Friday, October 10, 2014


The three charity anthologies
Something To Take On The Ride, Something For The Journey and Something To Take On The Trip ( The last book is not only twice as big as the first two books but has stories by world renowned authors....Kevin J Anderson, David Gerrold and Ron McLarty)  are due to be bundled into one easy to read omnibus in November. That's one month from now!
* Proceeds to the UK's Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeals
* Over 90 flash fiction pieces ( plus longer  stories by the three guest authors)
* Many, many  different genres
* Easily available on kindle, iPads and phones and in paperback !!
Stay tuned for more news (Things should really start hopping around here mid-November)
It would help us out if you could pass the word to your friends who might be interested.

Friday, August 29, 2014

January is STILL the target

Update October 10

Life has been knocking me around a bit this year but I promise you all that come January 2015 there will be a new Crowell book available. Followed closely by two more ( A Strange Life is already out there so catch up now!)
Later in 2015 will be Lives in Ruen, a dramatic fantasy novel

Coming soon-- winter 2015

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What exactly DOES an editor do?

Being a writer I know the importance of an editor. Meet Todd Barselow in this interview I hosted. He does it for a living.

You’ve written a book. Congratulations! You sat on it for a few weeks, did a second and third draft (and hopefully a fourth and fifth draft), handed it off to beta readers, and now you need to polish it before you either send it off to a traditional publisher or go with self publishing.
But remember—many readers like to browse a few pages before committing to a purchase. So in those first few pages you have to look like you know what you’re doing.

For that, you need the services of a good editor. And it should be a good fit. They have to work with you on your book as well as fit your budget.

Todd Barselow is an editor I met online and he has agreed to an interview so that you have a better idea of what editors do and what you should expect FROM an editor.

First off, Todd, how long have you been at this and why should a writer consider you over other editors?

Frank, thanks for having me here. I always relish the opportunity to talk about what it is that I do and why I love it so much.

I’ve been editing professionally for the past five years or so, with the bulk of my work having been completed in the last two years. Admittedly, I started editing as more of a hobby and as a way to generate a little extra Christmas cash. I proof read and edited the self-published works of several friends and acquaintances and discovered that I had a real knack for the work. It was actually something that I really and truly enjoyed doing, not solely as work or a way to earn money, but as something meaningful that was contributing to a thing that would be around for a while.

You know, books never really die once they’re published. They may go into seclusion after a while, but one can always find them again, and to know that I had a part—no matter how small or insignificant—in making those books a reality was a real game changer for me. It was sort of one of those life defining moments, a moment of clarity where I saw the future—my future—and knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was meant to do this. I was meant to be an editor and to work with authors from all over the world. I know that sounds quite hokey, but it is what it is. I know in my heart forty, fifty years from now, I’m going to look back and know that I made the right decision to give up on everything else and focus solely on editing.

Back on point now. When I first started editing I was teaching English as a Second Language at a Korean academy here in the Philippines. I’ve always been a great speller and while I wouldn’t say that I started out as a grammarian by any stretch of the imagination, I’ve become quite proficient in the intricacies of grammar—thanks to my copy of The Chicago Manual of Style, which, by the way, I would encourage every writer to invest in a copy of. It’s an invaluable resource that will save your editor’s sanity… So, I’m teaching English, I edit a few manuscripts and it clicks that this is what I should be doing. I put the word out on the social media channels I use and next thing I know, I’m flooded with work—more work than I thought possible.

Once word got around that I was fairly priced and good at what I do, the floodgates sort of just opened up. I then had the bright idea to start asking Anne Rice questions on her Facebook page since she’s known for responding to her fans there and via email. She gave me so much good advice that I was then able to pass on to others which in turn led to more work. She spoke about me a number of times on her page and even referred several people to me for editing work. I’ve met a number of the authors that I’ve worked with through her Facebook page, including Greg Wilkey and Anne’s personal assistant, Becket.

Why should an author choose me over another editor? Well, it all comes down to references at this point. I can provide numerous impeccable references from bestselling authors who were and are completely satisfied with my work. Then you have my editing style. It’s my policy, particularly with the self-publishing authors that I work with, to do everything within my power to preserve the author’s voice and vision while providing clarity of that vision for the reader. I don’t believe in attempting to stifle or change an author’s voice or vision. I don’t think that’s right and I avoid it like the plague. If I really think something isn’t working in a manuscript, I’ll let the author know and then discuss how it could be made to work better, but I will never, ever try to force a change that the author doesn’t want to make. This may not always be true for the publishing house books that I work on. I’m the Senior Editor at Imajin Books, a small Canadian publisher. They sometimes have guidelines that must be followed that require certain aspects of a book to be changed or altered.

What genres do you work in?

I work in all genres with the exception of extremely religious works or highly political pieces. I don’t care for religion or politics in my personal life so it stands to reason that I don’t care for them in my professional life, either.

I suppose that my favorite genre to work in is science fiction as that’s my favorite to read. I know that there are many editors working today who specialize in one or two certain genres and that they don’t or won’t work in any others. I don’t like to restrict myself professionally like that. First and foremost, I’m a reader. I love all kinds of books. I carry that over into my profession as a means to defeat boredom. I don’t think I could be as happy with my work as I am if I was stuck editing one genre all day every day. I like being able to mix it up from manuscript to manuscript. One day I may be working on a historical fiction, the next I could be reading through a detective/crime procedural. I love having that freedom.

What excites you about the process?

I sort of answered that in the first question. It’s knowing that my ideas are able to blend with those of the author’s to enhance a story, a story that will be around pretty much forever after it’s published. I love that thought. Being a part of the creative process is so much fun. It’s so stimulating to the mind, the body, and the soul. Also knowing that, barring Alzheimer’s or some other mind wasting disease, I can do this kind of work until I die is just fabulous.

I simply love reading new stories of new worlds and characters. Knowing that I’m among the first people to read the book is pretty thrilling. I also enjoy the back and forth process, discussing different aspects that need discussing, making suggestions, etc. It’s all wonderful and exciting for me, the entire process from beginning to end.

On average, how long is a basic editing job?

This is a little tougher to answer because there are so many variables—length of the manuscript, the amount of work needed, my current/near future workload, etc. Generally, my waiting list is two months or more, and that’s before I start to work on the manuscript. Once I start working, I like to have at least four to six weeks with the book. When I first started out, I would only work on one manuscript at a time, but I’ve discovered that I can be more productive—and more effective at my job—if I work on more than one at a time.

For example, I’ll do a preliminary read through of a manuscript, only correcting glaring errors before doing a secondary, more in-depth reading. After that second reading is done, I let the manuscript—and my brain—rest a bit. At that point, I’ll start the process with a second book before going back to the first one. It’s important, I’ve found, to put a little distance between yourself and a manuscript lest your brain become blind to obvious errors, which is what tends to happen to authors who’ve read through their manuscript dozens of times. It’s in our nature and how our brains work to skip over missed words because we see them as there when they aren’t. This is true of other aspects of the manuscript, too.

I also use a secondary proof reader to ensure the accuracy and quality of my work. This adds some time to the process but is an invaluable part of the process in my opinion, for the same reason as mentioned above. Overall, when someone contracts me to work on their manuscript they can expect to wait anywhere from two to four months, sometimes longer. I always try to give a rough estimate as to when I can complete the work. I’m usually pretty good about meeting my self-imposed deadlines—I pride myself on my timeliness—but I’m not always able to. For the most part, authors understand and allow me the extra time I need to ensure quality work.

So the writers out there are aware, this isn’t just a matter of handing the manuscript off to someone and letting them double check spelling and other errors. A manuscript needs to be massaged into shape. The writer needs to be just as much a part of the process as they were in the actual writing. Are some writers surprised at the amount of work involved in the give and take process with an editor?

I’ve found that many new authors who come to me really don’t know a lot about the editing process but are eager to learn. And you’re absolutely right when you say that the author must be just as involved in the process as the editor. Otherwise, all my work will be for naught.

It’s a back and forth process that, for the most part, I try to make as painless as possible. I’ve been told numerous times that working with me was such an easy, painless process. I guess that’s why I have a handful of authors who keep coming back to me time and again with their new manuscripts. But I think that most authors have put in the time, the effort, and the hours working on their book and they know that while editing is one of the final stages in the process, it’s not at all the easiest. This is the time when things can get cut, when rewrites may have to occur, things of that nature. It can be hard on an author to have to make these changes when necessary, but it’s part of the growing process, of seeing the manuscript mature into the novel that it’s supposed to be. I’ve only had one or two authors who didn’t want to really put in the effort to properly see it through, and that was their choice. I did—and I always do—the work to the best of my ability.

 Ultimately, it’s up to the author to ensure that final proof reading is done, that all changes made to the manuscript have been accepted/rejected, that the formatting is spot on…all of this rests with the author. I can only do what I can do from my end to ensure that the manuscript is as spotless and clean as possible. I’m not responsible for the final push of the ‘Publish’ button, for ensuring that all of the things mentioned above are done.

Do a number of writers resist some of your suggestions?

Surprisingly enough, no. I’m always fearful that the author is going to call me crazy for suggesting something or for rewording a sentence or choosing a different word for a sentence, or even adding dialogue that I feel fits or resonates with a scene. For the most part, nearly all of my suggestions are accepted. That’s not to say that there’s no discussion, because there certainly is. Sometimes I need to explain my reasoning for something and I’m glad to do that. That’s part of the back and forth process.

This is also a part of my philosophy of not altering the author’s voice or vision. If I feel I can enhance something without altering the voice or vision, then I do. If, when thinking about it or discussing it, we determine that the alteration is not really in line with those things, then it’s simply rejected. I never have a problem with rejection of my thoughts or ideas. After all, it’s not my manuscript, right? I’m simply attempting to make it more reader friendly. I want the reader to have the best experience possible with every book that I work on.

Are there occasions where you turned down a writer?

I have turned down a handful of manuscripts in my time as an editor. It was never anything personal. I just felt that the manuscripts in question weren’t at the stage where they were ready for professional editing—that’s to say I thought that the author(s) needed to continue to work on them and perhaps even hone their skills a bit more before submitting to an editor. Of course, that was just my subjective opinion, but an opinion based on my experience as both a reader and a professional editor (not to mention English teacher).

In all honesty, I could have taken on those manuscripts and worked out the kinks but it would have been very expensive for the authors. Another selling point of mine is that I’m fairly and reasonably priced. Indies are my target market and I know that many of them can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars for editing work. I try to fill the need for quality editing at prices that most anyone can afford, even if it requires saving for a few months and laying off the Starbucks for a little while… I offer free sample edits and pricing quotes upon request.

I understand you have a secondary proofreader when you work on manuscripts. Why is that?
As I mentioned earlier, I want to ensure the highest standard of quality with my work. Utilizing a secondary proofreader helps me to do that. After reading the same manuscript three, four, five times, little things can slip through the cracks as our brains are wired to fill in the blanks, as it were. The proofreader that I use only reads the manuscript once, with an eye for dropped words, spelling errors, any little thing that might have slipped past my initial reviews. The cost for the proofreader is incorporated into the quoted price so there are no extra surprise charges or anything for that service.

Being successful at this must bring an author or two back with more work. Has that happened to you?

I have a handful of authors that I’ve edited three or more books for. M.L. Stephens, Greg Wilkey, Becket, Jamie Magee, Sherrill Willis, Nick Pirog, and Dana Roquet are just a few of these. I’ve also worked with several Imajin Books authors on multiple books.

If someone reading this were interested in contacting you…how busy are you at the moment?

I’m currently scheduled up until about October, but I have a few spots here and there that can be filled, depending on word count. Oftentimes my schedule is in flux; it’s a fluid thing. Sometimes I’m able to finish an edit before I had anticipated and that frees me up to work on something else.

(Frank interjecting something here): It isn’t such a bad thing to have to wait several months if you choose to use Todd for your editing needs. For instance, a smart writer will USE the time waiting for their opening with Todd to go over the book yet again. This way it’s as good as it can possibly be when you hand it off to Todd. Less work on his end could save you some money while still getting his established quality input.

Do you encourage writers to stay on the path of traditional publishing or do you inform them about self- publishing?

Frank, a good ninety percent of the authors that I work with are self-publishing. Another seven or eight percent are Imajin Books authors and the remaining are seeking traditional publication via query letters and agent/agency representation.

I’m of the opinion that self-publication is the way to go these days for authors who want to retain control of their work and see it reach its intended audience. There is no longer the stigma attached to self-publishing that we saw ten, fifteen years ago. It is perfectly acceptable, on all levels, to self-publish today. And just because one self-publishes doesn’t exclude them from the possibility of traditional publishing, too. Look at Hugh Howey, Brenna Aubrey, and the list goes on and on—self-publishing-turned-traditional-publishing success stories abound these days. If you keep getting rejection letters from publishers, why not self-publish and get your work out into the world for the people who actually matter—the readers?

Do you find that there are a number of writers who are not only surprised at the rapidly expanding world of self-publishing but also very leery of it—despite knowing that their chances of actually getting published through traditional channels are slim? (So that readers know the difference, submitting to a traditional publisher involves stuffing pages into envelopes and waiting weeks or months for an answer. And even if accepted, there is another waiting period before the book lands on the shelf and even THEN, the book has just a few weeks to make sales before getting kicked back for pulp. Whereas with self publishing—once it’s been edited—you can, in theory, be online within a day and be seeing actual sales income throughout the entire time you’d be otherwise be waiting to hearing from a traditional publisher).

I’ve talked to and worked with authors who are leery of self-publishing, and I can understand it, but the days for doubting the validity of self-publishing are long gone. It IS a viable option for anyone and everyone today. I recommend it, highly. The self-publishing community is an amazing one, so very supportive as far as helping one another out and guiding new authors through the process. I’ve met so many wonderful authors—people—who are in this community. I’ve received advice and given advice. Then you have authors like Anne Rice, a superstar in the publishing world, who openly support indie authors of all stripes. Hugh Howey has a magnificent blog where he dispenses nuggets of advice to anyone and everyone regarding the publishing industry. There are so many resources available for indie authors today. I honestly can’t see any reason why someone shouldn’t self-publish.

Any final words for any writers who want to contact you?

I’m happy to work with new authors as well as established authors. I’m also happy to discuss the process, self-publishing in general, or pretty much anything else. As I’ve said, I come with impeccable references that speak for themselves. I can always say all the things that an author wants to hear, but I think it’s best to hear about my work from those authors who were happy with it. Feel free to reach out to me at any time if I can help you out in any way. I do offer free sample edits and pricing quotes upon request. It will oftentimes take a week or more to get to sample edits, so keep that in mind if you intend to request one. My prices vary and are dependent upon word count, not page count. As detailed on my website, prices vary from $3.50 per thousand words up to $6.50+ per thousand words. I do require a fifty percent deposit of the quoted price for editing in order to reserve a spot on m schedule. This ensures that you’re serious about the process.

And where can they go to get in touch with you?

My presence can mostly been seen on my Facebook page here. I also have a website that you can visit here. If you follow Anne Rice’s Facebook page you’re likely to see me there a lot, too. I welcome all communication and queries/requests for sample edits and quotes via my email address:

Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview Todd and good luck to you. And good luck to ALL writers—whichever path you choose. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

UPDATE May 21  
Nick Crowell is now on paper!
So if you prefer paperbacks you can read A Strange Life !

The next story- called Hunting Sheep- is due out later this year.....

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Something To Take On The Trip---- BOOK 3 >>> with guests!

                         Book now available!!!
              Something To Take On The Trip! 

That's the link- grab a copy!
All 3 charity books are now available in both ebook and paperback versions. 
Thank you to each of the writers for the story donation.
200 pages- 46 stories 
Kevin J Anderson ( co- writer of the Dune series)
David Gerrold ( Famous for The Trouble With Tribbles and The Martian Child)
Ron McLarty ( wrote The Memory of Running)

 NO two stories alike in any of the 3 books! 

Welcome to our Charity Anthology series.

The first two books, Something To Read On The Ride and Something For The Journey- both edited by Stella Wilkinson- are available as an e-book and paperback to raise funds for the UK charity, Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal. 
Suitable for all adult readers from 18 - 80. This book covers a large range of subjects, from space travel to zombies, romance, humour and tragedy, and from unusual occurrences to every day situations. Stories were donated by a wide variety of authors, all with very different styles, so there is plenty for everybody. 

 Book 1 link

The participating authors are:
 Neil Bursnoll, Samuel Clements, Andrew Vu, Amanda Brice, Stella Wilkinson, Neil Sweetman, L.G. Castillo, Landon Porter, Debbie Bennett, Frank Zubek, Pru Moran, Louis Hessey-Antell, Dan Brady, J. David Core, Monica La Porta, Paul B. Kohler, Dan Fiorella, Ruth Banda-Banda, Penny Darling, James Griffiths and Pauline Drummie. 

Book 2 link
Vincent Trigili, Dario Solera, Neil Bursnoll, T.L. Champion, Kathy Molyneaux, RJ Kennett, Peter Cawdron, Jamie Campbell, Sarah Dalton, Cora Buhlert, Paul B. Kohler, Stephen Drivick, Stacy Claflin, Al Stevens, Sheila Guthrie, Dan Fiorella, Pru Moran, Paul Levinson, Melanie Nilles, James Griffiths, Seun Odukoya, V. A. Jeffrey, Frank Zubek and Stella Wilkinson. 

Book 3 
Something To Take On The Trip
(featured at the top up there)

Participating authors of Book 3 are: Vincent Trigili, Cora Buhlert, Dan Fiorella, Erin Garlock, Edward M. Grant, Kevin A. Lyons, Kevin J. Anderson, Samuel Clements, David Gerrold, Stella Wilkinson, Richard Wolanski, Jamie Horyski, Graham Brand, Michael Carmella, Lindy Moore, Jamie Campbell, Frank Zubek, Paul B. Kohler, Ron McLarty, Paul Levinson, Helen Cho, Cate Dean, H.S. Stone, Karen Tucker, Mary Kincaid, Joe Tannian, Sheila Guthrie, Kelly Lytle, T.L. Champion, Neil Bursnoll,Dario Solera,  Stephen Drivick, Debadatta Pati, Donald R. Broyles, Aditi Bathia, J. David Core, Rich Walls.

We do have three guest writers in Book 3 and they are:

Kevin J. Anderson is a science fiction author with many bestsellers to his credit and is best known as the co-author (along with Brian Herbert) of the Dune prequels. He has also written many original works including the Saga of the Seven Suns and most recently the Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series. He lives with his wife, author Rebecca Moesta in Colorado and his story contribution here is called Controlled Experiments.

David Gerrold is best known as the writer of the beloved classic Star Trek episode, The Trouble With Tribbles. He is also the author of the novel, The Man Who Folded Himself, the popular Star Wolf book series, the Chtorr Invasion as well as the novelette, The Martian Child, which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards and was made into a film starring John Cusack. Very prolific, he continues to write new material and those books and story collections can be found on kindle.  His story contribution here is called A Wish For Smish.

Ron McLarty is multi talented. He is a character actor who has many appearances to his credit and can be seen most recently on Person Of Interest and the film, St. Vincent with Bill Murray.   He is also a popular audio book narrator who narrates many authors of note including Stephen King, David Baldacci, Anne Rice and others. In the literary world Ron is best known for his novel, The Memory of Running, as well as most recently, The Dropper. His story contribution here is Large Animal /Small Animal. and Peregrine Comes To OJO.
This is a unique anthology as it contains over forty stories from authors who live in eight different countries, some famous and some being published for the first time. There is action, fantasy, horror, humor, mystery, romance, slice of life, science fiction, and any number of other fictional subjects.

So, no, while not every story in here will be of interest to every reader, the point of the book is to raise funds for the charity, This is for the kids. So please buy a copy or please help pass the word. Thanks.
If you enjoyed what you read, please let us know.
Stella Wilkinson
Frank Zubek

And now just as I did with the first two books-which can be found by scrolling down this blog--- for those of you interested- here are brief question and answers with a number of the writers 

Author Question and Answers

Q and A with Kevin Anderson, Author of Controlled Experiments

Where do you live and what’s the day job?
I live in the mountains of Colorado, and writing is my day job. All aspects of writing, publishing, promotion, book signings, public speaking.

What inspired this story? 
A long time ago, a friend and fellow author spread a meme around, wanted to know how many writers could come up with a story that had the opening line “There were rats in the soufflĂ© again.”  It inspired some odd tales, and I took the challenge that I wanted to do a pulse-pounding action tale.  I think it worked.

How long have you been writing?
Since I was five years old. Never wanted to do anything else.

What are you working on next?
A lot of things simultaneously.  A graphic novel series based on my CLOCKWORK ANGELS steam punk novel, a big space opera The Saga of Shadows, and my Dan Shamble, Zombie PI series.

Can people visit your web page or blog?

on Twitter @TheKJA  
Facebook “Official Kevin J. Anderson Page"

Can people contact you? 
Through any of the places above. 


Q and A with Ron McLarty, author of Large Animal/ Small Animal and Peregrine Comes To OJO

What inspired this story?
(Large Animal/Small Animal) A Veterinarian I knew in Montclair, NJ
  How long have you been writing?
40 plus years
What are you working on next?  
2 novels in works and 1 completed (MISLAID)
  Can people visit your web-page or blog?
  Can people contact you?

 Q and A with Vincent Trigili 
Where do you live and what's the day job?

I live in Virgina, USA, and I work as an Enterprise Architect for Liberty University. 

 What inspired this story? 

As with all of my stories they always start with a character. This time I was remembering the old cyberpunk days when you had swords and blasters side by side. I want to try my hand at that, and I wanted to get back to what I write best - optimistic character driven Sci Fi. I also have been reading a lot of strong female main characters lately (on purpose, I want to get better at writing female characters) and wanted to try one. The extreme shortness of this format (at least to me, I normally write 100 times more material than what I sent in to this anthology) provided a good test ground for that.  

 How long have you been writing?

That depends on what you mean by writing. My first novel was self published three years ago. My first published work was poetry in the early 90's,  and I wrote my first short story as a class project in 1988 or 89. Before that I had written many stories, but never shared them with anyone. I would just say I have been telling stories my entire life, and leave it at that. 

 What are you working on next?

I have almost completed the rough draft my sixth full length novel, Spectra's Gambit. I hope to have that out before summer. After that I am considering writing an episode for the Fog Land production ( I am not sure yet. I do want to get my seventh novel out for Christmas, but right now that looks like a bit of a dream rather than a goal. :)  My blog for my work as an author is 

 Can people visit your web page or blog?
Yes, please do. See my answers to the next question...

 Can people contact you? 

I am fiarly easy to reach: , and vistors to that site can leave comments right on the site, or use the contact form to email me directly. I personally read every email I get, even if I do not get a chance to reply (though I always try to reply). 

On Twitter you can follow my personal account, @VincentTrigili, or if you want just updates on my books you can follow @LostTales

I also have a Facebook author page: 

I can also be found lurking in random forums and blogs around the world. 

Q and A with Frank Zubek, author of The Vet and What Ever Happened To Annie Garrett?
What inspired this story?
The Vet: I’m a vet myself and have always felt bad about the guys and gals who return home from peacetime and war and in many cases, get abandoned. Not everybody of course but there are still far too many incidents. These people interrupted their lives for their country and now a number of them are lost.
And the story What Ever Happened To Annie Garrett? sprang from my love of dozens of characters I have read over the years. A reader falls in love with characters and sometimes, after finishing a book or story, they sometimes wonder where that character is and if they moved on from the problem they had in that book. Of course, any good story needs a little drama so I had the reader herself run into some unexpected trouble... 
How long have you been writing?
Since 1999.
What are you working on next?
A new Nick Crowell novella. He is a cop who encounters people in his district who are having life changing phenomenon happening to them. The twist of the whole series is that this is kind of forced on Crowell, who is just trying to do his job and every few months someone comes up to him asking for help for an impossible situation. He has no idea how to help them though he does try but it weighs on him that he can’t help them all.
Can people visit your web page or blog?
Can people contact you ?
Twitter as well @frankzubek 

Q&A for Lindy Moone

story: Vietnam with a Side of Asparagus
Where do you live and what's the day job?

West coast of Turkey. I write and edit full time.

What inspired this story?

Early childhood memories of family dinners with war news coverage.
How long have you been writing?

20 years, but only started publishing in 2012.
What are you working on next?

Writing the title story for and editing For Whom the Bell Trolls, a charity anthology about all kinds of trolls. 
Can people visit your web page or blog?

Website: Literary Subversions
Blog: Belly-up!
Can people contact you?

Yes, through the blog and the website, or by email:


Q and A for Cora Buhlert

Where do you live and what’s the day job?

My name is Cora Buhlert and I live in Bremen in North Germany, well known to fairytale fans as the setting for the Brother Grimm's famous story "The Bremen Town Musicians" and Wilhelm Hauff's somewhat less famous tale of the "Seven Lazy Men". Both tales have left their mark on the city and you can find statues of the characters all over town.
As for my day job, I'm a freelance translator and translate technical and legal documents for the shipbuilding, automobile, aerospace, environmental protection and offshore wind power industry.

What inspired this story?

What happens to the narrator of "Refusal of the Call" actually happened to me – well, except for the portal to another dimension part. But I actually did find a necklace with a red glass pendant in a little used handbag and couldn't recall either buying or owning it. I suspect I must have bought it at a street market on a whim, stuffed it into the handbag and simply forgot about it. My mystery necklace isn't actually magical, though.
The title is a reference to The Hero with the Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. One of the stages of Campbell's hero's journey is called "refusal of the call", which is basically the point where the hero (or less commonly heroine) has received his call to adventure, but is still hesitant whether to accept it. Of course, the hero in a Campbellian hero's journey story always accepts the call to adventure in the end, because otherwise there wouldn't be a story. Nonetheless, it got me thinking what would happen if the chosen hero or heroine actually did refuse the call, because they can't be bothered. And so "Refusal of the Call" was born.

How long have you been writing?

I have been telling stories for as long as I can recall. Sometime in my teens, I started to write them down, first in German and then in English. However, I didn't get serious about writing until I took a creative writing class during my second semester at university.

What are you working on next?

Currently going through editing is The Great Fraud, the fifth instalment in the Silencer series, which is my homage to the great pulp heroes of the 1930s and 1940s like the Shadow, the Spider and Doc Savage. In this story, the Silencer has a disagreement with a merchant selling borderline fraudulent novelty products such as X-Ray specs. You know, the sort of thing that was once (and maybe still is) advertised in comic books.
I'm also doing rewrites on "Troll Dating", my story for Lindy Moone's anthology For Whom the Bell Trolls.
Also coming soon are History Lesson and Debts to Pay, two new stories in my Shattered Empire space opera series.

Can people visit your web-page or blog?

Of course, they can. My personal website and blog may be found at where I blather about writing, reading, TV, pop culture, speculative fiction and anything else that comes to mind. My publisher website and blog is at 

Can people contact you?

Of course. They can contact me at or follow me on Twitter under @CoraBuhlert (I promise, I don't just tweet about my books all the time). I love hearing from my readers.

 Q and A with Edward M Grant 

Where do you live and what's the day job?

I was born in the UK, but moved to Canada nearly ten years ago. By day, 
I build and support satellite ground stations around the world.

  What inspired this story?

I wrote an early version of 'Twilight Raid' years ago. It was nearly 
Halloween, and I was wondering what people might be afraid of in a 
future where genetic engineering made the creatures of fantasy and 
horror a regular sight on the streets. I pretty much completely rewrote 
it for this anthology, but the idea remains the same.

 How long have you been writing?

As long as I remember. The oldest story I have on my computer is one I 
wrote when I was nine, which would be over thirty years ago. From the 
late 90s to late 2000s I was writing movie scripts rather than books, 
and only began doing so again a couple of years ago.

 What are you working on next?

I'm trying to finish 'Horror Movie', a novel I began on a business trip 
back in 2010. Hopefully I'll release it in the next two or three months.

 Can people visit your web page or blog?

It's at

 Can people contact you?

Easiest option is to post a comment on the blog.


Q and A with Paul Levinson
Where do you live and what’s the day job?
I live a few miles north of New York City, and am a professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University

What inspired this story?
I've always looked to nature for all kinds of cures for our illnesses, minor and grave.

How long have you been writing?
To me, writing is so natural that it feels as if I've been writing ever since I was speaking.  In truth, I've probably been writing since I was in my first grade class, or about 6 years old.

What are you working on next?
The sequel to Unburning Alexandria, which is the sequel to The Plot to Save Socrates, both of which feature Sierra Wat
ers.   Both are time travel stories, so anything is possible.  And also my fourth Phil D'Amato novel - after The Silk Code, The Consciousness Plague, and The Pixel Eye.   He's a forensic detective in New York City, with a knack for getting involved in the strangest cases.

Can people visit your web-page or blog?
Can people contact you?

Yes - I'm @PaulLev on Twitter

The Pixel Eye 
has just been published -  "a thoroughly enjoyable book, extremely readable, and brave" - SF Weekly


Q and A with JD CORE

1 Where do you live and what's the day job?

I live in a little town called Toronto, Ohio on the banks of the mighty Ohio River. The area features heavily in most of my writings.

2  What inspired this story? 

This story, "The Not Wanting," was originally an idea that I had over thirty years ago. I re-wrote it specifically for use in this anthology. I have no recollection of what originally inspired it, but the original way i wrote the story involved a gimmick I've done away with in this version. Initially the story was written in three parts Each paragraph in a given part began with the same phrase. It seemed clever at the time. Now it just seems annoying.

3  How long have you been writing?

I began writing in High School. I've maintained it over the years as a sort of semi-pro hobby, although in the past year, i have begun focus on it much more intently.

4  What are you working on next?

I have a new non-fiction book that just came out, and a few weeks ago the second novel in my mystery series was released. i am in beta with the third novel in the series, and I am about to begin outlining an episodic story about a man who creates a new life for himself off the grid after faking his death. 

5  Can people visit your web page or blog?

Sure, here's the URL,

6  Can people contact you? 

I can be contacted through my blog, or I can be found at Facebook and Twitter. and


Q&A for More Than A Feeling and A Change of Heart by Cate Dean

1 Where do you live and what's the day job?
I live in Loomis, CA, in the foothills just above Sacramento. My day job - which is a done deal by the end of this year - is with the State Library. I work with public libraries and federal grants. Stimulating stuff. ;)

2  What inspired this story?
More Than A Feeling is a prequel to my series The Claire Wiche Chronicles. The main characters have been friends for a while in the first book, and I thought it would be fun for readers to find out how they met.
A Change of Heart is another prequel, to my time travel novella Choices. It shows how John Wolf, one of the main characters in that story, becomes the person Maura meets when she falls into his world.
I thoroughly enjoyed being able to create a bit of backstory for both of them.

3  How long have you been writing?
I've been writing since first grade. ;) Serious writing - the last seven years.
4  What are you working on next?
I'm about to release the first book in my romantic suspense series, Love in Time. It involves time travel, action, and romance, of course - all set against the background of England's rich history. I'm very excited about it!
5  Can people visit your web page or blog?
They sure can! Right here:

6  Can people contact you? 
Absolutely. There are a couple of ways to contact me on my website.
Thank you for having me! It was a blast writing such a short piece of fiction, and for such a worthy cause.
Cate Dean ~ Paranormal Author
join my list and be in the know: Cate's News and Notes
find me here:

Q and A with Neil Bursnoll

Where do you live and what’s the day job?
I live in North Oxfordshire in the UK. By day I work on HTML (the code that webpages are made from) projects for an Email Service Provider called Adestra. Due to my experience with this I've been able to modify my personal website to suit my needs.

What inspired this story?
About eleven or twelve years ago I owned a collection of Grim Reaper statues, one of which used to sit at the end of my bed. The story is based on a nightmare I had where this figure was the focal point. I have tweaked it a bit, but the general fright from that night is in the story.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was 5 or 6. I used to write heavily in my teens, sporadically in my twenties and I've picked it up again now that I'm in my thirties. I published for the first time in April 2013 and I've kept pushing since.

What are you working on next?

The second Augustus Baltazar novel is very close to completion. I am still editing my NaNoWriMo 2013 novel. I've also been working on numerous short stories, however Augustus Baltazar 3 is likely to be the next big project.

Can people visit your webpage or blog?
You can find both at

Can people contact you?
Of course! I can be found on Twitter (, Facebook (, Goodreads ( and Google + ( Hassle me at any of those sites if you'd like to know more about my work or just get to know me better.

Q and A with Paul B Kohler

1 Who are you? Hi. I’m Paul, and I’m an Indie Author. I have written dozens of short stories, some of them published. I have written a few novels, and am working through getting more published there as well.
2 Where do you live and what's the day job?  When not writing, Paul is hard at work in the field of architecture. He has been in the field of design since 1992, and loves what he does. He lives with his wife and daughter in Littleton, Colorado, where he was born and raised.
3  What inspired this story? The name of my story is Alone. The premise to the story is how a lonely person copes with the feelings of being alone. Not only in his life, but in his world. It’s just a glimpse of his day, really.
4  How long have you been writing? I began writing in 1998, shortly after the birth of my daughter. My first short story, Amy, was written in November of that year, but went unpublished until November of 2013. That was when I found the courage to publish. Despite the fifteen year lag, I’ve written many unpublished works throughout the years. Linear Shift, Part 1 (September/2013) was my first published story, and was the kick off to his four part serial novel. Part 2 followed up in December of 2013, and Part 3 is planned for a May/2014 release.
4  What are you working on next? I have a few things in the works. First off, I am working on the third installment of my Linear Shift series. It is due out in May. Beyond that, I have a number of follow-up pieces to Borrowed Souls and Recoil that will hopefully satisfy my fans.

6  Can people visit your web page or blog? Yes, please. I have a website ( as well as an author page on Facebook ( and on Goodreads (
7  Can people contact you? You bet. I enjoy fan interaction, and all of my contact info can be found on any of the above sites.

Q and A with Aditi Bathia (Surprise, Surprise!)
1 Where do you live and what's the day job?
I stay in Mumbai, India and have been born and brought up here. I work in the field of Market Research, which lets me understand the consumers and people in general so much better than I would have otherwise.

2  What inspired this story? 
I came across a discussion on an online forum around how ignorance is bliss. The discussions actually made me think whether it actually stands true, and that was what eventually led to this story.

3  How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for a few years now, but mostly just in a journal or on my blog. This is my first publication and I hope there will be lots more in the future.

4  What are you working on next?
I will be working on a fiction novel that I started just recently. It is a fun-adventurous story and I am excited to see how it turns out.

5  Can people visit your web page or blog?
Yes, most definitely:

6  Can people contact you? 
I can be contacted through my blog or on Facebook: or simply email me at

Q and A with Graham Brand (Recall)
Where do you live and what's the day job?

I'm a Londoner who moved up to the Yorkshire Dales seven years ago. I've been a metallurgist, actor and musician in the past, but for the last fifteen years or so I've been an Information Systems consultant and project manager.

What inspired this story? 

I can't really remember. When I saw the request for short contributions for the anthology I scanned down my 'Ideas list' - which tend to be single sentences slapped down when they occur to me - and this one stood out as being ideal for fitting to the flash fiction word count.

How long have you been writing?

Back in the late 70s, in my last year at school, I was determined to get published, and wrote a somewhat embarrassing letter to Asimov's SF Magazine, which had just launched. Life then rather got in the way...

About two years ago I resolved to take my writing more seriously, but the intensity of my IT work has meant this has happened in fits and starts. I'm getting there though, and hopefully I can keep up the momentum that I've had over the last month or so.

What are you working on next?

Apart from a handful of short SF stories, I've reworked some classic Indian Folk Tales, which I'm hoping we can illustrate and publish, possibly associated with the storytelling organisation my wife and I run, Settle Stories.

Can people visit your web page or blog?

That's another thing I've just got started! Yes, it's at

Can people contact you?

Please do, I'd love to hear from you. You can leave comments directly on the blog, or contact me through a form there. I'm rubbish at Twitter, but @crosstimers will get to me.

Q and A with Sheila Guthrie
1 Where do you live and what's the day job?
I live in North Carolina, where I was born 
and have lived most of my life. My day job is 
writing, though I’m trying to fit some other 
artistic stuff in there.

2  What inspired this story?
I was browsing at my favorite idea store... Seriously, though, when I first read about the 
anthology, I got a vague idea for some sort of 

time travel story, and let that work around in my head for a while. Ideas come from so 
many things, sometimes mere snippets that I see on TV or the Internet, or from something I 
read, like the newpaper. And sometimes they arrive out of thin air.

3  How long have you been writing?
Since I was around nine, and I realized that 
people wrote books for a living. It seemed 
like the best thing ever. I never had the 
confidence to try to get published before, but 
decided in 2011 that I wasn’t getting any 
younger, and if I wanted to be a “real writer” 
I’d better get busy.

4  What are you working on next?
I’ve got several projects in the works, 
including a rewrite of my first novel and the 
completion of the second in the series, a 
science fiction novel about the first humans to 
colonize another planet, and the zombie 
novel that insists it needs to be written soon
There are also several shorter works flitting 
around my brain that I hope to get to in 
between the books.
5  Can people visit your web page or blog?
Sure! I blog at I have a 
placeholder web site at

6  Can people contact you?
Yes! My email is