Author Interview with Sarah Baethge

photoPlease welcome today’s guest author, paranormal/science-fiction/fantasy writer, Sarah Baethge. Today, she shares a little about her passion for writing, her new book, Radiant Shadows: Beginnings (which is currently free on Amazon until May 12th!), as well as the poem that inspired the book. 

Hello, Sarah. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

I am Sarah Baethge. I live in Texas at my step-mother’s donkey ranch. I currently have no job, and try to write whenever possible because I enjoy doing it.

Are you interested in other forms of artistic expression besides writing? What keeps you motivated/inspired?

I like to listen to music and to draw silly/cartoony pictures with a pencil. I have always enjoyed reading and more than once have been told that I have quite an imagination.

What forms of writing and genres do you prefer and why? What can you never see yourself writing?

I write short stories and am working on a series of novels that has a mad-scientist main character. I occasionally write poetry. You can read the free poem that inspired my latest book on Goodreads-And I was Hungry

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As a reader, what do you think makes a good story? What’s one thing a ‘bad’ book taught you to not do in your own writing?

I dislike it when characters just accept what they don’t like or agree with, it makes me want to slap them. I suppose that has taught me to try to not let my characters become irredeemably irritating.

As a writer, what elements do you find are the most crucial to include in your stories? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I want to make the motivation of my characters clear. Even if the reader doesn’t agree with what my people do, I want them to understand why an action was done.

Who/what are the biggest influences in your writing? How do they influence what you write?

I like Stephen King and Michael Chrichton. Dean Koontz is pretty cool too.

What draws you to your preferred genre? 

I like paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy because anything is possible. It’s great because the only limit is the author’s imagination. I can’t say why other people like it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the reasoning is somewhat similar.

Can you tell us about your books? What other projects are you working on?

_winged coverMy newest book, Radiant Shadows: Beginnings was built upon the thought of “What if Edward just ATE Bella?” My bigger project that I have been working on for some time is a series that I call The Speed of Darkness. It involves a man whose self-experimentation that allows high sped travel results in an evil company’s wanting to hold him as a test subject, along with their secret zoo of supernatural test animals (mainly werewolves).

Note: Radiant Shadows: Beginnings will be free on Amazon until May 12!:

Why is it important to you to promote other writers on your blog or website?

I’ve done a few book reviews at http://sarahsreadings.wordpress.com/ because it gives me the chance to read some novels that I may never find otherwise.

What do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you cope with it?

I’ve gotten lost in my own imaginary worlds so far that I stop paying attention to what is happening in real life. To avoid that I try to only let myself write from noon to five/six pm. I don’t want to lose all realism in my fantasies.

 Who are your favourite writers and why?

I like the same writers who inspire me because they paint my dreams.

What advice would you give to new writers, especially those looking to break into your genre?

I would say that if you have an idea or story in your mind, you should go ahead and write it. If you’ve no ideas, perhaps writing fiction isn’t your thing.

How can readers get into contact with you?

Twitter: http://twitter.com/22niel

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SarahBaethge

G+:http://plus.google.com/u/0/+%E7%B1%B3%E6%9C%BA%E7%94%9F%E8%8B%9B/about

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/22niel

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5226644.Sarah_Baethge

I hope you enjoyed meeting Sarah Baethge as much as I did. Sarah, all the best in the release of your book and in your future projects. Readers, thanks for stopping by again today, and please leave Sarah Baethge a message here and on her other social media links.  🙂

Have a great week, everyone!

 

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Author Interview with Paranormal Author Martha Jette

Welcome to another installment of our Author Interview feature. Today, we have the pleasure of meeting Canadian paranormal author, Martha Jette. I hope you’ll take the time to meet Ms. Jette as well as get to know her writing and her thoughts on writing in today’s world.  

Martha Jette

Martha Jette

Welcome, Martha Jette. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, I went on to acquire two college degrees: Legal Secretarial and Print Journalism. Upon graduating from the latter, I assumed the role of editor of Arts and Entertainment Forum. The following year, I was asked to join the Brabant Newspaper chain and for the next 12 years was employed as reporter/editor/photographer/layout artist of several of the company’s newspapers. I retired in 1996 due to health issues.

Personally, I am a mother of two grown daughters and grandmother of three amazing grandchildren, all of whom I love to spend time. Life is fleeting, so it is essential to honor and cherish everyone you love, including other family members and friends.

Are you interested in other forms of artistic expression? Where does writing fit in, and why are you drawn to it? 

Every so often I need to take a break from writing. When this happens, I have two hobbies that I love. Firstly, I pick up angels of all sizes from resale shops. I refurbish/paint statues of angels and when I am finished, they look beautiful! Secondly, I also love to paint God’s glorious forming galaxies in oils and acrylics from photos taken by the Hubble telescope.

Writing is a daily pursuit, not only because I enjoy it so much but also as a source of extra income. I write weekly for the Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/x-35811-Hamilton-Paranormal-Examiner) on a wide variety of topics related to the paranormal. I also provide professional book review (http://www.mjbookreviews.blogspot.com) and full manuscript editing services at reasonable rates on a freelance basis.

I am always kept motivated to write by hearing the stories of others, whether that is a spirit haunting or a personal story that touches me. I have had quite a few paranormal experiences and of course, life experiences myself, so it is easy for me to relate to others on these topics.

What forms of writing and genres do you prefer and why? What can you never see yourself writing?

I primarily write short stories and novels based on true stories. However, I have dabbled in fiction as well. I love writing poetry but for some reason, I never seem to have time now. I could never have imagined writing on the topic of child abuse because it has touched our own family in so many ways.

However, when I was approached about the horrid abuses suffered by 12 children in one Canadian family, I could not say no. That story needed to be told and it seemed that I was the one chosen to do it. Other genres that I do not wish to write about include science fiction and politics. They say that truth is often stranger than fiction, so for the most part, I avoid fiction as well.

I’ve read books, which annoy me to the point where I wanted to throw them across the room. As a reader, what do you think makes a good story? What’s one thing a ‘bad’ book taught you to not do in your own writing?

I have probably read hundreds of books over my lifetime and there were several things that annoyed me and still do. These include improper or excessive amount of punctuation (commas at every turn!), dangling or incomplete sentences, typos of course and not following the plot/story line. The most distressing are the books that end “in mid-air” so to speak leaving the reader with plenty of unanswered questions.

A good story should consist of a well thought out story-line, characters that are fully developed and described, including important elements of the surrounding scenery to stimulate the reader’s imagination and plenty of conversation that further reveals the characters’ likes, dislikes, personality, etc. It is vital that the reader not only comes to know the characters but also comes to love or hate them.

With the advent of self-publishing more common than ever via ebooks, I am amazed that authors do not either edit their own work or hire someone who is qualified to do it for them. There are thousands of ebooks out there that tell a great story but are essentially ruined because of this.

As a writer, what elements do you find are the most crucial to include in your stories? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I believe I answered the first question in #5. However, I would add that the story must flow from beginning to end, leaving no questions in the reader’s mind. I believe my strengths come from my experience writing for newspapers where I learned that one must include the – who, what, when, where and why – all crucial elements when writing non-fiction. I would say for the same reason, I am not as good at writing fiction, although I have attempted to do that.

Who/what are the biggest influences in your writing? How do they influence what you write? 

The biggest influence in my writing is the people I write about and the information they provide. These are usually personal experiences, which are my favorite thing to write about.

What draws you to your preferred genre? What do you think makes your genre unique? 

My preferred genre is any topic related to the paranormal including ghosts and hauntings, haunted houses and sites, angels, demons, premonitions, predictive dreams, life after death, near death experiences, aliens and UFOs, etc. I find these topics fascinating since I have had many experiences myself. Anyone who has an inquiring mind wants to understand the world of the paranormal and this is the audience I seek. I believe in this age of high technology when these types of events still occur, people want answers to life’s most important questions.

 Can you tell us about your books? What other projects are you working on?

Since retiring, I have published eight books with Saga Books of Calgary, AB and they will soon be available as ebooks, although some hard copies are still in circulation.  They are: 

Glimpse-11) “Glimpses” True Stories of the Paranormal See: http://paranormalbooks.webs.com

 

2) “Glimpses 2” It Could Happen To You! (ISBN# 1-894936-38-8) http://paranormalbooks.webs.com Glimpses 2-2

angel Good Cover

 

3) “Talking To My Angel” (children) (ISBN# 1-894936-28-0) See: http://www.talkingtomyangel.blogspot.com

 

5) The Man With The Magic Spectacles (ISBN# 978-1-894936-90-3) Spectaclescover1.jpg

 

BloodVengeance(small)-16) Blood Vengeance: (Cold Case #4-183) Not of this World (ISBN# 978-1-897512-32-6)

 

7) Totally Scared: The Complete Book On Haunted Houses (ISBN# 978-1-897512-35-7) See: http://www.totallyscared.webs.comTotallyScaredCoversmall2

 

8) Playing With The Devil (ISBN# 1-894936-51-5)

 

Ebooks available now on Amazon.com:
1) Phenomenal Paul: An Incredible True Tale of Insect-like Creatures & UFOS http://www.amazon.com/Phenomenal-Paul-Incredible-Insect-like-Creatures-ebook/dp/B00FZ0785U/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1385486700&sr=8-3&keywords=Martha+Jette

2) Terror In The Night I – Alien Abduction Exposed! http://www.amazon.com/Terror-In-The-Night-Abduction-ebook/dp/B00GUR8MMK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385488982&sr=8-1&keywords=Martha+Jette

3) The Borg Files – A Case of UFOs & Alien Abduction http://www.amazon.com/The-Borg-Files-Alien-Abduction-ebook/dp/B00H8XU26O/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1386844835&sr=8-9&keywords=Martha+Jette

4) Playing With The Devil http://www.amazon.com/Playing-With-Devil-Martha-Jette-ebook/dp/B00IBKYQ06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391966062&sr=8-1&keywords=Martha+Jette

(Note: see reader comments at the end of the interview)

I am currently working on two different projects. One is a personal biography and the other is a sequel to Terror In The Night, which will delve deeper into the UFO and alien phenomenon including what is already know by world governments, NASA, the NSA, the Vatican and so on. I have already completed a great deal of research for this one, including a number of documents unknown to the public. As well my co-writer, Dawn Colclasure, has asked me to co-write another paranormal book that she is working on.

Why is promoting writers on your blog or web site important to you?

My book review site offers information on other authors and what they are writing about. I am also a member of the Book Marketing Network (http://www.bookmarket.ning.com) where I run a book review group and other authors can post their own as well. In this business, it is vital that we do everything we can to support each other.

What do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you cope with it?

For me, the most difficult part of my writing is the amount of research involved. I have to set aside time for this because it forms the basis of many of my books.

Who are your favorite writers and why?

Well, when I was young, I used to read works by Shakespeare, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Into my teens, however, I wanted answers to life, likely because I was adopted and had no known roots. That’s when I began reading everything I could by such writers as Hans Holzer, Whitley Strieber, George Orwell, John E. Mack, David M. Jacobs, Aldus Huxley and Dan Brown. As to current day writers, I am extremely impressed by Vancouver author, Veronica Knox, who weaves amazing fictional tales that include aspects of the paranormal.

What advice would you give to new writers, especially those looking to break into your genre? 

First of all, it is imperative that you get the facts right when writing non-fiction. Secondly, unless you are also a professional editor, make sure you hire one. A good editor will tell you straight up what is wrong with your work and offer tips on how to improve it.

I would suggest that you create a web site or blog to feature some of your work in order to draw attention to it. Networking through various book and/or topic related sites/groups that focus on your genre is also important. As well, become your own book agent. Do everything you possibly can to spread the word about your book(s) on every site possible. Finally, make sure that whenever you send an email or make a posting, include info on your book(s) and how readers can get a copy.

How can readers get in contact with you?

Readers can always get in touch by writing to marthajette@yahoo.com or through my other sites including:

http://www.mjbookreviews.blogspot.com

http://www.ryze.com/go/teeka1234
https://www.facebook.com/martha.jette
http://www.twitter.com/teeka1234

http://www.agingwithcreativity.blogspot.com

 Reader Comments:

Playing With The Devil

“This is a horrific story of child abuse in the 1960s, researched and written by Martha Jette. The mother of these twelve children from Grand Banks, Newfoundland, Canada not only severely victimized these children herself, she sold them into prostitution, allowing them to be victimized by others in that small town… May Almighty God exact His justice on the perpetrators of these atrocities.” – Kevin Leland, who was compelled to include this book on every page of his web site at http://bangaricontentgallery.com

“The abuse of children in Canada and around the world can only take place in secrecy. As a society and as a community, we have a moral and legal obligation to expose crimes against children so that the arms of justice may intervene. Martha Jette has performed just this duty by writing Playing With The Devil. We owe it to our children and all children to read this book.” – Lisa Haeck, Director, Canada Children First

Totally Scared: The Complete Book on Haunted Houses

“I love this book! Not only are there true encounters of spirits from the other side and the world’s most haunted places but there is also a section in this book teaching you how to make your home a haunted house and being a Halloween lover that was awesome. 🙂 I found this book to be very interesting and hard to put down.” – Mrs. Brooks, Night Owl Reviews

“Authors Jette and Colclasure did a spectacular and imaginative job in compiling real ghost stories from around the world, mincing with your average Joe to celebrity tales. For those who are new to the field of the paranormal or want to learn more on many different levels this is a read to pick up as I highly recommend it.”- Author and Paranormalist, Alexandra Holzer, daughter of the renowned Hans Holzer

Glimpses: True Stories of the Paranormal

“I just finished reading Glimpses and I must say from the very first page to the very last page, I was hooked. I could not put the book down! A must-read for anyone who has ever wondered about the higher and unknown powers.” – Leesa Dawn Nauss, Hamilton, Ontario

“This is a book you cannot put down in anticipation of the next page. Really well written and totally blew me away! – Peter Wills, New Zealand

Talking To My Angel

“I absolutely love and believe in angels. I cannot stop crying. You have touched my heart and soul, in all sincerity. My daughter, Monique, is 9 years old and read your book. She and I loved it – really loved it! – Australian celebrity Suzanne Leigh

I have also been a guest on a variety of on and off line radio shows including CHML and The X-Zone in Hamilton, Midnight Highway Radio, BUFO Radio, Global Talk Radio, The Graveyard Shift, Quantum Radio, Late Night in the Midlands and Spirit Rescuers, 2012 Blog Talk Radio.

“I have had the pleasure of having Martha Jette on the X-Zone Radio Show a number of times, and in her latest book Glimpses 2: (it could happen to you!), her many years as a journalist and editor in the newspaper industry shines through in this paranormal piece of work.” – Rob McConnell, host & executive producer of the X-Zone. Archive link: http://www.xzone-radio.com/archives

Thank you so much for visiting, Mrs. Jette. I appreciate you sharing about your books, your passion for creativity, and what makes for good writing. Readers, thank you for sticking with us, and I hope you will let Mrs. Jette know how much you appreciated her interview.

Until next time!

Author Interview with Horror and Paranormal Romance Writer Su Halfwerk

Today’s guest author is another miracle find. Mutli-talented and brimming with experience, wisdom and common sense, it was a joy for me to interview Su Halfwerk. I know every one of you will be similarly touched by her humor, honesty and advice, so I invite you, dear Reader, to have a seat and and meet this wonderful woman…

Su Halfwerk 1

Dyane, thanks for the opportunity to visit your blog and meet your readers. As you might already know, I’m a big fan of your blog and a very dedicated follower.

Thanks, Su! It’s fantastic to have you here today. Can you start us off by telling us a little about yourself?

Sure. I’m a writer, artist, wife, and mother. Writing became my escape when my son was an infant and I became a super-sanitary-freak, which put painting with oil paint and turpentine out of the question.

Whether I’m writing or designing graphics, Ramona, my son’s cat and my literary sidekick, curls up in my lap. She thinks she inspires my creativity, I let her think so.

What other artistic interests do you have besides writing? Where does writing fit in, and why are you drawn to it? What keeps you motivated/inspired?

I like to paint and design book covers and book trailers. As with writing, they are about creating worlds with words, brushes, or mouse clicks. I found that my creative activities complement and support each other. They also inspire me to research more which in turn leads to new avenues to express myself in my writing and the graphic designs I create for authors.

What forms of writing and genres do you prefer and why? What can you never see yourself writing?

Short stories, novels, and novellas are my favourites. In writing, I focus on paranormal romance and horror, while in reading I add suspense and thrillers to the list of genres.

It’s difficult to pinpoint a genre as a No-No for me to write because I refuse to restrict creativity but I did find myself hesitant to intrude on my characters’ private and more intimate time together. Keeping this mind, I think erotica is the one genre I might never write. Nothing against it as a genre, but it might not be my cup of tea.

Then again, we never know! 🙂

AVENGER

I’ve read books which annoyed me to the point where I wanted to throw them across the room. As a reader, what do you think makes a good story? What’s one thing a ‘bad’ book taught you to not do in your own writing?

I know, right! I make it a point to finish any book I start reading but it’s a struggle sometimes. A good story is one that doesn’t jar with typos and errors, one that has intrigue and suspense, keeping the readers on their toes, guessing, questioning, and sometimes even hating the author for what he/she did to some characters. A good book stays with you for sometime, pondering sub-plots, remembering touching or funny scenes.

I learned a lot from reading bad books, so I’ll mention two lessons instead. I learned to never ignore the need for fresh eyes to go over my books, best option is a dependable and honest editor. The second lesson I picked up was to avoid what I call “character’s self-pity party.” It’s when a character spends a good portion of the book bemoaning his luck and questioning fate instead of taking action. Action moves the story forward while a plentiful self-searching usually becomes the sagging middle.

 As a writer, what elements do you find are the most crucial to include in your stories? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Elements that revolve around the senses are essential to involve readers. If they don’t feel, smell, hear, and taste with the character, then they’re distanced from the story. They need to feel the afternoon sun warming the character’s skin, the way a mother inhales deeply the scent of her baby’s clean skin, and the voice of a loved one, be it in distress or happiness, can evoke all sorts of emotions in one’s heart.

Weaknesses? I suck at marketing and promoting myself *shakes head*

I guess being an introvert is a big part of it, but I DO love to use my time to create and not promote. Funny enough, I’m quite good at promoting others!!!

Another weakness is nitpicking. I know when a book is finished but I don’t know when to stop going over it since I like to give my editor a clean copy.

My strengths? I’m flexible. If something, say like a scene or an event in my life, isn’t going the way I expected, I pout but I look for other ways to overcome the obstacle.

I also have a tremendous hunger for learning. I learn from everything I watch or read and subsequently, use it.

SEEKER

Who/what are the biggest influences in your writing? How do they influence what you write?

My mood controls my writing. I tend to swing like a pendulum between dark fiction and romance to balance the darkness with light in me. Well, we all have that small devil within us, difference is, I embrace mine fully.

When I’m in a dark mood I write horror, otherwise it’s sweet paranormal romance.

What draws you to your preferred genre? What do you think makes your genre unique? And why is it so popular? (Or perhaps less popular than it could be?)

It’s difficult to choose between horror and paranormal romance since I read heavily in both. I’m drawn to their extreme contrasts…in the destruction of lives and the wooing of the heart.

Horror is unique because as a reader you get to experience that rush of adrenaline from the safety of your home, knowing and believing that it can’t touch you. (Think again.)

 Paranormal romance has the allure of mixing the dangerous with the protective, of taming the beasts known for bloodshed and carnage into romantic partners who would do anything to keep their loved ones safe.

Horror is popular within its own circle because it requires a strong heart. It’s an acquired taste really. Because of paranormal romance’s romantic elements it is very popular among adults and young adults. Romance is a winner wherever you go.

Can you tell us about your books? What other projects are you working on?

HISTOPOSSESSThere’s the sweet love story between a ghost and a woman in His to Possess, then there are the spirit hunters who must find their destined ones while battling the possessed in the Unsettled trilogy. I’m currently working on book 3 titled, Beholder.

In horror, I have Intricate Entanglement which consists of 7 short stories (or 8, depending how you look at it) that take place in a mental hospital for the criminally insane. You get to hear/read first hand about what brought each there. Hellbound contains 3 stories that are either from, to, or in Hell. Zuphreen is about a demon that comes bearing gifts, except there are strings attached to that service.

IntricateEntanglement_300dpi_eBook

Currently, I’m outlining a book that will have short stories linked by an unnatural thread. 

Why is promoting other writers important to you?

Nowadays, literary survival is through connections and networking. Visiting each others’ blogs is one of the most effective tools to help a fellow writer/blogger while spreading your name and keeping it alive on the internet. It’s also the best way to meet new readers and for readers to discover new authors. 

What do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you cope with it?

Staying focused and finding the time to write. There are two types of distractions: Family and muse. With family, sometimes, saying you need writing time works. Forget that with the muse. He is stubborn (yeah, mine is male and he is gorgeous,) tenacious, and won’t let go until I listen. A new idea is great, but when it nags to take center stage, it can distract me from my current work in progress. If I give in, I’ll have loads of unfinished manuscripts. I deal with it by writing all I have about the new idea in a file and saving it in my IDEAS folder. This way I reduce the nagging (note: not eliminating. My muse is mighty) and at the same time I have basis for a new story.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

Stephen King in horror. He has a way with words, of gripping your attention until the last word. Sometimes the ending is not to my liking, sometimes it surpasses it, either way, the journey to reach that ending is worth it.

Gena Showalter in paranormal romance. She has an astonishing sense of humour and a solid vault of imagination that she dips in and paints the most rewarding romances I ever read. I love her heroes and heroines, they are strong and witty. 

What advice would you give to new writers, especially those looking to break into the horror or suspense genre?

My advice applies to all genres. Like all writers, you will go through moments of self-doubt. It’s cool but do it while WRITING not while sitting and mulling over it. And while at it, find out what caused that self-doubt. Is it the plot? The characters? Errors in continuity? Use that negativity, be it self-doubt or any other emotion, to push forward. You’ll be surprised at how many of your weakness can be turned to strengths with dedication.

Specifically for horror writers, beside the above, read in the genre; connect with other readers and writers on loops and groups to stay up-to-date. Horror’s share in the market might be less than romance but its fans are super devoted.

How can readers get into contact with you?

I haunt these places online:

Website: www.su-halfwerk.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Su.Halfwerk

Blog: www.suhalfwerk.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SuHalfwerk

Please stop by and holler. One of my 14 personalities is bound to answer!  Dyane, thanks again for the fun interview.

You’re welcome, Su. I’m just glad you took the time to talk with us about your loves and interests and I just know the Readers each took something valuable away from the interview. Please, Readers, visit Su–or one of her other personalities. We wouldn’t want them to get bored now would we?

Have a great week, everyone! See you soon!