Monday, May 27, 2019

Meet the Author: Carol Es, Author of Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley




Self-taught artist, writer and musician, Carol Es is known primarily for creating personal narratives within a wide spectrum of media. A native Los Angelina, she often uses past experience as fuel for her subject matter.  Writing on art, her articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Whitehot Magazine, and Coagula Art Journal; her prose published with small presses — Bottle of Smoke Press, Islands Fold, and Chance Press among them. Additionally, she makes handmade Artist’s books which have been acquired for such collections as the Getty and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Carol is a two-time recipient of the ARC Grant from the Durfee Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner, and a Wynn Newhouse Award for her art. She’s also earned grants from Asylum Arts and the National Arts and Disability Center/California Arts Council for writing. In 2019, she won the Bruce Geller Memorial Prize (WORD Grant) from the American Jewish University.







Title: SHRAPNEL IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Author: Carol Es
Publisher: Desert Dog Books
Pages: 356
Genre: Memoir/Biography

BOOK BLURB:
Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is a guided tour through a Tilt-A-Whirl life that takes so many turns that you may find yourself looking up from the pages and wondering how the hell one person managed to fit them all into 40-odd years. And many of them are odd years indeed. From a rootless, abusive childhood and mental illness through serious and successful careers in music and art, much of which were achieved while being involved in a notoriously destructive mind-control cult. Carol Es presents her story straight up. No padding, no parachute, no dancing around the hard stuff. Through the darkness, she somehow finds a glimmer of light by looking the big bad wolf straight in the eye, and it is liberating. When you dare to deal with truth, you are free. Free to find the humor that is just underneath everything and the joy that comes with taking the bumpy ride.

Illustrated with original sketches throughout, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is not just another survivor's tale, it’s a creative perspective through moments of vulnerability where the most raw and intimate revelations are laid bare. As an artist and a woman finding self-worth, it’s truly a courageous, relatable story that will keep you engaged to the very end.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble




What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

For some reason, I always wrote down my feelings in poetic-type form since I was little, but JD Salinger and Charles Bukowski inspired me to write seriously.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

About 16 or 17.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

No. Maybe mental ones though.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

Always.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I’m a full-time artist. Part-time writer.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

Get enough sleep. Read. Don’t listen to most advice.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

Unfortunately, yes. Usually.

What hours do you write best?

5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

How often do you write?

When I’m on a specific project, every day.

Are you an avid reader?

In spurts, yes. More than some, less than others.

What are you reading now?

Book of short stories by Stephen Hines: The Late Season

What are you currently working on?

I’m mostly on a break for now, but I’ve been compiling and editing short fictional stories (writing, re-writing, tinkering, etc.) and will probably publish them once I get a decent collection of them.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Little Girls Sleeping Pre-Order Blitz!





Title: Little Girls Sleeping: An Absolutely Gripping Crime Thriller (Detective Katie Scott Book 1)
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 377
Genre: Thriller/Crime



He looked down at the little girl, sleeping peacefully, her arms wrapped around a teddy bear. He knew he was the only one who could save her. He could let her sleep forever.

An eight-year-old girl, Chelsea Compton, is missing in Pine Valley, California and for Detective Katie Scott it’s a cruel reminder of the friend who disappeared from summer camp twenty years ago. Unable to shake the memories, Katie vows she won’t rest until she discovers what happened to Chelsea.

But as Katie starts to investigate, the case reveals itself to be much bigger and more shocking than she feared. Hidden deep in the forest she unearths a makeshift cemetery: a row of graves, each with a brightly coloured teddy bear.

Katie links the graves to a stack of missing-persons cases involving young girls—finding a pattern no one else has managed to see. Someone in Pine Valley has been taking the town’s daughters for years, and Katie is the only one who can stop them.

And then another little girl goes missing, snatched from the park near her home.

Katie’s still haunted by the friend she failed to protect, and she’ll do anything to stop the killer striking again—but can she find the little girl before it’s too late?

Compulsive and gripping crime fiction for fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh. Katie Scott’s first case will have you on the edge of your seat and gasping with shock.

Readers love Jennifer Chase!


WHAT A FANTASTIC READ! OMG! I just finished reading this book! It was an absolute thrilling, edge-of-your-seat read!… I couldn't believe who the serial killer was; I thought I knew but was surprised! I could not put it down… BRAVO JENNIFER!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

GREAT!!! Thoroughly enjoyed!!! Jennifer Chase has become one of my favorite crime thriller authors. She totally captures you from beginning to end!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Fantastic read! The author kept me hooked from the first page till the last. I truly thought I knew the serial killer… Boy was I wrong. This is a fantastic read, it kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire time. Well done!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow!… Such a gripping tale… I couldn't stop reading and found myself daydreaming about it while I was supposed to be working… A gripping thriller with multiple twists and turns. A must read!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Great book. I really liked it! Would like reading more of her books! This book keeps you involved and unable to put it down!! Great!!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Action-packed… An adrenaline-packed book from start to finish. ’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow… This book will take you for a ride. Have you soaked right in till the end! Absolutely loved it and can't wait to read another from this author!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘This is one of the best books I have read in a while.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘From beginning to end this is a non-stop thriller.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Real page turner. I read this book in two hours. I could not put it down. I never guessed who the killer was until he was revealed. Mind blowing.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Captivating from beginning to the last page. A "who did it" crime mystery that keeps you guessing, and then changing your mind!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘I loved this book and cannot wait for the next one. I could not put this book down. A real page turner full of suspense!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

ORDER YOUR COPY:

______________________





Prologue
The oversized tires obliterated the rural roadway before the large truck came to an abrupt stop. The driver stalled the engine. Dust rose in a curious flowering cloud, swirling in front of the vehicle’s hood and creeping toward the back of the camper shell. When the surrounding vicinity finally cleared, a dense forest landscape emerged.
The truck overlooked the sheer cliff and rugged scenery that had become a permanent roadblock. The usual silence of the deserted region was interrupted by the incessant and rhythmic sound of a cooling engine.
Tick… Tick… Tick…
The vehicle remained parked. No one moved inside the cab or got out. The truck stayed immobile as if an unlikely statue in the vast wilderness—a distinct contrast between nature and manufactured steel.
The truck sat at the ideal vantage spot, which was both mesmerizing and terrifying for any spectator; but still the occupant chose to wait. The intense high beams pierced ahead into the picturesque hills, leaving a hazy view of the area above the massed trees.
When the driver’s door finally opened, a man stepped out, his steel-toed leather work boots hitting the dirt. They were well-worn, reflecting the many miles he had walked and the many hours he had labored. Swiftly the door shut as the man, medium build and wearing only a plain dark T-shirt, walked to the back of the truck and, with a loud bang, released the lift gate. He moved with purpose and with a calm assertiveness, as if he had performed this particular task many times before. His weathered hands, calloused from years of working with heavy tools and machinery without the protection of leather gloves, had a certain agility and speed.
He grasped two well-used shovels, a large arching pick, and a bulky utility garbage bag. As he tossed the bag onto the ground, the top burst open and several medium-sized teddy bears spilled out. Their smiling faces accentuated the brightly colored ribbons tied around their necks, contrasting with the muted shades of their surroundings.
The man pushed the floppy bag aside with the toe of his boot. He worked in quiet solitude, no humming, no whistling, and no talk.
He flipped on the flashlight fixed to his baseball cap. Straight ahead and slightly arced, the large beam illuminated his path while he strode steadily toward a particular wooded area.
The surrounding thickets and trees remained still without any wind to rustle the leaves. The only audible sound was the man’s quick footsteps—never with any hesitation. He walked with the gait of a young man, despite his stature of someone older.
He hesitated as if he had forgotten something, standing motionless with his arms down at his sides and his head hung forward as he shone the bright light at the ground and the tops of his boots. He still held firmly to the tools. He mumbled a few inaudible sentences of a memorized prayer, which sounded more like a warning than a passage from the Bible, then he raised his head and continued to walk into the dense forest.
Dropping his tools, he carefully pushed a pine branch aside and secured it with a worn piece of rope that had been left for the purpose. An opening was exposed—a tunnel barely large enough for a man to enter.
He grabbed his digging tools once again and proceeded. The flashlight on the front of his cap brightened the passageway as it veered to the right. He followed, only ducking his head twice before the path opened to an area with several boulders sticking out of the cliff. Clusters of unusual rock shapes, some sharp, some rounded, made the terrain appear more like a movie set or backdrop.
A narrow dirt path of crude, sloping man-made steps dropped fifteen feet to a landing jutting out from the rock formation. A small yellow flag was stuck into the earth, marking a spot. A slight evening breeze picked up, causing the flag to flutter.
The man balanced the shovels and pick against the hillside and pulled a hunting knife from a sheath attached to his belt. Pressing the bone handle tight against his palm, he drew the blade through the packed dirt to mark a rectangular pattern on the ground.
He stared intently at the soil, then retrieved the pick, gripping it tight, and swung it hard against the dry, heavily compacted earth. It dented the surface, spewing chips of dirt in every direction. A few small rocks buried in the soil since the beginning of time hampered his progress, but after several more arced swings, the ground began to crumble, exposing the fresh earth.
The heavy pick was exchanged for one of the shovels. Soon there was a small pile of California soil, comprised of sand, silt, clay, and small rock. The repeated movements of dig, scoop, and deposit continued for more than forty-five minutes at a brisk pace. The hard work of manual labor didn’t deter him. It only made him more determined to create a work of genius—his ultimate masterpiece.
At last he stepped back and admired his handiwork, perspiring heavily through his shirt from the effort. Exhilaration filled his body, keeping his muscles flexed and his heart pumping hard. He leaned against the shovel, a smile forming on his lips as he waited for his pulse to return to normal, and marveled at the unmistakable outline of a freshly dug grave.







 







Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.
Her latest book is the thriller, Little Girls Sleeping: An Absolutely Gripping Crime Thriller (Detective Katie Scott Book 1).

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Facebook
Twitter
Newsletter Sign-Up

 Author Blog: https://authorjenniferchase.com/

Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion   Dead Game   Dark Mind   Dead Burn   Dark Pursuit

Dead Cold  Scene of the Crime
Silent Partner   Body of the Crime   Screenwriting 






Friday, May 10, 2019

Book feature: A Water Lily Blooms by Sylvia S. Mader


Inside the Book:



Title: A Water Lily Blooms
Author: Sylvia S. Mader
Publisher: Virtualbookworm.com
Genre: Coming of Age
Format: Ecopy /Paperback

An attractive young woman lies critically injured and comatose in a hospital bed far from home. Images come and go as she struggles to regain consciousness. Is that a tall, dark man beckoning her from a distance? Will she reach him? Or will her life be cut short, denying her a second chance for happiness? How did she get from being a happy, promising young pre-med student to here? And like this?
This coming of age tale follows the struggles of a driven but naive high school graduate. Andrea Bradford leaves her peaceful Martha’s Vineyard home for college, wanting to be a physician — a true professional, just like so many boys in her class. But once at college, she begins suffering the anxieties of homesickness, a blistering schedule, constant disagreements with her mother, and the uncertainty of a possible stage career. Meanwhile, several romances awaken her pent-up sexuality and introduce her to inter-racial realities and even the lure of New York high society.
Episodes of confusion, disappointment, elation, tragedy, and reconciliation all shape Andie, as she grows to become a mature, competent woman by the end of this truly “American” story.

  PURCHASE HERE

MEET THE AUTHOR

Sylvia Mader is the author of “Inquiry Into Life, 16th edition;” “Biology, 13th edition” and “Human Biology, 16th edition,” making her one of America’s most successful college textbook authors of the last twenty-five years. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, who taught community college students and wrote most of her textbooks while raising two beautiful children. She lived on Martha’s Vineyard for nearly twenty years, and is now a grandmother, living in Hollywood, Florida. This is her debut novel. She is currently working on a second one.

Tour Schedule

Monday, May 6
Book featured at Literal Exposure

Tuesday, May 7
Book featured at A Title Wave

Wednesday, May 8
Book featured at The Dark Phantom

Thursday, May 9
Book featured at The Zen Reader

Friday, May 10
Book featured at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Monday, May 13
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge

Tuesday, May 14
Guest blogging at I'm Shelf-ish

Wednesday, May 15
Interviewed at Review From Here

Thursday, May 16
Book featured at My Bookish Pleasures

Friday, May 17
Guest blogging at The Writer's Life

Monday, May 20
Book reviewed at Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm

Tuesday, May 21
Interviewed at Straight From the Author's Mouth

Wednesday, May 22
Book featured at Lisa Queen of Random

Thursday, May 23
Interviewed at The Literary Nook

Friday, May 24
Guest blogging at Harmonious Publicity

Monday, May 27
Interviewed at Inkslinger's Opus

Tuesday, May 28
Guest blogging at As the Page Turns

Wednesday, May 29
Book featured at Voodoo Princess

Thursday, May 30
Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight

Friday, May 31
Book featured at From Paperback to Leatherbound



Thursday, May 9, 2019

Meet the Author: Geoff Armstrong, Author of Moments That Made America: From the Ice Age to the Alamo




Geoff Armstrong began his teaching career in 1965 after receiving a teaching diploma from McGill University’s Macdonald College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Montreal’s Concordia University in 1967 where his major field of study was history. Armstrong credits writers such as Bruce Catton, and Thomas B. Costain, as well as the encouragement of his father who had little formal education, but a deep love of reading and of history, as the inspiration for his own life-long interest.



Throughout a 25-year teaching career he taught history at several grade levels and learned quickly that to reach the hearts of his students, history had to be made immediately and deeply relevant and accessible: that some event that took place centuries before those students were born had a direct and profound influence on every aspect their lives. He also learned that talking down or writing down to his students was a recipe for defeat. It is this awareness, shaped by a quarter century of teaching and countless questions by thousands of intelligent young people that has informed and shaped his writing.






You can visit his website at www.MomentsThatMadeAmerica.com.



What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

When I was about 5 or 6 years old I found a book in our small family library that had been awarded to my mother for an essay she had written at the age of 9. I was shocked. I was completely unaware that mothers were ever 9 years old, let alone that they won writing competitions. She had read to my brother and me from the time we could barely understand our own language, so reading was always accepted as extremely important and enjoyable, but the discovery of my mother’s talent added an entirely new set of challenges because she had noticed that I often made up silly stories to tell my younger brother. I don’t know how old I was when I started reading, but certainly before first grade. Teaching me to read  was Mom’s idea and self-appointed task. Instinctively understanding the concept of the “teachable moment” she added the job of teaching me to write. I’m sure the stories I wrote for her were less than professional, but she seemed to enjoy them. A little later in my elementary school career she encouraged me to enter the school’s fifth grade writing competition. I won a whopping $5.00. In 1952 that was a fortune, but I was hooked when the three winners read our stories to an audience of parents and the audience laughed when I read a part I thought was funny. At ten years of age, that was a moment to remember.


At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

While still in elementary school.


Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I am 76 years old and still have a day job. I work as corporate secretary for two public companies and have done so for almost 30 years. In addition to preparing all the securities exchange filings and internal corporate documents I either write or edit all communications and news releases. Writing never ends.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

1. Enjoy what you are writing about.
2. Find a different way to tell your story.
3. Write because you really want to – forget about paying the mortgage.
4. If you choose a controversial topic, talk with people who disagree with you.

What hours do you write best?

As far as hours are concerned, generally prefer to write in the late afternoon or late evening, but I find that I do more writing in the spring and in the fall. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps it’s because the changing season sets up an expectation that something different is about to happen and that expectation carries over into the act of bringing a writing project to completion.

How often do you write?

Every day.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on book number 3 in my 3 volume American history series. Book three is titled “Moments That Made America: The American Century. The first book, “Moments That Made America: From the Ice Age to the Alamo” is available now.  The second book, “Moments That Made America: From Civil War to Superpower” is with the publisher and scheduled to be released in July.




From its geological birth during the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent millions of years ago, through the nation-shaping key events that led to its political independence from the British superpower, and other crucial, sometimes miraculous events that worked to create the nation, Moments That Made America: From the Ice Age to the Alamo explores those defining moments, both tragic and inspirational that profoundly shaped the nation and its people - crucial turning points that worked inexorably to mold and make America. These pivotal "tipping" events formed America's geographical, sociological, political and historical landscape. Part 1 culminates with the discovery of gold in California and the role it played in fulfilling America’s dream of Manifest Destiny.

ORDER YOUR COPY AT AMAZON:


Friday, April 26, 2019

An Interview with Randy Overbeck, Author of 'Blood on the Chesapeake'



Dr. Randy Overbeck is a writer, educator, researcher and speaker in much demand. During his three plus decades of educational experience, he has performed many of the roles depicted in his writing with responsibilities ranging from coach and yearbook advisor to principal and superintendent. His new ghost story/mystery, Blood on the Chesapeake, will be released on April 10, 2019 by The Wild Rose Press. As the title suggests, the novel is set on the famous Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, home to endless shorelines, incredible sunsets and some of the best sailing in the world. Blood is first in a new series of paranormal mysteries, The Haunted Shores Mysteries. Dr. Overbeck’s first novel, Leave No Child Behind, a thriller about the terrorist takeover of a Midwest high school and one teacher’s stand against the intruders, won the 2011 Silver Award for Thrillers from ReadersFavorite.com. Dr. Overbeck is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and an active member of the literary community. You can follow him on Twitter @OverbeckRandy, friend him on Facebook at Author Randy Overbeck or check out his webpage, www.authorrandyoverbeck.com
Find out more about his books: https://www.authorrandyoverbeck.com/books
INTERVIEW:
Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about Blood on the Chesapeake, and what compelled you to write it.
Author: In my travels, I’ll always been intrigued by the possibilities of places I’ve visited, the “I wonder if” notion. When we journeyed to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, I was overwhelmed by the quiet, scenic beauty of the area, but also intrigued by the duality of the cultures there. Here was a region bearing the hallmarks of a proud New England tradition, but with roots still very much in the South. (The area was home to famous slave plantations and was split in loyalties during the Civil War.) I thought it’d be interesting to explore that dichotomy in fiction. In this most peaceful and beautiful of settings on the Chesapeake Bay, what if something horrific happened in this small town and they tried to cover it up?
M.C.: What is your book about?
Author: Wilshire, Maryland seems like the perfect shore town on the Chesapeake Bay—quiet, scenic, charming—and promises Darrell Henshaw a new start in life and a second chance at love. That is, until he learns the town hides an ugly secret. A thirty-year-old murder in the high school. And a frightening ghost stalking his new office. Burned by an earlier encounter with the spirit world—with the OCD scars to prove it—he does NOT want to get involved. But when the desperate ghost hounds him, Darrell concedes. Assisted by his new love, he follows a trail that leads to the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and even the Klu Klux Klan. Then, when two locals who try to help are murdered, Darrell is forced to decide if he’s willing to risk his life—and the life of the woman he loves—to expose the killers of a young man he never knew.
M.C.:  What themes do you explore in Blood on the Chesapeake?
Author: Even though the book is set in the not-so-distant past (1998), I’ve tried to tap the themes and issues that are as relevant today as they were twenty years ago. The overriding theme of the story is racial injustice. Because I’m not an author of color, I tried to approach this issue my own perspective. What culpability and responsibility does a “white guy of privilege” have, when he comes face to face with racial injustice? As I completed this novel and it went through the publishing process, I was surprised—no, not surprised, rather disappointed—that with the Black Lives Matter movement and the resurgence of the White Supremists, this theme is more relevant than ever today.
M.C.:  Why do you write?
Author: I write because I have stories to tell, because I think some stories need telling. Since I’ve been in the education profession for three plus decades, I’ve witnessed countless acts of unselfish dedication, heroism, bravery and stubborn commitment by teachers at all levels. Yet, what we have in the common culture is either lurid tales of the rare pedophile teacher or reports of failing schools and teachers. So, I thought, if I’m going to tell tales of heroism and bravery, of standing up against the odds and sacrificing everything to save others, then I would cast educators—teachers and coaches—in the starring roles. Because that’s what I witnessed for real every day.
M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?
Author: I’ve found that for me creativity cannot be scheduled. Yes, I do try to write every day, usually in the late morning and early afternoon, but I’ve discovered that sometimes the creative bug hits me in the middle of a TV show. Sometimes, an inspiration rumbles around in my subconscious so strongly that I have to get up in the middle of the night and head to the computer to get it down. I try to go whenever and whereever the muse leads me.
M.C.:  How picky are you with language?
Author: One of the things that delight me when I’m reading is a masterful turn of a phrase or a really memorable scene description, you know the kind that places you vividly in the middle of the action. I strive for these goals when I write, though I’d be the first to admit I don’t always reach them. I actually enjoy revisiting and revising my language, searching for just the right word or phrase. Some parts of Blood on the Chesapeake have seen ten or more revisions to try to get it right.
M.C.:  When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
Author: That’s an interesting question. I often let the narrative take me where it wants to go, sometimes not at all where I thought I was headed. For example, since I write mysteries, the whodunit is pretty important. I plot and write my stories with multiple antagonists and don’t decide who the murderer is until I get near the end of the book. I try to plant clues for multiple suspects, but don’t “drop the dime” until the last few chapters—for me and the reader.
M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?
Author: When I’m stuck. Writer’s block is not usually a problem for me. But occasionally, when I’m at a certain point in the narrative, I’ve been stymied at just how to get my character to do A or how to get him/her to B. Most of the time I’ve been fortunate. I can usually work on another part of the manuscript and my mind subconsciously works out a solution. I’m able to work through it, but while I’m in the midst of the problem, it can be pretty thorny.
M.C.:  Your best?
Author: That’s easy. I write for myself, because I have something to say. But nothing in my writing life has brought me more joy than seeing how much my readers LOVE my work. After my first book, Leave No Child Behind, was published, I received scores of emails from readers telling how much they enjoyed it and how it scared them to death. (It’s supposed to scare them.) Several years later, I still keep and re-read those emails.
M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
Author: Nothing. I suppose there could be a perfect storm of family problems that would derail my writing efforts, but only until the storm passes. I found even in the worst of times in my life, when I’ve had to face tragedies, deaths, daunting challenges, my writing has sustained me. I can’t imagine not writing. It’s in my DNA now.
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
Author: Seeing my writing—years of imagination, creativity, perseverance, and just plain hard work—come to fruition and become real, the novel published, the book in readers’ hands, the great reviews coming in, I’d say those are my happiest moments as a writer.
M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?
Author: Yes, though not in a psychotic, creepy kind of way. For a good many years, I was an educator. I lived, breathed, pondered, thought, planned how can I best teach, reach these children? What can I do that will enrich their lives through what they learn from me? Over the past several years, that same kind of obsession now haunts me about my writing. Even as I finishing the sequel to Blood on the Chesapeake, I’m constantly planning the third instalment, researching the locales, and at the same time I’m nursing my next novel, a standalone mystery about a drug dealer and murderer who preys on elementary kids. I guess as I write this, it does sound like an obsession.
M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
Author: Without a doubt. I subscribe to the adage, “Write what you know.” All my narratives are set in the world of school, a setting I hope most readers can recognize and relate to, even if my stories—terrorists taking over a high school in the Midwest or a kid who was murdered haunting the halls of a high school in Maryland—are well out of the realm of ordinary. Because of my experience and familiarity with these settings, I hope I can render a story with credibility and connection for the reader.
M.C.:  Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Thoughts?
Author: Interesting. I prefer S. J. Rosan’s quote: “Nonfiction is about reality. Fiction is about truth.” For me, fiction, my novels allow me to tell real truths, truths about how we treat each other, especially the youngest and most vulnerable among us, our children. My writing allows me to lay bare the beauty and the ugliness of the human condition. I’m buoyed when readers will tell me they had a teacher just like my characters, as it tells me my “truth” came through my words.
M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
Author: Yes, I have both. At my website <authorrandyoverbeck.com> readers can learn more about me, check out my first novel, Leave No Child Behind, and of course order my new ghost story/mystery, Blood on the Chesapeake They can also get the scoop on my next steps as a writer including when to expect the exciting next chapter in the Haunted Shores mysteries series. There they can also connect with me via Facebook at Author Randy Overbeck and via twitter @OverbeckRandy. Of course, readers can find my blog at the website or at this link. <https://www.authorrandyoverbeck.com/blog>