suburb, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. He has a degree in mathematics and has worked as a graphic designer, a model, a bartender, and a blacksmith (not all at the same time). Winner of Queer Indie Lit award, Stabby nominee, Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Award finalist.

What got you started as a writer? In 2015 I tried to lift a massive Ikea kitchen unit and ended in a special profiled chair, only left to eat, sleep, and see doctors. I’ve always told people I’d totally write a book if I had time. Well, now I had all the time, a life I needed to escape, and a story demanding to be told…

What is your writing routine? I don’t really have one. There are days when I write for hours, followed by days when I just keep existing until I can go to bed and hope for a better tomorrow.

What route did you take to get your books published? During work on Storytellers, my debut, I was researching various forms of publishing. It turned out that traditional publishing had nothing to offer me except validation—after years of rejections from agents and editors, of course. I never received a single rejection, because I never sent a single query. I chose self-publishing and I have no regrets.

What things do you do to promote your books? I post silly stuff on Twitter and Facebook, I have a mailing list, a ko-fi page, a website in dire need of updating. I write guest posts or do interviews like this one 🙂 I’ve been just about to join TikTok for at least a year. Not that I’m afraid or anything…

What is your favorite genre to read and why? In 2019-2020 I went through lots of grimdark, then suddenly reality started doing whatever it is that it’s doing. I switched to romcoms and humour, and stayed there.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? Dialogue—once I find the character’s voice. Readers tell me my descriptions are great—the word “cinematic” gets used a lot. They have no idea what I see, hear, taste, smell, and fail to describe well enough.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? When I try to force a character to do something for the sake of the plot, they often cross their arms on their chest and announce “Nope, I wouldn’t do that.” Unfortunately they don’t tell me what they would do instead. It’s up to me to tweak the plot and hope they like the new one.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? Moving from Poland to the Netherlands. It was the best, the scariest, and the BIGGEST decision I have ever made. The only thing I ever regretted was not doing it earlier.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson and Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh are two books that literally saved my life. And… my therapist. After two years of c-PTSD therapy I’m such a different person that I need to get re-acquainted with myself. So far I seem quite nice.

What would you tell your younger self? Just because you are forced to do adult things, that doesn’t mean you’re an adult. Don’t be so hard on yourself. (Then I’d give him a long, warm hug.) And don’t lift kitchen units.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? In the gay community, a “bear” is a big, hairy beast of a man. I have met up with a bear or two on hikes. 😉

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Snickers. I don’t like Doritos (pauses for gasps to subside), I don’t know Fudge Pop Tarts, and I don’t like taking risks when I can only pick one.

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Oh, ten or so? In a kitchen made for two if they really like each other? Every good party ends up moving to the kitchen, it’s a law.

Closing thoughts: I always blank at open questions… um… Sam Ryder is a human golden retriever. It’s a thought, right?

Thank you so much for having me!

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