Sincerely Me…

sinsundaySo I thought since I have interviewed hundreds of authors over the years on this blog, that you would enjoy hearing me answer some of the questions I have posed to them over the years.

Each week I will answer one or two questions, if you want you can leave your own questions for me in the comments and I will try and answer them in a future blog post!

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Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

After the two year hiatus the only thing I could do was write little bits. By little bits I mean 50 words at a time if that. So I took what I could get. 50 here, 100 there. It started to add up. Then I threw myself into impossible deadlines (yes I totally threw myself under the bus) and forced myself to get moving again. While I still suffer some flow issues it is not nearly as bad as it has been in the past.

I think the biggest thing is to start small and keep plugging away. Even if the 50 words you get down are crap at least they are a start and something you can work with later on. Also dont get down on yourself. You put too much pressure on yourself (unless you are like me and live in a virtual pressure cooker) and you could stifle the muse. So let your brain work at the pace it needs to. A single word is way better than none.

Q&A with Jeremy Davies

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Please give a cold dead welcome to another friend from Satalyte Press… Jeremy Davies!



at Notions bookshopWhat were you like at school?

I was pretty quiet and bookish early on and got bullied a bit in primary school—nothing special, just the normal boy-stuff when you’re at the lower end of the chain physically—so ended up getting pretty sporty going into high school, competitively involved in boxing, kickboxing, basketball and swimming; but I still read a lot, and played role playing games.

Were you good at English?

Yes, it was always my best subject, but I became obsessed with being a fighter pilot, so did mostly sciences and maths in later high school. I didn’t get in … my eyes let me down.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I would like to be able to earn a modest living from it. Just enough to scrape by would be fine.

So, what have you written?

Here’s the fiction: Rosemary and Julia: unblock me (Middle years novella in Third Space Series—Secular Philosophy) Published by Garratt Publishing, 2014; ‘Writing Bare’ (Literary/Erotic short story) published by Horror Sleaze Trash 2014; Missing, Presumed Undead (Fantasy/Humour/30’s Detective—Casablantasy) Published by Satalyte Publishing 2014; goliath.tmp: a memoir (Literary) Published by Naked Indifference Publishing 2013; ‘no such thing’ (narrative poetry) in AntiThesis, 2008; ‘Martian Colours’ (Speculative fiction) in Twisted Tails Two—volume 2: Out of Time by Double Dragon Publishing 2007; ‘antilochus.tmp’ (text message poetry) in Wet Ink #4 2006. ‘Reflex. Action’ (Literary) Published in Twisted Tails by Double Dragon Publishing 2006; ‘…In Distress’ (Fantasy/Humour) Published in Twisted Tails by Double Dragon Publishing 2006; ‘Poeticide’ (Literary/prosetry) Published in Verandah 20 2005; Missing, Presumed Undead (Fantasy/Humour/30’s Detective – Casablantasy) Published by Double Dragon Publishing

2005; ‘Ghost Story’ (Literary) published in Verandah 19 2004; ‘Grievous Bodily Litter’ (Fantasy/Humour) Published in ‘Sintrigue Dot Org’ #3 Oct-Dec 2003; ‘. . . In Distress’ (Fantasy/Humour) Published in Aurealis #30; ‘Bouncing Jude’(Adult fiction) Published in Picture magazine 1998; ‘Beneath the Shimmering Sky’ (Fantasy) Published in New Writers News. November 1997; ‘Pissed in Space’ (Adult fiction) Published in People magazine (Australia) April 1997.

What are you working on at the minute?

The sequel to Missing, Presumed Undead, currently called ‘Lore & Disorder (or the Fifth Elemental)’

What genre are your books?

The genre of these novels is something I call Casablantasy: a mixture of fantasy and noir 30s detective and humour.

Why do you write?MPU cover final

Because there are books that I would like to read that haven’t been written yet.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

Yes, reading is one of my chief pleasures. Writing is hard, reading is beautiful … even when it’s hard. If I stuck more to favourite writers who have influenced my current writing, just to keep such a list under control, it would be Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Terry Pratchett, China Mieville, Grant Naylor, Agatha Christie, Mickey Spillane, Elmore Leonard, Homer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle …

What book/s are you reading at present?

The Glass Bead Game by Heinrich Hesse

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

Marieke Ormsby designed it, the #2 punch in Satalyte’s #1 #2 knoickout combination. And she used the Publisher, Stephen Ormsby, as the model for Frank. Stephen is a little less hairy. Just a little.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

We did a launch at a specialist Sci-fi/fantasy bookstore and a relaunch at Melbourne Supanova in the wrestling ring. I was put in a headlock by a buffy woman wrestler.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

I am fascinated by languages and the processes involved in translating literature and poetry. I’m currently learning both French and German in an effort to read some of my heroes in their original


Thanks so much for hanging out with us Jeremy! Please be sure to follow him and check out his work!





Sincerely Me…

sinsundaySo I thought since I have interviewed hundreds of authors over the years on this blog, that you would enjoy hearing me answer some of the questions I have posed to them over the years.

Each week I will answer one or two questions, if you want you can leave your own questions for me in the comments and I will try and answer them in a future blog post!

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Do you ever get writer’s Block?

My standard answer for these sorts of questions is.. “Does the sun rise in the East and set in the West?” In other words oh hell yes I do! All the bloody time and it frustrates me to no end. I have all the words when I am out on the road driving to and from work, running errands, cleaning, doing other things and then I run to my screen to write them all down and they vanish like wisps of fog in the morning sun.

I also went through a two year period where my muse refused to speak with me at all. She claimed she was on hiatus but I believe that she was mad at me for pursuing other real world things rather than feeding into her. HA! It was frustrating as all get out. I cant tell you how many times I was crying to my editor that I was washed up after two books and how sad I was that I couldn’t talk to my characters anymore.

I am sincerely glad that we, that is the muse and I, got that all sorted out. It was not something I would like to revisit any time soon.

Q&A with K.S. Nikakis

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Please give a cold dead welcome to our next victim… (I mean guest!) on the blog this week… the lovely Karen Simpson Nikakis!


TheEmeraldSerpentv1So, what have you written?

The Kira Chronicles trilogy (fantasy) was published by Allen and Unwin (2007-9) and I had the rights reverted to me in 2013. Oddly it seems to be still out there on the US Amazon site: I

am going to tweak it a bit and relaunch the trilogy as the six book Kira Chronicles Series on Amazon late 2016 to early 2017. The Kira Chronicles trilogy (as new and used)(pbooks) are on Amazon: Book 1: The Whisper of Leaves:; Book 2: The Song of the Silvercades:; Book 3: The Cry of the Marwing: Various prices. These are also available in most libraries.

Dragon Tales (reference book) explores the purposes dragons serve in different types of narratives. It draws on my Masters thesis and was published by Heidelberg Press in 2010. Available from publishers:; Ph: +61 3 9459 8827

Ten Little Mushrooms (a children’s app) was launched by Zero Cut Entertainment in 2016 under the pen name of Chrys Andreas. Night Owls and Crabby the Crab are also contracted to Zero Cut Entertainment. Enquiries:

The Emerald Serpent (fantasy) is my first independently published novel and was launched on Amazon in October 2015. The Emerald Serpent (ebook) is on Amazon at for USD $2.99. Book Trailer:

Walking the Writer’s Road, the Gifted Traveller and Campbell’s Hero Quest (reference book chapter) in: Giftedness Illuminated by Creativity (Nikakis, S. Ed.), Heidelberg Press, 2015. Enquiries:; Ph: +61 3 9459 8827 Also other book chapters and conference papers/academic publications mainly on Tolkien and Joseph Campbell.

I’ve had short stories published in Zahir and Aurealis, and poetry published in Centoria and Poetrix, and many reviews with Aurealis Xpress, but I’m time poor and now focus entirely on novels.

I blog reasonably regularly on Goodreads and Facebook.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?WhisperCoverSmall

The main character in The Emerald Serpent is Etaine, who is true Eadar. The Eadar are slighter than humans and have white skin, black hair and emerald-coloured eyes. They also carry their memory in their blood. When Adam’s folk (humans) arrived on their shores, the Eadar innocently interbred, so even true-Eadar have some human blood, and this disrupted the Eadar’s blood memories. A third group arrived, the Fada, religious zealots intent on violently replacing the Eadar’s gods with their own. When true Eadar join, they regain their memories of their gods and how to serve them. Etaine joins with her true-mate Cormac but he doesn’t Remember. As a result, Etaine is horribly injured by the Fada and is then intent on murdering as many of them as she can. To have any chance of defeating the Fada, she must have the courage to turn away from killing and trust Cormac again.

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m on the final edit of the first book of the Hunter duology: Heart Hunter. It will be launched in the next couple of months.

I am also working on an angel series that has been going for a while but was interrupted by NaNoWriMo in 2013 (which produced The Third Moon – contracted to Satalyte Publishing); and NaNoWriMo in 2014 which produced The Emerald Serpent (launched on Amazon, Oct 2015).

What’s it about? 

The Hunter duology is about a Sceadu female hunter called Fleet. She is skilled, strong and fast, and thinks she’s going to marry her agemate Ashin. But while Fleet is on hunt, Ashin marries Fleet’s ex-best friend and the Sceadu’s new wisewoman, Siah. Siah sets Fleet an impossible task: cross the impassable mountains and bring back something that will return water to the Sceadu’s, frigid, ice-locked lands. Fleet believes Siah is sending her to her death, to remove her as a rival for Ashin’s affections, and refuses to go. But in a fit of angry frustration, she breaks the hunter’s sacred code of Talabraith, and in atonement, sets out into the mountains expecting only death.

Fleet’s quest allows her to see with other eyes; to understand that words might mean many things; and that love is not what she thought. And of course, there is a twist in the end.

What genre are your books?

I’ve coined the term ‘deep fantasy’ to describe them as they don’t fit paranormal, dystopic, epic or high fantasy. I’m interested in deeper philosophical or metaphysical questions that underpin fantasy. I’m not much interested in gore; medieval castles; multi-layered political intrigues or miserable future worlds. I focus on just a few characters’ hero journeys in brilliantly drawn secondary worlds. And there is always romance and a positive ending.

SongCoverSmallWhat draws you to this genre?

Fantasy has the capacity to deal with really fundamental issues and the human yearning for a purposeful/meaningful life, in new and refreshing ways. It draws on the power of myth and movies like Fury Road, Avatar and Episodes 4, 5 and 6 of StarWars show just how potent and engaging these mythic elements are. Modern life is extremely cluttered and I would find it boring to write about characters who had to go to school or who got stuck in traffic jams.

How much research do you do?

I don’t draw on existing myths or stories, so I only research very specific things. In Hunter Book 1: Heart Hunter, Fleet and her fellow hunter Tor build a snow cave, so I Googled a couple of methods. The Emerald Serpent is set in the Caledonian Forest in northern Scotland as it was thousands of years ago, so I read up on the trees and animals. My Masters is in the purposes of dragons in selected narratives, so completing that meant I became familiar with a lot of mythic motifs. My Ph.D was on Campbell’s hero

quest applied to a female hero, so again I’m familiar with the full depth of the 17 part structure. Despite that, as a pantser, I don’t set up a novel structure before I begin. I don’t think about initiating incidents, or the final ordeal either. I let the story take me where it will. But in draft 2, I’m looking at what mythic elements have emerged from my unconscious and try to make them more powerful. As well, I started my working life as a secondary English and Geography teacher; I used to ride horses; and I’ve done a lot of walking. So I already know a lot about how landscapes and weather systems work; about horses; and about what it’s like to walk a very long way. This has proven very useful.

 When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always liked English and writing creative essays at school, but it never occurred to me to be an author. It never entered my head that books were written by people who did it for a living. It had no relationship to me at all. Actually I’m quite astounded to admit this now. When I was doing the Masters, I became interested in Carl Jung and went to a lecture series about him. It opened a door in my head and I spent the next six weeks on a high writing Book 2 of The Kira Chronicles. It was 22 years ago and I haven’t stopped since. I read somewhere that Sara Douglass started writing when she found a tiny toy battle axe on a seat in a waiting room. I envy people who started writing at 14 like Isobelle Carmody. They have had so many years to hone their craft.

Why do you write?

A rational question with no rational answer! Bits of dialogue come to me, or whole scenes. I have to find out the rest of the story. It’s like the ether has tossed me a glittering piece of jig-saw puzzle. I can’t rest till I have the whole picture. And I fall in love with my characters. I ache for them; I tut-tut about them. I can’t just abandon them. I have to know!

Do you write full-time or part-time?CryCoverSmall

I work full time and have a 3 hour commute (on a good day). I write at night and on weekends.

Where do your ideas come from?

Words, images and music are important triggers for me. I have scrapbooks full of pictures that have resonated and seeing a particular image can completely change a character. Music will give me whole scenes and the emotional tone. Individual words will have lovely shapes and sounds I want to explore. I’m also interested in human nature, such as the line between the human and the divine (which is explored in the Angel series).

The Hunter Duology started from a single word: sceadu, the archaic form of the word shadow. In Jungian terms the shadow is the part of the unconscious where we lock away things we don’t like about ourselves; and in geographic terms, a rain shadow is the landward-facing side of a mountain range which receives less rainfall than the ocean-facing side. So sceadu (shardoo or skee-ar-doo) was not only a word I liked, but one which gave me the elements of the story.

The Third Moon (contracted to Satalyte Publishing) came about because I’ve always been intrigued by Jung’s notion of the collective unconscious. There is mounting evidence that memories are encoded genetically and passed down through the generations. The Third Moon is set in the far future where a young man of indigenous Australian descent is haunted by memories of his ancestors’ dispossession.

The Emerald Serpent was a NaNoWriMo project, which being November, meant I was pretty tired. For the first time I decided to draw on an existing myth rather than concocting something from scratch. The Tuatha de Danaan interested me but I decided they would not have fled to the bleak dampness of underground, but to another dimension. I’ve always been interested in the story of St George slaying the dragon, which is an analogy for Christianity destroying pagan religions. So I put the two together. I am interested in the sometimes awful consequences of innocent actions too. The Eadar had no idea they would destroy so much of their culture when they intermarried with Adam’s folk, and it isn’t Cormac’s fault that he doesn’t Remember, but the consequences are catastrophic.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series.

My angel series will be 6 books. It started as a trilogy but I think series suit independent publishing on Amazon better. I’m also finding it less onerous to write 60,000 words than 110,000 which is what I usually write for each book in a trilogy. There is more cost in covers if you are independently publishing but you get a quicker sense of achievement and get parts of your story out there more quickly. This is important when you are working alone without the support and backing of a commercial publisher and their marketing team.


Thanks so much for coming to join us this week Karen! Please be sure to follow her and check out her books!



 Twitter: @ksnikakis

Lnkedin: Karen Simpson Nikakis

Book Links: The Emerald Serpent has a book trailer: this is the penultimate version: Goodreads:

Sincerely Me…

sinsundaySo I thought since I have interviewed hundreds of authors over the years on this blog, that you would enjoy hearing me answer some of the questions I have posed to them over the years.

Each week I will answer one or two questions, if you want you can leave your own questions for me in the comments and I will try and answer them in a future blog post!

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

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

Writing a book for me can take anywhere from 15 days (yes you read that right! The Widowmaker was written in 15 days) to a year. It all depends on the flow and how much time I can devote to writing. Lately its been an average of a couple months per book as I work full time and I have a bunch of other commitments as mother and wife that have to be attended to on a regular. It all eats into my energy, muse and time.

Q&A with Brad Walseth

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Please give a cold dead welcome to our next guest on the blog this week… Brad Walseth!


 Brad1So, what have you written?

Two novels: One – Crystal Falls is published through an independent press (Satalyte); the other – The Courier is self published.

Where can we buy or see them?

Crystal Falls is available at or at The Courier is available at

What are you working on at the minute?

My work on the sequel to Crystal Falls (Bone Lake) has been interrupted by the need to create a screenplay version of Crystal Falls. I have recently completed the first draft of the screenplay and have begun editing the next draft.

What genre are your books?

I am aware of the desire for readers to stay within their comfort zones, but I personally find the need to stay within the boundaries of any “genre” to be too limiting to the array of possibilities to open new doors to experience for both the reader and the writer. As such, I would say my writing is cross/multi-genre. Ask any agent and they will tell you this is the kiss of death for marketing books to the mainstream. Ask an intelligent and open-minded reader/thinker and they should tell you that they are sick of the dumbing down and compartmentalization of literature into mass-market drivel.

If one feels the need to describe them as such: The Courier is an Action/Adventure novel with some elements of Psychological Thriller and Military genres, that is fairly straightforward chronologically in time (with exceptions), but with twists, interesting characters and some commercial appeal. Crystal Falls, on the other hand, is a Literary/Crime/Murder/Coming of Age/Love Story/Psychological Thriller/Slightly Paranormal/ Experimental Novel with multiple plot lines/incessant dialogue/flashbacks/changing POVs/references to literary and cinematic works/inside jokes/religious/political/humor/violence/drugs/ sex/big words/twists and “cruelty to animals” with little obvious commercial appeal, but providing rewards for the rare intelligent and open-minded reader.

What books are you reading at present?24777013

I just finished Middlemarch and John LeCarre’s The Secret Pilgrim and have started re-reading A Canticle for Leibowitz, which I haven’t read since I was a boy.

Where do you your ideas come from?

I am constantly compiling a file cabinet in my brain of characters and events I come across in life. For The Courier, I used my time as a stockbroker in Chicago, as well as a trip I made to Zurich to flesh out the initial idea I had of a person being placed in a situation where they had a limited amount of time in which to save someone (In this case, a courier whose plane is hijacked and crashes south of the border in Mexico, who has 6 hours in which to make it back to the U.S. with the heart he was to deliver to save a young boy),

For Crystal Falls, there were events I read about in the newspapers: a killing at a party where no one would step forward and testify against the murdered, another one where a street kid was murdered and the killer (s) got away with it, both entered my subconscious and lingered to form the basis of the story. Other storylines, such as the scene where the pastor urges the hero to join the CIA and the cop suggests a plan to cook bathroom speed, come from events from my own life. The characters as well, while not usually based on a specific individual, often display characteristics of people I have known in my life.

Do you work to an outline or plot, or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

I am sure many writers feel the need to work under specific rules; however, I believe in using whatever means are appropriate for the work I am producing at the time. The Courier was heavily outlined due to its chronological time-sensitive plotline; whereas, Crystal Falls was written in completely random chapters. I didn’t know the ins-and-outs of the characters or the intricacies of the plot when I started, but I did have a general idea of certain elements I thought I wanted included, so I started with that. I knew I wanted a scene with a smash-and-grab robbery at a pharmacy, and that was the first thing I wrote. I knew I wanted them to jump a train, etc… As I wrote the chapters I knew I needed, the characters revealed themselves to me and different potential plot directions emerged. As a rather astonishing side note, and one that completely goes against the usual rules of writing, I had absolutely no idea how the book would end, and when it did, I was as shocked and surprised as I suspect most readers are.

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

Strangely, both books took 9 months (not counting the never-ending tweaking and rewriting process that may go on forever), as have many of my musical projects. In my case there is a clear connection between creativity and the human gestation period connected with giving birth. I am curious if any study has ever been done on this.

23058543Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Forcing the issue is rarely the answer, although sometimes you can just buck up and bully your way through a problem. Considering all alternatives, including the exact opposite solution is sometimes helpful (for example, in life you are blocked by a wall and are unable to go over or under: maybe you need to head in the opposite direction and find a door or bridge that will take you there instead). I personally find that exposure to Art and Nature are the keys. A refreshing walk in a forest or by the water replenishes the spirit. Art museums, films (especially foreign), interesting architecture and great music inspire me greatly. I found the Tate Galleries in London to be perhaps the greatest kick in the behind I have ever experienced. Take a break from writing/reading, listen to Sibelius or Miles Davis and pick up a book of artwork and let the sounds and images take you along into a different and more creative vibration.

What is your favorite book and why?

As I get older, it has become increasingly apparent that even the greatest books written have their flaws, while many extremely flawed works have incredible works of insight and beauty. While there are unlimited moments of the latter that I can recall and treasure, aside from Hamlet, I can only recall two extended instances of near perfection in literature: Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor sequence from The Brothers Karamazov and the middle section of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, where her writing attains a shimmering form of sensitivity that transcends any writing I have ever experienced.
While my favorite books list is too long to list here, is based somewhat on my own experiences and prejudices, and would probably change upon re-reading, I have for years declared my favorite book to be Thomas Pynchon’s masterpiece exploration of love and death – Gravity’s Rainbow, which despite its flaws, opened up my mind to the unlimited possibilities inherent in language and the novel.

What is your favorite film and why?

I know it’s been endlessly parodied, but my favorite film is still Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. In a world where most films (and books) are geared at adolescent-level thinking, it is one of the few, and the best, to ask the most serious questions to continue to plague humanity.

What is your favorite quote?

To think, to dream, to conceive fine works, is a delightful occupation. It is dreaming cigar-smoke dreams, or living a courtesan’s self-indulgent life. The work of art to be created is envisaged in the exhilaration of conception, with its infant grace, and the scented colour of its flower, and the bursting juices of its fruit. These are the pleasures in the imagination of a work of art’s conception.

The man who can formulate his design in words is held to be out of the common run of men. This faculty all artists and writers possess; but execution needs more than this. It means creating, bringing to birth, laboriously rearing the child, putting it to bed every evening gorged with milk, kissing it every morning with a mother’s never spent affection, licking it clean, clothing it over and over again in its prettiest garments, which it spoils again and again. It means never being disheartened by the upheavals of a frenetic life, but making of the growing work of art a living masterpiece… This is the the travail of execution. The hand must constantly progress, in constant obedience to the mind. And the ability to create is no more to be commanded at will than love is: both powers are intermittent.

The work of the mind, tracking down a quarry in the high regions of the intellect, is one of the most strenuous kinds of human endeavor. To achieve fame in art — and in art must be included all the mind’s creations — courage, above all, is needed, courage of a kind that the ordinary man has no idea of…

Honoré de Balzac from Cousin Bette


Thanks so much for joining us this week Brad! Be sure to follow Brad and check out his work!

Amazon Author Page:

Sincerely Me…

sinsundaySo I thought since I have interviewed hundreds of authors over the years on this blog, that you would enjoy hearing me answer some of the questions I have posed to them over the years.

Each week I will answer one or two questions, if you want you can leave your own questions for me in the comments and I will try and answer them in a future blog post!

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Honestly the story lines come to me pretty darn easily. My mind is working away on something almost every moment of every day. It is tough sometimes because the muse wont turn off.

People and places from my day to day randomly become characters and scenes in my novels.

It can be fun, but at the same time when you aren’t in the spot to write whatever it is that struck your fancy down it can also be annoying. In reality I also cannot be able to possibly use all of the ideas that crop up every day but I would rather have far too many than to be stumped for what to write.