About Nina Soden

Wife, Mommy, Urban Fantasy Author, Artist, Actress, Director... I'm only as old as I feel and I try to see the good in everyone. I take life one day at a time and focus only on the moment I'm in without fear or worry about the past or the future.

Amy Vasant ~ Author Interview & Giveaway

USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Amy Vansant has written over 20 books, including the fun, thrilling Shee McQueen series, the rollicking, twisty Pineapple Port Mysteries, and the action-packed Kilty urban fantasies. Throw in a couple romances and a YA fantasy for her nieces… Amy specializes in fun, exciting reads with plenty of laughs and action — she tried to write serious books, but they always ended up full of jokes, so she gave up.
Amy lives in Jupiter, Florida with her muse/husband a goony Bordoodle named Archer.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads


Author Interview

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

When I was very little I wrote Winnie-the-Pooh — complete with original drawings. I didn’t know much about copyright infringement then. But I’ve been writing since I could. I was East Coast Editor of Surfer Magazine and freelanced… then I quit for a while because it was easier to buy food working at my web development firm at the beginning of the Internet, but I came back! (About three years too late to really enjoy the beginning of Indie publishing. Grr!)

What is something unique/quirky about you?

Like my character Shee McQueen, I see the days of the week in colors and calendars as shapes in my head. Doesn’t do much for me but I was surprised to find out others don’t see it that way!

Where were you born/grew up at?

I grew up in Sea Isle City NJ, a tiny beach town a little north of Cape May. Graduating eight grade class of 12!

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

All of them. PLEASE?? 😊

What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to write a new series that was a little more intense than my more “cozy” Pineapple Port mysteries and took place in Jupiter, Florida, where I recently moved.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

I often have my readers pick names for me by running giveaways on my site at https://AmyVansant.com – or I just Google baby names.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

Shee McQueen had her whole life interrupted by a man out to kill her. Now that she’s back on track and free to live again, she feels a little lost — unsure how to proceed with her life. The fact that her young love has come back into her life only complicates things — she can’t just start fresh because she also desperately wants to get back all the things she lost.

Who designed your book covers?

Lance Buckley https://www.lancebuckley.com/  Gorgeous, aren’t they? He did a GREAT job! The photo on the cover of The Girl Who Was Forgotten I took down at the end of my street!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I just released it. Please don’t even say that out loud!

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I’m always learning little bits and facts as I research my books. Most of it horrific. Never look at my browser history. If Dateline ever got hold of that…

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Sandra Bullock. She definitely has that tough, smart and yet likable and silly thing working for her!

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

There is a passionate scene of longing and regret between Shee and her leading man, Mason. I tear up when I read it!

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

My husband is a little piece of all the leading men. Mariska in the Pineapple Port series is my mother-in-law. Seamus in that series is loosely my brother-in-law… there’s no end to the people whose lives I’ve stolen…

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

They tell me what to write. I just type.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

The Shee McQueen series is the perfect blend of thrills, action, mystery, humor and romance. I can’t seem to ever write in one genre! Thrillers with a sense of humor are my favorite, so I decided I’d write one.

Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

I started AuthorsXP.com, a website for readers and authors, and through that I’ve gotten to meet and befriend a lot of great authors. I pick their brains all the time!

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

None. Often I start a book with no idea where it is going. Mostly, I think of great scenes and then figure out how they all stitch together. The plot comes to me in the process and changes 1000 times.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

Silence. I’m easily distracted.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

Usually one, but once or twice I’ve gotten stuck and wrote a few scenes for another in the meantime.

Pen or type writer or computer?

Someone writes with a pen??

Advice they would give new authors?

Keep writing. The only thing wrong you can do is to give up. The more you do it, the better you get, whether you mean to or not!

Describe your writing style.

Fun, fast and creative. I like making up unusual metaphors and similes that make people laugh or snort.

What makes a good story?

Make sure something is always happening. Don’t take whole chapters just to move people from one place to the other without any action or secrets!

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Not listening to feedback. You can’t listen to everything but if the same feedback keeps coming, chances are it is true.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

About two months.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

No, but it occasionally believes in me…

Would you like a chance to win a Kindle Reader? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Ascension by Marc R. Micciola #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Ascension (The Age of Shadow Saga Book 1) by Marc R. Micciola ~ Genre: Epic Fantasy

Many years ago, every race in Midstad came together to imprison a dangerous foe; however not everyone supported this decision and some swore in secret to set Him free one day.

Now, nearly two hundred years later the world is prospering during its longest age of peace. Elves are hidden away in their forests, dwarves live deep within their mountains, and humans have come together in a way which has never been done before. Life for every race is peaceful, until a mythical cult, The Black Light, makes their name heard in every corner of Midstad.

One violent day of assassinations sends elves, dwarves, and humans alike into a panic. The Black Light has shown themselves to be more real than many would have wished them to be, and they have named their leader; Iver, an heir to one of the human kingdoms.

Einar, son of the King of Hestferd, and his allies scramble to devise a proper response to this act of war. Their biggest worry? A name shouted by the assassins; Kemryr, the great foe who was imprisoned centuries ago.

Many believe him to be nothing more than a myth nowadays, but myths seem to be becoming very real as of late. Einar’s father wishes to learn more, and so he turns to a secret friend for help. Together, Einar and his father seek out answers while Iver and his followers continue to carry out their plan in the hopes to reach their ultimate goal.

Set. Him. Free.

**Only .99 cents!!**

Goodreads * Amazon

I live in Ontario, Canada with my two dogs Ace and Rielly. When I’m not entertaining those two goofballs, I’m usually watching hockey or a movie.

Night time is usually when my writing time begins. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember; writing when the sun out just seems near impossible now!

Writing is my main passion, but I do have many others. Photography, Pyrography, spending time with my friends, watching hockey while eating pizza, and of course enjoying some family time are all things I love doing.

I’m a huge advocate for removing the stigma around mental health and always try my best to support those who struggle with mental health, just like I do.

I am also the owner of Centaury Lilium Publishing, a company that assists authors in finding affordable and reliable services in order to self-publish their books. It’s a young business, but I’m hoping to help even just one author achieve their dream.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about

Celaine Charles ~ Author Interview

Celaine Charles’ YA Fantasy, Seam Keepers, debuted May 12, 2021 (The Wild Rose Press). Always busy, Celaine is currently drafting the sequel, Dream Keepers, along with a brand-new YA Contemporary Fantasy, Life Song, and writing poems inspired by nature.

Check out our interview on YouTube:

Check out HER book below!

(Click on the cover images to order your copy)

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.)

SEAM KEEPERS – Ashton Nichols dreads the change graduation will bring, most of all, losing her impulsive best friend, Mason. Her world turns upside down when she follows him into the woods and encounters a demon and a destiny beyond what she ever imagined.

Mason Deed seeks freedom from his grief-stricken father. But after his encounter in the woods, he must think about Ashton’s safety. Hiding the truth from her about her identity leaves them both vulnerable and caught between good and evil.

Together they uncover the unimaginable. Will they find enough courage and strength to claim their own free will, save their families, and protect human souls?


Follow her on Social Media here:


Dandelion Dreams by Penny Harmon #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Dandelion Dreams (Cove’s Port Series Book 1) by Penny Harmon

Genre: Women’s Fiction

A dream can change more than once in a lifetime!

Madelyn “Maddie” Jones loves Jimmy Choos, fancy restaurants, and the city life she worked so hard to create. With a promotion on the line, she can’t let anything get in her way. Not staying out late. Not partying. Not friends. And definitely not love!

But when a phone call sends her life spinning out of control, she has no choice to put everything on hold and move to Maine.

Dandelion Farm isn’t what she expected. With five dogs, a slew of farm animals, and Kyle, her aunt’s adopted son with special needs, Maddie has her work cut out for her.

Will Lincoln Davies, Kyle’s social worker, drive Maddie away? Or worse-convince her to stay?

Goodreads * Amazon

Penny Harmon began writing at an early age and developed a great love of words over the years. After her children were grown, she took her writing more seriously and has published in both newspapers and magazines. In January of 2016, her first novella, Complicated Inheritance, was published and in March of 2016, the first book, I Saw Him First, of the Rocky Isle Romance series was published. Five more books in the Rocky Isle Romance series have since been published.

 In 2017, Penny branched out with her first women’s fiction novel, Dragonfly Wishes and, soon after, published Love’s Song with Sweet Promise Press. Love’s Song is not available at the moment, but will be re-released with a new title.

Her book Dandelion Dreams just released on June 3, 2021.

Penny lives in Maine with her long-time partner, Dan, three grandchildren, three cats, and one dog. She enjoys spending time with all nine of her grandchildren and enjoys working on DIY projects, especially those of repurposing.

Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I just want to say thank you for having me to discuss my new release Dandelion Dreams. 

My new release is all about Maddie.  Madelyn Presley Jones is a typical city girl but she does have a past with the country.  When Maddie receives a call, it changes the course of her life.  Maddie has to decide whether her future is in the city or taking care of Kyle, her aunt’s adopted son with special needs.  It’s the most important decision she will ever make and Lincoln Davies, Kyle’s social worker, sets out to help.

I actually started this book four years ago and got sidetracked when we went through foster care and the adoption of our youngest granddaughter. It was a long and emotional process, and the middle of it all, we bought and moved into a bigger house.  Crazy, huh?  So, now that we are all settled, I am back to writing and realized just how much I missed it.

How did you become an author?

This is a great question.  I have been writing for as long as can remember.  Even when I was a child, I always had a notebook and I would write poems and short stories.  In my twenties, I started sending things out to a publisher, but stopped when I got divorced and was raising my two children.  It wasn’t until 2005, when I was writing web copy, that I started to research publishing again.  I chose to be self-published, as I like to be in control of everything.  With traditional publishing, very few authors have any control over their own work.

Which of your novels should be made into a movie?

My novel Dragonfly Wishes would be perfect.  In fact, I have submitted it to TaleFlick, a library of curated material where producers can find great books for their next movies. Dragonfly Wishes is the story of a woman who lost everything, her husband and child, and now has to learn how to live again.  TaleFlick named it as a Top Pick and states “Dragonly Wishes has a strong and devastating premise, which draws the reader in immediately. Following Callie’s journey is hard but satisfying, and the life lesson she leaves us with makes the story completely worth our time. Although it is about the profoundly deep emotional journey, the external plot is filled with entertaining beats keeping it interesting and satisfying. I am really looking forward to what this could mean for this novel! But I can honestly say that I think Dandelion Dreams would make a great movie, too!

What’s next for your readers?

I am currently working on another series set in Maine. The Moose Valley series setting is Northern Maine where the moose are big, and the community is tight-knit. This series is a little different for me, as it involves more than a love story.  The first murder in Moose Valley takes place in the first book of the series.  While I do not have a title yet, I am hoping for a July release. 

The second book in the Cove’s Port Series, Daisies and Sunshine, should be released in August.

To stay updated on upcoming releases and sales, please follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pennyharmonauthor

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Dandelion Dreams by Penny Harmon.

What Would You Ask? #WritingWednesday

It has been a long time since I posted a #WritingWednesday post, but I’m hoping to get this series started back up and I hope you’ll decide to join me!

#WritingWednesday is all about using #WRITINGPROMPTS to spark creativity. Did you participate in the last #WritingWednesday challenge? It was about ‘Happiness or Success’. If you haven’t posted your response, click HERE so you can do that now. Then, make sure you check in here ~ every Wednesday ~ for the latest #WritingWednesday #WritingPrompt! Now, back to today’s regularly scheduled post…

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT! (I know this one is hard for a lot of writers, but when we edit as we go, we can reduce creativity.)

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today, I’m writing in my own voice!

Today’s writing prompt:

If you could sit down and talk with someone from your past, alive or dead, who would it be and WHAT WOULD YOU ASK?

I don’t have a lot of regrets in life. I tend to live life one day at a time and recognize that some people are only in our lives for a short time while others are there for the long haul. However, the one regret I do have is not spending more time with my grandpa, in the years after my grandmother passed away. I was in college when she died and told myself that I didn’t live close enough to just pop in to see him. Nor did I have much time to do things other than work, school, theatre, etc. etc. etc.

I regret not making the time.

With that said, I would love to sit down and have a conversation with my grandpa. I’d ask him about the afterlife. I know, just before he passed, he had visions of my grandmother. I’m sure she was coming to take him with her to the other side and I’d love to find out how they’ve been spending their time together since their reunion.

Then, I’d tell him I love him and I miss him, because I don’t feel like I tell the people in my life that I love them often enough. I make sure my kids and my husband hear it every day, but I want to make sure all of my family and friends know they are in my heart every day.

© 2021 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s #WritingPrompt [What Would You Ask?] inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 


Looking for daily writing inspiration? Check out my author tool: #WRITINGPROMPTS

Who Can Benefit from Using #WritingPrompts? Everyone! Whether you’re an avid writer or just someone who is interested in the creative and/or therapeutic art of writing, #WritingPrompts is for you. Studies show that maintaining a daily handwritten journal, or creative writing notebook, can: 1. improve memory, 2. enhance creative expression, 3. lower stress, 4. build self-discipline, 5. eliminate writer’s block, and so much more! Writer’s Block Got You Down? Eliminate It, One Day at a Time! When it comes to writer’s block, the struggle is real! If you’ve ever sat at your computer, typewriter, or with pen in hand, but couldn’t get a single word on paper, then you know what writer’s block feels like. #WritingPrompts is the solution you’ve been looking for! Within the pages of #WritingPrompts, you will find over 700 writing prompts that you can use in order or at random, the choice is yours. Jump-Start Your Creativity with over 700 Unique Writing Prompts! Good writing takes time, practice, and unique ideas. Why not jump-start your imagination with these unique writing prompts and watch as you find your voice and become a more confident writer in just one year.


Everdal Update #9…

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

Update #8 June 3, 2021

WORKING TITLE: Everdal
GENRE: YA/NA Fantasy
Status: First Draft Complete
Days in current Status: To Many
Days of actual writing: 25
Current Word Count: 64,223
Current Chapter Count Complete: 19
NEXT STEPS: Re-writes - Estimated completion date: unknown

The 1st draft is FINALLY done!

Well, its done.

I’m not going to lie, its an ugly first draft, but its done.

I think the story has great bones and the characters are fun… relatable… and likeable, for the most part. wink-wink…

I can’t wait to dig in and get started on the re-writes.

Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

Bluebonnets in the Spring by Kristen Collins

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Bluebonnets in the Spring (Perfectly Stated Series) by Kristen Collins

Genre: Western Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Clyde is just a lonely widow cowboy living out his days in peace on his ranch in Texas. Faith is a hybrid reaper on the run from a band of fallen angels.

When Faith stumbles onto his land one night injured, she unwittingly pulls Clyde into a manhunt that could change his life forever.

Two secrets and one fateful night could change everything for them. Was it destiny that brought them together or will the secrets they harbor be their demise?

Goodreads * Amazon

I’m a Native Texan, born and raised close to the heart of the great Lone Star State. I was born in January of ‘89 and was able to grow up during a great time. I honestly don’t consider myself a Millennial, and really dislike that title.  I’m a part-time secretary and a full-time mother and wife, as well as a Lupus Warrior.

 Having Lupus means living my life indoors, and the sun is my arch-nemesis, my personal kryptonite. I want to leave a legacy behind, something my kids could one day look back on and say, “yeah my mom did that.”

Thanks to the encouragement of friends and family, I found a passion for writing paranormal romance books. Anything in the realm of fantasy usually suits my novels and tends to be able to reach a large audience in multiple genres. Most of my story ideas come to me in the most unexpected times and places, such as my dreams. They will plague me nonstop until I sit down and write it out.

I like to explore new types of characters such as Sandmen and Boogeymen, for example. I enjoy creating all the facets of their own worlds, such as in A Sandman’s Forbidden Love.

God has blessed me with success that I never imagined was possible, which allows me the freedom to explore and create with intense focus in paranormal fiction. Now, I know Shifters aren’t real but Angels are another story. So Angels are also a part of my focus and research. I will often sit on the computer doing extensive research on both Sandmen and Angels, trying to learn as much as possible about them.

In addition to fiction, I create Art Journals that are cross generational from thirteen to ninety years young. My goal, with these types of books, is to reach people who need that extra encouragement and quiet reflective stillness that journaling can bring into their lives.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Bluebonnets in the Spring by Kristen Collins.

Utopia Falls by Kody Boye #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Utopia Falls by Kody Boye ~ Genre: YA Science Fiction

Society has reached its peak within the walled city of Utopia. While the outside world lies in inhospitable ruins, the city within brims with technological marvels—all thanks to a benevolent god that appeared during humanity’s darkest hour. But with the city on the verge of overpopulation, and the world outside not promised to be safe, time is running out for the Utopian people, and it’ll take one brave young woman to change the course of history.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Hillen has lived in the shadow of the god her entire life. With a promising future in medicine, she believes that her future is set in stone. What she doesn’t expect is for her Aptitude Test scores to come back with exemplary remarks—or to be chosen as her city’s next Holy Conduit.

As the Holy Conduit, Ember can connect with, and receive visions of, her god’s desires for the Utopian city. The only problem? Her god is implying that her people must somehow journey beyond their isolated city to build a new world in the wasteland. But with the mad leader of the premier engineering facility within Utopia attempting to sway Ember through whatever means possible, Ember must make a choice that will change a life forever. The only question is: can she withstand the storm that will follow?

Add to Goodreads * Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Smashwords

Though Kody Boye was born and raised in Southeastern Idaho, he moved south at the age of eighteen and has resided in various parts of Texas since 2010, living first in Austin, then in Fort Worth before finally landing in the Rio Grande Valley. His first story, [A] Prom Queen’s Revenge, was published in the Yellow Mama Webzine at the age of fourteen. His debut novel, Sunrise, followed at age eighteen.

Since then, he has written several novels across multiple speculative fiction genres. His most recent works include When They Came, The Beautiful Ones, Kingsman Online, and The Red Wolf Saga.

​Kody is currently enrolled in an online university and pursuing an undergraduate degree in creative writing and English, with plans to further his education with an MFA, which will allow him to teach.

​When not writing, Kody enjoys reading young-adult novels, playing video games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars, and browsing social media endlessly. 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Utopia Falls by Kody Boye.

Candace Havens ~ Author Interview

Bestselling author Candace Havens has published more than 25 books. Her novels have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion, Write Touch Reader Awards and National Reader’s Choice Awards.

Check out our interview on YouTube:

Check out HER LATEST book below!

(Click on the cover images to order your copy)

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.)

A CASE FOR THE TOY MAKER by Candace Havens

Ho. Ho. No…

It’s Christmas in Sweet River, Texas, and the whole town is feeling festive apart from Ainsley McGregor. Ainsley has never enjoyed the holidays and would rather ignore them, but with her shop Bless Your Art busier than ever and filled with happy shoppers, even she’s feeling some Christmas spirit. That is, until her Great Dane, George Clooney, sniffs out a dead body in the Santa House at the Christmas Festival.

When one of her favorite crafters becomes the prime suspect, Ainsley is determined to prove his innocence. The case is full of so many twists and turns that even Ainsley begins to fear the truth. Is she protecting a killer?

With help from her friends and some extremely nosey townsfolk, Ainsley and her dog hurry to find the truth––as long as they can outwit and outrun the killer first. Otherwise, this Christmas might just be her last.


Follow her on Social Media here:


Bernard Jan ~ Author Interview #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

I can’t say for certain if I wanted to become an author, or it just happened. But I ended up writing and publishing stories. I love books and I love reading them. I also love music and movies and I wouldn’t mind if I was a small wheel in these industries too. Creating is a beautiful thing. Having the gift and ability to make something new and share it with others who appreciate it is rewarding. I like to give a part of me to others that way and share with them the things I love. Whether it was the right decision, time will tell. It will be as long as I enjoy it and it makes me happy. If I can live from my writing, that is another thing. For now, I can’t. What will happen in the future? I don’t know.

A day in the life of the author?

While I was writing or translating years ago, it was me locking myself in my private world and telling everyone to leave me alone. I had breaks for eating, drinking and other stuff you have to do lol. At the end of the day, I was so exhausted that my bed was my best friend.

A day in the author’s life today is not as much about the writing, which seems to be the easiest part. It is also about producing your book (formatting it by yourself and collaborating with your editor and designer) and marketing it. Marketing is the most challenging part for me because I am still learning it and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t work. Not all authors are born for marketing nor they are equally successful. There are lots of online courses and webinars to attend, social networking, blogging, collaborating with other authors and supporting them in marketing their books, which is what I like best. I prefer helping other authors in promoting their books rather than doing that for myself. It may sound weird, but this is me.

When I am not present on social media (which is a rare thing) or browse for new reviewers or do my Amazon ads or write posts and update my website, I go to the store or to the movies or visit my friends to clear my head and rest my eyes from staring at the screen all the time. Later in the evening is my reading time. I enjoy the company of other authors while reading their books and it is a perfect way to relax before bedtime. I don’t watch much TV lately.

Advice they would give new authors?

Writing a book is easy. Publishing it is harder. Marketing is the hardest thing. Keep that in mind before you sit to write a book. It’s a long road with thousands of authors out there dreaming the same dream. But go for it if you feel that writing is your call and not something that will last a week or two. Arm yourself with persistence and patience, don’t be afraid of failure, and be ready to help others. Then you may stand a chance to make your dream come true and find happiness in doing what you love.

Describe your writing style.

What can I say about my writing style? A mix of descriptive and narrative? Lots of emotions, passion, realistic characters, vivid dialogues, a cinematic experience while reading a book. A story is important, and I like to make myself and my readers feel, laugh and cry. Poetic prose, sometimes deep thoughts. I am a cross-genre and multi-genre author so expect anything. Be ready for an emotional experience of watching a tearjerker in a movie theater.

What makes a good story?

A capturing plot, believable characters, natural and entertaining dialogues, emotions, passion and honesty in writing make a good story. Readers will recognize which story is written with heart and which is written for money.

What are they currently reading?

Currently, I am reading Hades Forrest by a new talented young author Simon Elson and The Great Centurion: Punic Wars 3 by Angelus Maximus aka Angel Ramon Medina. After that I will read Weathering Old Souls by James J. Cudney & Didi Oviatt.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

My writing process depends on the length of the book I am writing. For two of my novellas, I had nothing. Everything was in my head and the words just poured out of me. For my two novels, January River and especially Cruel Summer, I had notes for the whole story which I broke down into chapters as I was writing it. I was rearranging and moving sections from here to there with new ideas popping up. Fun time, right? 😉

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Maybe the most common trap for aspiring writers is to expect to become successful and famous authors the moment they publish their book. Be aware! Life doesn’t work that way.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I am cursed by originality. I can write any kind of book under the sun but the readers will recognize if it is not honest writing. I write about the things I feel about, stories that carry a message or are an eye-opener. Stories that beg me to write them and share them with others. I didn’t explore the pulse of the market when I wrote my stories many years ago. They came as a natural extension of my intellectual and emotional being. I can only hope that readers will want to pick and read them, and I will be grateful to those who recognize and embrace them.

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

Be smarter, learn the tricks of the business so you won’t have a hard time selling yourself later lol.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I guess it is experiencing them, their mindset, emotions, expectations. But when you get to empathize with your characters from the opposite sex and feel and think like them, it shouldn’t be too hard. Besides, we are not just this or that, we all have some of both sexes in us.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

From three days (A World Without Color) to six months (Cruel Summer). If I remember well.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

What is that? I’m kidding! I know life can get in the way and it’s not always easy to deal with your situation and write a story. But I wouldn’t call it a writing block. I never had it. When I felt like writing a story, I wrote it. When I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t write. I know it is a popular belief that we shall write every day, but it is not me. Writing every day will improve your writing skills, no argument about that. But I am not a man of discipline when it comes to writing, I am inclined to listen to how my mind and body react to a story. Then I write. Writing should be fun and creative. When it becomes a burden, maybe it’s time to take a break and enjoy other things in life. Like reading other authors and helping them achieve their goals and dreams, perhaps.


AUTHOR BIO

“There is no greater joy than to share what you love with those who appreciate it.”–Bernard Jan

My pen name is Bernard Jan. I am an award-winning novelist and a poet from Croatia, and I have released four books in English. I am Readers’ Favorite Gold Medalist 2020 and Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medalist 2019.

“A World Without Color” is a true story of the last three days I spent with my cat, while “Look for Me Under the Rainbow” in a unique and gentle way sheds light on the plight of harp seal pups in Canada. It warms the heart of all readers concerned about our planet and its treasures. “January River” is a heartwarming cross-genre novel about five friends, one dog, and one river carrying a secret. “Cruel Summer” is a gripping young adult cross-genre novel about an abused teenager from New Manhattan who only wants to skate, but they have other plans for him.

My first two books were written at the beginning of the war in Croatia in 1991 amidst air alerts and illusory attempts when I wanted to believe and think that life is normal, that everything is all right with the world. I have published five novels, two novellas, and one book of poems in Croatian. Four of my books, including the book of poems, were translated into English.

My passion for music and entertainment resulted in my becoming a partner of Tom’s Music Place, which was established in 2009 by my friend Thomas Carley Jr., whose objective was to raise the respect of music.

My desire to help others came to the fore during my years advocating environmental protection and advocacy of animal rights. I did volunteering work for the refugees, because suffering does not know any borders. When it comes within your reach in your home, you simply have to do something. As part of my animal advocacy activities, it has been a great honor and pleasure to translate “Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust” by Charles Patterson into Croatian.

Website * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win? 
Cruel Summer paperback – 1 winner,
Cruel Summer eBooks – 2 winners,
January River eBooks – 2 winners,
Look for Me Under the Rainbow eBooks – 2 winners,
A World Without Color eBooks – 2 winners,
$10 Amazon gift card – 1 winner
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Cruel Summer by Bernard Jan.