Author Interview: B. Truly!

Talking to author, B. Truly!

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Interview:


1. Tell me (and the readers) a little bit about yourself, including a quirk that you have.

A. I am more of a homebody, but I never get bored at home. I always have plenty to do between social media, watching TV, reading, and writing my own books. Actually, I feel like I never have enough time at home to do everything I want. I choose my leisure activities, depending on what I’m in the mood for.
For outings, I like going to the movies, having book meets with my author buddies, and hanging out with my friends and family.



2. How did the idea for your book, come about?

A. As a teen my favorite author was V.C. Andrews. She is best known for Flowers in the Attic, but my favorite series from her were actually, the Dawn and Heaven series. I also loved My Sweet Audrina.
I was inspired to write a book about dark family secrets and betrayal. Reading V. C. Andrews sparked the idea of a young woman coming into her own, and all the tribulations she went through.



3. What was the most enjoyable and stressful part about writing this book?

A. The most enjoyable part was creating engaging and conflicting plots for my characters to go through. The most frustrating part was when I came across contradicting things, and I had to figure out how to make them work.



4. Who was the first person you asked to read your book after it was ready and why them?

A. I let a girl from 11th grade named Angela read the original handwritten version of the book. I don’t know how we got on the topic of it, but she was fascinated that I had written a novel at our age, and she asked me to read it.



5. Are you planning to release another book anytime soon?

A. Yes. I plan to release Thorn of Secrets, the 2nd book in the series the 1st week of February 2022.



6. If you could venture into a different genre, which would you choose to write on?

A. I plan to release a psychological thriller that I’m working on in the near future. I’ve never written in that genre before, but I think it’s a very intriguing and creative one. You really must brainstorm to create a great psycho-thriller.



7. Did you always know you wanted to be a published author/poet?

A. Yes, for the most part. I knew I wanted to become a published author by the time I was 15 years old and wrote the original version of Scorn of Secrets, 27 years ago.



8. Did you look up to any author or poet while growing up?
A. V.C. Andrews and Stephen King were the authors that I looked up to as a teen.



9. I’ve always talked about this, but if your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

A. For Madison Guillory I envision Amandla Stenberg or Yara Shahidi.
For Justin—Jackson, my vote is Trevor Jackson.



10. Lastly, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there?

A. If you love writing, then don’t give up on it. Your story deserves to see the light of day. Write when you’re inspired. If you bump into writer’s block, then put your story aside until other ideas come to mind.
If you would like to become self-published, then your dream of becoming an author can come true through Amazon & Kindle Direct Publishing.
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Review:

Scorn of Secrets is the first book in the coming of age YA Urban series, My Darkest Secret by B. Truly. It’s a story that has you hooked, however it’s also very sad and was very hard to get through because of its contents.
This book is the definition of a rollercoaster because on one hand when things are going good, you know at the back of your mind something really devastating is about to happen and when it does you’ll need to put the book down, because that’s what I did because I started crying. What Madison goes through is something we don’t wish upon our biggest of enemies.
The author has a way with words and their writing absolutely captivated because it doesn’t dwell far from reality even though it’s fiction and the way it draws you in because you can feel so much of hurt, anger and sadness for Madison is unlike any other.
Talking about realism, even the characters feel authentic, like they belong to our world (and unfortunately the scummiest of them do) but, even the one’s that are genuinely loving. My feelings for Madison sister is one that I have conflicting feelings for because I know people like her exist, I just wished they didn’t.
Overall, I loved this book a lot, however I would say to read it with great caution especially if you’ve been a victim of sexual assault. And always remember, you’re never alone! Even if you feel like the world is against you in your darkest days, there will always be someone to be there for you.

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Author’s Instagram: https://instagram.com/brandytruly?utm_medium=copy_link

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B091BR68YG/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_F0E5ZG77TRMCWBH248DB

Amazon International: https://www.amazon.com/Scorn-Secrets-B-Truly-ebook/dp/B091BR68YG/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=b.+truly&qid=1630845994&sr=8-4

The Fudan 5: A Chinese American Tangram Tale For Kids by Stacy Shaneyfelt, Alex Liu and Jacqueline Machado!

Guard this ancient tangram today.
You’ll discover the Fudan 5 in a cultural way.


The Fudan 5: A Chinese American Tangram Tale For Kids is a children’s illustrated book by Stacy Shaneyfelt, Alex Liu and Jacqueline Machado. A Tangram is a Chinese geometrical puzzle consisting of a square cut into seven pieces which can be arranged to make various other shapes.
This book not only gives you a glimpse into a small part of Chinese culture, but the concept of a Tangram will also help them learn a bit about polygon problem solving and logical thinking as they create new animals along with Alex.
Accompanied with more than 10 post reading activities, join Alex asyour child learns a little bit more about Chinese culture including a few Chinese words as well as few new English words to add to their vocabulary.
Overall, this book is fun yet informative and will help get your child interested in learning something new without feeling like it’s just another lesson.

Rated 9/10
Melina L. 🦄

Who Am I by Kalpesh Suryavanshi!

The ‘I’ is emotional, it is sometimes sad or happy. The ‘I’ is intellectual & sometimes stupid. The ‘I’ is young but then it also gets old.

Who Am I is an essay by Kalpesh Suryavanshi that looks into the question from the four perspectives; scientific, religious, spiritual & psychological. This isn’t a self-help book, but more focused on opening your mind to think differently. The question ‘who am I’ is known for being a complex question because everyone does not know the answer to it on a deeper level.

One of my favourite parts of the book ia this sentence:

You are your body,
You are your job,
You are the clothes you wear,
You are the personality you have,
You are the name you have,
You are the life you lived.

Because we’re not one dimensional people and even though sometimes we feel like we’re ‘nothing’, we are so much more than that.
Overall, it’s a good book for a one time read to understand the author’s perspective to the ever looming question, but it may also make you understand some of the questions you have about yourself without even trying to.

Rated 8/10
Melina L. 🦄

The Hidden Gem In India: Old Manali by Jayant Jayneel!

Now I know love is defined in many ways, but no matter how many times one falls in love, even if intently and at first sight, no one can fall in love as instantly and profoundly as I fell for Old Manali.


Some plans are not meant to work, only for the unexpected plans to materialize. Manali was supposed to be a one-time thing, just a hook up, one damn date, that is it. When did it become the love of my life? When did I tie the knot with it? When did it become my family? Why does my soul speak so much of the place? Let’s find out this uncanny and mysterious journey of adventure, survival and mysterious encounters.


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The Hidden Gem In India: Old Manali by Jayant Jayneel is the author’s tale of travelling through this gem and savouring every minute of it. He talks about every place visited, and the people he’s met in the district which gives it a very ‘in the moment’ feel as we travel along with them and we get a sense of why he’s fallen in love with the place so much he’s made multiple visits over the years. I’ve never been to Old Manali before, neither have I read much about it, so I when I read this book I went in with no prior knowledge or perception whatsoever. So, reading about it gave me a sense of wonderment. Although, activities like trekking are not my cup of tea, I may be persuaded enough ti enjoy the sights.
The author does not only talk about the places he’s visited. He also goes into detail about every piece of food including every cup of that they consumed and even though it may not seem like much, it makes your mouth water with the anticipation to taste everything one day.
If you scroll to the next slide I’ve included an example of the pictures that have been included so as to give a more realistic experience to a reader. Hopefully, I can go to Old Manali one day because the author’s experiences have persuaded me to add another location to my every growing list of places to visit.

Rated 9/10
Melina L. 🦄

Stay the Course (Beginning to Endex) by Deon McCarthy!

I found out that the key to pushing past my limits was to never give up–always reach up! I was capable of much more than I’d ever given myself credit to accomplish.


Steven Goode has been transformed into Private Goode and has just graduated Army basic training. (book 1 Toe the Line) Now what!? He is now faced with new challenges that will change his life forever. First, he has to overcome his mechanical weaknesses to learn how to be a mechanic on the technically advanced Apache helicopter! While he tries to adjust in a new place with new characters. The stakes are high and if he makes the wrong moves, his Army life will be over! Second, going home for the first time since basic training. How will his family receive him? How much has the Army changed him? Better yet!! Did the Army actually change him or just brought out the person he’s always been and was meant to be? You will read the answers to all of these questions and much more in this book. You will read through the eyes of Private Goode. You will hear his inner thoughts as he fights within himself and navigates his Army life.

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Stay the Course (Beginning to Endex) is the second book in the series by Deon McCarthy. I haven’t read book one but, book two follows Steven as he manoeuvres his army life. I’m not very familiar with the US Army, but the author of the book is a retired Master Sergeant and Combat Veteran, so as expected he goes into great detail about life in the Army and all the hardships associated with it. A huge part of the book is more on the informative side with insights into how the Army functions etc., but because it’s written in a story-like fashion you don’t realise how much you’ve absorbed until the very end because what would have been considered as boring information to most turns out to be interesting.
Reading about Steven, as a character is interesting because with every new experience he encounters and decision he has to make you start to understand what it truly means to be a part of the army. The last chapter hit me the hardest. I’m not going to give away much, but there’s a brief conversation with his father and grandfather that makes everything a little bit more emotional and the reality of the life of a war veteran hits you like a ton of bricks.
Overall, absolutely loved the book. I couldn’t put it down and I’m looking forward to reading what happens next in Steven’s journey and also catch up on what I missed in the first book to see if I can understand him better.


Rated 9/10
Melina L. 🦄

Mythical Creatures and Magical Beasts: An Illustrated Book of Monsters from Timeless Folktales, Folklore and Mythology: Volume 1 by Zayden Stone!

Almost every significant body of water in Scotland has an associated kelpie story, and the common theme is that if you get onto their back, you are doomed to drown.


Mythical Creatures and Magical Beasts: An Illustrated Book of Monsters from Timeless Folktales, Folklore and Mythology: Volume 1 by Zayden Stone is the perfect book for everyone out there who loves magic and mythology because it provides a guide to the roots from where these stories have emerged. It is said that every myth we believe stems from some form of truth, be it superstitions or stories about mythical creatures, the stories and tales we’ve grown to love have told and retold over the generations, but have you ever wondered what is it’s true origin?
The author of this book focusses on the stories/myths of various animals/beasts and he has meticulously organised them and segregated them into six sections: Arthropoda, An Ancient Aviary, Cryptic Canines (by far my favorite section), the Eternal Hiss, the Unusual Ungulates and Aquatic Beasts. You might be familiar with most of not all these terms and what they stand for do it’s not difficult to guess that just by reading the titles I was already hooked. It took me less than two hours to complete this book because I couldn’t put it down. Every little detail was so interesting, so captivating that I wanted to know and learn more and by the time I reached the end I was heartbroken because I wanted to know what other creatures are out there that have such beautiful and intriguing histories but I never realised it.
Overall, if you didn’t realise already, I loved every page if this book including the illustrations because it was so captivating!

Rated 10/10
Melina L. 🦄

Author Interview: Sumera Farman!


Talking to poet, Sumera Farman!

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Interview:

1. Tell me (and the readers) a little bit about yourself, including a quirk that you have.

A. So I’m 30 years old. I’ve been writing for about 10 years. However, I started with newspaper articles and for a long time wanted to be a journalist. But then I stopped writing. When I graduated last year from the Open University, I did my degree as a BA Honours Open Degree with English Modules. My last module was in creative writing and I remembered how much I loved writing because I hadn’t done it for years! As I loved the module, I decided to do my Masters in creative writing. My degree classification wasn’t the best so I wasn’t sure I’d get in. I applied to one uni and got rejected which was heartbreaking but then I applied to Coventry and got in with an immediate start date.


2. How did the idea for your book, come about?

A. It all stems from my Masters. Coventry University wanted me to have a blog of some sort for my course. So I created my website http://www.farmancreates.com as when I wrote articles, I had a pretty decent following on Facebook. I reactivated my Facebook page, created an Instagram and uploaded some old articles. I followed some publishers, used some #hashtags to try and grow a following. Someone reached out about an anthology so I thought why not. I struggled with it, but then others reached out and I kept writing. So I had various pieces in different anthologies but they were all pretty much about the same person. This guy that I’m crazy about. So I thought let’s turn it into a book so if anyone happens to like my writing, they’ll be able to read my story in one place.


3. What was the most enjoyable and stressful part about writing this book?

A. I think writing the poems wasn’t actually stressful. I found it quite therapeutic actually. The most stressful part was getting a designer to do the cover I envisioned. My regular designer had some stuff going on so wasn’t able to support me. So I had to find someone else. I then had to decide what poems to put in the book. Some were a bit too intimate and I didn’t want my family to read them.


4. Who was the first person you asked to read your book after it was ready and why them?

A. I actually didn’t get anyone to read the whole book. Instead, every time I wrote a piece that I liked or thought was ok, I’d send it to my best friend who told me what she thought.


5. Are you planning to release another book anytime soon?

A. I actually do have another poetry book in the works. It’s with a publisher so I’m not self publishing it. I’m not sure what I’m allowed to say about it but the topic is still unrequited love. I have a title, all the poems are done and I’m just waiting to approve the front cover.


6. If you could venture into a different genre, which would you choose to write on?

A. I’ve always been focused on writing crime fiction. As these are the books I’m OBSESSED with. However during semester 1, I also ventured into Sci-fi so I plan to release a book that’s Sci-fi too. I’m also hoping to release a children’s book. I just have to finish the manuscript and get my friend to do the artwork. I’m also entering a competition to write a romance novel but this is more difficult than it seems.


7. Did you always know you wanted to be a published author/poet?

A. I didn’t know I wanted to write until my 20’s and then I was so focused on journalism. I always had the idea for a book, and I knew I wanted to write crime fiction. I thought I’ll do my crime fiction book and then I’m going to die happy. I didn’t think about being a full time writer until this year but I do have a job because that pays the bills until writing pays the bills.


8. Did you look up to any author or poet while growing up?

A. I think as a child I loved Roald Dahl and J K Rowling. I once read a book called Operation Gagetman by Malorie Blackman and I’m pretty sure that this is where my love of crime fiction was
9. born. I also loved the Beatrix Potter books.


9. I’ve always talked about this, but if your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

A. It’s funny but because my book is basically a story of my relationship with the object of my affection, I think it could be a movie. I’m not sure who would play me, but the guy who played him would need an excellent beard and he would have to be stunning. Because he’s the most attractive guy I know.


10. Lastly, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there?

A. I would say no matter the genre you like to write in, branch out. Challenge yourself. Get your friend or friends to critique it. Enter whatever competitions you can. Put your name out there. Don’t give up because you’re disheartened. Don’t tell everyone all your moves either. People don’t always want good for you. They don’t want you to succeed or be more successful than them. You don’t truly fail until you stop trying.

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Review:

Poems About U is a poetry book by Sumera Farman that follows a love story between two people that blossoms but soon leads to heartbreak. Written with a more modern style to it, this book shows a true representation of what it is like to be in love. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, there are dark days but what matters most is pushing through them and getting to the other side. But sometimes things don’t always go as planned and not all relationships work out.
The most difficult thing you could ask someone to do is move on after a breakup with someone they gave their heart and soul to, and this book is the closest representation I’ve seen when it comes to the true stages of going through a break up, because it ends on a realistic note which is an incomplete one.
Everyone’s experience will be different, but in this book you’ll be able to find a poem or a verse you resonate with, I know I did.

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Author’s Instagram: https://instagram.com/farmancreates

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B099438YXV/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_GMS4970S46EB6HCZZJP1

Amazon International: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B099BZ7BPG/ref=cm_sw_r_as_gl_apa_glt_fabc_R6PTBNHZVYG69MW0XJKV?linkCode=ml1&tag=sumerafarman-21

Talking To Norelle Smith and S.P.W. Mitchell!

Talking to authors Norelle Smith and S.P.W. Mitchell!
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Interview:


1.Tell me (and the readers) a little bit about yourself, including a quirk that you have.

Norelle

I’m a “home-body”. I enjoy being here on my property with my animals over taking a vacation. Family is number one, and family is not always blood related. I love to read books that take me into someone else’s chaos! And I do enjoy digging into my Bible each day. I also very much enjoy good conversation, with a glass of wine, with friends next to our firepit. Hmm… a quirk of mine? I’m a little OCD, so if you ask my family there are many! I think the funniest one, is when I’m going up or down stairs – if I’m walking down steps, my right foot needs to go down first; if I’m going up, it needs to be my left foot first.

Mitchell

I have been writing for almost twenty years now, If Untold is my fourth completed novel, and my second one published on Amazon. In my free time, I quite enjoy reading, movies, video games and long walks. A quirk of mine, I would say, is that I believe that dreams actually, in some instances, can predict the future in varying degrees.



2. How did the idea for your book, come about?

Norelle

I had an idea and attached a piece of my own life to it. Mitchell and I met week after week in a small park and tossed our own ideas around until the story fell into place. I believe IF Untold is a unique story. It shows a side of life, a part of the world, that I don’t think we give much thought to. It was a juggling act to keep the book balanced. Showing the innocence of youth that led into a dark world. It shows how one secret can turn into a series of stupid choices and lies, leading to big consequences. A domino effect.

Mitchell

I was actually recommended to Norelle by a mutual acquaintance of ours. We met in a park and she and I discussed the idea that she had for this story and we began rebounding ideas off of each other which would inevitably become If Untold.



3. What was the most enjoyable and stressful part about writing this book?

Norelle

I think the most enjoyable was seeing a simple idea grow. Then grow even more. Watching that simple thought bloom into an incredible story. The stressful part was deciding which of the thoughts and ideas would actually be written.

Mitchell

The most enjoyable part for me was that this book was unlike anything I had written before. This book contains a lot of raw, oftentimes disturbing circumstances that seem to pile up on one another, but then turns around and becomes a redemptive tale, so that it’s not just nearly 300 pages of hardship. The stressful part was probably the timeline in which we had written it (we started in March of 2020 and had it finished by March 1 of 2021).



4. Who was the first person you asked to read your book after it was ready and why them?

Norelle

I had two: One of my cousins and my mother. I knew they would give feedback without sugarcoating their words.

Mitchell

I asked my mother and sister to read the book first, as they are always my immediate go-to people when it comes to beta reading.



5. Are you planning to release another book anytime soon?

Norelle

Yes! I’ve almost completed The Gap Between Us. It will be available in the Fall (2021). Mitchell and I have also already started on our second book together, That One Day. We’re hoping to have that finished sometime in 2022. I also have two others that I’ll be working on, on my own.

Mitchell

I actually have an 808 page psychological romance novel that is due to be released, hopefully, by the beginning of October, entitled Nevaeh Smiled, about an actress who falls in love at a prestigious theater who is battling mental illness.



6. If you could venture into a different genre, which would you choose to write on?

Norelle

I don’t think I will. IF Untold is a Romance, Suspense and Crime all in one. But if I had to pick something, I think it would be a non-fiction biography.

Mitchell

My most comfortable genres are horror and romance, so I would say I would like to be able to write comedy (as I often tend to lean more towards dramatic, serious, intense stories). I’ve never had much practice in writing comedic scenarios or situations, so if there was anything I would like to venture into sometime, it would be comedy.



7. Did you always know you wanted to be a published author/poet?

Norelle

I had thought about it, but never did I think I had it in me. It was about 10 years ago. Someone told me I had a great idea for a story, but I was too busy with my corporate-world career. Although it burned in my mind often. I had never written anything! I didn’t think I had it in me. Believe it or not, I watched a YouTube video by Steve Harvey (Family Feud) and that was his message. “Jump”. What an inspirational talk that was! After that, I felt an incredibly strong pull inside me; I had a story to share, and I needed to write it. I enjoyed writing IF Untold so much I decided to keep writing.

Mitchell

I was always writing from a very young age, first rewriting fairy tales with my own illustrations and then moving to fan fiction of my favorite video game characters. I read a lot as a child too and R.L. Stine and his Goosebumps book series was what really propelled me towards wanting to create stories of my own. For me, to write is to read and so I think reading voraciously is just as important. So I think I knew all my life that I was going to be a writer, but I never consciously told it to myself until I was about eighteen-years-old or so.



8. Did you look up to any author or poet while growing up?

Norelle

I’ve always enjoyed reading. I’ve read a large variety of authors. Dean Koontz has always been a favorite of mine. Over the last decade, I’ve mostly read books from self-published authors. Some of my favorites: The Broken (JJ Hernandez), A Crime for a Crown (IM Powell), In Pursuit of the Promised Land (Sharolyn Carlson) and Found (MB Padovich).

Mitchell

Growing up, I loved R.L. Stine and his Goosebumps series, along with Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events books. The older I got, I became interested in the likes of Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Tennessee Williams as well as Truman Capote and Paul Gallico. I am also a HUGE fan of Stephen King.



9. I’ve always talked about this, but if your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

Norelle

I’ve already had a dozen or more people ask me this same question.
Isaac – Justin Timberlake, Aaron Paul or Donnie Walberg
Francesca – Sandra Bullock, Jessica Biel, or Tarana Nushin (Tarana is someone I know. I believe we’ll all be seeing her on the big screen soon).

Mitchell

I really don’t know who I would cast in the movie. I would have to see a performer come in and completely dazzle me I suppose (like Charlize Theron’s transformation into Aileen Wuornos for the 2003 movie “Monster” which she won an Academy Award for).



10. Lastly, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there?

Norelle

“Jump” and do what you dream of doing. With my second book, my doubts rolled over to it. “Can I do it on my own?” I had someone tell me if you have beta readers, someone proofreading and editing for me, it was “cheating.” I do have those while writing solo. That was the beauty of having a co-author, a second set of eyes and ideas. I don’t believe every writer does it completely on their own, but hats-off to the ones that do. I admire you! Having extra eyes on my solo writing, only opened my mind and provided more ideas for my story. Don’t be afraid to get help when you’re stuck.

Mitchell

Aside from the cliched “keep writing” answer that most authors give (though cliched, it’s nonetheless true), I would say read, read, and read some more. Reading different kinds of books allows for you to pull inspiration from places you may never have thought to look before. You can also “hear” a writer’s voice in the way they craft a story and that can help make a fellow author’s voice more coherent or even help them add a little flare to theirs. So I would say, as much as you should always write, always read.

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Review:

IF Untold by Norelle Smith and S.P.W. Mitchell is a fictional novel that tells the story of a relationship that keeps haunting the protagonist, Francesca even during her happy days. It shows the various things that effect an adult relationship, and it all starts with how children are treated by their parents at a young age. It’s said that if you grow up in a toxic environment, that’s all you know and are familiar with. So, as you get older you effect everyone that’s close to you and the cycle continues.
Reading about Francesca and Isaac’s stories as children in parallel to what’s going on in the present, we as readers can see how things went wrong. But, knowing that relationships like this (or similar to this) do exist makes it even more heartbreaking.
Francesca’s feelings for Issac may be shocking to most people, but, in reality relationships do exist because they’ve had such a huge impact on them over the years because of psychological factors. She’s seen him grow over the years and even though there’s a lot of ups and downs in the relationship, she still sees him as the young kid she once met.
You feel a wave of emotions as you can distinct between what’s good and bad, but your heart and mind are in this grey area at times where, along with the characters, your perception of right and wrong is altered.
The structure of the story could have been better with a few areas trimmed off, but overall the story is emotional and the last chapter let me know that even though it’s the end, it’s not really ‘the end’. There’s a long battle ahead and emotionally and mentally it’s a more realistic ending.

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Authors Profile: https://instagram.com/norelleandmitchell

Amazon International: https://www.amazon.com/IF-UNTOLD-NORELLE-SMITH/dp/B0915H2Z26/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=21YHYV9749FXY&dchild=1&keywords=if+untold+by+norelle+smith&qid=1630414570&sprefix=if+untold&sr=8-3

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B0914W1H1M/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_WDHWR0R5V8D9X4ZVBG66

Talking to William F. Burk!

Talking to William F. Burk, author of The Heart of Hearts!
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Interview:

1. Tell me (and the readers) a little bit about yourself, including a quirk that you have.

A. My name is William F. Burk, and I am an independent author of dark fantasy. Book 1 of Sword/Eye, “The Heart of Hearts” is my first novel. This series is also part of a larger chronicle which will be called “A Tale of Gods and Men” (ATOGAM for short). As for my quirk (which is more of a curse really) is my absolute passion for coffee. I drink it all day, and I’m always looking to try new roasts and different drinks. It’s…probably not healthy.


2. How did the idea for your book, come about?

A. This is quite often a dreaded question for authors, as a lot of the time we really don’t know either. But I believe that the story came from many places. The first character I created for the world of Lythia was actually Eldric. Initially, he was the mentor for Blake and she was supposed to be the main character. This didn’t go well, and I couldn’t really find a plotline with the two, so I eventually abandoned the story to focus on the manga project called Angelica/Demonica. It wasn’t until the creation of the current main characters, Lukas and Nox, that the story began to move forward and become something. So, to answer your question, I suppose the idea for the story came from the creation of Lukas and Nox, as everything sort of became clearer with their creations.


3. What was the most enjoyable and stressful part about writing this book?

A. There are many enjoyable parts to a story. I really enjoy creating the myths that go along with my tales, but I would have to say that my favorite part about this book was writing the main antagonist. He’s just so fun to write! I loved getting into his mind and being able to breathe his character to life. But I do write dark fantasy, so I think that it’s probably natural that I like to write the evil ones (I hope…).

As for the most stressful, well, I would have to say that it was the Ildar Arc with the vampiric villain Damasko the Bloodletter. This part was actually not in the original draft but was added to the second draft as a rewrite. Initially Damasko was a non-vampire highwayman with fire magic, but this was scrapped for the Damasko we see in the book. I think I still have the alternate story on the Scrivener project somewhere. It may never see the light of day, but it was definitely stressful having to get rid of several chapters and replace them with something completely different.


4. Who was the first person you asked to read your book after it was ready and why them?

A. My current editor. She was a friend that I trusted, and I knew that she would tell me if she hated it.


5. Are you planning to release another book anytime soon?

A. Of course! I’m working on three stories right now, but my focus is on Sword/Eye book 2, “The Phoenix Prince,” which hopefully will be out by the end of the year or the beginning of the next year at the latest. The other projects two are separate stories, but they’re still in the ATOGAM timeline and universe. They won’t be ready for a while though, as Sword/Eye is my main focus right now. By the way, I write Angelica/Demonica as a web novel on https://tapas.io/series/AngDemo/info it is still young but is the prequel to everything else I’ll ever write.


6. If you could venture into a different genre, which would you choose to write on?

A. Historical fiction, because it is my second favorite genre. One of my favorite authors is Bernard Cornwell, who writes novels based in medieval Europe. I love history, so this genre has always been fun to read.


7. Did you always know you wanted to be a published author/poet?

A. This is a funny question to me, mainly because I didn’t always know. I always tell people that being a writer is like being diagnosed with an illness. You didn’t know you had it, but when you look back, you can see the signs. It’s the same for me with writing. I didn’t know I was a writer, but now that I look back on my life, I realize that I was a writer all along. I find it quite amusing really.


8. Did you look up to any author or poet while growing up?

A. Yes. Eiichiro Oda’s manga, “One Piece,” was, is, and will forever be the story that made me think “I want to do that.” I’ve been reading the story since I was in 6th grade (I’m pushing 30 now, and it’s still running). It’s just the way that Oda commands emotion and tells his story that really mystifies me.


9. I’ve always talked about this, but if your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

A. I worked on a manga project for a few years, so I see my stories as animations. I don’t know actors, but I would love to see my stories animated by Mappa studios. I think that everything they do looks so cool.


10. Lastly, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there?

A. I heard a quote once about poetry that I believe applies to all writing: “Writing [poetry] is the easiest art to pick up, but the hardest art to master.”

So, my advice to anyone who wants to begin this hard road is this: Read a lot and write a lot. That’s all there is to it. Just put in the work and practice, and you’ll get there. Writing is a grueling journey filled with many heartaches and slumps, but if you put in the work you’ll get there.
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Review:

Heart of Hearts is a coming of age dark fantasy novel by William F. Burk is fast paced and gripped my fantasy loving heart from the very beginning! I finished this 400 page book in a day because it was do hard to put down. The author has the perfect elements for a fantasy novel; there’s a galore of magic, powerful yet relatable characters, an ‘I would die to save you’ trope, hidden powers, unanswered questions, a greedy villain and so much more!

As someone who reads a lot, the ‘OMG moments’ were little predictable (it’s not my fault my brain starts working on overdrive and joining the fors beforehand) nevertheless, it was still exciting to read in the moment!! The development of Lukas and Nox’s relationship is quite interesting because it’s different. Without giving any spoilers, a classic trope is amped up to fit the fantasy setting! Lukas and Nox as characters are also very intriguing and I loved Lukas’ character development by the end but I hope to see more from Nox! We’re introduced to a few side characters and like always I found myself drifting to a particular one (surprise, surprise 😂)!

When it comes to the writing and worldbuilding I feel the worldbuilding could be a little bit stronger. It misses that hot off pulling me into the world and walking the streets with the characters that I love, but it’s still not bad!

Even with the adventure and mystrey be ready to get your heart broken because it will and there wouldn’t be any fun if there wasn’t a few years right?

We’re left at a cliffhanger so I’m both very upset that I have to wait to find out what happens next and very excited at the same time!

This had elements that would be perfect for fans of A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
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Author’s Instagram: https://instagram.com/williamf.burk4?utm_medium=copy_link

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/1735528706/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_C0XQ6659BNBDYJ44JHNR

Amazon International: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1735528706/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_1735528706

Author Interview: Claire Thom!

Talking to Claire Thom, author of Ever Forward!

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Interview:


1. Tell me (and the readers) a little bit about yourself, including a quirk that you have.

A. I am originally from Scotland but I have lived in the south of Spain for the past 15 years. I am a teacher and a poet. I love languages and learning about the origin of words. I also love nature and a lot of my inspiration comes from the natural world. I particularly love birds and am a keen bird watcher but one of my quirks is that I am actually scared of pigeons. hahaha! I always feel like they are going to fly into me.


2. How did the idea for your book, come about?

A. The idea for my book, “Ever Forward” came from observing different animals and the way that they just keep moving forward with strength and determination despite difficulties they may come up against. I chose to write haiku poems for this collection as I love how a haiku can capture a moment in so few words. I decided to collaborate with my dad, who is an aritst and retired architect, as I sent him one of my poems and he was inspired to paint a watercolour so we decided that this collection would be my poetry and his artwork together.



3. What was the most enjoyable and stressful part about writing this book?

A. The most enjoyable part was observing different animals and thinking of unusual ways to describe them and of course I loved seeing each watercolour by my dad. The most stressful part was when it came to putting together the digital copy for Amazon self-publishing. I had to learn about page size and formatting and it was a bit of trial and error until I found the version that I liked the best.


4. Who was the first person you asked to read your book after it was ready and why them?

A. I sent a copy to my parents and to my nieces. My book is actually dedicated to my two nieces, so I wanted them to be the first ones to read it and of course I wanted my mum and dad to have a copy too before the book went on sale.



5. Are you planning to release another book anytime soon?

A. I am currently working on my second book, “Flying Spirit”, which is a collection of various different forms of poems, not just haiku and my dad has also done some fantastic illustrations and watercolours for this book. I hope to publish my second book later in the year.



6. If you could venture into a different genre, which would you choose to write on?

A. That´s an interesting question. Perhaps I would venture into writing crime dramas as I love detective stories and I have quite a curious and suspicious mind.



7. Did you always know you wanted to be a published author/poet?

A. I have always loved reading and writing from a young age and I won a school poetry competition when I was 16 and one of my poems was published in a collection. So, perhaps that was where my interest to become a published poet began. Of course firstly I write for myself and I use writing as a way of expressing how I see the world around me. However, it brings me so much joy when I can share my writing with others and see how they too find pleasure from reading my poetry.



8. Did you look up to any author or poet while growing up?

A. One of my favourite authors is Maya Angelou. I love her poetry and I am also currently working my way through her series of autobiographies, which are fascinating. I also love Emily Dickinson´s poetry and her poem “Hope Is The Thing With Feathers” was actually the inspiration for my second book.



9. Lastly, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there?

A. Read – I think reading the work of great writers and poets is one of the best ways to learn more about the craft. I would also say to aspiring writers not to be afraid of their unique voice. No two people write or see the world in the same way and we all have our personal stories to tell. So, be brave and write, write, write!

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Review:

Ever Forward is a collection of Haiku by Claire Thom and illustrated by Colin Thom.
Haiku is an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively. A haiku expresses much and suggests more in the fewest possible words. The form gained distinction in the 17th century, when Matsuo Basho, a Japanese poet considered the greatest practitioner of the form, elevated it to a highly refined art.
This form of poetry is not something many of us are used to and sometimes readers don’t see the beauty in it, and I will admit that if teenage me had to read this book she’d think nothing of it. But over the years I’ve grown used to reading various forms of poetry including Haiku and one needs to understand that it’s something that has to be savoured and not sped through. Ever Forward contains Haiku that talks about animals to remind us that just as each animal, no matter how big or small, goes through hurdles just like us humans but they don’t let those hurdles deter them and keep moving forward. In the same way we need to move forward in life and not hold on to our shortcomings because even though they help build us, they don’t define us.

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Author’s Instagram: https://instagram.com/poetrycadiz?utm_medium=copy_link

Amazon International: https://www.amazon.com/Ever-Forward-Claire-Thom/dp/B09538HDFW/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ever+forward+claire&qid=1629866607&sr=8-1

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