Author Spotlight – Robert Lee Johnston

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20 Questions with Robert Lee Johnston

1. What made you decide to become an author?

I always wrote stuff, I love sentences and used to just play with words. I love a dictionary and also for some reason phrases always stuck in my head.

2. What is the hardest thing about writing for you?

Sacrificing every other part of my life and mind is the hardest, constantly analyzing.

3. Do you have any routines or superstitions that you go through whenever you write a book – Such as a specific room to write in, certain drink, same pen/pencil every time, specific music or noise? Release a book?

No, but i only get creative at around midnight.

4. Who is the one person in the writing profession who has inspired you the most?

I don’t know anyone in the profession, so, Greg Shilton, because he is not in the writing business is a big part of my writing business.

5. Which character is your favorite? Which character was the hardest to write? Why?

I love some of the women i wrote, and they are the hardest for me to write,,,, cos I’m a bloke.

6. Would you consider collaborating on a book with anyone else? If so…who?  Who would be your unicorn author to collaborate with?

No. I am to slow and am hard to write with and don’t play well with others.

7. Who is your favorite author…someone that you will buy their book even without thinking?

Henry Lawson

8. What is your best piece of advice for someone who wants to write or publish?

Write a lot.

9. If you could ask your readers 1 question and have them all answer…what would it be?

Did you tell ya mates how good I write?

10. What is your writing kryptonite?

Working ….

11. Do you plot out your book or do you write as you go?

I have to see the ending in my head then I’m fine.

12. Do you want each book or series to stand on its own or are you building a universe where all the books/series connect with each other? I dislike sequels and prefer to get my book fix in one hit.

13. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice related to writing what would it be?

Write better! Be normal! Hahahaha.

14. What is the biggest lesson you learned after you published your first book?

I learned that writing is the easy part.

15. What is a guilty pleasure?

Drums

16. Do you have a favorite vacation spot?

Amsterdam

17. What’s an Item on your bucket list?

The biggest item, success

18. Do you have a spirit animal?  If so, what is it?

No, I’m just me

19. What is your favorite holiday & why?

Any holiday is a good one, the best ones are with music and mates.

20. What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

I’m Australian and it really isn’t a thing here yet, but i love a Tim Tam.

Robert Lee Johnston 

Robert enjoys writing challenging, villainous characters and subjects. He loves the Australian humour, in good or poor taste, that is born from those places of darkness. It is his belief that the deeper, more painful the situation, the funnier and better Aussies become. 

Australia is a nation of fair fighters, with a proud sense of humour and humility. That combination is unique and rare and continues to inspire and supply him with many characters, brawlers, squealers, pelicans, cowards, galahs, absolute bloody champions and the down- trodden to choose from. 

Check out Robert’s Podcast Interviews: http://www.buzzsprout.com/182351 

Contact information: 

PO Box 181 Mirriwinni QLD 4871 

Email: tributerobertleejohnston@gmail.com 

United States Contact: 

Raven Canely PA/Management RavenCanely@gmail.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/groups/tributarians/

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HZgkP 3
✮ Instagram: https://www.instagram. com/robert.lee.johnston/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/R_L_J ohnston
Website: https://www.robertleejoh nston.net/
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2P6LPZd
✮ MeWe group: https://mewe.com/join/tribu tarians
✮ MeWe author: https://bit.ly/2Gj0ZI1

Author Spotlight – Lucy Smoke/Lucinda Dark

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20 Questions with Lucy Smoke/Lucinda Dark

 

 

  • What made you decide to become an author?

 

I’ve literally wanted to be an author since I was a child. When I figured out that acting would probably be a really hard to get into, I decided to be “safe” and go for being an author. HAHAHAHAHA BOY DID I NOT THINK THAT THROUGH. 

 

  • What is the hardest thing about writing for you?

 

I don’t know if I have something that’s “hard” to write about per se. I have one book (that’s non PNR/UF) that is partially based on real experiences (though I would argue that it’s completely fiction) and I guess putting so much of myself into a character/storyline isn’t hard, but it takes a lot out of me and it is a much longer process. 

 

  • Do you have any routines or superstitions that you go through whenever you write a book – Such as a specific room to write in, certain drink, same pen/pencil every time, specific music or noise? Release a book?

 

Not really. Each book and each character is different. While I do have a general writing playlist, I do end up creating playlists specifically for each series/book. I also switch back and forth between pantsing the hell out of a book and outlining to the nines. I’m really all over the place as a writer. One thing I’ve done in the past, though, that a lot of people don’t do is that I’ve outlined on my bathroom mirror with dry erase markers. 

 

  • Who is the one person in the writing profession who has inspired you the most?

 

That’s an incredibly difficult answer and I’m sure I’m not the only person that will say I can’t choose. There are so many people who have inspired me. There’s not really one that’s gone above others. Although, I would say that author Jex Lane is the one that (unintentionally) inspired me to self-publish. She writes UF/Fantasy M/M. I was lucky enough recently to meet her in person and I could not be more grateful to call someone as amazing and down to Earth a friend. She’s truly a wonderful person. 

 

  • Which character is your favorite? Which character was the hardest to write? Why?

 

I’m torn between favorite characters—my favorite character changes based on what I’m focusing on writing. Right now? My favorite character is Barbie Steele from my upcoming series Barbie: the Vampire Hunter (yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking). She’s sarcastic. She’s kind of a bitch. And I just love stabbing her because she’s always got some witty retort to throw my way. 

As for the “hardest” character to write. Like I said before, Idk if it’s “hard” so much as it’s draining. But that would be Love from my dark angsty contemporary, Expressionate. And the reason is because I wrote Love’s story when I was a sophomore in undergrad at the height of my depression. The following year I finally decided to seek therapy for my depression (where I was later diagnosed), but writing her story really made me see myself in an objective manner. I saw a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and I shaped her as I once saw myself when I rewrote it years later. I gave her the happy ending I always wanted. 

 

  • Would you consider collaborating on a book with anyone else? If so…who?  Who would be your unicorn author to collaborate with?

 

I would and have! Lol. I have a coauthored series with Kel Carpenter that’s dark high fantasy. The Dark Maji series. I’m also working on an RH Urban Fantasy series with Carysa Locke. But if I were to choose someone else… I’m not really sure. I still suffer from imposter syndrome, so anyone I’d choose would be someone that probably doesn’t even know I exist lol. 

 

  • Who is your favorite author…someone that you will buy their book even without thinking?

 

I don’t necessarily have a favorite author, but I do have a few authors that I one-click without even reading the blurb. I love Lexi Blake and Lynsay Sands. Both write a combination of urban fantasy/PNR and contemporary. And both have great sexy times. 😉 😉 

 

  • What is your best piece of advice for someone who wants to write or publish?

 

Oh gosh, I’ve got a mixture of stuff I’m sure any hopeful writer/author has already heard and probably doesn’t want to hear again (but I promise, it’s the best piece of advice you could possibly follow). 

  • Finish your book. Whatever it is. Just finish it. Even if it sucks. 
  • Ignore what everyone else tells you (by that I mean, ignore what they say you SHOULD do with your book and focus on what YOU want to write). 
  • Have a plan. (I literally wish I had actually planned my releases. I wish I’d done more research) 

 

  • If you could ask your readers 1 question and have them all answer…what would it be?

 

Hmmmmm. Okay, this is hard. Maybe … it’d be … “What about my books or any books in general makes you want to keep reading them?” 

 

  • What is your writing kryptonite?

 

Darkness. Even in my brightest series, there’s always a hint of darkness. Every once in a while I’ll get the urge to write a light fluffy romance, but when I try it out, I end up inserting something that’s not quite as fluffy as people expected it to be. I love sarcasm and witty characters, but I also like torturing them. Oh and I love characters that are different. Some of my MCs/FMCs are similar. But I think across the board, they’re also quite different. Some are youthful and naïve, some are hardened and tough, some are wild and free, and some are reserved and unsure. I like showcasing the differences in people. 

 

  • Do you plot out your book or do you write as you go?

 

I flip back and forth. For Heart of Tartarus, my dystopian RH, I outlined book 1 to the nines and followed it almost exactly. But for many of my other books, the outline gets thrown out halfway through. Sometimes, I only outline 5 chapters ahead at a time. 

 

 

  • Do you want each book or series to stand on its own or are you building a universe where all the books/series connect with each other?

 

Neither? I’m not sure. I’m not planning on having all of my series connecting to each other. But I’m also not…NOT planning that, you know? #awardforvaguestanswergoesto 

 

  • If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice related to writing what would it be?

 

Start earlier. Publish sooner. PLEASE for the love of GOD plan ahead. Don’t rush.

 

  • What is the biggest lesson you learned after you published your first book?

 

Ironically, the biggest lesson I’ve learned after I published my first book doesn’t necessarily have to do with writing. It has to do with the industry. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to take everything in stride. There will be reviewers who hurt your feelings, readers, other authors, even family members who misunderstand you. I’ve gotten really angry at people and I’ve felt resentment for others. But others success has no bearing on my own. And vice versa.  

 

  • What is a guilty pleasure?

 

Erotic romance. *hides* I write romance. I even write sex, but I find it really hard to write romance that’s primarily about sexual aspects. I have to write a longer, more detailed plot (even if it makes me want to yank my hair out and scream). But every once in a while, I just want to sit down with a filthy book and pilfer through it and ignore the world. Whoever ends up marrying me is really in for a surprise bc as soon as I get married, I’ll be sending them screen shots of my favorite scenes and demanding we reenact them. LMFAO (okay probably not, but a girl can dream, can’t she?)

 

  • Do you have a favorite vacation spot?

 

Not yet. Let me finish traveling the world and I’ll get back to you ;-P

 

  • What’s an Item on your bucket list?

 

Get a trad deal? Have a book made into a (decent) movie? Those would be amazing. 

 

  • Do you have a spirit animal?  If so, what is it?

 

My spirit animal is Edna Mode from Disney’s The Incredibles. XDDD I don’t know, probably not her. She’s far too confident to be me. I’m incredibly random and weird. I’m also insecure as hell. #Storytime A lot of people watch my Instagram stories and at the last signing I went to, people would come up to me and tell me they loved watching me and they enjoyed my books and whereas a normal person would say “Thank you, I’m glad” my response was “Why?” Just think of the most awkward turtle in the ocean and that’s probably my spirit animal. 

 

  • What is your favorite holiday & why?

 

Other than my birthday, because let’s be real, it’s totally a holiday—HALLOWEEN. If Halloween could last all year, that’d be amazing. When I got to a writer’s retreat next year for Halloween, I’m going to wear a different costume every day for a week. 

 

  • What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

 

Alright. No one judge me. If we’re talking candy SPECIFIC to Halloween (and not like chocolate or something like that…) I love candy corn. It’s delicious sugary goodness #cannotchangemymind

 

Lucy Smoke/Lucinda Dark Stalker links

 

Newsletter Link: http://eepurl.com/c5kaM5

 FB page: https://www.facebook.com/LucySmokeAuthor

FB Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/smokinghotreaders/

Website: www.lucysmoke.com  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorlucysmoke/

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/smokinghotreaders/

Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/Lucy_Smoke

Amazon Author Page – Lucy Smoke: https://www.amazon.com/Lucy-Smoke/

Amazon Author Page – Lucinda Dark: https://www.amazon.com/Lucinda-Dark/e/B07W3YS1WV?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1569296032&sr=8-2

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/LucySmoke

​Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/Lucy_Smoke

Books + Main Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/users/6396

 

 

Author Spotlight – Quinn Slater

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20 Questions with Quinn Slater

  1. What made you decide to become an author? 

I needed to escape my mistakes in life. It allowed me freedom to experience the things I wanted to experience. I needed that outlet.

  1. What is the hardest thing about writing for you? 

Confidence. I really am my own worst critic. I have dozens of stories that have not been finished because I lack the confidence to do so, or I have written myself into a corner and I’m not sure how to get out.

  1. Do you have any routines or superstitions that you go through whenever you write a book – Such as a specific room to write in, certain drink, same pen/pencil every time, specific music or noise? Release a book? 

When I release a book I like to going hiking and get away from everything. Just be alone and enjoy the peace and quiet.

  1. Who is the one person in the writing profession who has inspired you the most? 

Probably my mentor in graduate school when I was working on my MFA. He famously told our class that I was the only student in class who could make two people fuck for three pages. We all got a great laugh. He has no idea I write under a pan name. He also called me out in class one day, saying, “Learn to use a fucking comma!”. He was awesome.

  1. Which character is your favorite? Which character was the hardest to write? Why?

Probably Quin Slater (yes, a character named after my pen name) because he’s a guy that has experienced a number of people walking out on him in his life. People seem to overlook his damaged soul. I feel like I relate to him and his struggles.

  1. Would you consider collaborating on a book with anyone else? If so…who?  Who would be your unicorn author to collaborate with?

If really depends on genre, since I write in several. Literary- Jonathan trooper, Horror-Robert McCammon, Thriller-Jonathan Kellerman

  1. Who is your favorite author…someone that you will buy their book even without thinking? 

Jonathan Trooper

  1. What is your best piece of advice for someone who wants to write or publish?

Patience and thick skin. You have to understand that, like so many other parts of life, there are bad people in the business and they are more than willing to take advantage of you. Educate yourself on the business.

  1. If you could ask your readers 1 question and have them all answer…what would it be? 

That’s a tough one. Maybe what they thought of my female characters?

  1. What is your writing kryptonite? 

Stresses in life. I have certain people close to me that can shut down my mood to write in only a couple of words. It’s too bad because they are close to me and there’s no way to rid myself of them

  1. Do you plot out your book or do you write as you go? 

Write as I go. I’v tried plotting it but I enjoy the discovery too much.

  1. Do you want each book or series to stand on its own or are you building a universe where all the books/series connect with each other? 

This is a huge issue for me. I have so many different things in my head that I have trouble writing a series.

  1. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice related to writing what would it be? 

Honestly, writing was more important than the people who interfere with the writing.

  1. What is the biggest lesson you learned after you published your first book?

No one believes in your dream more than you do. I thought family and friends would be all over my books. That wasn’t the case. And the more I published the less friendly some people became.

  1. What is a guilty pleasure? 

I’d love to do the things in my books.

  1. Do you have a favorite vacation spot? 

Hawaii was beautiful. I could live out the rest of my life there.

  1. What’s an Item on your bucket list? 

Visit Iceland. I’d also like to visit all the places I’ve read about in books.

  1. Do you have a spirit animal?  If so, what is it? 

An Eagle. I’d love to have the power of flight and fly free through the skies

  1. What is your favorite holiday & why? 

Christmas because I love to give.

  1. What’s your favorite Halloween candy?  

Wax lips J, although I’m not sure they make them anymore.

Foster an Author Interview – Sandra R Neeley

Who is your favorite author…someone that you will buy their book even without thinking?

Laurann Dohner

 

Who is the 1 person in the writing profession who has inspired you the most?

I don’t really have anyone. But you know what? Now that I’ve thought about it, there are two pieces of advice that I received from established authors that have stuck with me. First, Susan Bliler told me when I published my first book, “F*** the haters. They’re going to hate you no matter what you do, so do you and do you proudly. Don’t let them change who you are.”  And, Michelle Pillow told me,  “Always stay true to your heart , it won’t steer you wrong, and never forget that you are your own brand. Conduct yourself professionally at all times.”  And they were both right.

 

Who is the 1 person in life who has inspired you the most?

My son, and now my daughter. There were times I wanted to just stop doing everything, personally, professionally. All of it – I’m done. But then I’d look at him and realize that I was all he had. And now my daughter is the same. They look to me for guidance and to know how to proceed in their own lives. They need me. They need to see me continue to move forward and continue to keep getting up. And I need them to need me. So,  my kids. They inspire me to continue striving to always be better than I was yesterday.

 

Would you consider collaborating a book with anyone else? If so…who?

That’s tricky. I’m unique in the way I write things. I never know where it’s going and who’s going to show up in a story. They are never planned, so collaborating would be difficult, but I’ve often said that it would be fun to write with Jeanette Lynn, her sense of humor is unmatched.

 

What is the hardest thing about writing for you?

Editing.  I hate editing. Oh, and blurbs! You spend months pouring your heart into 80,000 plus words, the passion is there, the emotion, the feels. Then they tell you, here, break this down into about 100 words so we all know what it’s about without having to actually read it. Wait – what???!!

 

Which character is your favorite? Which character was the hardest to write? Why?

Maverik is my favorite character to date. The hardest character to write was Bam, until now. I’m working on a WIP right now that has been the most difficult. His name is Quin (pronounced Keen).

 

Do you have any routines or superstitions that you go through whenever you release a book?

Well, I like my release parties to be in conjunction with Romance Readers Recommend.  Other than that, not really.

 

What is your 1 piece of advice for anyone wanting to write?

Write your heart. There is no right or wrong way to write a story. There is no secret formula to use to get it right. But if you write your heart, and write with passion –let the emotion bleed through rather than trying to censor yourself or trying to sculpt to adhere to a format, the right readers will find you and you’ll be just fine.

 

If you could ask your readers 1 question and have them all answer…what would it be?

What do you dislike the most about my writing?

 

Do you have anything specific that has to be done for you to write? Such as a specific room to write in, certain drink, same pen/pencil everytime, specific music or noise?

My voices have to speak. My characters live in my head. I am not externally motivated or inspired, my stories come from my characters, who all live in my head. If they aren’t talking, I’m wasting my time. I can’t force anything. If they are telling me their story, they are showing me the scene over and over again in my head as though it’s a movie. I write down what they are showing me and that leads to another and so on and so on. If I’m not seeing a scene, or in effect hear them speaking, I have nothing to write. These are their stories, and they tell them to me when they are ready.

Edited to add; My husband says when I come out of the bedroom with my oldest, faded pair of leggings and oversized T-shirt with mismatching socks on, and my favorite super-soft blanket thrown over my shoulder, he knows I’m headed for my laptop and I’m lost for the day.

 

What is your writing kryptonite?

My husband and my daughter.  The “Mom can I haves?” and the “Honey, when you get a minutes…” drive me nuts. I can sit there for 3 hours and no one will say a word to me or even notice that I’m breathing. Let me open that laptop though, and they stand in line to ask me questions.

 

Do you plot out your book or do you write as you go?

I never plot. I type what my people show in my mind. They show me little “mini-movies.” I type what they show and it always leads to another scene and another and so on. I never know where a story will go, and have even been surprised by the places they take me. Some characters I never knew existed until they walk into the scene, and it’s like, “Wait! Where did you come from?” I honestly do not know the ending until I type it, ever.  The loudest voice and most insistent scene gets the story told first. The others have to wait their turn.

 

Do you want each book or series to stand on its own or are you building a universe where all the books/series connect with each other?

I build a world for each series and just see what happens as I go.  I do have another series coming up soon, and it’s started as a result of another character leaving my original series. But he just didn’t want to go. He started showing me pictures of all these scenes and I realized he had his own story to tell, it’s just not in the world he originated in. Some may connect later, but I have to wait and see what they show me, just like everyone else.

 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything what would it be?

Don’t be afraid.  If I’d not worried about what other people would think, I’d have written them down years ago. Only when I finally decided that I was writing them for my own pleasure, did the stories become organized enough to flow onto “paper.” They’ve been in my head since I was a preteen, maturing along with me.

 

What is the biggest lesson you learned after you published your first book?

Patience! Be patient enough to allow for edits. Wait. Set them aside and read them again after you’ve moved on to something else. You see them with fresh eyes, find things you missed originally and put out a better product.

 

What is a guilty pleasure?

Hot tea with milk and sugar on a cold day.  Or my favorite candy, Ferrero Rocher, anytime.

 

Do you have a favorite vacation spot?

Mountains.

 

What’s an Item on your bucket list?

Own a mountain cabin that isn’t easily accessible.

 

What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

Halloween candy is little Almond Joys or Krackles.

 

Do you have a spirit animal? If so, what is it?

Dragon. A mama Dragon.

 

What is your favorite holiday & why?

Christmas.  It’s always been my favorite. Family, food, watching the faces of my kids light up when they get that special gift, or better yet, something they didn’t expect at all but are thrilled with. It’s cold outside and the fireplace is going and everyone is smiling and loving each other.  Best times ever.