Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

... Sapphire Phelan


1.    Tell me about your book The Witch & The Familiar and where you got your inspiration for it? 

As Sapphire Phelan: The Witch & The Familiar—I wanted to do an erotic urban fantasy story one day, so I sat down and thought about witches, demons and angels and the apocalypse, and how I wanted it to be different from others—with sex magic and DNA coding that connects Tina to Charun specifically. 

2.    Where do you gain your inspiration/ideas from in general? 

They just come out of my head. Everything I see or think about inspires me.

3.    What was the first thing you wrote? 

An animal story as a little kid, if not published. Published, three poems bought at the same time by Hyacinths and Biscuits Magazine in 1972-“The Horse,” “The Leopard,” and “Sands of Time.” I was 17 and in my last year of high school.

4.    Was there ever a time when you nearly gave up on becoming an author? 

Not give up, but lost the urge to write for a few years when I worked at a job from 1990-1997.

5.    What advice would you give to someone still trying to become an author? 

Write everyday and don’t get discouraged from rejections. Write what you love and love what you write.

6.    Is there anything that annoys you connected to writing or being a writer? 

Maybe the thought that some people think a writer will instantly be a millionaire. Same for those who want to become writers to become rich. If you did so, get another occupation. The only riches you become rich in is your tales and those fans who tell you they enjoy what you wrote.

7.    Have you ever based a character on a friend or family member? 

Not really. Maybe composites, but never directly off anyone. Now, workers at a plasma centre I used to give plasma at years ago, I do have characters based off them for “Donating,” a horror short story in Inhuman Magazine Issue 5. Sometimes, reality has the more interesting personalities.

8.    Who is your favourite character/s you’ve created? 

As my pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan, the witch, Tina Epson and her demon Familiar, Charun from The Witch & The Familiar. As myself (Pamela K. Kinney) I have a character in an urban fantasy submitting to agents and editors now called Larry. He is a demon that is an eyeball the sixe of medium poodle. Those in my critique groups like Larry.

9.    Pick one of your characters and tell me what they would do in the real world? 

Tina Epson of The Witch & The Familiar works in a bookstore in the book. She enjoys that’s.

10. Have you ever had a dream that to you would make a great book or short story? 

Yes, a paranormal with werewolves. I actually have that manuscript half way done.

11. What do you enjoy doing outside of writing? 

Acting (which I have done), crafts, making and wearing costumes (mainly at conventions) and spending time with my husband, son,  and my friends.

12. As an author, who and what do you recommend reading? 

An author who just passed away: Ray Bradbury. I can still read his stories over and over. He has a way of drawing you into his stories and novels. I think many can benefit reading his works.

13. What was your favourite book as a child? 

Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

14. What’s your next project? 

Working on a YA paranormal right now that will be by Pamela K. Kinney.

15. If there was a fictional zombie apocalypse, which fictional character would you choose to be your wing man? 

The Winchester Brothers from Supernatural
      16. If you could be a superhero what kind of super powers would you have? 
       Shapeshifting. Able to shift into any shape.

17. What two fictional characters would you put into a boxing ring and who would win? 

Darth Vader and Maul. Vader, of course.

18. If you were having a dinner party and could invite four guests, dead or alive, real or fictional, who would you have? 

Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson
      19. If I came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator what would I find?  
       Stuff that ought to be chucked in the trash. LOL

20. Your about to walk the green mile, what do you have for your last meal? 

Chicken and dumplings from Cracker Barrel and sushi, with a coke.

21. You find a genies lamp and are granted three wishes. What would you wish for? *note you cannot wish for more wishes, it’s cheating. ;) 

Lose weight. My bills and house paid off. A contract from a NYC publisher, like Tor.

22. If you could have one piece of technology from a sci-fi film or book what would it be? 

A jedi starfighter.

23. Star Trek or Star Wars. 

Both. I am a fan of both.

24. If you were offered a free ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

The British Isles.

25. If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you have with you? 

Lots of paper, pens, a blanket (to keep warm at night), a pack of cards, and a magic lamp where a ton of wishes can be granted. LOL


 Mortal woman Tina discovers she is part of a prophesy that says she and Charun, her demon Familiar, must make love so she can become the witch she is fated to be. If she doesn't do it and stop the demon army bringing Armageddon to the Mortal Realm on Halloween, she won't stand a chance in Hell. A year later, just when Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal-another prophesy pops up. If Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it. This time they get help from an archangel, Jacokb, but with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina this time lose the battle and become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth? Contains e-novellas Being Familiar with a Witch and A Familiar Tangle with Hell.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

... Bruce Cooke

1. Tell me about your book Pearl of the rising Sun and where you got your inspiration for it?

I have an interest in Australian history and Broome is filled with exciting tales. It was bombed during WW2 and is famous for the start of the pearl industry in Australia

2. Where do you gain your inspiration/ideas from in general?

TV, books, newspapers, conversations magazines. I see or hear something and I start to play what if.

3. When did you first become interested in writing? 

While I was still working we went on long service leave to Asia and Europe. The college ran a monthly news sheet for the staff and anyone who went away was expected to submit something about their trip. I wrote a humorous article about the toilets of Asia and Europe.  It went over well.

4. Was there ever a time when you nearly gave up on becoming an author?

Yes. After my first book I paid for a critique but the person who read it said it was the worst story he had ever read. That was in the first half of one page. The next two pages were telling me how great he was and how bad I was. I might add that the book was published with great success.

5. How do your family feel about you being a writer/author?

They are happy to see me involved in something. After my wife passed away I began to write to avoid the depression. I now have nineteen books published.

6. What advice would you give to someone still trying to become an author? 

Listen to constructive criticism and ignore the rest.

7. Who is your favourite character/s you’ve created?

Rebecca McBride,a convict woman sent to Australia in 1832. Its in my book The Pursuit of Mary McBride with Swimming kangaroo..

8. Pick one of your characters and tell me what they would do in the real world?

Tom Macadam from Pearl of the Rising Sun. He would be involved in exploring opportunities on the Gold Coast.

9. Is there anything you particularly like to write about? Is there anything you don’t?

I like Australian colonial stories. Murder mysteries and adventure. Not into Vampires or space stories.

10. Have you ever had a dream that to you would make a great book or short story?

I have nineteen and enjoyed writing them all.

11. What do you enjoy doing outside of writing?

Playing golf or should I say trying to play golf. I broke my neck six years ago but it left me with a stiff neck which restricts me a little.

12. As an author, who and what do you recommend reading?

Adventure romance. I like Clyde Cussler, David Balducci, Wilbur Smith and Lee Childs

13. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be? 


14. Where would you like to go if you had a time machine? 

Back to Colonial Australia around the 1850s

15. If you could speak to one kind of animal what would it be? 

My golden Labrador. He loves affection.

16. If you were having a dinner party and could invite four guests, dead or alive, real or fictional, who would you have?

Bill Gates, Maggie Thatcher, Julie Gillard (Aussie Prime Minister) and Bill Clinton

17. If I came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator what would I find? 

A mess.

18. What was the last movie you went to see?

The girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

19. Star Trek or Star Wars? 

Star wars.

20. If you were offered a free ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

Great Barrier Reef.

21. If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you have with you? 

A comfortable bed, an oven ample food and a computer that works from the sun. Maybe a refrigerator that does the same. Can I add a beautiful girl?


When an Australian and a Japanese girl fall in love they find the different cultures insurmountable. Determined to have each other they find further trouble when the war breaks out. Now both have to face death and isolation if they want to continue their true love. It is a story of desperation and love in facing impossible difficulties from both sides.

About Bruce

 Bruce retired from teaching in 1990 because of poor hearing and began writing. He now have over fifteen books completed but hardly ever bothered to send them out to publishers up until the past two years.
He likes to write adventure romance and historical romance with an Australian flavour. He now has seven book contracts and three short story contracts with various publishers.
His current published novels with Eternal Press include Jungle Heat, Friendly Enemies, Meeting at Princes Bridge, Vietnam Holiday, Top Secret, Appleton's Run, McBride's Treasure, Angela's Child, Trace Elements and Pearl of the Rising Sun.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

...Terri Bruce

1.    Tell me about your book, HEREAFTER, and where you got your inspiration for it?

“Hereafter” is about a woman, Irene Dunphy, who dies and ends up stuck on Earth as a ghost. The story follows both her search for a way to “cross over” to the afterlife and to come to terms with the mistakes she’s made in her life. Of course, that makes it sound like a serious drama, but it’s not; it’s really more “fantasy lit” with elements of comedy and adventure as well as the serious elements.

As for the inspiration for it...I’m not a fast writer—Hereafter took two years to write and then eight months of querying to find a publisher—so I hardly remember where the inspiration came from. However, most of my story ideas come about the same way: I get a sudden flash or mental picture of a character doing something—like changing a tire—or maybe having a conversation with another character. I always start with the characters, not a plot or a concept. Then it builds from there—well, who is this person? Why are they changing that tire? What are they feeling at this moment or how do they talk?

2.    Where do you gain your inspiration/ideas from in general? 

A lot of ideas just come to me, usually when I’m day dreaming. However, specific inspiration – for how a character looks, or speaks, or a bit characters, et cetera—can come from the strangest places. I recently blogged about this fabulous edition of “Ivanhoe” I found in a second hand shop. It was published in 1928 by a consortium of drug stores and every five to ten pages there are ads for drug store products—tooth powder, rash creams, liver pills, stomach upset relievers, and the like. These ads teleported me back and time and I knew I had to have some characters from that time period in my novel. So, really, inspiration can come from anywhere.

3.    Was there ever a time when you nearly gave up on becoming an author? 

When I was a kid I wanted to be a writer, but people convinced me that writer’s don’t make any money—and also that making a lot of money was a good thing—so I gave up the idea, decided to become a lawyer. I actually ended up going into the non-profit field, instead (which means I still ended up not making a lot of money). However, through all of that I wrote—in high school I wrote serialized fiction I passed out to my friends. In college wrote fan fiction.

Then in 2000 I came home from a bad day at work, walked in the house, sat down at the computer and started typing a novel that had popped into my head. It was unlike anything I had ever written—my husband said I seemed to be channelling Raymond Chandler or Elmore Leonard—and I remember when I finally stopped for the night, looking at what I’d written and thinking “Hey, this is good—like ‘real’ novel good.” I worked on that story off and on for five years and then finally decided I needed to get serious. So I joined a local writers’ group.

It took another four years to finally finish the novel. I started querying it and realized it was really ”experimental fiction” and wasn’t a commercial project—and therefore not likely to get picked up. I had started my next novel, which was “Hereafter,” and I know that was much more commercial. So I labored over that for two years. Then I started querying—and got rejection after rejection after rejection. SEVENTY rejections before I ever got a single request from an agent or publisher. I wanted to give up every single time I got a rejection. However, the support of my family and friends, and other writers going through the same tribulation, kept me going. The more time went by, though, the more I wanted to give up. Everyone says to focus on your next book, and I was, only it was the sequel to “Hereafter” and I wasn’t seeing much point. If Book 1 never got published, what was the point in writing Book 2?

Then, just when it seemed all hope was lost (I only had about another ten prospects on my query list) I started getting requests—and genuine interest—from both publishers and agents, and then there was a bit of a whirlwind, and next thing I knew, I was a “soon-to-be-published” author!

4.    How do your family feel about you being a writer/author? 

My family is thrilled—my dad is so proud and my sister, who is a librarian, is very excited. What’s very sad is that some of my biggest fans—my uncle, Nelson, who was an incredible reader and lover of books, my mother—who would have been so incredibly proud of me, and my mentor, Charles Groskey, have all passed away (2008, 2009, and 2010 respectively, all from cancer). We have a motto in my family: cancer sucks. As you can imagine, I’m a passionate advocate for cancer research, prevention, and treatment programs.

5.    Who is your favourite character/s you’ve created? 

I LOVE Jonah. I am so proud of him. He’s just so sweet and loveable. It’s terrible, he’s only 14, but I have the biggest crush on him. I also like Irene in many ways—she doesn’t pull her punches. I bite my tongue a lot, but Irene is never afraid to speak her mind. I wish I could be more like that.

6.    What’s your next project? What do you look forward to in the future? 

Well, the sequel to “Hereafter” is almost done. I’m really excited by this next book and hope that fans of Irene and Jonah will be, too. I love working on the “Hereafter” books because the afterlife mythology research is so fascinating. There’s just so many interesting possibilities for what Irene might encounter in The Great Beyond.

I also have an outline for a sci-fi western romance, another contemporary fantasy (this time about super heroes), and a straight historical fiction (yes, weird, but it focuses on the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912, an event that I have close ties to (I work in Lawrence, MA), so I have a lot of irons in the fire.

7.    Where would you like to go if you had a time machine? 

Okay, this is going to sound totally weird, and I want to preface this by saying I’m not a doubter in general—I believe in global warning, vaccines, cholesterol, the whole nine yards. I put my faith in modern science. BUT, having said that, I totally want to go back to ancient Egypt because I am sceptical that we really know anything about their culture based on what we’ve interpreted from hieroglyphs and such. How do we really know that such-and-such female pharaoh tried to make herself look like a man to add legitimacy to her reign? Maybe the stone carver just wasn’t very good? Maybe he was trying to insult her? Maybe she really was ugly. I don’t know, but it all seems suspect to me and so I’d love to know the real story.

8.    What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday? 

Afternoon tea! I love to drink tea, I love to collect tea related items—such as tea cups and old tea tins, and I love entertaining. I finally realized there was no point to just collecting china and glassware for the fun of it, those things should be put to use! So every Sunday I brew myself a pot of my favourite tea using an old fashioned china teapot and use one of the tea cups from my collection to have afternoon tea. I set out a tea tray and something scrumptious to eat, I get a book or a movie, and I relax for a couple of hours, and it’s the best thing I do all week.

9.    You find a genies lamp and are granted three wishes. What would you wish for? *note you cannot wish for more wishes, it’s cheating. ;) 

A horse, the money to pay for the horse’s room and board, and another horse (the first one might be lonely).

10. If McDonalds sold hotdogs, could you order a McWeiner and ask them to supersize it with a straight face? 

Well, now I can’t! I probably could have before you put this into my head, though, because a lot of things come flying out of my mouth without thinking, and then afterwards I go, “Oh God, I can’t believe I said that!”

11. If you were offered a free ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

PARIS!! In 2010 my husband and I had the opportunity to spend one day in Paris (as part of a visit to London) and, to date, that has been the best day of my life. The city is so beautiful, and despite tales to the contrary, the people were friendly and wonderful We went to the Cluny museum and saw the Unicorn tapestries, had lunch in the gardens at Notre Dame, and just wandered around. On the train back to London we saw a hot air balloon on the horizon, above the French countryside as the sun set behind it. Beautiful.

12. If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you have with you? 

Pride and Prejudice, C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia (that counts as one item, right? J ), my crochet hooks (and preferably some yarn, but I can improvise with grass and palm fronds if need be), matches (I have no faith in my ability to start a fire with two sticks), and a cutting utensil (knife or scissors). I’m both a romantic and a pragmatist J



Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on Earth as a ghost, where food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, the sex...well, let’s just say, “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife. This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The problem is that, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…

About Terri

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her first novel, HEREAFTER—a contemporary fantasy about a woman’s search for redemption in the afterlife—will be released by Eternal Press later this year. Visit her on the web at

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Terri stopped by today as part of her HereAfter blog tour, to find out more about where she will be appearing next click below