“My Sweet Valentine” by Jill Sanders

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, come to Oregon and find the sweet tastes of a something new.
My Sweet Valentine, by NY Times bestselling author, Jill Sanders

Grand Prize – Silver Baker’s Charm Bracelet as mentioned in My Sweet Valentine
2nd Prize – Cheryl’s classic treat box
3rd Prize – Jill Sanders novel of your choice

Synopsis ~
Sara Lander was back in town. She had big plans for her inheritance along with her freshly printed business degree and years of experience in some of Seattle’s finest bakeries, she has a rich idea for Pride. Sara’s Nook is going to be the next biggest thing to hit town. All she needs now is to steer clear of the hunky ex-Navy SEAL who is hell bent on taking all her focus away from starting her own business.

Allen Masters has been living in Pride for several years. Setting up a new branch of the Coastguard and training all the new recruits took years of skill and all his patience. But when he sees the black-haired beauty, who had come back into town, he realized she was the one he’d been searching for. Taking one taste of her sweets, he knew he’d be in for a sinful time, but losing his focus while flying into the eye of a storm was the last thing he could afford.

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My Sweet Valentine

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1d2ERvh
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/155jMej
B&N: http://bit.ly/1d4Ajo7
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1gp5Y4h
iBooks: http://bit.ly/1cn2CNl

SNEAK PEAK ~ Romance Author Fall Blitz

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September will have the BIGGEST giveaway I have ever done!! Over a DOZEN Lady Romance Authors have agreed to answer some very pressing questions; in traditional ‘Steph’s Book Retreat’ style of course. Dates are still TBA and the ‘official’ list of authors is still in the works. To date, we have 8 e-book donations for raflecopter and 2 gift cards!!! Check back next week for more details!!

Holiday Questions ~ Dana Delamar (repost)

This is a repost with an added bonus…. Dana has been busy with writing, her blog hop and other holiday festivities, that she forgot about her post here. So, I’m reposting her holiday question answers and she is going to giveaway 3 copies if her novel “Revenge” as an early Christmas gift. Just leave a comment under today’s post and 3 lucky commenters will get a copy.

1. Favorite Holiday Song & Movie

“Jingle Bells” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

2. Favorite Holiday Family Tradition

Opening the presents and having a big family dinner on Christmas Eve. I also love decorating the tree!

3. Favorite Holiday Food? Who makes it BEST?

Pumpkin pie. My friend Tommy made an awesome one last year from a Paula Deen recipe. Scrumptious!

4. Which of Santa’s reindeers describes you?

Vixen. Definitely! 😉

5. Do you decorate your home or office for the holidays? Religious or Secular? A mix of both?

I decorate my home. My decorations are mostly secular–I tend to like weird Christmas decorations, like raccoons, snails, hedgehogs, guinea pigs with Santa hats, that kind of thing. My tree is a little odd to behold, but I don’t have anything on it that’s not a real Christmas decoration that I bought in a store! I also like to buy Christmas decorations when I travel, so I have something special to remember my trips. I’ve got decorations from several countries (including Italy, of course!) on my tree.

6. Favorite Holiday Book(s)/reading

“A Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas. I get together with friends every year and we read it and have a big potluck.

7. This or That ~ Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? Turkey or Ham? Religious or Secular? Santa or Frosty? Hot Toddy or Hot Cider?

Hot chocolate AND egg nog! Ham! Secular. Santa! Hot toddy if I’m not driving, hot cider if I am!

8. What is your favorite part of the holiday season? Least Favorite Part?

Favorite part is watching the kids unwrap their gifts and having dinner with everyone. Least favorite: Taking down the Christmas tree!

9. Let it Snow or Holiday in the Sun?

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without snow. That said, if someone offered me an all-expenses-paid vacation somewhere nice and hot, I wouldn’t turn it down!

10. Favorite Childhood Holiday Memory?

Well, this isn’t a Christmas memory, but one year my dad got some snow and made bunny pawprints on the living room carpet at Easter and told us the Easter Bunny had just left our baskets. I’m sure my eyes were the size of saucers when I saw them. He had me convinced for years!

11. Stay up late and Wait for Santa or Bed Early?

Stay up late!

12. What is your Holiday wish??

A happy, healthy, and prosperous new year for everyone I know.

Author Interview ~ William Sewell

I am excited to share today’s interview with everyone. Bill contacted me here after he was referred here by Kevin Howard, my author interview from September 19th, 2012. I have had fun getting to know Bill over the past days as we set up today’s interview and worked out a few details for a SIGNED Book giveaway of his novel “Nonofficial Asset”. (giveaway details from post 10/6/12) Bill like the other author’s I have interviewed here has a sense of humor and shows great passion for his writing, even in our interview.

Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?

My novel is called Nonofficial Asset. For those who don’t know this, the CIA and other Agencies have people who work as contract spies. That is, part time, when needed. These people have special skills or knowledge and are also deniable if they are caught. Peyton Stone was a Nonofficial asset but thought he had left that behind to become an internationally known security expert. When he finds his business partner murdered in a Shanghai hotel room, he has to reach back to his CIA handler, Harry Morrison, for help in tracking down the murderer. Of course, there’s more to it than a simple robbery gone bad and as the clock ticks down to a nuclear attack by a rogue Iranian Admiral, Peyton and Harry race to untangle the threads across China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and finally to the Oval Office itself.

The inspiration to write actually came from my past and some of the things I’ve done that I can’t actually confirm or deny. My wife convinced me to make my experiences into a story. This particular story first came to me while working in Abu Dhabi. I was under contract to assist the government there with security for a new Guggenheim museum in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. This is a Jewish American iconic building sitting in the Arabian Gulf 40 miles from Iran. As we thought through attack scenarios, some of them were far out but plausible and my mind kept running with “What if…” and before I knew it the story sort of laid itself out and started writing.

What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write?

Absolutely thrillers. I’ve always been an adrenaline junkie from racing motorcycles and cars, to flying, to scuba diving. Now that I’m, shall we say “more mature”, I have to get my rush from reading and writing thrillers.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

Several years ago I had shopped a manuscript around and was getting good comments but no traction so I hired an editor in New York who was the guy who discovered Robert Ludlam and paid him to review the manuscript. He was brutally honest about the character development and basically told me to start over. I was crushed but undeterred and accepted that he was right. So I started over and did Nonofficial asset paying close attention to his advice. So far, the reviews have been 5-star.

When you sit down to write, are you at a computer or do you do it, the ‘old fashioned’ way with pen and paper? Do you prefer one way or another?

I use a computer. My very, very first novel, a historical thriller which went nowhere, was done in longhand. Well, “it went nowhere” pretty much sums it up. I like the instant gratification of seeing my work in print as I produce it.

What do you do in your down time? Do you pick up something from your ‘to be read’ stack?

Down time? I’ve heard of that.

Thinking back to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes to your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?

Most definitely. Advice I’ve heard for writers – and I forget where I heard this – is “If you want to write well, write a lot, read a lot, and then write a lot more.” I’ve found that this is the best advice ever. My style at first was a bit better than “See Jane run” but it was stilted and uninteresting. I find that most authors starting out suffer that. I read Ludlam, Berry, Deaver, Child, Flynn, Lynds and others and I took a little from each of them and folded it into my style. I’m now pretty comfortable banging out a story that I feel is good.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

I look for the basics: engaging characters, a good plot line that twists and turns, and that big payoff at the end.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?

My favorite part is seeing people enjoy my work. I got an email recently from someone who is a former journalist and now has her own PR firm. See said simply, “Got your book. It’s 3:36am. Still reading. I’m hooked.” That’s incredibly gratifying. My least favorite: dealing with agents.

When you walk into a book store, where do you head first? Do you go to bookstores or have you gone viral for your reading pleasure?

I head straight to the fiction thriller section, of course. Bookstores are suffering some but I think it’s the economy more than eReaders. Book stores are still a vital part of the industry.

Did you get to quit your ‘day job’ and become an author, or do you have a ‘day job’ and writing is something you do for fun?

First rule of authorship, never quit your day job. I still have a day job to pay the bills but I put “Author” first in my on-line profiles.

What is your favorite junk food vice?

Breakfast of champions: Cheetos Puffs and Peanut M&Ms.

If you could step into the shoes of your protagonist for one day, would you? What would you like to experience or see during that day?

I actually WAS my protagonist for a time. I can neither confirm nor deny what my experiences were. If I told you, they’d kill us both.

Did you have any teacher(s) in high school or college that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?

I had a teacher named E. Bowman Barr for three years of high school. He didn’t exactly encourage me to write but he did give me a complete tool kit. He was a stickler for proper grammar and also taught mental tags and tricks to help us get it right. Who vs whom and all that.

What do you listen to when you write?? Do you need quiet or do you find inspiration in music??

I tried listening to music when I write but found to my disappointment that I can only do one thing at a time. Lol

Who was your current novel dedicated too?? Any particular reason?

I dedicated it to my wife because she inspired me to write, believed I could do it even when I didn’t and simply supported the entire effort. She’s a wonderful person.

What are you currently reading??

The Twelfth Card by Jeffery Deaver. Lee Child’s new Jack Reacher book is on deck.

Is there anything else you would like to share or say to those who will read this?

“Buy my book!” lol Actually, to readers I’d say keep reading and teach your kids and grandkids to read a lot. Read to them and teach them the joy of a good story. To writers I’d say never stop. Remember that criticism is an opinion not a truth and you can always take opinions and learn from them. Just keep writing.

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Giveaway 5

Giveaway number five Will be a first for this blog. William Seawell will be giving away two signed copies of his newest novel “non-official asset” the winners will be chosen at random in one week. Please leave a comment under our interview on October 8, 2012, the following Monday two winners will be chosen at random to receive a signed copy.

The winners will be notified by email, Monday, October 15th in the afternoon; you must have a valid email address so we can get in contact with you. Please respond to the email upon receipt, instructions will be in that email letting you know how we will go about getting your free signed novel to you.

Thank you again and good luck

Author Interview ~ Linda Hays-Gibbs

Sometimes I get surprised by how much technology plays in connecting us with people we would not normally come into contact with, today’s author interview shows just how much technology plays a part of connecting us. Linda Hays-Gibbs tweeted to me a short time ago, I don’t check twitter very often, so getting an alert that I was mentioned got me to check, and I was surprised to see that Linda had. Doing a bit of research on Linda was all it took for me to add her on Twitter and on goodreads and want to do an interview with her. Linda is not like anyone else I have interviewed, she is candid in her answers, you can also see her passion and the way she describes herself in ‘4 words’ gave me a LOT of insight. Please enjoy today’s author interview.

 

Linda will be giving away a copy of her newest novel “My Angel, My Light as Darkness Falls” to one lucky commenter.

 

 

Please tell me about your current novel. 

 

“Angel in My Heart, Devil in My Soul “is coming out the first of November, 2012

 

What or who inspired you to write it?

 

My Daughter, Beatrice and granddaughter Sailey helped me to come up with the scenario. It was bandied about the living room.  They love to give me hints or make comments about my novels. We decided it would be great fun to conflict a hardened killer with a beauty he couldn’t kill. Making the killer a half-demon assassin of the Devil and she a half Angel only added spice to the attraction.  Then I have it set in Regency England to add more spice.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors and books? Did they influence or inspire your writing style and give you ideas?

 

 I love Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, Johanna Lindsey’s “Tender Rebel”, Barbara Metzger’s “The Primrose Path”, Terri Bruce’s” ‘Hereafter, Dina Rae’s “Halo of the Damned”, They gave me form, romance, humor, paranormal and horror aspects.  I hear them all in my head when I’m typing.

 

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

 

When someone tells you that they just don’t like your writing, it hurts and you don’t know how to fix what was wrong. I want particulars. Tell me what I did wrong.  I want to be a better writer.  I appreciate constructive criticism.   When someone tells you that they were transported and enjoyed your writing, you feel transported too.

 

This or That – Chocolate or Vanilla?? Coffee or Tea?? TV or Movies??

 

I take dark chocolate, coffee with real cream and Movies over TV.

 

When you sit down to write, are you at a computer or do you do it, the ‘old fashioned’ way with pen and paper? Do you prefer one way or another?

 

I put my computer on the coffee table, have a cup and think about being my character. Sometimes I have an idea in the middle of the night and I jot it down in my notebook or on my iPhone until I can get to my computer and put it into my book. I used to only write on paper, that helped me when I typed it because I did my rewrites as I typed.

 

What do you do in your down time? Do you pick up something from your ‘to be read’ stack?

I do but lately I have read all of them so I am looking for new books to read.  I have to read something all the time.  I know the TV is there but I am reading with it on.  I can’t get the stories I love on the TV or at the movies. They are not producing my kind of shows.  I love Regency Romances and the Paranormal.  It is just reality garbage and parastupid.

 

If your protagonist was a real person, what would they think about you? Would they want to hang out with you?

 

No, I don’t think they would like me.  I am a dreamer and I make all my people real.  They are people that are filled with action not dreamers.  They are doers with a course of action and a love to find.

 

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

 

I want romance, action, a little humor and a lot of twists and turns.

 

 When you go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice, what do you order? Do they know you by name or drink?

Double Latté or Mocha, no they don’t know me.

 

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?

 

My favorite part of being an author is all the great artist I have met.  They are so nice.  I love getting to chat with my best author.  It thrills me to be in contact with these people. My least favorite part is promotion because it is hard work. I want to write another book instead of promoting but if I don’t promote I don’t get to write the next book.  It is hard but worth it.

 

When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?

 

I go straight to fiction.  I have a degree in Anthropology and I love History but I want to get lost in Romance and fantasy. I want escape not reality.

 

Did you get to quit your ‘day job’ and become an author, or do you have a ‘day job’ and writing is something you do for fun?

 

I am retired. I wanted to write before now but my life was too busy.  Now I get to do what I love. Do you enjoy writing? Yes, why would I write if I didn’t love it?

 

What is your favorite junk food vice?

 

Popcorn and fudge but I had to give up the fudge.

 

Is their any movie you have seen that was based on a novel, which you think lived up to the novel?? What made it live up to the novel?

 

”Gone with the Wind” I think it was the best novel and the best movie of all time.

 

If you could step into the shoes of your protagonist for one day, would you? What would you like to experience or see during that day?

 

I would like to meet one of my men for an hour or two, or three.

 

Did you have any teacher(s) in high school or college that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?

 

In high school my Latin professor said my translations were all fiction and I should take up writing fantasy.  My Anthropology Professor said that I would not stick to the reality of the matter and wanted to follow unproven science.  I always made up stories since I was a little girl but had no outlet until now.

 

What type of ice cream could I find you eating on a hot summer day?

 

Rocky Road or fudge ripple with hot fudge syrup and pecans on top with maybe a cherry or two.

 

If we snuck a peek in your purse right now, what would we find?

 

Watermelon jelly beans, and juicy fruit chewing gum, coupons, my tribal card, credit cards, my nook, and a change purse.

 

We all have our little ‘things’ when it comes to reading or writing; is their anything that bugs you when you read a novel?

 

I want a story, not just sex.  Sometimes I think no one wants to read a real Romantic story any more.

 

Who was your first novel dedicated to? Was there a particular reason for that person?

 

My first book was poetry and I dedicated it to my granddaughter Sailey.  Its title was “Sailing in My Sunshine.”  It was all about thanking God and my grandkids for my life.  My next book was to my children. It was about the turbulent sixties and a romance born in such a tragic time.

 

This or That – Christmas or Your Birthday?? Chocolate or Flowers?? Cell Phone or No Phone?? Quality or Quantity??

 

Christmas because I love seeing children happy. Chocolate because it is the nectar of the Gods.  Cell phones because you can run your world from a little plastic device.  Quality because I want that in my life.

 

What do your friends and family think of your writing? Have they been supportive?

 

Yes, my family are supportive but they leave me alone when I am doing rewrites.  I tear out my hair and howl and groan a lot.

 

In 4 words, describe yourself.

 

Christian, loving, stubborn, generous

 

Is there anything else you would like to share or say to those who will read this?

 

Don’t let this world get you down.  Remember God’s love and honor His word and you will have peace and love. Those are the most important things to have in this life.

One of my great reviews for, “My Angel, My Light As Darkness Falls, which is for sale at:

http://www.ck2skwipsandkritiques.com/category/genre/paranormalromance/paranormal-ghost/

It is out now and getting great reviews.  Thank you for this opportunity and for having me for this interview.  My new book, “Angel in My Heart, Devil in My Soul” will launch Nov. 1st. The last in this series will be about the male angel called “Morovani.”

www.lindahaysgibbs.blogspot.com

www.lindahaysgibbs.pbworks.com

www.facebook.com/rosedru

www.twitter.com/rosedru63

 

http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615726028

http://rebeccaminto.blogspot.com/2012/03/my-angel-my-light-as-darkness-falls.html

https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/author-interview-no-394-with-multi-genre-writer-linda-hays-gibbs/

http://fullmoonbites.blogspot.com/2012/07/author-of-week-linda-hays-gibbs.html?zx=237f9f7579ca3067&m=1

 

http://www.goodreads.com/mobile/review/show/296000002

RoseDru@aol.com

I have five books published:  Sailing in My Sunshine, He Would Make Her Pay, Escape into Magic, My Angel, My Light As Darkness Falls, and soon to be out Angel in My Heart, Devil in My Soul.

My next book is called, “The Crazies” and I am writing it as we speak.

Author Interview ~ Kevin Howard

Today I get to introduce you all to Kevin Howard. Kevin has a wonderful sence of humor as I can attest to and after reading his answers to my atypical interview questions, I appreciate it even more. Kevin is a loving father and husband in addition to an author. Kevin has written a great Horror novel (I am excited to read it this winter).

We are also hosting an eBook GIVEAWAY. Winners will be chosen at random in 2 WEEKS!!! Winners will be notified between Oct 3rd & 4th. So make sure you leave a comment in order for a chance to win!!!

Please tell me about your novel. What or who inspired you to write it?

Yellowstone is suffering from the largest forest fire in the park’s history. Ranger JOE RAND, once passionate about nature and now drowning in alcohol after the recent death of his son, notices something is very wrong within Yellowstone after a string of disappearances. But when a fireman is found dead in the Old Faithful Inn after falling into a hole earlier that day, his body mauled and deprived of all its fluids, Joe knows he has no choice but to set down his flask and investigate. Joe and Lieutenant DALE CAFFEY of the Billings Fire Department go into the woods to search the hole the fireman had fallen into. They discover a series of tunnels lined with bones, the air thick with smoke. Joe and Dale conclude that the creature that had killed the fireman had left its subterranean dwelling to flee the overwhelming smoke from the fire above. The creature takes shelter inside the Inn, concealing itself within the darkened crevices, emerging to feast on passersby. After staging an evacuation of the park, they lock themselves inside the Inn to hunt the creature. After just a short while it becomes frighteningly clear that it is, in-fact, the creature that is hunting them.

Inspiration came very easy for this novel. I worked in Yellowstone National Park as part of a family tradition. My mother met my father there, and my sisters and uncle worked there. The park won me over with its beauty. I actually had a brush with death within the park. I had just gotten off of work and had decided to take a drive. I saw an animal dart out from the shoulder, so I swerved and pulled back too hard on the wheel. The car rolled off the shoulder and flipped several times, finally slamming into a tree. I hung upside-down, the lap belt anchoring me by my stomach, but I walked away without a scratch. It’s very easy to find inspiration from such an amazing experience.

Who are some of your favorite authors and books? Did they influence or inspire your writing style and give you ideas?

Stephen King will always be my favorite author. I will never forget giving a fifth grade book report on Salem’s Lot, and the look my teacher gave me. His imagination really inspired me to look at ordinary things from a different perspective, and to find terror in everyday places. I’m also a big fan of Ray Bradbury and Michael Crichton. My favorite novel is The Stand by Stephen King. It’s over a thousand pages long and I just wanted it to keep going. However, I don’t really get any of my ideas from these authors. Most of my novel ideas have come to me out of thin air and are completely random thoughts, like a bolt of lightning.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

I would hate to jinx myself, but I haven’t really had too much criticism toward my work. Possibly, the toughest problem I face is trying to show my family that this is not just a hobby. I guess their lack of faith did push me that much harder to get my novel as polished as it can be.

This or That – Chocolate or Vanilla?? Coffee or Tea?? TV or Movies??

Chocolate is my favorite…unless you give me vanilla covered in chocolate sauce. Coffee is a must. In fact, I usually go through four cups before noon just to keep my eyes open. Tea is a night time thing when I’m on vacation. As a side note, my family and I will be moving to the Big Island of Hawaii next year to work on a tea farm, so I guess I’ll change my answer next year. I usually prefer movies, because I like to have something lengthy on if I’m typing so I don’t need to bother myself with that need to flip through the channels. I’m definitely more of a night person than a day person and I usually do my best writing when I’m exhausted.

When you sit down to write, are you at a computer or do you do it, the ‘old fashioned’ way with pen and paper? Do you prefer one way or another?

I always sit down in the same recliner, with my laptop, around eight at night. When I was younger, I was definitely a pen and paper type of person. I hand wrote my first novel when I was about twelve…of course I didn’t have access to a computer then. When I was in my early twenties I worked for the calendar kiosk in the mall and I wrote an entire outline for a novel on register tape. I prefer my laptop. Anyone that has tried to read my handwriting would prefer it too.

What do you do in your down time? Do you pick up something from your ‘to be read’ stack?

I don’t think I have any down time. Most of my day is spent getting my children ready in the morning and walking them to and from school. Any spare moment I have is spent writing. It’s an obsession of mine and I have to do it every day. If my eyes are tired and I just can’t write, I would opt to turn on an episode of The Simpson’s. I have to admit that I love Homer. One of the first books I ever had signed was My Life as a Ten Year-Old Boy by Nancy Cartwright. I don’t really have much of a life outside of the home.

If your protagonist was a real person, what would they think about you? Would they want to hang out with you?

I would think the protagonist of this current novel would want nothing to do with me. Joe, my protagonist, is a loner with a drinking problem that wants nothing more than to disappear from the world. He would most likely think of me as an annoying stalker, for knowing so much about him. I don’t usually relate to my characters. I like to put myself in their shoes and imagine what I would do if I was faced with those challenges. How would I battle such internal demons or loneliness? What little games would I play to pass the time?

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

I don’t really put too much stock in what the cover shows me. I always read the back and then flip through the first chapter. I don’t place my interest within a certain genre, because I don’t think an author is defined by one topic. I write whatever comes to mind. I want to read something I’m not too familiar with, so I can experience something new. More than anything, I want to feel entertained.

When you go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice, what do you order? Do they know you by name or drink?

I always order a Venti White Chocolate Mocha at 120 degrees…I know it sounds like such an annoying order. I actually don’t care for white chocolate, but it just tastes so great first thing in the morning. I hate being super picky, as to ask for a certain temperature, but I need my coffee instantly or I pass out behind the wheel and iced coffee just doesn’t do it for me. They don’t know my name, but they do know me well enough to ask if I’m going to want that extra croissant or not.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?

My favorite part is the influence it has on my children. I would much rather have my children sit down at the computer and work on their book, because they saw me do it, than so many other things they could be doing. Plus there is nothing greater than doing what you love. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I’ve never wanted to do anything else. However, my least favorite part is stepping out into the public light. I would love nothing more than to sit at home and work all day, but I have trouble breaking away from the reclusive writer in me.

When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?

This sounds so odd, but it’s the travel section. I’m addicted to travelling. It contradicted the reclusive writer mentioned above, but I can be reclusive on a balcony suite aboard a cruise ship too. Then, after I get my travel fix, I spend my time walking down the long, fiction section.

Did you get to quit your ‘day job’ and become an author, or do you have a ‘day job’ and writing is something you do for fun?

I just quit my day job after six years. It was a wonderful day. I actually downloaded the Aretha Franklin song ‘Think”, and played it over my head, on my iPad, as I walked out. Nothing like leaving while Aretha repeated the word “freedom”; it was all in good fun.

What has been the strangest thing a reader has asked you?

Nothing really unusual has been asked yet, but I can’t wait for those awkward moments. A few readers have asked me about what it was like to work in the park, but that’s not really all that strange.

What is your favorite junk food vice?

Pizza! I probably order pizza once a week. It’s so bad on our pocketbook, but it tastes so darn good. My worst habit is staying up until three in the morning with a plate of pizza sitting beside me as I type, but it’s my brain food.

Is their any movie you have seen that was based on a novel, which you think lived up to the novel?? What made it live up to the novel?

I think The Stand did a pretty good job living up to the novel. Probably because it was an eight hour production, but other than that, I can’t really think of any. I don’t feel a novel could ever truly be transitioned into a movie. Some do a great job, but they always have to trim the fat, which ends up being the best parts. In a novel, I love that extra bit. That’s why my favorite movie is The Stand, because I want it to run long.

If you could step into the shoes of your protagonist for one day, would you? What would you like to experience or see during that day?

That’s a very difficult question for me. On the one hand, I would love to wake up in Yellowstone National Park and spend my days walking the peaceful trails, but then I’d also have to deal with an evil creature that’s hunting me, so probably not. Joe is a very nice man at heart, but he has too many skeletons in his closet. I couldn’t spend my days in such a beautiful environment spending every second trying to shut that world out. I would love to feel his passion for the park, but I’d hate to drown in his sorrows. I suppose my answer would be not to spend a day in his shoes.

Did you have any teacher(s) in high school or college that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?

No, not really. My teachers were rather odd. I went to high school in southern CA and I don’t recall any of my teachers ever taking an interest.

What type of ice cream could I find you eating on a hot summer day?

I would have to say just a few scoops of chocolate. My favorite flavor is Gold Medal Ribbon.

We all have our little ‘things’ when it comes to reading or writing; is their anything that bugs you when you read a novel?

I hate spelling errors, which is kind of funny, since I’m a terrible speller. But I have my novels edited multiple times to make certain that they sound smooth.

What do you listen to when you write?? Do you need quiet or do you find inspiration in music??

It’s all about the mood I’m in at that time. When it’s late and I’m trying to calm my mind I go for Mozart’s Requiem, but then ten minutes into writing I might switch over to Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’. I love all kinds of music. My playlist ranges from techno to the Beatles. I do like it loud though, no matter what I’m listening too.

On a Friday night, what can we find you doing? Who are you with?

My Friday routine is the same as my Monday and Tuesday routine. After the kids are put to bed, you’ll find me downstairs in my recliner. My wife and I are probably two of the most boring people, because we’re happy to just stay home and hang out with our kids. I guess we might have the occasional pizza delivery driver stop by, but we’ve already gone over my love of pizza.

What genre(s) are you looking forward to most exploring during your writing career??

I would love to write more science fiction. I have always been fascinated with worlds and civilizations far beyond our own. Science fiction can be such a beautiful genre if done well. It’s a powerful feeling being able to create entire worlds and environments from scratch.

Who was your current novel dedicated too?? Any particular reason?

Faithful Shadow is dedicated to my wife and children for obvious reasons. Without them my novel would still be sitting within a little folder on my computer’s desktop. My best friend, Justin Van Uden, was an easy choice. He has always been a fan of my writing. He and I have been friends since I was five, and he was always there to listen to my crazy ideas. My good friends Hillary and Luke Melin are so very creative. I chose to dedicate the novel to them as well for all the moral support they offered through this entire process. No matter how busy they were, Hillary and Luke always found the time to read my samples or a query letter. I also made sure to thank my parents and my sisters as well.

What are you currently reading??

Right now I’m reading several “how to” books about promoting on Amazon.com, because a writer is used to just writing and not having to worry about all the marketing. In fact, writing a novel is easy compared to promoting it.

Is their anything else you would like to share or say to those who will read this?

Always follow your heart. I know that sounds super corny, but it’s great advice. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was young. I used to carry notebooks out with me during P.E. so I could write each morning. If you have a story to write then write it. I have maybe an hour or two to write in between working and raising the family, but if you take that hour or two, eventually it will get done. Also, I encourage anyone and everyone to visit my website at www.Authorkevinjhoward.com to see a ‘behind the scenes’, if you will, look behind my book. I have a slew of information about Yellowstone and my experiences that lead to the creation of Faithful Shadow. You can also read sample chapters of my upcoming novels. Please feel free to contact me for any questions and please enjoy the novel. I would also like to thank Stephanie for this wonderful opportunity to connect with all of you.

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