Didn't See This Coming (Author Interview)

BC: Didn’t See This Coming looks like a great African American Fiction Book.  What can you tell us about Loretta?

SC: Didn’t See This Coming is about the life of a young woman named Loretta Mathis whose life changed in the blink of an eye. She was involved in a traumatic event with her unborn child’s father who was at an all high peak in his career as a notorious hustler. This single event altered her one dream of having a family and living happily ever after. After having survived the event and awakening from a five-year coma, Loretta is left to pick up the pieces and begin a new life alone. In her new life, Loretta becomes involved in a relationship that turns out to be more then she had bargained for and she’s not sure she can handle the lifestyle associated with the relationship. She decides that in order to obtain the peace and happiness she deserves she must return to her New York roots. Upon her return, she re-unites with her favorite cousin Sparkles, and quickly returns to the street life that she has so desperately tried to leave. Sparkle introduces her to the key players of the New York streets ultimately leading Loretta right back to the very people who took away her American Dream. Loretta desperately devises her own secret plan for what she considers to be sweet revenge.
She has only one thing to tell her soon to be victims...I bet you Didn’t See This Coming!

BC: How did you come up with the story in Didn’t See This Coming?  

SC: Believe it or not, I don’t plan out anything for my novels...my stories just come to me. I’ll be somewhere and something will hit me, and I’ll grab a piece of paper and jot my thoughts down. When I get a chance, I’ll add it into the story I’m working on at the time. Now, I have also been seen in several clubs with my laptop as well, and I’ll open it up at a table and start typing away. It’s something about the club scene that gives me ideas as well          

BC: Any plans for this to be a series?

SC: I thought about it and I actually put down some framework for it. But I'm so busy writing new stories so it's up in the air. But I will definitely do it if fans requested it. Matter of fact I would entitle it 'What Goes Around Comes Around'

BC: Do you write other literary genres and if so which one’s?

SC: Yes, I do, and they are the traditional Fiction, Folktales, Drama and Poetry

BC: So, it is safe to say we will see other genres by you?

SC: Yes, it is safe to say that. BUT I will go under various synonym.

A New Beginning (Author Interview)

A New Beginning looks like fantastic fantasy series.  How far along is book 2 and how many do you plan for the series?
Book two is currently getting its first pass of editing. After that, it will go to beta readers, then back to the editor for a final pass. Book three has been plotted and I’ve started writing. Unfortunately, marketing and nervousness for A New Beginning have taken up much of my time this month. My circle of friends is taking social distancing very seriously, so my nights and weekends have given me much more time to write and plot than I have in the past.

How did you come up with the story in A New Beginning?  
            One thing that I found missing in fantasy novels was a warlock protagonist. It seems like so many fantasy novels have characters who swing big melee weapons, use a sword and shield, or some other melee attack and if they are a magic user, they’re a mage. The exception being those books with warlocks who summon harems of succubi, which isn’t this book.

So, after coming up with the characters, I started crafting an adventure for them. The first book is kind of a homage to many of those first quests you get when starting a level one character in your favorite fantasy RPG. Go kill some goblins, thieves, wolves, rats, etc.

What can you tell us about Vexx White?
            Vexx is a young, cocky warlock who desires fame above all else. He has a few innate skills and abilities, but he still has much to learn. In the first book, he thinks that fire magic will solve all his problems. For goblins, rats, and petty thieves, that might work, but he’ll need to learn to expand on his other skills and abilities as well for future battles. His goal is to become a renowned dungeoneer, and Vexx definitely won’t let a few corpses get in his way.

What inspired you when writing A New Beginning?   
            I don’t think there was any one specific thing that inspired me. I would say one of my recent Dungeons & Dragons campaigns was a big inspiration. I enjoy the character growth and comradery of D&D in general and tried to reflect that in A New Beginning. Some of the quests and other events were inspired by ones I’ve come across in other media.

When writing A New Beginning did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  
            I would say keeping the humorous tone. I wanted this to be less serious than a lot of other fantasy novels out there. Something close to the feel you’d get while having a beer and playing D&D with some friends.

Ultimately, it has gone exceptionally smoothly. In the past, I’ve had small ideas for other books or series, but was unable to convert them into a full series or even a novel. With A New Beginning, the ideas just kept flowing. The only other challenge for this series has been character skill progression. I want to give Vexx and his friends powerful abilities, but it’s a balancing act between the characters’ strength and the difficulty of their upcoming challenges.

What do you like to do when not writing?
I enjoy playing video games, reading other novels, cooking, and spending too much time on Reddit. I just finished The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. I’m also currently playing World of Warcraft in preparation for its new expansion, Shadowlands. Marketing also takes up a lot of my time these days! Tim O’Reilly once said, “Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors than piracy.” And I believe it. New authors need to invest either a ton of money or their own time into getting the word of their book out.

Where can readers find out more about your work?
            My website, jetwrites.com, has the most up-to-date information. I can also be found on twitter, @jet_writes. Readers can also reach me through e-mail if they have any questions or feedback, Hello@jetwrites.com.

Mercy: The Devil is in the Details... (Author Interview)

Mercy looks like a great supernatural thriller.  Can you tell us a little about the book?
I refer to Mercy as a “supernatural love story,” because the love which develops between the two main characters is the central theme and driving force of the story. The character of Anthony Banna is first visited by the demon when he is eight years old, and the haunting continues throughout the majority of his life. He eventually learns that there is one person on earth who can help him to defeat the demon, and he spends many years searching the world for that individual.

How did you come up with the story in Mercy?  
The are four unrelated elements which form the foundation for the book Mercy. The first of these is the Byzantine cross fragment which I found and photographed in Woodstock, NY (it is the cover of the book). The second is the epitaph I discovered nearly fifty years ago on an old gravestone in Southhampton, NY (in the book, it is the inscription on Mercedes Engle’s tombstone in Gravesend, NY). The third element is an urban legend I heard about when I was a student at New York Military Academy. And the final element is the friendship I had many years ago with a Native American chieftan of the Oneonta Nation from upstate NY.

What can you tell us about Anthony Banna?
Anthony is an Italian-American boy, who grows to adulthood under the constant threat of the demon he first encounters in the corpse of his dead Grandfather at the age of eight. The demon intends to kill him, however and whenever he chooses, and to ensure that the boy resides in Hell for all eternity. As the old saying goes, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger;” Anthony grows strong and determined to defeat the demon or, at the very least, to die fighting against it.

What inspired you when writing Mercy?   
I became inspired to write the best story I could, when the central theme of the story became clear to me: “Love really does conquer all.” And it is in finding the special love that completes us that hopefully brings us the person we can go through life with securely and happily. There was that, and the fact that I was a huge fan of ghost- and horror-stories as a kid. There were points in my writing of Mercy at which the story began to write itself and I just went along for the ride.

Tito and the Bridge Brigade


Tito and the Bridge Brigade - A collection of short stories for Middle Grade readers, these tales are inspired by the author’s adventures growing up in the Bronx, New York, with a pack of friends, a loving mother, and a wonder-dog named Tito. Each story introduces new characters, new problems, and new ways of addressing the great question all boys with missing fathers have to solve – what does it mean to be a man. Written for kids aged 10 – 14, these stories don’t hide from the real world, but rather courageously peer into it with humor and compassion.

The Ballad of John Bondi (Author Interview)

The Ballad of John Bondi looks like great western crime/gangster novel.  Any plans to turn it into a series?

While writing I liked the idea of a self contained story that didn’t end on a cliffhanger or demand anything else. But the more I think about it, I really love the universe and world I’ve built and the setting it lives in. There’s always room for a prequel exploring what was going on before the story begins, but as far as a sequel? I’d have to say the ending is particularly final, but I guess you’ll just have to read it to find out if you agree with me.

What can you tell us about Bondi?
I can’t say that Bondi is a good person, that much is certain. He’s vain, and prides himself on his beauty. Some may even say he is the most beautiful man alive. He has the charisma of a drunken outlaw and the body of a marble statue. On the other hand, he does not have any ambition, spends his days in a drunken stupor at back room poker games, and is not very bright. Throughout the novel he has to come to terms with a lot of new revelations in his life, from being barred from his regular haunts to the loss of his beauty. Everything he thinks he is will be taken from him, the book is an exploration of how he will react.

What inspired you when writing The Ballad of John Bondi?   

I’ve always loved crime stories, but have been left wondering what happens next. They feature these wonderful rise and fall arcs, from Walter White breaking bad, to Henry Hill joining and ultimately betraying the mob in Goodfellas. The Ballad of John Bondi takes place after a rise and fall arc. A drug running and extortion empire has just fallen, its leader is dead. Now what? Something had to come next, and what came next was The Ballad of John Bondi.

Aside from plot, I spent some years as a journalist and freelance filmmaker in Northern Arizona, and fell in love with the region. The area has all these abandoned towns stuck in an endless orange and yellow desert. But there is also a huge pine forest, random oases, and deep multicolored canyons. As I drove back and forth on Route 66 chasing the next big story, I was always unsatisfied with the lack of a criminal epic in the region. Sure there was the occasional murder mystery or bank robbery, but I wanted more. So I wrote the story I felt the region deserved.

Bad Dog (Author Interview)

Bad Dog looks like a crazy ride.  Do you have a series planned for this detective book? 
There is a sequel which is being proof read at the moment and will be out shortly, so keep your eyes peeled for that one. After that I needed to get away from Zippy’s mindset for a bit and so I have just finished writing a panto, something a bit lighter. 

I have thought about a third, but nothing firm so far.

Can you tell us a little about the story?

It’s set in the 80s in Southampton England, it starts off as darkly comic homage to writers like Raymond Chandler but turns into a supernatural thriller where the protagonist is pitted against demonic entities and vampires after being locked up in a psychiatric institution.

What inspired you when writing Bad Dog?

Obviously detective writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammet but particularly Hunter S Thompson and William Burroughs. Real life plays a big part, I like writers like Henry Miller who deal with their own lives, but I also like fantasy works like Tolkein.  I’ve not lead as interesting a life as Henry Miller and neither can I construct an imaginary one as well as Tolkein so I decided to combine the two.  It’s a fantasy set in the real world, a lot of the scenes are based on things that actually happened to me.  I was stopped by the police on suspicion of armed robbery, I just happened to be driving a similar car to the one used by bank robbers and the friend I was with looked like one of the suspects.

MOLL LAURIE (Author Interview)

Moll Laurie looks like a scary story.  Any plans to turn it into a series?
There is no plan for that now. In the sense of making a series, I’m more focused on mythos building. Moll Laurie, while being a stand alone work, is the introduction to the bigger world building of my stories.

Can you tell us a little about Elmo Heffley?  
Elmo Heffley is the anti stereotype of typical male hero tropes. Doubtful and edgy, he represents the male persona of wanting to appear strong while being deeply flawed inside. There is nothing that would describe him as being a desirable alpha male. This is intentional as I wanted to feature one aspect of male gender role mostly overlooked in today’s action hero trope; that is by being a very responsible person.           

If you had to compare your book to another which would it be?
I suppose that would be Stephen King’s Carrie. As a child in the 1980s, watching Carrie the film on tv was quite engaging to me simply because the story was very simple to follow. I first read the book in 1993 when a friend borrowed it to me. The eloquent thematic use of ‘blood’ was like a symphony. It wasn’t disgusting. The feeling was more like ‘blood’ having a personified character of its own and that it weaved itself in and out of the story giving an aura of ‘something happening, something coming, something already here but you can’t see it yet.’

What inspired you when writing Moll Laurie?   
Supernatural goings on are abound in every culture on earth. More often than not, the subject is viewed from our own cultural lens and nothing else. So Moll Laurie attempts to present a point of view that is valid in another sense but unknown due to readers having never known about it before.

Destiny's War: Part 1: Saladin's Secret (Author Interview)

Destiny’s War looks like an exciting series.  How many books do you have planned for it?

It was originally one novel, however the length (over 250,000 words), not including the detailed endnotes and references, was far too much to release as one novel. The scope of the project compelled me to break the novel into five novellas. The first series is completed in draft form, which I am currently editing. The five novellas take place during World War I.

I have outlined three more series, a sequel during WWII, a prequel in the late 1800s with Sir Richard Francis Burton, and the conclusion series during the aftermath of WWII.

While each series has its own story arch, there is a larger arch that ties all four series and history together. It is certainly a challenging undertaking, but it has been outlined from start to finish and I look forward to it.

Can you tell us a little about Marion?

Francis Marion J├Ąger was born in the United States to a Swiss-German father and American mother with ties to the American Revolution. After his mother passed away, he ran away from home and caught a steamer ship to Europe and eventually the Middle East. There he worked on several archaeological sites, learned Arabic and spent time with the Bedouin. In many ways he had a similar experience to T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell, whom are both in the series. By the age of 18, Marion had become a spy, archeologist, soldier, and explorer. A young man molded in the vein of the great explorers and adventures. His life changes radically when he discovers Saladin’s Secret, introducing him to the world of the occult, ancient history, assassins and more.

What inspired you when writing Destiny’s War?   

T.E. Lawrence had a strong influence; however I must say Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) is the inspiration for the story. Burton was a British explorer, geographer, translator, writer, soldier, cartographer, spy, poet, and diplomat. He explored Africa, Middle East, and the Americas. He is considered the first Western to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, in disguise. He spoke 29 different languages, translated the Arabian Nights and Karma Sutra. His explorations and adventures are legendary. Burton was a true renaissance man and a real-life Indiana Jones.  He is not only my inspiration, Marion’s mother had told him stories of Burton’s adventures in the Middle East, which inspired Marion to travel there and venture to Mecca in Burton’s footsteps, both literally and figuratively.  

2222 (Author Interview)

Any plans for a series?
The spheres of 2222 can expect some awesome adventures. In the next episodes the readers can expect unexpected romance, a war with an unknown enemy and revelations that will shake up the world in 2020. I already have the title and the storylines ready but the flow of words is a struggle.

What inspired you when writing 2222?   
I am inspired by what I feel in the actual real world and what I expect to happen in the future. When I feel that the 3 heroes in the story need to bring their message to the world, they will tell it in their own epic ways, using their own specific powers.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I was struck with the idea that I had an epic story to tell to the world about heroes. I realized everybody could be a hero, only if you have a little bit of courage… Climate change, energy consumption, wars, corrupt politicians, lack of focus, laziness and passive conservatism are like a plague into our mind.

When writing 2222 did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  
I have a scenario in mind about where our world is heading but I hope to stay positive in a challenging time.

What do you like to do when not writing?
Teaching my kids to play chess, consulting corporate companies about their online marketing strategy, promoting our better innovative safety solutions to industrial companies and drinking a Belgian Duvel beer.

Where can readers find out more about your work?
I plan to inform our readers on my websites www.safety-workwear-shop.com and www.maxsafety.com and www.marketingforheroes.com.  

Nina's Whisper (Author Interview)

Nina’s Whisper looks like a great read.  What can you tell us about Nina? Nina is self-assured, confident and assertive. At least she thinks she is. When she meets Page, a seductive, attractive older woman, Nina falls quickly in love. The relationship is a roller coaster and Nina struggles to make sense of it all. Ultimately, it’s a story of allure, trauma, survival and triumphing over it all. Readers will be moved.

How did you come up with the story in Nina’s Whisper?  I’m an author of several books (non-fiction, comics, graphics novels) as well as a documentary film called Remixing Colorblind. I’m constantly trying to push myself as a writer – to expand. As a survivor of domestic abuse at the hands of another woman, I felt it was important to represent a side of lesbian relationships that is not often talked about. Women can and do abuse other women. Hopefully this creates awareness around mental, verbal and physical aspects of domestic violence between same-sex couples. Often times, manipulation, gaslighting and verbal abuse go ignored in the court room and in our personal lives – this book is showing the full range of rage at the mercy of an abuser.

What will readers get out of your book? They will be taken on a fascinating and entertaining journey of several emotions. The reader will feel emotions as Nina feels them throughout the book- happiness, lust, confusion, disgust, love and freedom.

What inspired you when writing Nina’s Whisper?  The void in media around domestic violence in the LGBTQ community inspired me. I wanted to tell the story of so many women who have been abused by their female partners, only to be dismissed. Also, Carmen Machado’s book In The Dream House was a big inspiration. That book was a memoir, but it gave me a glimpse into how a writer can talk about domestic abuse. Although Nina’s Whisper is fiction, readers have told me that it feels real, it feels raw.

Also, I’ve partnered with Womanspace, which is a non-profit in New Jersey that provides comprehensive domestic violence services. For every book sold between April 19th and May 19th,  $1will be donated to Womanspace. I am hoping to sell $1,000 books!