Category Archives: Author Spotlight

Writing Tips from Well-known Authors

Writing success comes down to hard work, imagination, more hard work, passion – and then more hard work. Even if you are an absolutely fantastic writer who will be remembered for years to come, you will still most likely receive a good amount of criticism, rejection, and possibly ridicule before you get there.  It happens to everyone, no matter whom they are, and should come as no real surprise. These writers, having been through it all, offer us some writing tips without pulling punches.

  • I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee
  • A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?. George Orwell
  • Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. ― Kurt Vonnegut
  • In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it. — Rose Tremain
  • You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking its good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. — Octavia Butler
  • You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ― Jack London
  • Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution. — Michael Moorcock
  • Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one was not driven on by some demon that one can neither resist nor understand. — George Orwell
  • There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham
  • If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King
  • The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’— Helen Simpson
  • Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.– Anton Chekhov
  • Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
  • The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.— Neil Gaiman
  • If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do. – William Zinsser
  • Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf Shenk
  • Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain
  • The first draft of everything is shit. -Ernest Hemingway
  • Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there will always be better writers than you and there will always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you. ― Neil Gaiman
  • You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ― Ray Bradbury
  • Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. – Lev Grossman

Even famous authors on occasion have a tough time, and often go through periods of self-doubt.  So take a lesson from them and never give up.  Don’t put off your writing plans.  There has never been a better time than now to realize your dream of becoming a published author.  Tell your story and let your voice be heard!


A Writer’s Secret Ingredient?

Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

Perusing the web this week I discovered a guest post that I found to be particularly outstanding and possibly very helpful to other writers. It was a recent post from author and guru of all things writing and publishing, Jane Friedman.  I regularly get her newsletter, Electric Speed, which contains a myriad of information for writers. (I highly recommend subscribing to it, by the way.)

The post is about a secret ingredient that can keep readers riveted to your book down to the very last line, rather than lose interest and have it fall to the floor.  The guest was C. S. Lakin, a writing coach, workshop instructor, blogger and award-winning author of 30+ books.

So, check out this post at the following link –


Forthcoming book The Atrium

3rd Annual Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale!

July 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021

Why is it called “Summer/Winter”?   Here in the Northern hemisphere, it’s mid-summer. Readers are loading their e-reading devices for summer beach reading and long-awaited vacations. South of the equator they are now in the middle of winter. They’re ready to curl up in front of the fireplace and enjoy a great read too!

Hello to all the readers and authors out there!  All my eBooks will be on sale for 50% off, so take advantage and stock up on plenty of books to read over the summer/winter.  You will find every type of genre with books from terrific authors all over the world. It’s an opportunity to find exclusive discounts from your favorite indie authors and discover new future favorites. So, check it out at SMASHWORDS.COM.

I’m currently working on a new book called The Atrium and a possible cover reveal will be up on my website soon.  In the meantime, I am continuing to do some Spring Cleaning on my digital content to make improvements and move forward into 2021.  Can you believe it’s half over already?  This year seems to be flying by.  Enjoy your Summer!

See you soon!


Fantasy Writing Tips From “Game of Thrones” Author, George R.R. Martin!

“Game of Thrones” is back for the final season.  Who hasn’t watched or at least heard of the TV show, “Game of Thrones?”  The author, George R. R. Martin, has been writing Fantasy books for years before this series came out.  I have been a fan of his for a long time.  Since I write Science Fiction/ Urban Fantasy myself, I was curious what his thoughts were on the subject.  This article on the site,, peaked my curiosity.  Here are his top 10 writing tips for Fantasy:

  • Don’t limit your imagination
  • Choose your point-of-view characters to broaden the narrative’s scope
  • It’s okay to borrow from history
  • Talk to real people for a believable point of view
  • Grief is a powerful tool but don’t overdo it
  • Violence should have consequences _ so spare nothing
  • Avoid fantasy clichés
  • The world is full of “grey” characters to draw from
  • Juggling lots of characters takes skill and luck
  • All men must die, but we don’t have to give way to despair

To get the details of each of these tips, click on the link below and enjoy!

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.”

                                                                                    George R.R. Martin

If you have any tips that have been helpful to you, I’d love to hear about them!  Have a great day!


Check out my Dragomeir Series and Prequel books at my website – 


Where Do Writers Write?


I came across a very interesting site, The Next Best Book Blog, that not only gives you an idea of where writers come up with their creations, but shows pictures of these locations. (If you’re like me, you will love being able to visualize where the creativity originates.) It is a weekly series that features a different author every week. I have always loved books, and as an author I find it interesting to see where other writers are generating their masterpieces. So here’s the link – Enjoy!


P.S. Where do you write?  I’d love to hear from you!

The Next Big Thing – Authors Tagging Authors!

The Next Big Thing – Authors Tagging Authors!

I am thrilled to take part in The Next Big Thing: Authors Tagging Authors! I was tagged by the fantastic Caron Rider and I’m excited to keep this going! So now I have to answer the questions below, tag a new set of 5 authors, then they answer, tag authors, etc. I’m answering questions about my Urban Fantasy novel, The Emerald Dragon, coming soon!


What is the working title of your book?
The Emerald Dragon, Book One of the Dragomeir Series

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It came from an incredibly vivid dream that I had.  I thought that it was time for not only books about dragons, but to explain that dragons are actually smarter than we are and interact at the human level.

What genre does your book fall under?
Urban Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Main character – Tanis:  Viggo Mortenson
Queen Mother : Morena Baccarin
Demi – human form: Dakota Fanning
Basiliskos – human form: Ving Rhames
Invectum – human form:  Chris Hemsworth
Dragons – in dragon form: Themselves

And for the authors I have tagged:

Eden Baylee, Author of Spring Into Summer
Kay Glass, Author of Just One Bite
Michelle Muto, Author of Don’t Fear the Reaper
Alex Laybourne, Author of Highway To Hell
J.A.  Schneider, Author of Embryo

Many thanks to my friend and fellow Indie Author Caron Rider for tagging me! I hope you’ll keep it going…there are so many talented authors out there!

Author Spotlight – Kay Glass

Paranormal Romance Author - Kay Glass

Happy Friday everyone! Today’s visitor is one of my very good friends and I am extremely honored to have her here for Friday’s Author Spotlight! She is an incredibly genuine and supportive person that I am always pleased to work with.  Kay is a very talented writer with an engaging and emotionally intense vampire series – the “Just One Bite” Series! She just recently released the third installment, “Taste Of Grief”! I highly recommend adding Kay’s series to your TBR list!

So, without further ado, here is the interview with Kay!

Name three interesting facts about yourself.

1- I often have at least 3 books that I’m reading at one time. One for the bedroom, one for the living room, and at least one on my Kindle!

2- I’m married to my high school sweetheart- we’re approaching 6 years of marriage in November. We couldn’t wait to get married, so we actually got married at the courthouse on Black Friday!

3- I’m only 5’2″, so I have to sit on cushions piled on the chair to reach my desk to type!

What do you do when you are not writing? Any hobbies?

Definitely! Spending time with my family is top priority. We like to take the kids swimming, to the playground, on family bike rides, or just sit around and play dice games! When the kids go to sleep, my hubby and I either watch TV or play Xbox.

Favorite movie(s)?

Oh so many, especially in the horror genre, but my favorite of all times is What Dreams May Come! I also love 80’s movies- The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire… the list goes on!

Favorite music?

Almost anything! I write to music, so what I listen to depends on my mood that day. Usually a whole bunch of Evanescence, Godsmack, and especially Rattlesnake Charivari, an indie band I’m addicted to!

Is there anyone who has influenced/encouraged you to write? Who and how/why?

My friends were a huge support, and when I told my mom I was writing a book, she was very supportive, since writing was always a huge part of my life. And I probably would have given up before finishing Love Bite, my first, if not for fellow indie author, Aiden James. He believed I was a writer before I was willing to consider myself one, and answered every question, no matter how strange!

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

That’s almost like asking me to pick a favorite child! I simply can’t do it. I read nearly everything, from zombie stories to horror to romance to erotica. I read everything I can that my indie friends publish, but I also look forward to certain series, like the House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.

Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with your first piece of fiction?

With Love Bite, I started writing it long-hand. When I finally had a working laptop, it took me nearly a month to copy and edit what I’d already written so I could finish the story. I had over 70 pages written long-hand and it was a disaster! When I finally looked into publication, Aiden mentioned self-publishing, and I never looked back. I never even bothered submitting to agencies or publishing companies.

Did you listen to any particular music for inspiration while writing the “Just One Bite Series”?

Not so much for inspiration, but I do have a set playlist of songs I keep on shuffle while I write. Again, mainly Rattlesnake Charivari and Evanescence, but there’s also some country, some oldies, and even a few instrumentals.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I just write! Even in school, I’d write my paper first, then I’d go back and do my outline and brainstorming. I just can’t write an outline.

What inspired you to write a vampire series?

Paranormal stories were hugely popular, and I was reading a lot of the House of Night series, all of the Twilight Saga, and even rereading ‘Salem’s Lot. I don’t even remember what made me decide on the storyline, but it just came to me, and I sat down and started writing.

In your personal opinion, why do you think people are so fascinated with vampires?

There’s something so dark and fascinating about being immortal. And vampires are now being portrayed as young and sexy, so that heightens the appeal even more. “Wow, he’s gorgeous, and he’ll always look that good!”

Have you ever considered writing a book in first person with a male lead character?

Awesome question, as I haven’t even announced my intention to do so yet, but yes, I’m getting ready to. One of my characters from the Just One Bite series is getting his own background tale. So many people ask me about Eamon, so I decided to write his life story. The prologue is in third person, but the first chapter will pick up back in the 1700’s in Ireland when he was still human, and it’ll be written in first person.

Tell us a little about the third book in the Just One Bite Series, “Taste Of Grief”.

Taste of Grief picks up after a life-changing event that ended Bitten By Regret. Diandra and Lizbeth aren’t speaking, and the women need to do some serious talking to rebuild their damaged relationship. Adrian steps onto the scene as well as their new live-in housekeeper, and he’s also a Wiccan, which is disturbing to Diandra as she doesn’t understand the difference between black magic and white. Also, bodies are turning up all over Bethany Beach as Lizbeth and her boss, Alexar, race to stop the madman injecting his victims with a heart-stopping dose of cocaine. They’ll be bodies, blood, romance, adult content, and some character changes that’ll surprise those who enjoy the series!

If your series were to be made into a movie, who would play the lead roles?

Oh boy, that’s a tough one! Maybe Evan Rachel Wood for Diandra, Dakota Fanning for Lizbeth, and definitely Paul Walker as Eamon.

Can you tell us about your upcoming project/book?

Which one!? I’m actually writing Eamon’s Story right now, as well as the fourth book in the series, titled Bite of Envy. I’m also writing an erotic short story series under the pen name Kendra Glenn. My mood for the day dictates what I work on, and three entirely different projects keep my mind active and satisfied.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism would have to be the reviewer who misunderstood an important scene in Love Bite and suggested that I was supporting domestic violence/ spousal abuse. That one stung, as I am a survivor of it myself. And the best compliment There have been so many, like when a certain indie author referred to me as a “sure bet!” That made my month, and still makes me smile.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Never give up! If you think it’s not good enough, don’t destroy it! Set it aside, work on something else, and maybe you can come back to it and fall in love. Never give up, never stop writing, and always believe, if you’re writing, you’re already a writer!



Kay Glass

Kay Glass is the author of the Just One Bite series, the short stories Heaven Can Be Hell and Table of Blood, and the upcoming Strange Curses series. She also writes and publishes under the pen name Kendra Glenn. She lives in Delaware with her husband, their two children, and a variety of beloved pets. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, swimming, and spending time with her family.


Kay Glass Blog Kay Glass Facebook Kay Glass Twitter


Love Bite, Bitten By Regret and Taste Of Grief by Kay Glass


Diandra Malone is only 28 years old when her life changes forever. Years of infertility left her depressed, but she’s finally pregnant. Before she has a chance to process the news, she finds out her husband has been brutally murdered.Lizbeth Snyder was a cop before she was framed for a crime she didn’t commit and kicked off the force. Living a desperate life on the streets, salvation comes from the oddest direction: the finding of Jonah Malone’s body.Now she’s living a wonderful life with Diandra and baby RaeLynn. The downside? Diandra is a vampire, and Lizbeth is being hunted by a very dangerous vampire- dangerous, and held in high esteem in the community. What will the future bring for these women, and how will Diandra handle her new vampire life? Find out how life changes with just one bite…




Four months can change so many things. Diandra has come to terms with being a vampire and what that means for her. Lizbeth has landed a new case, and it’s a nasty one: someone is selling tainted heroin on the Delaware streets, a potent mix that’s intended to kill. Jonah returns, seeking a favor from his former wife, and grudgingly from her new love as well. Is a favor all he wants, or is he seeking a way back to the life he had before? RaeLynn is older, growing more every day. This special baby has more tricks up her tiny sleeves!Lizbeth races the clock to stop the tainted drugs from killing anyone else, while Diandra deals with the regret she feels over the twists her life has taken with just one bite. 




Diandra and Lizbeth are back, and this time things are very different. Cocaine overdose victims are turning up in Bethany Beach and Lizbeth and Alexar are busy trying to clean it up. But when a surprising twist turns the case upside down, Lizbeth may have to compromise all she holds dear to make things right.District Attorney Giles Carson has plans for Lizbeth, as well. He’s not done with her, and he’s not forgiven her for ruining his clandestine efforts. Now a death threat hangs over her head and Diandra won’t just stand aside and let someone come between her and the woman she loves.The more things change, the more they stay the same- until they change again with just another bite.


Excerpt from “Highway to Hell” by Alex Laybourne

Highway to Hell by Alex Laybourne

“Think of this as Purgatory – I will try to keep to your simple way of categorizing things. There are many places just like this, realms or realities that exist alongside your own, within your own, and a near infinite number which exist in the different pathways of time. This you will see for yourselves, I am sure. These worlds exist to house those who had died. To allow them time for contemplation, and to give us time to judge them. Some worlds are filled with those who led a righteous life, one worthy of a happy eternity. Others are fire realms, nothing more than holding pens for the cattle that will be marched below to where out fallen brother leads his hedonistic life. Then there are many filled with lost souls; empty, lonely places void of all feeling; ghost worlds filled with those that were forgotten, left behind when it was their time to rise… or fall. These worlds all exist separate from each other. Those who dwell or wait in one know nothing about the others. Although memory of your own world remains, given time it fades. Those in the fire realms seem to remember the longest. They are the ones who grasp onto their human memories, as if it could somehow help them find redemption. While those who are righteous are given a mere taste of what awaits them and realize that there was no point to their lives. They are a short test which will determine your place in eternity. Pass and you will be rewarded, fail and punishment is a certainty, do neither and you will be destined to carry on living your mediocre existence in a world fitting to the task; a place such as this, for instance. This community, if you would like to call it that, is long abandoned. The souls simply fell from existence. In these outer worlds the boundaries that keep them sustained are weakened, bending all the time. It is not unheard of for these dimensions to disappear along with everybody in them. This was where we needed to bring you, for it is here that the boundaries are weakest. There is a war coming, a fight that has been brewing beneath the surface of all worlds since before time, and it is here that the first tears will appear. Once they start they cannot be stopped, and given time the barriers will break and all worlds will collide. Your earth, your mortal life, the kingdom of God will come crashing down from the heavens while the fiery underbelly of Hell will rise up and Lucifer, our fallen brother, will try once more to take control. This will not happen; it must not. Do you understand me?” Raguel’s eyes seemed to focus on all of them individually, yet simultaneously. It held them captive and allowed them all to see that this angel was far from the stereotype.

The group stood in silence. The words they had just heard were heavy to digest, and their brains had been sluggish before Raguel started, and so it took a while for everything to sink in. When it finally did they all had to fight back the urge to laugh, especially Graham who, despite his age, or possibly as a result of his age, was the most skeptical and cynical of them all. Once the laughter was contained without even so much as a nose snort, they all returned their attentions to Raguel, but instead of continuing with his explanation, he simple stared at them. There was a flash of light and a loud rustle of feathers. The wind created as the angel took flight brought tears to their eyes. Raguel was gone before any of them could register anything, the wind and sound apparently coming after the fact. All five of them had been looking straight at him, or so they would swear in later conversations, but yet none of them saw him leave. Like the greatest magician in the world he was there one second and vanished like the victim of a David Copperfield illusion the next.

“Forgive Raguel; he does not deal with mortals well. He is a warrior through and through. Maintaining the balance is his purpose, keeping a watchful eye on us is his responsibility. The troubles of our father’s favorite creation are of little and no concern to him,” the angel who had been introduced as Nemamiah said. His words were noticeably more cordial than Raguel’s had been.

Author Spotlight – Alex Laybourne

It is an honor and a pleasure to have my friend and fellow author, Alex Laybourne on the blog today! Alex is the ultimate in Horror writer, and his debut novel, “Highway To Hell”, demonstrates this all too well with incredibly macabre, yet well-crafted depictions of a man or woman’s own personal Hell! I hope you enjoy reading the interview and excerpt – be sure to follow his blog to stay updated on the release of the next book in the trilogy and any other future projects!


Alex Laybourne
Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that I became a horror writer.

From an early age I was sent to schools which were at least 30 minutes’ drive away and so spent most of my free time alone, as the friends I did have lived too far away for me to be able to hang out with them in the weekends or holidays.

I have been a writer as long as I can remember and have always had a vivid imagination. To this very day I find it all too easy to just drift away into my own mind and explore the world I create, where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue everything basically, and when the time is right, I can simply pluck them from the allotment of my mind like carrots and serve them up on the pages of whatever work is to be their home.

I am married and have three children and my biggest dream for them is that they grow up to spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is
I am always interested in making new friends both readers and writers alike. You can find me most hours of the day on Twitter under the name @vanplank or on Facebook. If you really like me, you can always hop on over to my blog and see what goes on inside my mind.



Name three interesting facts about yourself.

Three things… um, I taught myself Dutch in one year just by immersing myself in the culture. No lessons.  I made an arrest my first night with the English Police (I was a Special Constable). It took me 45 minutes when the average is 12 months. If I talk to an Irish person for too long, I just start talking in this ridiculously fake Irish accent. It really is terrible, and I can’t stop it. That’s not really interesting, but I guess I’m pretty boring really ha.

What do you do when you are not writing? Any hobbies?

Playing with the kids ( I have 4 of them… well 3.5 currently), when I have some free time, I love working out.

Favorite movie(s)?

Rocky, Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), The Omen, Jaws, too many to mention haha

Favorite music?

I don’t listen to much, only when exercising or driving. I have an eclectic mix from Metallica to Johnny Cash. I would say Country is what draws me the most.

Did you listen to any particular music for inspiration while writing “Highway to Hell”?

Not really, unless the sound of crying babies and shouting children counts. My writing is all done at home in my free time. With three kids running around it is hard to find quiet time. I guess the theme tune to Dora is as close to music as it gets.

Is there anyone who has influenced/encouraged you to write? Who and how/why?

My wife has stood behind me, but I have to say the greatest encouragement I have found is within the writing community itself. Everybody is motivating, and encourages each other. It is awesome to be a part of it.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Stephen King has been a large influence on me. His ability to take the smallest thing and turn it into a story; Gerald’s Game was one I will always remember. A woman tied to a bed, her husband dead at her feet. I mean it sounds like a scene not an entire novel.

What about the horror genre interests you? Is this what inspired you to write horror?

I never intended to write horror. It was just that every story I wrote went down this dark path. One day I just took a step back and look at it and thought. Ok, I’m going to write horror. I have never looked back. Horror is a great genre, because you can incorporate everything, comedy, romance, suspense etc.

What was the first horror book/story you remember reading?

I remember reading IT from Stephen King when I was about 11.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Nothing intentional, I think there probably are little messages that could be gleaned. It is the same for every novel, but I didn’t write it thinking, well, I hope people understand that message in this chapter.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing “Highway to Hell” to life?

Time was the main problem. As I said, with three kids running around and a full time job, I was restricted to about an hour a day, maybe a little more. Other than that, the novel just kind of wrote itself. It took me a while to settle on how to write it, but once I stripped the story down I realized I was writing two novels in one. I separated the ideas, and Highway to Hell was born.

What do you think readers will find the most frightening while reading your book?

I guess the start of the book. It is very graphic when it introduces the characters. You will need a strong stomach to read them. The second half of the novel is more about setting up the tone for the next installment. I hope that the images of Hell that I create will stick in peoples mind after they have finished reading it.

Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with your first piece of fiction?

I always wanted to go the traditional route, but after about 30 rejections from publishers the world over, I realized that maybe I should look at going it alone. That was when I started reading all about the Indie Author wave that was starting to build. I loved what I read, and I learned so much. The book wasn’t ready, not really, so I re-edited it, made it much stronger and then just kind of threw caution to the wind and published it. It worked out quite well, as I have now signed a contract with MayDecember Publications. Highway to Hell will be re-released at the end of this year with the second of the trilogy coming the beginning of 2013.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism I ever reactive comes from myself. I am never satisfied with that I write, I always think things could be tweaked and tightened, but if I listened to myself, I would never finish a book. The best compliment was being compared to Stephen King. Several people mentioned it and it made my day.

Can you tell us about your upcoming project/book?

I have two books completed, the first two books in the Highway to Hell trilogy. They are due to be published at the end of 2012 and start of 2013 respectively. I am currently working on a collection of short stories, and a new novel. It is a psychological thriller and something totally different to Highway to Hell. After that, I will write part three of my trilogy.

Congratulations to you Alex for your outstanding news! You recently posted on your blog that you were signed by May December Publications!

What was your initial reaction when you realized “Highway to Hell” had been accepted by a publisher?

I stood outside in the street and did a little dance. It was 22:00, dark and the neighbors probably thought I was a little weird. I was over the moon and couldn’t wait to tell people.

What are your goals now that you have achieved your dream of being published?

World Domination… I mean, my goals are the same, I will continue writing, and just see where the books take me. My goal is to be as successful as I can. With May December, I am on the right path, but it is still up to me to ensure that I stay there, and keep moving forward.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

It is simple advice and probably the same advice everybody gives. Write and read. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t write. Write every day, whether it is on your novel, or a short story, even a blog post. Write, it can be utter drivel and never see the light of day, but that doesn’t matter. You need to read. Reading makes us better writers, read as much as you can by as many writers and across as many genres as you can. Every writer offers you a new experience, and new perspective.



Highway to Hell by Alex Laybourne


Marcus, Becky, Richard, Helen, Sammy and Graham. All complete strangers, different ages, backgrounds and even countries, but they all have one major thing in common…They all must DIE.

Sentenced to offer their penance in the many chambers of Hell, their lives are nothing but a torturous experience. They are brought face to face with their past, their mistakes and the implications that had for others. Until one by one they are rescued and thrown together. Waking in a dying world, they are introduced to their rescuers who do anything but conform to their angelic stereotype.

Together, bonded by an unknown destiny the group is set on their quest; to find one individual buried deep within the many Hell worlds. Not only does the fate of their world rest on their shoulders, but that of existence itself.


Later today I will be posting an excerpt from Alex Laybourne’s “Highway to Hell”!

Author Spotlight – Eden Baylee

Sizzlin' Summer Reading With...Eden Baylee

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Today’s author spotlight is with one of the most generous, caring and selfless Indie Authors I’ve ever met! She is an incredible friend and author and I am very honored to have her visiting the blog today! Although I may paint her as an angel, you will soon realize that this little lady is a firecracker! 🙂 Enjoy!


Eden BayleeEden Baylee writes literary erotica. Her stories are both sensual and sexual, incorporating some of her favorite things such as travel, culture, and a deep curiosity for what turns people on. “Spring into Summer” is her second collection of erotic novellas.










Name three interesting facts about yourself.

Hmm… I’m not sure how interesting this is, but here goes,

  1. I enjoy carpentry because I love power tools
  2. I love to eat but I don’t like to chew my food
  3. I hate talking on the phone and don’t own a cell phone

What do you do when you are not writing? Any hobbies?

I play guitar and harmonica – both poorly but I keep trying.

I meditate and do hot yoga.

I joined the gym recently because I need more cardio and started lifting weights.

Favorite movie(s)?

Many, here are some: Pulp Fiction, 
Il Postino
, Straw Dogs
, The Last Picture Show
, Citizen Kane
Secrets and Lies, 
The Graduate
, Godfather 1 and 2, 
Apocalypse Now
, Sense and Sensibility, 
Midnight Cowboy, 
Marathon Man
, Milk, Annie Hall

Favorite music?

Impossible to answer because my taste is vast. I love English rock, Pink Floyd, Van Morrison, Jeff Beck. I’m also a huge blues fan. Most of my CD collection is blues and jazz.

Did you listen to any particular music for inspiration while writing “Fall Into Winter” and “Spring Into Summer?

No, nothing in particular but I listen to Van Morrison’s song “And the Healing Has Begun” every day, less as a source of inspiration but simply because I love it. I’ve been listening to it for over twenty years and don’t tire of it.

Is there anyone who has influenced/encouraged you to write? Who and how/why?

I owe much of my love for writing to Jersey Joe, my high school prof who encouraged my writing when I was fifteen. He had to read my stories about masturbation and stabbing my mother. Thankfully, he didn’t turn me over to the authorities. He’s a fabulous man  – everyone should follow him on Twitter  (@gideonn49)  “OK, Sir, don’t say I never did anything for ya!”

Seriously, he’s a super cool guy to know, and of course, he writes like the wind.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I love Charles Bukowski – always have, his novels and especially his poetry. His style of writing is what I aspire to.

How did you get started as an erotic romance author? What made you decide to do this?

It was a long road. I was a full time banker for 20 years, while writing on the side. I hid all my writing – not because of the subject matter, but because I wasn’t ready to share it. The main reason was it wasn’t very good. I know that because when I quit my job to write full-time, I tried to salvage some of what I’d written over the years and burned most of it—literally.

What was the first erotic romance book/story you remember reading?

I read Story of O when I was eleven – a book of BDSM, finely penned by Pauline Réage. It’s a superb book and not lengthy, but it left a huge impression on my young mind.

Ultimately, I wanted to write and make others feel the same way I did when I read that book.

What inspires you? How do your ideas come to you?

I have a lot of orgasms. It’s fuel to my brain. Kidding…well not really.

Describe your writing process. Are you a disciplined every-day writer who outlines? Or an inspiration-driven, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?

I’m a disciplined every-day writer who doesn’t outline – it’s against my religion, but seriously, I intend to write full-length novels so I will probably have to outline. Right now, I’m the purest form of a pantser you can find.

Tell us a little about “Spring Into Summer”.

It’s my second anthology of erotica – 4 stories, two take place in the spring, two in the summer. All my stories engage your imagination and are character-driven. It’s not page after page of sex because that would just bore the hell out of you.

There’s varying degrees of heat, so you will be touched, it’s just a matter of how much.

What do you think readers will enjoy most while reading your novellas?

Hmm, more of a question for my readers, but from what I’ve heard so far, they like being able to relate to the characters. My themes are pretty simple – love, loss, lust, longing. These are emotions everyone can relate to.

Why do you think people read erotica? What do you think erotic fiction does for them?

For me, all fiction is about some form of escapism – regardless of genre. Perhaps with erotica, there’s another element – the possibility of becoming aroused not just intellectually by a good story, but physically as well. Good erotica can be viewed like a vibrator, a sexual aid, if you will.

Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with your first piece offiction?

Ha! There’s nothing brief about it, but Spring into Summer is my second book, and I set out to self-publish from the get-go.

When I started, I wanted to sell my novellas individually to traditional publishers, but after numerous rejections, I packaged four of them into one book and published them as an anthology called Fall into Winter.

I love the self-publish model as it works for me. I’m a bit of a control freak so it allows me the freedom I need.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has beenthe best compliment?

The tough criticism hasn’t come from readers but from my current editor, Annetta Ribken, whom I adore.  She improved my writing because she pushed me to be better during the writing process.

I had to rewrite an entire masturbation scene because she said I could do better, and she was right. I had to research it again for a few hours – tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Best compliment? I feel warm and fuzzy any time I hear from readers who say they liked my book. It doesn’t matter what they say as much as their willingness to share with me. It’s always wonderful to hear from readers.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

My mantra to myself: Keep writing. Be persistent. Believe in yourself.



Spring Into Summer by Eden Baylee


In Spring into Summer, a collection of emotionally-charged erotic novellas, four women explore their sexual limits, marked by love, lust, and loss.

 Life for Claire Pelletier is changed forever when she meets a professor who teaches her a most important lesson in “A Season for Everything.”

Evelyn Sutton goes in search of a man in “Unlocking the Mystery” and discovers the key to her own heart.

With an open mind, Ava Connors attends a party but wonders if reality can ever live up to her hottest fantasies in “Summer Solstice.”

In “The Lottery,” Sierra Zhao sacrifices herself to numerous men to help a friend, fully aware of the consequences.

With locations in London, Dublin, Cape Cod, and Bangkok, these four women will seek pleasure to alter their lives and push their sexual boundaries.





Eden, thank you so much for the opportunity to feature you on my blog! 🙂

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