Interview with Simon Rose

Interview with Simon Rose, author of Parallel Destiny

Interview with Simon Rose, author of Parallel Destiny

What genre do you write and why?

My novels are all in the science fiction and fantasy genre. The Sorcerer’s Letterbox and The Heretic’s Tomb are historical fiction adventures set in medieval England, The Alchemist’s Portrait is a time travel story, The Emerald Curse is all about superheroes and comic books, The Doomsday Mask is all about the legend of Atlantis, and The Sphere of Septimus involves the characters traveling into another world and is in the same vein as the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, or Lord of the Rings. Future Imperfect is a technology-driven story featuring mysterious messages from the future and the Shadowzone series features a dark parallel version of Earth, a deadly virus, and a dystopian setting. Flashback, Twisted Fate, and Parallel Destiny are in the paranormal genre.

As writers, we tend to gravitate toward what interests us. That’s what ‘writing what you know’ really means. I’ve always been interested in these genres and tend to write the types of stories that I’d like to read. The novels are also the types of stories that I would like to have read as a young adult. As writers, we all have our own sources of inspiration but it’s a lot more fun to write about a topic that interests you. I also write a lot of nonfiction on a wide range of topics for younger readers, as well as books featuring tips and advice for aspiring adult writers.

Interview with Simon Rose, author of Parallel Destiny
Tell us about your latest book.

Parallel Destiny is the third part of the paranormal Flashback trilogy. The first instalment, entitled Flashback, was published in 2015 and the second, Twisted Fate, was published in 2017.

The trilogy features ghosts, psychics, alternate timelines, parallel universes, and Project Mindstorm, a secret operation involving deadly mind control experiments, as Max and Julia investigate events concealed for over twenty years. 

Parallel Destiny takes place immediately after the events depicted in Twisted Fate. Project Mindstorm no longer exists and Kane and his associates no longer represent a danger. However, Max and Julia now have to contend with the sinister Alastair Hammond and his experiments into the existence of parallel universes and alternate realities. Marooned within a bewildering series of multiple universes, Max and Julia are forced to fight for their own survival and to save the very fabric of reality from Hammond’s deadly scheme

What formats is the book available in?

Parallel Destiny, and indeed all three novels in the Flashback series are available as paperbacks on Amazon and as ebooks on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. The ebooks are available in ePub, Kindle, and pdf formats.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Many new authors decide not to listen to advice regarding their story and suggestions regarding how it might be improved or how to fix problems in the plot, believing that they know best. You don’t have to make those changes if you don’t agree with them, but as an author you at least need to consider them. Some new authors, especially those that self-publish their books, also often don’t do enough editing and checking of their work before they make their book available to readers and this should be one of the most important aspects of the process, no matter how a book is published.

What's the best thing about being a writer?

I enjoy many aspects of being a writer but I think the best thing might be seeing your ideas develop and a project coming to fruition. Writers usually have lots of ideas for stories but not all of them become fully developed or may not have that much potential. Once I’ve had the initial idea and started to think about the characters and the plot, there’s usually a stumbling block of some kind that threatens to derail the project. It’s a wonderful feeling when I suddenly resolve the problem and the ideas flow even faster than I can get them down on paper or onto the computer. That’s usually the moment when the project becomes very exciting and I know that writing the novel is going to be a great experience.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

You can learn more about me and my work on his website at or online at the following social media sites:

Where can a reader purchase your book?

Parallel Destiny is available in paperback and as an ebook worldwide on Amazon, KoboBarnes & NobleiBooks, and Indigo Chapters in Canada, and at many other locations online. Your local bookstore should also be able to order a copy.

Interview with Simon Rose, author of Parallel Destiny

Who inspires you?

Ideas come from anywhere and everywhere really. Books, movies, TV, online research, out walking the dog, dreams, an overheard conversation, friends and family, history, mythology, and so many other sources. I have a few ideas that may never come to anything, but I still keep them anyway. It’s always a good plan to save them because you never know if, or when, an idea might fit into a story. My first four novels were all very early story ideas and were the first books to be published. However, more recently published novels, such as The Sphere of Septimus and the Flashback series, were also very early ideas for novels. They just took longer to develop as novels. Flashback was also one of my earliest ideas but again it took a while for me to develop the initial story, and consequently the rest of the series. Even if the ideas don’t work right away, they might in the future and you just never know when you’ll get another piece of the puzzle.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

I’m always working on something but currently I’m writing a number of nonfiction books and doing quite a lot of editing and coaching work with other authors, helping them with their novels, short stories, or works in progress. I’m also working on a historical fiction novel set in the turbulent era of the English Civil War in the 1640s and I hope to be able to focus on that a little more in the coming months.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

When my children were small, I starting reading children’s books again for the first time in many years. Some of the books were wonderful and I wished that I could write something similar. However, some of the books were very poor and I was surprised that they’d ever been published. This made me wonder if I could write stories of my own. I started thinking that I should write fairy tales and picture books for younger children but after reading the first three Harry Potter novels, I realized that I wanted to write for the age group that those books are aimed at. I wasn’t interested in writing about the same things, such as magic, wizards, and imaginary creatures, and instead focused on themes that I was interested in, such as science fiction, fantasy, time travel, history, comic books, ancient mysteries and civilizations, superheroes, other dimensions, and the paranormal.

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Book Showcase: Painless by Marty Thornley

Book Showcase: Painless by Marty Thornley

Title: Painless
Author: Marty Thornley
Publication date: January 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Horror, Psychological Thriller

Book Showcase: Painless by Marty Thornley
About the book:

The debut psychological-horror novel from author Marty Thornley is a page-turning ride, a front row seat to a clinical trial gone horribly wrong.

For Greg Owens, this was supposed to be a chance to end years of back pain and escape his reliance on pain pills. If it all worked out, he could maybe even get back the life he left behind as the pills took control.

Instead, as the patients are cured of their physical pain, they encounter a different sort of pain building inside them – obsessive thoughts, depression, self-destruction. The side-effects grow worse, and the suspense ratchets tighter. The patients want answers and violent revenge, setting them on a collision course with a crazed doctor, determined to protect his life's obsession.

What readers are saying...
"...most definitely a recommended read, though it's probably not the best choice for those with a weak stomach."
"Gruesome and twisted. Awesome!!!"
"OMG this book. Holy heck the gruesome descriptions of blood and gore and guts was SO RAD. I found myself cringing and fidgeting and yes, even feeling a bit nauseous in some spots - but totally in a GOOD WAY! Painless was exactly what I wanted in a super-unique, creepy, shocking horror-thriller."


Book Showcase: Painless by Marty Thornley
About the Author:
Marty started writing short stories as a teenager, inspired as much by favorite books and movies as the environment and characters that define the South Shore of Massachusetts. The pull of the movies dragged him first to film school and finally to Los Angeles, where he poked at the outskirts of the industry with screenplays and short films.

As his interest in a film career fizzled, he rebuilt himself bit-by-bit as a programmer. He spent the next decade building websites, finally realizing that something had been lost. His stories were collecting dust in the back of his brain while he sat through conference calls and code reviews.

So he returned to the woods of New England and the calming darkness under the trees. He returned to find the things that crawl in the undergrowth and turn them into words on the page. He dusted off one of his screenplays and turned it into his first novel. In the process, a dormant storyteller was awakened and is now seeking the next blank page to fill.

Author links:

Book Showcase: Painless by Marty Thornley


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Book Showcase: The Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith

Book Showcase: The Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith

Title: The Secrets of Hawthorne House
Author: Donald Firesmith
Genre: Teen Paranormal Mystery

Book Showcase: The Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith
About the book:

Fifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable. Matt’s misery started when a drunk driver killed his mother. Then Matt’s father moved him and his sister to a small town in rural Indiana, as far as his grieving father could get from the ocean that his mother had loved. At the new high school, three bullies were determined to make Matt miserable. And to top it off, Matt learned that the recluse who lived in the dilapidated Victorian mansion next door was none other than Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous witch and murderer. Matt’s terrible summer was turning into an awful autumn when something quite unexpected happened. Old Lady Hawthorne’s niece and her three children moved in next door, and Matt met Gerallt.

Book Showcase: The Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith
About the Author:

A geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He's also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat by his fear that the term "distinguished" makes him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.

By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.

An autographed copy of The Secrets of Hawthorne House , $25 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

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Excerpt: The Other Thief by Frank McKinney

Excerpt: The Other Thief by Frank McKinney

Title: The Other Thief: A Collision of Love, Flesh and Faith

Author: Frank McKinney

Purchasing link:

Excerpt: The Other Thief by Frank McKinney
About the book:

Five-time bestselling author Frank McKinney boldly enters the Christian romance genre with this erotic, seductively spiritual love story. The Other Thief will arouse readers and their faith, leaving them wondering which side of the cross they would choose.
Francis Rose, lead singer for a meteorically popular Christian rock band, has it all―fame, fortune, family, and deep faith. With the support of his loving wife, young daughter, and Down-syndrome blessed son, he's gone from performing to an audience of 20 at his tiny Lutheran church in Keeler, Indiana, to selling out 20,000-seat arenas. His impact is global, soulful, and seemingly unstoppable.
The seven deadly sins don't stand a chance against a man of Francis' character, morality, and faith. Or do they? Their alluring assault is relentless as Francis encounters each of them along his ascending path to superstardom. Will the full armor of God protect him, or will his vast talents and blessings be undone by the threats posed by a foreign and unlikely demon?
Is it too late? Can he be saved? Should he be saved?


Two valets came running after her, calling “Ma’am! Ma’am!” One put his hand on her arm and she twirled to face him, looking disoriented, as though she couldn’t imagine why he’d stopped her.
“I need your car key, Ma’am,” he said—apologetically, because her distress was palpable. Mary gave him the keys in her hand, and angrily took the stub offered by the other valet.
My heart stiff with fear, unable to breathe, I stood up, utterly unready for whatever was about to take place.
Mary lurched to the table like a zombie and leaned against it, staring at me.
“Honey . . . honey, say something,” I said, bracing for the worst. When she didn’t respond, I started rambling. “Mary, it’s terrible, I know. God help me, I can explain. I talked to Pastor–”
Mary grabbed me around the neck and sobbed, “It’s the worst thing, Francis! Why? Why?”
Shaking, I rested my forehead on her shoulder. How could I answer that question? It was the same question I’d been asking myself, but I’d never gotten any kind of answer that made sense. Why? Why? Why had I done this to her? My mouth dry, I pulled her away from me to look into her eyes. “Mary, please know how much I love you. I made a terrible, terrible mistake.”
“Why did it happen? Why did it happen, again?” she sobbed.
Her question stunned me. She was finally remembering my first confession after all this time, and now she was asking how it could happen again with Cindy!
I struggled to get my response right. I opened my mouth to speak, but there was no air to even push out of my lungs. Before I could formulate an answer, she sobbed, “I guess I should have known better than to drive that route, but I wasn’t even thinking about it. And then, just as I passed that spot on East Camelback where we crashed . . . Oh God, I saw her again!” Mary fell into my arms, dissolving into tears, unable to continue.
Slowly, it dawned on me. Mary didn’t know. She. Didn’t. Know. Mary still didn’t know my shameful secrets. She’d had one of her visions, and that was what all this was about. The rollercoaster ride of my emotions was making me too dizzy to support her so I led her to a chair at the table and scooted my chair right up next to hers.
“It was just a vision, sweetheart,” I said, my hands shaking.
“But Francis, it wasn’t the same! It was awful! It was the clearest one I’ve ever had, and you were in it this time! You were lying on the side of the road. It was so terrible; it looked like you were dead! It was you and that same woman I’ve seen before. Oh, how I’ve come to hate her, Francis! That woman with the skin-tight black clothing and the red lipstick and that long, shiny, black hair. Only . . . only this time, the hair started to change, Francis! It seemed to be turning from black to blonde! It was like the woman herself was changing into a different woman, starting with the hair, but then it all disappeared before I could see any more. Why? Why does this keep happening to me? Make it stop!”
My thoughts formed a tornado in my mind as I took my sobbing, trembling wife into my arms. “It’s going to be okay, sweetheart. It’s over now,” I said.
Wiping her eyes and dabbing at her nose with a napkin, Mary asked, “Francis, why did you say you made a terrible mistake?”
I froze.
Mary continued, “It wasn’t your mistake, honey. I know you don’t like to drive. It was my mistake that we crashed that night.”
Awash with more emotions than I knew how to process, I needed to step away to get my bearings. I said, “Let me get you a drink, sweetheart,” and headed for the bar. What if this newest vision brought flashes of memory with it? What if she were about to remember the conversation in the car that preceded the crash? I had to tell her before she remembered it on her own! But how could I tell her when she was in such a disoriented frenzy?
“Hey, look who it is!” said the bartender. It was Dave, the one I’d met the night I’d been here with Cindy.
“Just a glass of Chardonnay,” I said, hoping to let him know, with my tone, that I wasn’t in the mood for small talk.
“That blonde you came in with the other night, Mr. Rose—wow, what a hottie! I bet women throw themselves at you like crazy! That Christian rock thing must really melt the chicks’ hearts—and panties!” He winked at me, wiggling his eyebrows.
“Can you just get me the wine?”
“Sure, sure, I’m getting it. I bet it’s for that other beauty you have lined up over there in the corner. I gotta hand it to you, man, it’s a great gig! What an act!”
I threw money on the bar and took Mary’s wine. “Cindy is a longtime family friend,” I said, “and that beauty over there is my wife.”
Dave smiled broadly. “Okay, Mr. Christian rock star! Your secret is safe with me! Rock on!”
Mary was still visibly shaken when I returned with her wine. Frustrated and at the end of my rope, I said, “Damn it, sweetheart, I’m so goddamn sorry this keeps happening. What can I do to help you?”
“Just please help me make it stop, Francis. With all of Eddie’s issues lately, and with you being gone so much working on Forgiven, I’ve really been struggling. I need you now more than ever.”
Mary brought my hand up and gently laid it to the side of her cheek, searching my face for reassurance that I would be her hero and protector, just as I’d always been. Over her shoulder, I saw Bartender Dave watching us. Catching my eye, he made the zipper-across-the-lips gesture, insinuating that his lips were sealed.

Excerpt: The Other Thief by Frank McKinney
About the Author:

Frank McKinney is a true Renaissance man: a five-time bestselling author, real estate “artist” (creates multi-million dollar oceanfront homes on speculation on the sun-drenched canvas of the Atlantic), actor, ultramarathoner, speaker. He most recently released his 6th book, The Other Thief: A Collision of Love, Flesh and Faith.

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Get Off the Bus and Into Schools

Get Off the Bus and Into Schools, Guest Post by Sherry Ellis

Get Off the Bus and Into Schools, Guest Post by Sherry Ellis

Are you and your books stuck on the school bus like bubble gum under a seat, riding around in circles? If the royalties you earn barely cover a daily cup of coffee, I have a solution that can help. I’m here to tell you how to un-stick yourself by getting into the schools as part of your marketing campaign to sell books.

What many people don’t know is that writers who are able to earn a living do so by giving presentations related to the topic of their book, or to the craft of writing. I am a children’s writer. School visits are something I have added to my marketing strategy. They’ve yielded a nice chunk of change.

The first step to getting started with school visits is to figure out what your presentation will look like. What age range are you comfortable with? (Age 5-7 = grade 1-2; age 7-11 = grade 3-6; age 11-14 = grade 7-9; age 14-16 = grade 10-11.) How many people will you talk to per session? How many sessions will you have per day, and how long will they be? What type of sessions will you have (e.g., reading with Q & A, talk, interactive workshops, or drama sessions)? Will your session cover any aspects of a school’s curriculum? Once you’ve figured these things out, you can create your presentation. If you’re lacking ideas, you can always go online and see videos of what other authors have done.

Get Off the Bus and Into Schools, Guest Post by Sherry Ellis
Before approaching schools or other venues, consider making a one- or two-page flyer. This visual representation of your brand allows organizers to learn who you are, see a summary of the presentations you offer for particular age groups, and know what to expect during your visit. The flyer should include your author photo with a personal message about how you enjoy school visits and what you hope to accomplish, such as getting kids excited about reading, and ways to contact you to request a visit. Let them know what your technical requirements are. Do you need an overhead projector, a microphone, or something else? Of course, you want to sell books, so tell the school if you’ll bring books with you, or if they need to pre-order. And, do you charge an honorarium or travel fees? Be upfront about financial arrangements. (A note about fees: if you’re a beginner, consider relying on book sales for your earnings. When the word gets out about how awesome your presentations are, then start charging for personal appearances. Some authors charge $300 for a half day and $500 for a full day. The best-known authors can command more than $1000 a day.)

It’s also a good idea to create a “librarian kit.” The kit includes electronic files of Jpegs of your book covers, interior illustrations, a customized price list that students can take home to parents, and Power Point presentations. Later, you might want to create book cover posters that you can snail mail to the school.  

When you’ve created your presentation and librarian kit, you are ready to contact schools. Google searches provide lists of schools in the cities you wish to visit. Call the schools to ask how to arrange an author visit. Usually, you’ll speak with the librarian. Keep track of who you’ve contacted and the responses you’ve gotten. Spread sheets are useful for this. With a lot of tenacity, you will schedule a visit. 

Two weeks before your visit, confirm the date and time of your session, the equipment you will need, the group size, number of books needed (paperback:  two for every three children; hardcover:  fifteen percent of the total number of children), how books are supplied, and fees. The day before, run through everything on your own equipment. Make sure it all works and that you’re comfortable with the presentation. On the day of your visit, arrive thirty minutes early. Be nice to everyone, because it’s important to make a good impression. 

Be ready for anything. Stay calm even if things aren’t going perfectly. Make it enjoyable for your audience and make sure a teacher is in the room with you. After the visit, send the organizer a thank you card. If sales were especially good, you might include a Starbucks gift card.

It takes time and energy to visit schools and build your experience with them. Once you’ve done a few, you can post information about them on your Website. Include photos and reviews you’ve received. Eventually schools will approach you. With a little effort, you can make money by getting off the bus and going into schools.

Get Off the Bus and Into Schools, Guest Post by Sherry EllisSherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis, her husband, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing!

Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing! Guest Post by Alysson Foti Bourque

Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing! Guest Post by Alysson Foti Bourque

I have just released the third book of the Alycat series. What is my marketing strategy and how has it changed over the last three years?

We all love to follow our dreams. And publishing a book is certainly a passion that gives us such great reward. However, the book won’t sell itself and sometimes we find ourselves become entrepreneurs instead of authors.

Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing! Guest Post by Alysson Foti Bourque
When I began the series, my marketing strategies focused on getting a brand and business started. I wanted my exposure to be an “introduction” into the series. This involved building an author and book series website and setting up a social media presence with Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Twitter. Then came ordering book signage, tablecloths, bookmarks, brochures, and other book swag for author visits once I had colored storyboard images. I sent out press kits to librarians, schools, media outlets, retail stores, and more. And this was only the start.

Now that I am publishing my third book, marketing strategies are geared towards keeping relevant and making sure that I highlight new developments that are paramount to keeping the series alive. At least three months prior to the book launch, I start planning the book launch party, involving my wonderful community members and friends! I begin scheduling book tours and author visits to take place after the book is released.

In order to build hype, I send out galleys of the book to reviewers such as NetGalley, book bloggers, and Goodreads and submit to award agencies. Another beneficial marketing tool is virtual book tours. These are book spotlights and reviews that can be done from the comfort of your own home.

One of the hardest tasks is to get your books into the bookstores. As a new author, booksellers can be reluctant to schedule a sit and sign event if they have not heard of you. This is why you promote and market before the book launch! Think of it as being an author and yes—a salesperson (something I hate calling myself). The book should sell itself but the literary world is overflowing with new books every single day! So how do you open that door? First, start with mailing a press kit and book/galley to the bookstores introducing your book and yourself to them. Your press kit should include a sell sheet, press release, headshot of the author, and a picture of the book cover. Make sure your sell sheet outlines the ideal audience, amount of pages, word count, brief pitch of the book, and a short bio of the author. Next, follow up with the bookstore by dropping by with your press kit in hand, and ask if the manager has a moment to speak with you or if you can get a business card with his/her email. If you get to speak with a manager, sell, sell, sell your book and yourself—in a non-aggressive way, of course. Hit on key points such as awards won, local connection, availability, and what you could offer the bookstore. Make sure you give the impression that you are willing to work with/for them to make this happen. Lastly, follow up with emails, telephone calls, or drop by again, but not too often! Be patient. Be kind. Be professional. If the answer is no, ask if you can read at a story time. This is a great chance to meet your audience.

Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing! Guest Post by Alysson Foti Bourque
Alysson Foti Bourque earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center. After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. She enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. Currently, she resides in Sunset, Louisiana with her husband and two children.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Ends Nov 3, 2018

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