Tag Archives: Virgin Mary

Nov 11

Brian L. Thompson, ‘The Revelation Gate’ Author, Guests with Mike Angley

MA: Brian L. Thompson, Great Nation Publishing’s President/Sole Proprietor and author of The Lost Testament, is a licensed educator, and former professional journalist.

He showed an early interest in classical literature and the arts, particularly after his poem, “Black Sunday,” received an honorable mention in Gwynedd-Mercy College’s literary contest for high school students in 1993.

A 1994 North Penn High School graduate, he continued his education at Morehouse College in Atlanta. While there, Thompson wrote for the Maroon Tiger newspaper; moving up the ranks from staff writer, to Sports Editor, and finally to Editor-in Chief.

After earning his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English in 1998, he transitioned to a staff writer position at Montgomery Newspapers.

In 2000, his second as a professional journalist, he returned to the field of academics at Temple University, earning a Master’s Degree in secondary education in 2001.

Thompson then turned to education at West Charlotte High and Newton High schools respectively while simultaneously researching and writing his first Christian fiction novel, The Lost Testament – a project self-described as a “faith-based tale with everyday characters engaged in a thrilling plot.”

During this time, he also helped edit author Sabra Robinson’s anthology of inspirational stories entitled The Lost Sheep: How I Got (And AM Still Getting) Over the Hump – A Personal Account of God’s Restoration After Doubting His Purpose, the Church, and Human Existence.

He and his family reside in Georgia.

That is one impressive set of credentials, Brian. I am pleased to have you as my guest today. It sounds like you’ve spent a career between writing and teaching.

BLT: Well Mike, I’m a born writer and educator. I’ve been writing since I was 13. Professionally, I’ve taught in public schools. I was also an award-winning journalist for a time at a weekly newspaper. In May of last year, I resigned from teaching English and journalism to become a full-time writer and motivational speaker.

MA: What brought you to pursue writing novels?

BLT: I’ve always had a passion for writing and reading. As much as I believe I was called by God to do what I’m doing, I love to read an action-packed story with a redemptive message and I just don’t think the market has enough of that right now.

MA: I know what you mean. My own stories feature faith as a major character attribute of my protagonist. Did you find inspiration for your novels in your professional career in academia and writing?

BLT: I find that everything that I’ve done professionally, from teaching in the classroom, to clearing dishes at a restaurant, has added to the flavor of my particular brand of literature. But all of my characters are composite; there’s no one character I modeled after a particular person. In my first novel, Kelley James is a mixture of my deceased maternal grandmother and a few other older relatives.

MA: Tell us about your latest project.

BLT: The Revelation Gate is my most recent novel and is what would probably be called historical Christian fiction. It’s the story of one man’s journey toward becoming the deliverer of his people. There’s a love story, political intrigue, a racial war, and a message of redemption that my literary friend Michelle Sutton called “mind blowing.”

MA: Who’s the protagonist?

BLT: The protagonist, Chimelu, is really representative of what I imagine a flawed hero would be: fearful, unsure, lonely, and confused with these amazing abilities that transcend comprehension. I armed him with those characteristics, and as I put him in these terrible situations, the character sort of wrote himself.

MA: Would you describe him as courageous?

BLT: He’s a hero, so the courage to do what is right in the face of wrong is there. He puts the welfare of others above himself. At the same time, he’s confused because his destiny is kind of cloudy for most of the book. And he falls in love with a girl whose culture and religion put them at odds. He struggles with that.

MA: I assume your hero has a villain or two that he must struggle against?

BLT: There are a couple of “bad guys.” There’s Kgosi I, who is the king in power at the beginning of the book. He is cruel, but he’s nothing like Kgosi II, his son, who murders him for the throne. There’s Kaizari, who is a self-proclaimed emperor who has managed to live 800 years. Zarek is a kind of puppeteer behind it all.

MA: Is there much of your real life in The Revelation Gate?

BLT: There’s always a little bit of me in every book. My experiences in being an indie publisher and DIY publishing advocate factored into it. One of the books major themes is whether or not to sacrifice your wants for the greater good of others.

MA: I understand you have both a new book in the works and a speaking platform venture. Tell us about them.

BLT: I launched a motivational speaking platform in July called P.E.G.H. (Positioning, Empowerment, Guidance, Honor) that really has to do with my belief in DIY publishing. I’m compiling a non-fiction book to complement that. I’m also penning my third book, The Anarchists, for release in 2012. It’s the story of how an unemployed structural engineer, a currency trader, an aspiring marine, and a stay-at-home mom try to save two worlds from destruction.

MA: Do you thread your stories together in any way, like sequels or recurring characters?

BLT: I like to think that all of my characters play a part in the same universe. My first book, The Lost Testament, kind of ended on a cliffhanger, and The Revelation Gate will have a sequel or prequel. The Anarchists features ties to both of those books. Anything else, I guess we’ll have to see!

MA: Thanks, Brian! I am pleased you were able to stop by and guest with me today. For my readers, be sure to stop by Brian’s blog for more information about him and his writing: http://blthompson.wordpress.com/ Read More

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Nov 04

Kenneth Weene Visits with Mike Angley

MA: A New Englander by upbringing and inclination, Kenneth Weene is a teacher, psychologist, and pastoral counselor by education. Ken’s short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous publications including Sol Spirits, Palo Verde Pages, Vox Poetica Clutching at Straws, Legendary, Sex and Murder Magazine, The New Flesh Magazine, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Daily Flashes of Erotica Quarterly, Bewildering Stories and A Word With You Press.
Ken’s novels, Widow’s Walk and Memoirs From the Asylum are published by All Things That Matter Press.
Welcome, Ken. Tell us more about your background. I’m interested in how being a psychologist and a pastoral counselor have helped shape your writing.
KW: I’m a psychologist by training and worked in that field for years. I’m also an ordained minister. You will find echos of both psychology and ministry in my novels, but I guess that’s obvious when you see Memoirs From the Asylum as a title or the cover of Widow’s Walk.

MA: Have you always wanted to write novels?
KW: I always wanted to write. Retirement has given me the opportunity to pursue that goal. I started with and continue a combination of poetry, short fiction, novels, and even some non-fiction. However, novels are especially fulfilling because they allow me to create a world and explore its truth.

MA: With at least two of your titles finding their inspiration in your career, did you base any characters in them from people you’ve met or worked with professionally?

KW: Clearly Memoirs From the Asylum is rooted in my professional career and is set in the state hospital in which I did part of my training. However, the characters are more drawn from my life than my professional contacts. I know that may sound a bit strange, but there it is. I took the people from my life (including myself) and wrote them large.

Widow’s Walk is actually more connected to my professional experience. The idea came from a family with which I worked. People sometimes ask me which of the characters in Widow’s Walk is based on me; they always think they know the answer. Their guess Arnie Berger, the protagonists love interest, a college professor. Not so. The home health aide, Jem, is my alter ego in this book.

MA: Are your stories character driven or plot driven?

KW: I write literary fiction for adults. Both books focus on language and character more than plot. That is not to say they lack plot, only that I start with the love of words and of people in their creation. I do have another novel ready to come out; it’s a conspiracy novel and much more plot driven.

MA: Tell us about your protagonist(s).

KW: In Memoirs From the Asylum there are three protagonists, an unnamed narrator, a catatonic schizophrenic (Marilyn), and a psychiatric resident (Buford). The narrator and the resident are both drawn from my own character. Their stories draw in different ways on my own biography. I started the book with the narrator, who is tormented – among other things – by his cousin’s suicide. My cousin, his death. The family madness is my family’s. Buford’s connection to me is perhaps simpler to understand: me as therapist. One major difference: my wife and I are still very much in love, and she is extremely supportive.

Marilyn is drawn from some strange place that has no real world corollary. I imagined her full cloth from my sense of what catatonic schizophrenia must be like. A couple of people who have experienced psychotic breaks tell me I did it quite well.

MA: So what’s next? I assume with your extensive writing credentials that you have something planned.

KW: I have two other novels finished. One is the conspiracy novel I mentioned above. The other is a set of interconnected short stories based on the characters who make their home in a bar in Albuquerque. I should mention that this book, Tales From the Dew Drop Inne: Because there’s one in every town is set as far from my personal experience as I could get.

I have another novel under way. Set in New England and very meditative in form except for the science fiction inserts from the protagonist’s writing career. I hope to finish this one at The Writers’ Colony, where I will be spending a three week residence this fall.

MA: Thanks, Ken! I appreciate you stopping by. I want to point my readers to your website where they can learn more about you and your stories: http://www.authorkenweene.com Read More

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Nov 03

Available for Preorder! ‘Child Finder: Revelation’

Finally! It’s less than a month away now. Child Finder: Revelation will publish on December 1, 2011, but it is available now for pre-order via Amazon. It’s currently available in hardcover and paperback, but the eBook should be coming soon.

Get one in time for Christmas! Read More

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Nov 03

But What Are They Eating?

Please stop by Shelley Workinger’s blog to read my guest post with her. She runs a unique website dedicated to food in books. I dish out (pun intended) some culinary morsels from my newest novel, Child Finder: Revelation. Read More

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Oct 28

Shadow Series Author Ashley Dawn Joins Mike Angley for an Interview

MA: Author Ashley Dawn was born and raised in rural Arkansas where she developed her love for writing while helping in her parent’s office. She graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Central Arkansas but is currently working as a legal assistant. Ashley has been writing professionally for the past seven years and has two published books. Her first book, Shadows From The Past, was originally published by Tate Publishing and is considered more of a traditionally published book while the second, Shadows of Suspicion, was published by self publication using AuthorHouse. She is currently working on multiple projects including the third in her ‘Shadows’ series entitled Shadows of Pain and also a standalone mystery about a serial killer that remains untitled.

Ashley also has a review blog to share her love of reading, Ashley’s Bookshelf, where she reads and reviews books of all genres. (http://ashleysbookshelf.blogspot.com) She and her family make their home in Texas.

Tell us about what you do when you’re not writing.

AD: Well, I wrote my first book at 19 so there isn’t a WHOLE lot of background. I was a college student studying Biology and enjoying life. Now, I’m a legal assistant at my husband’s law firm and wound up getting a degree in accounting instead of biology…neither of which I would use in this job! I bring my children to work with me every day (ages 3 & 1) and deal with mainly criminals throughout the work week. It’s a blast!

MA: Between that job and those degrees, how did you end up writing novels? There has to be something I’m missing…a passion, perhaps?

AD: Honestly, I think it was a way to control something in my life. The move to college from high school was a bit surprising because I went to a small school where everyone knew everyone and the teachers went out of their way to know you and help you. From that to college where you are just in a sea of students and more than likely your professor has no idea who you are; it was shocking! I found that I was in LOVE with writing. Telling someone else’s story and sharing my faith through it just seemed perfect for me!

MA: Does your professional career inspire your writing? Are any of your characters based upon real-life people with whom you’ve interacted?

AD: I know my professional career now inspires different stories for me to write. I get a lot of material through my work, things you just can’t make up, and using things I know happened (even if it is just a variation of it) makes my stories all the more real to me. I do base my characters off people I know. Mainly they are family and friends. Their attitudes and physical descriptions are combinations of different people and my family loves guessing who they ‘are’.

MA: Tell us about your books. What genre do you write?

AD: My latest book Shadows of Suspicion is the sequel to my first book Shadows From the Past and focuses on Kerry Reiley and Luke Reeding. Kerry is supposed to be the ‘safe’ one of her family as she is a second grade teacher but because of who her brothers are, she is kidnapped by a madman. Her brothers bring in Luke to rescue her and the two of them meet in a less than pleasant way but have an instant attraction. They have to elude the madman, figure out why he is chasing her and try to understand the pull that brings the two of them together. The genre for this book is Christian Romantic Suspense.

MA: How did you develop Luke’s character?

AD: Luke is a combination of several of my male family members. I see my brother, father, grandfather, nephews and even a couple cousins in him! I think he is the best of each of them and a bit more added to it :) He needed to be strong to keep up with Kerry (who incidentally is a big mix of my female relatives) and he needed to fit in with the rest of the characters, not remain an outsider.

MA: I assume then, that you pulled the strengths from each of your family members who make up Luke’s composite, and imbued them in him?

AD: I think Luke’s main strength is he knows what he is good at and excels in it. No matter if it is rescuing a friend’s sister or disarming a bomb, he is going to get the job done. His weakness is not understanding his past and how it affects his outlook on life and holds him back. He isn’t open or really even in touch with his feelings and that is detrimental to him as a person.

MA: And the madman (or men?)?

AD: Well, in my first book, Shadows From The Past, the bad guy was Charles Deveraux. Shadows of Suspicion kind of picks up that thread and uses Charles’ son Chris and his second in command Jim as the bad guys. They operate a drug ring that the police have been trying to shut down for years and they are very good at evading all the ‘traps’.

MA: What’s next in the Shadows series?

AD: I’m currently editing my third book in my Shadows series and it is titled Shadows of Pain. Hopefully I will have it out later this year. I’m also working on a book that is a different story line all together. It doesn’t have a title and is about an attorney and a doctor trying to save a young girl and find a serial killer.

MA: I wonder if your husband will make an appearance in that last book…what about characters from the first two, will any of them surface in the subsequent series books?

AD: All of my characters seem to make an appearance in my Shadows books in one form or another and I’m definitely going to continue to tell the characters’ stories. Each one seems so real to me that I think they deserve their own stories and in that way, a book. I’ll focus on a different set of main characters but I have no doubt there will be several more books come from my Shadows Series.

MA: Excellent, and thanks for stopping by! Read More

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Oct 21

Gothic/Horror Author Gemma Mawdsley Descends Upon Mike Angley’s Blog Today

MA: Gemma Mawdsley is a full time author living in Limerick. Though first published at the tender age of ten-years-old in a local newspaper, she wrote many stories over the years just as a hobby, and did not think about … Read More

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Oct 14

Diane Piron-Gelman is Mike Angley’s Guest Today

MA: D.M. Pirrone is the nom de plume of Diane Piron-Gelman, a freelance writer and editor with nearly twenty years’ experience in both fields. No Less In Blood is her first mystery novel.

A Chicago native, history buff and avid mystery reader, Ms. Piron-Gelman is a longtime member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She lives on the Northwest Side with her husband Stephen and two sons, David and Isaac.

Thanks for being my guest today, D.M. It sounds like you’ve always enjoyed writing.

DMP: I’ve always been into words, both written and spoken. I was a voracious reader as a kid (still am!), and I also got bitten by the acting bug way back in second grade. So telling stories is a huge part of who I am. The only thing that changes is the medium: onstage or on paper.

After I discovered the absolutely brilliant mystery writer Ruth Rendell, I decided I wanted to see if I could write that kind of book. So I tried my hand at it, and found I really enjoyed playing around in the mystery genre. Meanwhile, I was acting in non-Equity (union) shows in Chicago and working a day job as a staff writer and editor for FASA Corporation, an SF/fantasy roleplaying game publisher. There’s a lot of fiction in those games, so that job gave me plenty of practice in writing action-packed adventures and more atmospheric, “color” pieces designed to give players the flavor of the game universes. Plus, editing other people’s work let me see where certain flaws were in my own writing.

MA: What an interesting job! I’m not much of a gamer (does Pong sound familiar?), but my kids are. I have watched them play those RPGs and never really gave much thought to the writing effort behind them. What brought you to writing novels?

DMP: I like to say I write novels because I don’t know when to shut up on paper… More seriously, though, I chose to write novels because I like to write big, complex stories that need more words to tell than you typically have in a short story. I’m also a history nut, and so far everything I’ve written spends at least some time in a past era. To fully convey the nitty-gritty of earlier times, you need room as well.

MA: You’ve enjoyed a professional career in the writing business in various facets, so I assume this helped prepare you to be an author?

DMP: My professional career is as an editor, which I think helps my writing… Some of my characters are partly based on real people, though I tend to take bits and pieces of people I know and blend them. That way, I get enough real-life experience to let the character ring true, without actually depicting a specific person on the page.

MA: Tell us about your first novel!

DMP: My debut novel, NO LESS IN BLOOD, is a mystery with a strong element of suspense. It’s about Rachel Connolly, an adoptee who goes looking for her birth family and ends up a target for murder because of a hundred-year old legacy that she never knew existed. The legacy stems from the disappearance of a young rich girl, seventeen-year old Mary Anne Schlegel, who left her small-town home in northern Minnesota and vanished at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Rachel’s and Mary Anne’s stories unfold together throughout the book, which takes place partly in the present and partly in the past.

MA: A period novel, too. How did you craft Rachel’s and Mary Anne’s characters?

DMP: I’m an adoptee myself, so I used my personal experience to describe Rachel’s feelings about family and identity stemming from that. She’s not completely autobiographical, but there’s a lot of me in her. For Mary Anne, I drew on every teenager’s desire to break out and join the world on her own terms—an impulse given greater strength in her case by the realities of the time period in which she lived, where women’s roles were greatly restricted on the one hand, but there was also a sense of greater freedom just over the horizon.

MA: What are their strengths and weaknesses?

DMP: Rachel is a lot braver and tougher than she thinks she is, but those strengths haven’t been called on until the events in the novel. She sells herself short a lot and thinks of herself as a wimp because she’s nervous about what she calls “stupid things,” like talking on the phone to people she doesn’t know well or driving the S-curve along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. She’s very bright and funny, and she also takes things to heart—which can be a weakness or a strength depending on how it’s applied. As for Mary Anne, she’s stubborn—a weakness and a strength combined. She has a dream, and she’s going to achieve it… but the same stubbornness that lets her defy her father and leave home also gets her into serious trouble. She has a lot of courage too, but is more aware of it than Rachel is. Both of them have a lot of heart.

MA: And the antagonist(s)?

DMP: NO LESS IN BLOOD has a couple of bad guys, only one of which is an actual killer. That one, a con man with a violent streak, is largely based on a thoroughly unpleasant person I had the misfortune to know during my early twenties. He’s long gone from my life, thank goodness. The other bad guy is driven to what he does by a combination of greed and fear—specifically, fear of losing his shot at a sense of belonging that he’s never had. The legacy ties into that, hence the greed; but he’s less greedy for the money per se than for what else he thinks it will bring him.

MA: Other than helping shape Rachel’s character from your own life’s experiences, did any real world people, places, or events influence your story?

DMP: The small town of Birch Falls, where a large part of the story takes place, is a blend of two real towns up in Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range: Hibbing, where my brother and sister-in-law live, and Taylor’s Falls (where we visited Judy Garland’s house once). As to plot events, not really. I made those up out of whole cloth.

MA: So what’s next in your writing career?

DMP: My agent is currently shopping around the first of a planned series of historical mysteries, set in Chicago just after the Great Fire of 1871. The principal characters are Francis Hanley, a rookie Irish detective with a checkered past, and Rivka Kelmansky—the headstrong, misfit daughter of the rabbi whose murder in his own synagogue turns out to be Hanley’s first case. Hanley and Rivka form a strong emotional attachment in the book, though neither of them acts on it much (it being 1872, and with the cultural divide between them). I plan to develop that relationship throughout the series, which I’m hoping will run to at least 4 books. I’m about halfway through the second one now, which centers on the murder of a former Civil War soldier and abolitionist lawyer who knew one too many secrets about one too many people. Hanley has to figure it out, and the process is going to cost him.

MA: That sounds like an interesting series! Any plans to continue the story from your debut novel, perhaps a sequel?

DMP: I don’t as yet have any plans for sequels to NO LESS IN BLOOD, though a few people have suggested it. The Hanley/Rivka series will feature both of them throughout.

MA: Thanks, D.M., for being my guest today. I would encourage my readers to check out your website for more information about you and your stories: http://www.dmpirrone.net/ Read More

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Oct 07

Weyman Jones, Author of ‘Messages” Guests with Mike Angley

MA: My guest today is Weyman Jones. Weyman began his writing career with magazine fiction and then published three books for young readers. His historical novel for pre-teens, The Edge of Two Worlds, went to seven printings and earned the Lewis Carroll Shelf and the Western Heritage Awards. Reviews of MESSAGES, his fourth mystery/suspense novel published by Five Star/Gale, describe it as a “great thriller filled with action and misdirection.”A graduate of Harvard, he served as an enlisted man and a junior officer in the Navy and then had a career as a corporate public relations executive.

Welcome aboard, Weyman, and thanks for your service. Have you always enjoyed writing?

WJ: The writing virus got me as a child. My first published piece was a short story written in college. I wrote a couple of historical novels and a non-fiction book for children, and then my day job in corporate communications began to take all my energy. Retirement gave me the opportunity to focus on what I always wanted to do.

MA: Why did you choose novels to write?

WJ: I didn’t. My choice was short stories, but literary writing isn’t my thing and the popular market for stories disappeared soon after I broke into it. My first books, historical novels for children, were somewhat like extended short stories, but they forced me beyond incident into narrative structure.

MA: So tell me about your new book. You say you’re not a literary writer, so this is a genre novel?

WJ: Yes. I write what’s called mystery/suspense. There’s always at least one dead body in my books, but I subscribe to the James M. Cain doctrine that “all art is redemptive”. The real mystery is not whodunit, although that can be involved, but why, and how discovering that answer changes the people involved.

MA: What was your most interesting technical problem in developing this story?

WJ: The killer sends messages by murder, and one of the victims is just a message form, like a Western Union blank. I needed to make the reader care about her but I didn’t want to slow down the narrative with back story. I invented an email dialogue with a former lover. The bittersweet exchange to keep alive a failed romance reveals the value he still places on her, which makes her death significant. Writing this made me a little teary.

MA: Did any of your real-life experiences factor in to the plot at all?

WJ: Messages involves a corporation under attack by an advocacy group. I’ve learned that the corporate response to a public relations crisis is usually to circle the wagons. The lawyers advise that every public utterance may show up in court, which of course is true. But a siege mentality invites a siege. Look at the way BP handled their blowout oil-well. There was no way they could have avoided damage to their reputation, and I think they eventually did a lot of the right things, but first they made so many defensive and blame-shifting statements that they dug their grave with their own corporate mouth.

MA: So you will continue to feature the same protagonist in future stories? Will any other characters migrate over to future books?

WJ: I think a novel shouldn’t just quit, it should end. Making that happen in a satisfying way that still grows naturally out of the characters is often the toughest part of the whole process. I have to do it one story at a time. I’ve never been interested in writing a series.

The working title of my next book is Evil in Return. That’s from Audin, “Those to whom evil is done do evil in return.” It’s about a contemporary Cherokee who believes he should avenge his ancestors by killing descendants of those wronged them. The aboriginal Cherokee had a belief system like that. This guy wants to revive the ancient tribal values by posting videotapes of his payback on YouTube for the Cherokee to see.

MA: Very interesting, Weyman! Thanks for guest-blogging with me. I invite my readers to visit your blog to learn more: www.weymanjones.com. Read More

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Sep 30

Multi-Published Author Michael Parker Joins Mike Angley Today

MA: Michael Parker worked as a maintenance technician in the Royal Air Force and the food industry. His primary trade is electrician. He was in the Merchant navy for a couple of years before joining the RAF. He has also worked in the Middle East. Michael retired at 55 and moved out to Spain with his wife Pat.

Following that Navy career, why did you choose to write novels?

MP: I didn’t choose; it is something I have had in me for as long as I can remember. I’m not interested in poetry or short story writing.

MA: You are a prolific writer – seven published novels – please tell us about some of them.

MP: I wrote NORTH SLOPE, published by Macmillan in 1980. The novel is a thriller and was inspired by the search for oil on the North Slope of Alaska in 1968. I was described as a ‘Gifted Narrator’ by the Financial Times. The accolade didn’t seem to help with my writing career, and I have since taken care not to attribute too much to reviewers’ opinions, good or bad.

MA: How did you develop the character of your protagonist?

MP: In my first book, NORTH SLOPE, I based the main character on the actor, Anthony Quinn, and imagined how he would portray the character in a film. He’s tough, determined, and a trust of his own gut instincts. His weakness was alcohol which he overcame.

MA: Who is the antagonist in the novel?

MP: One who many people believed I should not have killed off. This was Conor Lenihan, ex IRA terrorist and SAS soldier who was the ‘star’ of THE EAGLE’S COVENANT’. Even now I wonder if I should resurrect him, but as a writer I believe I have a moral duty to stay on the side of good against evil.

MA: I imagine with your love of writing novels that you have something planned for the future?

MP: I am now waiting the publication of THE BOY FROM BERLIN in December. In the meantime I am in the process of publishing my novels in paperback and Kindle. Two of these are now available on Amazon: NORTH SLOPE and A COVERT WAR. I am currently researching my next novel, which is set on the Mexico/USA border.

MA: Is there anything else you would like to tell my readers or potential reviewers out there?

MP: My reference to reviewers should point out that the comments I value the most are those that come from strangers who have nothing to gain by saying how good or bad I am. One chap phoned his daughter in Spain at 11.30 one evening to say he had missed his favourite TV programme because he couldn’t put my book down (THE EAGLE’S COVENANT). I have had other comments similar to that, which I really do value. Unfortunately they rarely sell books!

My website will give you a better insight into the type of person I am and what kind of novels I write. www.michaeljparker.com Read More

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Sep 28

Habitual Mistakes? Mary Deal Tells Us All About Them!

Habitual Mistakes
Mary Deal

Any error in writing, no matter how simple, can be jarring to the reader and we need to strive to keep the misspellings from showing up in our work.

Pointing out one of my habitual mistakes may save another person’s writing as well. Often, I find myself making one particular mistake and simply had to find out what was causing it.

I know how to spell. I know how to key and I’m fast at it. However, one same mistake kept showing up in my work. I try to catch them all but see that I miss a few now and then. It’s embarrassing to turn in a manuscript with that kind of error. It’s embarrassing to publish online and have the whole world see it. It’s particularly embarrassing for me since I write about all aspects of writing correctly. What a hoot!

As I became aware of this nemesis of mine, it narrowed down to one particular word habitually showing up in place of another. I studied the way I used the keyboard and then realized the accidental spellings began happening after I bought a new keyboard. Now I was getting somewhere.

I watched my hands as I typed and found what I was doing wrong, I double checked myself and typed sentences over and over with that one word included. Surprise! What I learned was that I probably made this mistake all along because the faster I type one of my fingers doesn’t reach high enough on the keyboard. Instead of typing or my finger falls short and types of.

While the mind does not see these words – of and or – while reading, they are still there and in plain view for anyone keen to editing, whether in actual editing as work or simply editing a story as they read. In my case, my mind did not see the interchange of these words as I edited my own manuscripts, not even when I read them out loud.

As a result, I am left to do a search for both of these words through all the work I produce for public viewing, and that includes my book-length manuscripts as well; at least until I can re-train my keying ability.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre. Read More

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