Posted in 7 Questions With An Author

Seven questions with an author: Suzanne Rogerson

My first author interview of 2023 is here, and I’m very excited to share it because Suzanne Rogerson is one of the first indie authors whose work I read.

You can find out more about her books via the social media links below:

Website Twitter Goodreads BookBub

Amazon Facebook Instagram Newsletter

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to start writing.

I fell in love with writing stories as a child. I remember getting set English homework and rushing home to write a story from a list of titles or ‘what happened next’ prompts.

I’ve never lost that desire to create. I live and breathe writing. To date I’ve published four fantasy novels and three short story collections. I’ve been planning a romance series since the first lockdown, and I’m really excited about taking it further in 2023 – whether that is finding an agent or publisher or continuing to self-publish. I haven’t decided yet

2. Did you always know you wanted to get your work published and if not, what inspired you to change your mind?

Being a published author was always my goal but for many years it looked like it would never happen. Then a death in the family made me rethink my situation and I realised there was nothing stopping me pursuing my dreams. I took the plunge in 2015 and published my first novel. I’ve never looked back, though I don’t think I’ve slept well since either – there’s always something to do!

3. What has your journey been like from book one to your most recent project? What are some tips you can share with any aspiring authors?

It took me years to write my first novel, Visions of Zarua, and get it to a publishable standard. There were many re-writes and multiple edits to get it right, but something must have worked because I got picked up by a Czech publisher and they published a translated version in 2019. Compare that to the six weeks it took me to write my newest book, A Christmas Wish, and it shows I’ve come along way as a writer. Ok, the scale of the stories are hugely different, but I would never have had the courage to publish a book in such a short timescale back in 2015.

I would advise new authors to do courses, go to writing festivals and meet other writers. Join a local writing group if you can or find one online. You learn from each other and support each other on your writing journeys. Another great tip is to enter competitions, especially ones that offer feedback which you can use to improve your craft.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere! TV programmes, films, music, books, nature. But sometimes just sitting down with a pen and paper and letting go is the best method of starting to write. That’s basically how I managed to write eight stories in just over a month for my Christmas collection.

5. Do you have a genre that’s easier for you to write in than others? Is there a genre you want to try in the future?

I find both fantasy and romance easy to write once I’ve found my characters. These are the two genres that really speak to me, and new ideas always seem to gravitate towards them. I’ve been told that I write paranormal well based on a couple of short stories I’ve written, so I would like to try my hand at more of that in the future.

It would be great to have a book of short stories in the paranormal and horror genre to publish for Halloween 2023. I’ve also recently discovered a love of urban fantasy, so maybe I’ll try my hand at that some time as well.

6. Favourite books of 2022 so far?

I’ve read lots of brilliant books in 2022, so I’ll just pick a couple.

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – YA fantasy.
  • May Day by Josie Jaffrey – Urban fantasy.
  • The Cornish Hideaway by Jennifer Bibby – Romance.

7: Plans for the future?

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been working on a romance series. It’s set in a fictional town in Cornwall, at the Mermaid Hotel where the owner likes to play match maker with her guests. I really want to make this series my focus in 2023. I can’t wait to share Mrs Shallon and her guests with the world.

I would also love to get back into my half-written fantasy trilogy ‘Starlight Prophecy’. I abandoned it when the romance idea came along, and then the short story collections have taken over most of 2022. I’ve still got the bug for short story writing, so who knows what I’ll come up with next!

Thanks very much for interviewing me today.

Some of Suzanne’s Work So Far

A Christmas Wish

A heart-warming collection of feel-good stories showing snippets of family life and friendship during the festive period.

Santa Paws Delivery

Blaze delivers Christmas cheer to a care home.

Christmas Wish – Part One

During the office Christmas party Cassie is forced to re-evaluate her life priorities.

For the Holidays

A stepdaughter’s not just for Christmas.

Chance Encounters

Two brothers must unite to do the right thing when faced with a life-threatening choice.

Christmas Wish – Part Two

As Lynn contemplates another lonely Christmas, can Harry provide a welcome distraction?

The Icing on the Cake

Preparing for a big family Christmas, will the day go as Jess plans?

Not Just For Christmas (extended version)

The Shelton family welcome a new addition to the family, but could it spell disaster for Christmas?

One Good Deed

Struggling with life after University, Sam is stuck in a rut until he meets a homeless man with an unexpected gift.

Posted in 7 Questions With An Author

Seven questions with an author: Sharon Bairden

It’s Saturday again, which means it’s time for another author interview.

Today’s author is Sharon Bairden, whose blog or social media accounts you might have come across, where she shares some insights into her writing and other fiction she’s enjoying. She is on Twitter @ sbairden and Facebook here and you can also find her over on her blog.


1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to start writing.

Hi Becca, thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little!

I live just outside of Glasgow and have two grown up children, a grandson and a dog. In my day job I manage an Independent Advocacy service where we work alongside individuals to ensure that their voices are heard and their rights are upheld when decisions are being made about their lives, their care and their support. I’ve been there for over 20 years now (and that makes me feel very old!) and you could say next to writing and books, social justice is a huge passion of mine.

I’ve always dabbled in writing and as a child loved to write stories, this love of the written word grew as I got older and I’m a bit of a geek but the favourite part of my time at University was the essay writing!

I joined a writing group and took a few creative writing courses but it always felt as though it was a bit of dream to write a real book.

My love of books led me to the world of book festivals and book blogging and it was there I began to connect and get to know other writers, readers and book bloggers which fuelled my desire to write.

2. Did you always know you wanted to get your work published and if not, what inspired you to change your mind?

I always wanted to write a book and have it published, but it always felt like a dream that was somehow out of reach. I had an idea that authors were God like creatures that were far removed from ordinary people like me.

Getting to know and meet other writers, even the really famous ones, made me realise that authors are ordinary people too and that was my inspiration, along with support from fellow bloggers and writers. I attended Crime and Publishment (an amazing writing weekend near Gretna, run by Graham Smith and Michael J Malone and it was after this, I made a determined effort to finish my book and put it out for submission.

3. What has your journey been like from book one to your most recent project? What are some tips you can share with any aspiring authors?

Like most other writers, I think my journey has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, from rejections to potential interest, it really was a bit of a whirlwind but it has also been the most amazing experience of my life!

Book one was very different, I wasn’t writing to any deadlines and it was simply me following my dream. When Red Dog Press took my debut, Sins of the Father, on, I honestly felt like I’d won the lottery, the day it was publicly announced, I think I cried snotty tears all day and on Publication Day, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. Nothing beats holding the first copy of your book with your name on front.

Writing book two felt so different, it felt much more nerve wracking, deadlines to consider and also the anxiety about living up to expectations once you have been published. Book three has been a real emotional roller coaster this time around as my day job changed and I had a whole new set of time pressures to deal with, along with the anxiety of thinking “can I actually do this again”, it feels like it’s been a longer and more drawn out experience, but I am slowly getting there!

My tips to aspiring authors would be:

  • to have realistic expectations, very few people become the next JK Rowling or Stephen King
  • don’t give up hope
  • keep writing; you can’t edit a blank page.
  • Read and read and read, explore what it is about the books you read that make you keep turning the pages and try to apply that to your own writing;
  • And most of all enjoy it and don’t get hung up on what might be.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere and anywhere; from people watching, stories in the news; overhearing a snippet of a conversation; from daydreaming and from dreams (and indeed nightmares!)

5. Do you have a genre that’s easier for you to write in than others? Is there a genre you want to try in the future?

Psychological thrillers, that’s my bag, it’s what I love to read and what I love to write. I would like to write a police procedural and perhaps a horror story too!

6. Favourite books of 2022 so far?

Oh my! What a hard question, I have so many! So I’ll give you just five! Douglas Skelton, An Honourable Thief; Gordon Brown, Any Day Now; Noelle Holten, 6 Ripley Avenue; Alan Parks, May God Forgive, and CS Robertson, The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill.

7: Plans for the future?

To finish book three, and I’m also looking forward to my short story being published as part of the Gone Anthology from Red Dog Press out in November 2022. To win the lottery and travel the world attending book festivals!

Well a girl can dream can’t she!

Some of Sharon’s Work So Far

Posted in 7 Questions With An Author

Seven questions with an author: Heather Atkinson

I’m back with another author interview. This time, it’s with Heather Atkinson, an indie author who has a LOT of books to her name.

A huge thanks to Heather for taking part in my Seven Questions With An Author series, and if you would like to take part in an interview you can get in touch via the Contact page at the top of this website.

You can visit Heather’s website via the images below.


1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to start writing.

I’ve lived in Scotland for over thirteen years but I come from Lancashire. When my twin daughters began nursery here in Scotland, I found myself with a little bit of spare time, so I decided to turn my hand to writing.

I’d always enjoyed creative writing but hadn’t had the chance to indulge in it for a few years. I found my passion for it reignited again. I wrote the first book in the Dividing Line series, followed by Bleed Through which is a time travel mystery, and then Nightfall, an historical gothic novel. When Amazon created Kindle Self Publishing, I decided to try publishing the books I’d already written and I’ve never looked back.

2: Did you always know you wanted to get your work published and if not, what inspired you to change your mind?

I rather stumbled into publishing. I read online about someone’s positive experience self-publishing on Amazon, so I decided to give it a try. The first book I published was Bleed Through, the time travel mystery.

I recall being over the moon when I had forty downloads on a free promotion. Next I published Nightfall but it was the first Dividing Line book that kick-started my writing career. This coincided with the time for me to return to work when my children started school full-time. I had the choice of returning to being a medical secretary or taking a chance on writing.

I decided to take that chance, thanks to the support of my lovely husband, and I’m so happy I did. I never dreamed I would write full-time for a living. While continuing to self-publish, I tried sending my work to publishers but kept getting knocked back. By that time my self publishing career was going great guns, so I decided to stop trying. It was only when I stopped sending in submissions that I was approached by Boldwood Books with an offer, who are wonderful to work with.

3: What has your journey been like from book one to your most recent project? What are some tips you can share with any aspiring authors?

I’ve published 59 books plus two short story collections with three more books to come in 2022. The journey has been wild and wonderful. I don’t like to be confined to one genre, although gangland fiction is what I’m primarily known for. I’ve enjoyed playing around in not only gangland but fantasy, historical, romance and gothic fiction. I’ve watched my writing evolve and my plots become more complex.

Writing is like anything – the more you do it, the better you get at it. So, if you want to improve your writing, keep writing and reading too, which is also a great way to learn. Working with Boldwood Books has been a fabulous learning experience and has helped me become a better author. Everyone who works at Boldwood is so experienced in the industry and they’re more than happy to share that experience with their authors.

Also, if someone is serious about forging a writing career, then don’t sit back on your laurels. It’s an extremely competitive market, so you need to continually make your presence felt. While writing one book, be thinking about your next. When you’ve finished one book, start work on the next.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Primarily music, especially for the fight scenes in my gangland books. I must confess, I adore writing fight scenes, working out the tactics of each character according to their personality and studying different fighting techniques (only in theory though.)

Heavy metal music is my go-to for any fight or chase scene but music has also inspired many characters and books. I’ll listen to a piece of music and then a scene will start to play in my head. It’s just like watching a film, only it’s in my mind. I also find artwork very inspirational. Plenty of art pieces I’ve seen will kick-start an idea.

5. You’ve written in a few different genres. Do you have one that’s easier for you or prefer? Is there a genre you want to try in the future?

I do enjoy gangland, but recently I’ve wanted to break into the historical gothic genre. Boldwood Books, after publishing my Gallowburn series, which is gangland set in Glasgow, have also taken on my Alardyce series, which is set in the Victorian era and it’s a dark, gothic saga.

The first book, The Missing Girls of Alardyce House, has already been released and the second one will be released later this month. I could never write in just one genre, I’d get bored. My personality is rather eclectic in everything and I have a broad range of interests. I also enjoy the challenge of writing in different genres as each one is a very different experience.

6. Favourite books of 2022 so far?

I’ve got back into the gothic authors and the Victorian and Edwardian era ones are my favourites. Sheridan Le Fanu’s In a Glass Darkly has to be one of my very favourites. I’ve also just finished reading Queens of the Abyss, a collection of ghost stories by female gothic writers. I can also recommend Poems of the Moor, a collection of Emily Bronte’s poetry, which is very beautiful and inspiring.

7. Plans for the future?

I have three books coming out this year. Silent Elms is a self published historical gothic novel, a creepy Christmas tale that will be released on 6th November. The Cursed Heir (second book in the Alardyce series) will be published by Boldwood Books on 25th October and Wicked Girls, a prequel to my gangland Gallowburn series, will also be published by Boldwood on 1st December.

Next year will see more gangland and gothic historical books from myself, both traditionally and self published. My writing schedule is extremely busy but I don’t mind because it’s my absolute passion and I feel privileged to write full-time.

Some of Heather’s work so far

Posted in 7 Questions With An Author

Seven questions with an author: Sarina Langer

Following my interview with KJ Chapman last week, today I have Sarina Langer here to share her writing journey with us.

You can visit Sarina’s website via the images below.


1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to start writing.

Thank you for having me! I’m Sarina, a dark epic and urban fantasy author from England *waves*

I’ve written since I was a child (my first stories were half an A4 page long and written for my Mum’s colleagues), but I didn’t know that I wanted to be an author until I read Empress by Karen Miller (more on that below!). I sent my very first ever book to two agents when I was around 19 years old – one never got back to me, the other let me down gently. I’m really glad I didn’t know that self-publishing was an option. It wouldn’t have been a good debut novel, and I wasn’t ready to grow into a better writer at the time.

Then one day, when I had a job interview in a library, my manager-to-be asked me where I saw myself in five years’ time, and I realised how much I’d regret it if I died without having published anything. So, I told her I saw myself with a published book. It felt weirdly brave, like I was getting way ahead of myself, but I knew I needed to write. I started over with a different story than the aforementioned one, and that book became Rise of the Sparrows.

2: Did you always know you wanted to get your work published and if not, what inspired you to change your mind?

I don’t know about always. I’ve written since I was a child, so I doubt my goal for five-year-old me was to get published! But I knew this was what I wanted to do when I read Empress by Karen Miller. Most, if not all, writers have that one book that makes them realise they want to do this, too, and that’s mine. It was probably my first dark epic fantasy, it was my first anti-hero, and it showed me that heroes could turn into villains (or that they were villains all along). It had a big impact on me.

3: What has your journey been like from book one to your most recent project? What are some tips you can share with any aspiring authors?

It’s been a huge learning curve! I don’t think there’s one author who won’t say the same. My process since Rise of the Sparrows has changed so much. When I published that, I didn’t know about critique partners, for example. I only got a proofread for it because I thought that was all it needed. I’ve since re-published it after making sure it got the full works, but I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I’d done it properly the first time—of course, that’s easily said now I know what I’m doing. You learn a lot through trial and error.

There’s so much information out there about how to write a book, how to publish it, etc that it becomes overwhelming quickly, especially when so many different people have opposing opinions on just about everything. No one way is right for everyone, though, be that in writing or in anything else.

Nowadays, my process is pretty stable and works well for my current WIPs, but I imagine I’ll have adapted it again in five books’ time. Different things work for different books, and since we’re learning all the time and trying new things, it’s only natural that our approaches also change as we go.

It makes me sad when I see new writers ready to give up because they publish their first book and don’t become famous overnight. This takes a lot of time and hard work, and chances are you still won’t get famous anyway! You need to put a lot of effort into this, and you need to be realistic. A lot of the things you’ll try won’t work. Adapt and try again with something else, but only once you’ve given your last experiment a chance to show results. Too many people give up too quickly.

Oh, and perhaps most importantly and most controversially: writer’s block doesn’t exist. Figure out what’s holding you back and address it, but don’t hide behind an excuse. Writer’s block is an easy thing to blame, but if you keep hiding from the real problem, it won’t go anywhere. Maybe you’re afraid (often of being read and disliked) or maybe you’re burning out and need a break, but figure out what the problem is and address it.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration comes from everything all the time. It comes from things other people say, snippets of conversation you overhear, something you saw, a dream you had, etc. I’m a gamer with a love for mythology, so a lot of mine comes from those sources. And, of course, other books! I’m a firm believer that writers should be readers. You learn a lot and can get a lot of ideas as you’re reading someone else’s novels.

Having said that, I want to stress that inspiration won’t always be there. It’s a nice thing to have as you go into a writing session, but you can’t count on it showing up every time. Most days you sit down to write and you get the words out whether you’re feeling inspired or not. If you wait to write until inspiration hits, you may never finish your first book.

5. Would you ever write in another genre? If so, what would one it be?

I actually already did! I started writing in epic fantasy, and my first three series are in that genre. I’ll write more epic fantasy, too – I’m in the first stages of planning a trilogy right now.

But my latest book, A Dream of Death and Magic, is a paranormal urban fantasy romance. I had a lot of fun with this one and am excited to write the sequels! A lot of mythology will flow into these, too, so I’m just having the best time with it.

Lately I’ve also been thinking that I might revisit this sci-fi idea I’ve had years ago. I bought a notebook for it and everything, five years ago. I benched it because the idea felt too ambitious for my skill level at the time. The time wasn’t right. I’m really tempted to give it another go and see if I’m ready now.

To be honest, most books cross genres, so you’ll also find elements of horror, romance, or mystery in all of mine. A fantastic example of this is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, which somehow manages to be every genre at once and excel at all of them. It’s such a good book (and there’s a secret library!).

6. Favourite books of 2022 so far?

There’ve been a few! The ones that stand out are The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang for it’s stunning world-building alone, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller for how much it hurt me even though I knew what would happen, and American Gods by Neil Gaiman for its everything. I listened to the audiobook of the latter, and it was such a wonderfully immersive experience.

I’ve also been fortunate to read a few fantastic books early which aren’t out yet. C E Hoffman’s It’s Elizabeth was incredible, so beautifully written and raw, and Beverley Lee’s latest, The Sum of Your Flesh, was also amazing. I’m sworn to secrecy on my favourite thing about it, but I loved the direction she took with it.

7. Plans for the future?

I’m currently gearing up to getting Blood Vow, the final book in the Blood Wisp series, to my critique partners so they can tear into it for me. I’ve been on this series for a while, and I’ve reached a point where it’s just draining my energy. That’s a dark epic fantasy.

Then, I’m very excited to finally start work on the second book in the Chaos of Esta Anderson series. I had so much fun with the first one and can’t wait to see how this one will develop.

I also have some world-building to do on my next epic fantasy. It’s not ready for me to start writing it yet, but I love the world-building stage with a passion, so I don’t mind.

Beyond those, I also have several audiobooks in production. The amazing Adriene Arce has just finished recording Blood Wisp, so that’ll be out very soon! It might even be live when this interview goes live. The audiobooks of Wardens of Archos, A Dream of Death and Magic, and Blood Song are also in production at various stages.

Coming Soon

Posted in 7 Questions With An Author

Seven questions with an author: KJ Chapman

As a reader, I love when authors share their experiences and give us a glimpse into their process and how they bring their stories to life.

The first author visiting my shiny new blog to do just that is the self-published KJ Chapman. Writer of the Evo Nation triilogy, Thrown To The Blue, Zombie Playlist and Zombies and Budgie Smugglers.

You can visit their website via the below images.


1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to start writing.

Firstly, thank you for inviting me onto your blog. I’m K.J Chapman, a 35 year old indie author of fantasy, urban fantasy, and zombie fiction. I’m a married mother of two from Cornwall, England.

I started writing my first novel, EVO Nation, about 12 years ago when my eldest was born. She wasn’t a great sleeper, so I would jot ideas into a notebook in the middle of the night. It grew from there, and I published EVO Nation in 2015.

I had tried my hand at writing children’s picture books before that, and even went down the traditional publishing route with no luck. However, the idea for EVO Nation was always at the back of my mind.

2. Did you always know you wanted to get your work published and if not, what inspired you to change your mind?

I simply knew I wanted to write a book. At the time, I didn’t think much further than that. It was an ongoing joke in my family about the ‘book I was going to write’.

Once I had written something I was proud of, I knew I wanted to publish. After a lot of work and rejection previously with traditional publishing, I decided to look into self publishing.

3. What has your journey been like from book one to your most recent project? What are some tips you can share with any aspiring authors?

I guess I was incredibly naive when I first published EVO Nation. I didn’t fully comprehend the time and commitment involved in self publishing your own work: formatting, marketing, cover design, finding reviewers.

By the time I had published my last book, Zombies and Budgie Smugglers, I had more of a grasp on the industry and how tough it is to crack.

My advice to aspiring authors is to write the book. Just write the book you want to read. Once you’ve got that under your belt, you can look into what type of publishing would suit you.

Also, start your social media platforms right now. Building a community of like minded writers and readers is essential. It helps to have people rooting for you, especially on release day and for getting reviews etc.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I can find inspiration anywhere, sometimes, even in my dreams. I also use writing prompts to kickstart ideas.

Most of the ideas transform into something totally different from the starting point, but it certainly helps to get the creative juices flowing. I have even written two of my own writing prompt books: Prompt Me and Creative Writing Prompts for Children.

5. You’ve written in a few different genres. Do you have one that’s easier for you or prefer? Is there a genre you want to try in the future?

The book I found easiest to write was Zombie Playlist. I love the zombie genre, so writing my own story came easily. My main character is sarcastic and comical, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the concept of zombie horror meets humour.

I like the idea of exploring sci-fi in the future. I have some ideas that lend themselves well to that genre, but time will tell.

6. Favourite books of 2022 so far?

My favourite book I have read in 2022 so far is Art and Soul by Claire Huston, and I am currently enjoying The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

7. Plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to finish writing a high fantasy novel I have been working on for some time, and to release my latest series of seasonal writing prompt books.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog!