Posted in Antara, indie author, Uncategorized

Ghost Stories

By: Antara Roy O

“A scene should be selected by the writer for haunted-ness-of-mind interest.
If you’re not haunted by something, as by a dream, a vision, or a memory, which are involuntary, you’re not interested or even involved.” ― Jack Kerouac

I don’t know about you, but I love a good ghost story. Growing up in the Ozarks I remember hearing stories that made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. There were no explanations, no reasoning, just a story, and it was scary. Naturally when I came across Ghost Stories, I jumped at the chance to talk with author, Antara Roy O.

Johnny– Hi Antara, thank you for taking the time to talk with me. This was so much fun! What made you want to write Ghost Stories?

Antara– Hi Johnny, it’s always a pleasure to talk to fellow ghost story enthusiasts, and good to be here! 

   I have always been a keen ghost story enthusiast. Perhaps, growing up in a small, quaint town with majestic pine trees all around me helped to nurture my interest in the paranormal. There was my grandma’s old, rambling bungalow up on a hill that is said to be haunted, and then there were plenty of ghostly tales that I listened to while sitting around bonfires during winter nights.

 You could say that the atmosphere I grew up in was perpetually infused with countless supernatural tales. The ghosts were everywhere, part of my growing years, and I never stopped being intrigued by them. 

Johnny– That sounds like a beautiful place. Has any of the stories you heard growing up ever been solved or explained scientifically?

Antara– None that I know of. It is hard to explore these inexplicable terrains and in a small town like ours, no one was up for exploring or finding a scientific perspective to things. Those who sighted the ghosts or experienced the hauntings told their stories, and those who were afraid kept out of the way! You could say that we mortals maintained a respectful distance from the supernatural beings.

Johnny– Are these stories that you’ve heard, or did you create them?

Antara-Most of these stories are inspired by true life encounters I have heard through the years, while some are works of my imagination. 

Johnny– Are the works of your imagination inspired by something you may have experienced in real life?

Antara– Most of my stories are inspired by the eerie and majestic setting of my home town. I have once heard a door open all by itself in the dead of the night in my childhood home. Also, the true-life encounters of my immediate family members and relatives were enough to keep my creative spirit going.

Johnny– If you had to pick one out of your book, which would be your favorite?

Antara– My favorite would be ‘The girl by the lake.’ This story is inspired by a local legend about a beautiful girl who wanders around the highway, by a lake. She waylays travelers who are much smitten by her beauty and follow her into the depths of a forest. 

Johnny– That one is my favorite as well. What made you a fan of the paranormal and supernatural? Have you ever experienced anything like that?

Antara– I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and supernatural. I have had a couple of experiences which have left me both terrified and intrigued. When I was in school, there was a ghost visiting our house and like I mentioned, I heard a door creaking and opening in the middle of the night. When we turned on the lights, there was no one around. Needless to say, such experiences are unnerving but they also make me feel alive and strangely curious about the otherworldly.

Johnny– Was this the only ghostly or paranormal experience you ever encountered?

Antara– There was one more, and this was much away from my original home. It happened here in the city that I now live in, Bangalore. A dear friend had lost his life in an accident and that very day I had seen a vision of him across the road. This experience chilled me to the bones and at the same time I was grateful that his spirit had appeared to come to bid me goodbye.

Johnny– Are you more fascinated or frightened by the unexplained?

Antara– I would say a good measure of both. At times my fascination helps me bridge over my fears and at times my fears keep my fascinations in check!

Johnny– In your opinion, what makes a good ghost story?

Antara– While there are no set rules to writing a good ghost story, but it helps to have the element of suspense. It is also important to create an apt eerie atmosphere, to draw the reader in and offer a completely satisfying, spooky experience. One of my readers told me once of how he loved the way one of my stories transported him to another world, as he sat waiting for his doctor’s appointment for a nasty ear infection. 

Johnny– How do you collect ghost stories? Do people contact you or do you try to go out and experience it yourself?

Antara– Whenever I can, I speak to people of their supernatural experiences. Also, a really fascinating thing happened after I began to write and publish ghost stories. I started to receive messages on Facebook and Twitter from strangers who said they enjoyed reading my ghost stories and would like me to hear their stories. While some of these I have listened to and respected them for their personal details, the rest I plan to turn into stories, with the permission of the narrators.

Johnny– Tell me a little something about yourself , (where are you from, what do you do for fun, favorite foods, hobbies, pets etc…)

Antara– I come from the Eastern valleys of India, and although I have traveled far away from my home and have moved towns and cities ever since, my heart always belongs to my native valleys.

 Other than my fascination with the paranormal, I love writing poetry. I write a lot of nature poems, some of which are motivational and inspirational. You can find my poems on Instagram (antara.ro). It does sound funny- my two interests, nature and the supernatural, but one does strangely complement the other, and I always believe that everything in the universe is inter-connected. I also enjoy playing the guitar and the piano. One of my favorite things to do is to head out on long drives with the music on. I enjoy baking and cooking new, exotic cuisines. When a newly cooked dish turns into a disaster, my dear husband is always there to encourage me to keep going.

my dear husband is always there to encourage me to keep going.

Johnny– He sounds like an awesome individual. When you go out on long drives what kind of music do you listen to?

Antara– I am a devoted fan of Rock and blues music and my favorite bands include The Allman Brothers Band, Counting Crows, Blind Melon, Lemonheads, Nirvana, The Cranberries, and many others.

Johnny– Great bands! Sounds like a 90’s roadtrip waiting to happen. Is Ghost Stories the only book you’ve written?

Antara– I have written another book of short stories. These are mostly stories of childhood adventures. The book is named, ‘Simply, Bahadur,’ inspired by the character of an old, quirky gardener who worked in my grandma’s garden. These are gentle, feel good childhood tales describing the picturesque beauty of the valleys and the many delightful, eccentric people I met through my growing years.

Johnny– That sounds like a good read. It almost sounds like what we call around here,  folk-stories, does the study of human behavior and customs interest you?

Antara– I’m immensely drawn to the study of human nature and folklore. There is so much magic in this world and I believe that one lifetime isn’t enough to thoroughly revel in it all!

Johnny– What other books do you have planned? Are you currently working on anything?

Antara– Presently, I’m working on a paranormal mystery novel. The story is set in an old, quaint town and there will be plenty of black magic and witchcraft thrown in. I’m truly excited to complete it and get it out into the world!

Johnny– Oh that sounds interesting, will this be released in 2020?

Antara– Yes, most definitely, and I hope it appeals to the lovers of spook and witchcraft out there!

Johnny– I’m sure it will! Thank you so much Antara for taking the time to talk to me, it has been a pleasure!

REVIEW

What can I say, I’m a sucker for the supernatural.

Growing up in the Ozarks nothing delighted me more than hearing a tale that made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. It was exhilarating.  It made me feel alive.

This is what delights me about Ghost Stories, Antara has captured in this book everything that I love, it’s both frightful and delightful!

Warning! 👻 Enter at your own risk. ⚠

From her native India she share tales that were passed down through local folklore and legend. Her prose is smooth and calm, her openings are so clear I feel as though I see the lay of the land a half a world away. The beauty of this book it that it’s without boundaries.

❤❤❤

Ghost Stories does what governments has been trying to do for hundreds if not thousands of years, it unites us as people, it brings us together if only for a short amount of time as humans sharing a spine tickling experiences.

I’m giving Ghost Stories five stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on both Amazon and Goodreads. It fascinates me, it makes me feel young, it made me feel alive.

If you haven’t already read Ghost Stories I highly recommend that you do.

Antara has proven that she is a master of storytelling, passing along the spoken word of her ancestors to this written work of art.

https://twitter.com/antara_oruganti

Be sure and Follow Antara on Twitter

https://www.instagram.com/antara.or/

Purchase Simply, Bahadur,’ HERE.

Visit her Authors Page on Amazon.

✌❤

Posted in indie author, Random stuff about my blog, Uncategorized

My Summer Friend

By Ophelia Rue

In the midnight hour she cried more, more, more Billy Idol

My Summer Friend is a fast 60 page read that takes us into the life and struggles of a young man who also happens to be an introvert that is coping with the loss of his grandparent and a negligent mother.

Johnny– Hello Ophelia and thank you for taking the time to talk to me. This book covers a lot of relevant topics in the world today. What inspired you to write My Summer Friend?

Ophelia– My degrees are in Psychology and Education so I work with high school students with social/ emotional issues. I think it was a combination of that, and my own upbringing having been raised by a 19 year old single mother.

Johnny– You seem like a focused and driven individual; do you think being raised by a single mother made you a stronger person.

Ophelia– It meant a lot of time spent alone. She worked full time and earned her BA part time at night so I had a lot of time to think, to use imagination and form my own opinions. The solitude was positive in that regard but led to a pretty serious lack of social skills. We lived with my grandparents early on so she was gone before I would wake up and I was in bed before she got home. The one thing she stressed was that education was the only way to escape being poor so I was held to a pretty high standard in that regard, but once the pre-teen years hit, it become much more difficult to maintain the confidence necessary to do well in school when there are so many instabilities and inequities in your life.

Johnny– This book expresses (with what I believed to be) the misunderstanding of being an introvert. Was one of your goals to bring awareness to this personality facet?

Ophelia– Yes. I think introverts, especially young males, can struggle socially. People may assume introverts don’t like other people or are shy with poor coping mechanisms. At the same time, I think young introverts may assume extroverts are less introspective and shallow and it can be upsetting to them when extrovert’s traits are favored by society.

Johnny– How difficult was it for you to create your main character, Ed? What kind of homework did you have to do? (If any)

Ophelia– Ed came pretty naturally. I spent a few years after college working at a school for juvenile sex offenders and fire setters so he is a combination of me and some of my former students.

Johnny– Working with either of those groups sounds pretty intense. How intimidating was it to go to work there straight out of college?

Ophelia– It was pretty intense. You go through the restraint training and read their profiles as part of the orientation but nothing really prepares you. You need to just jump in and be willing to screw up and grow. It’s a lot of violence and sadness. You see the results of the cycle of abuse. It takes a toll on you. The two images that stick with me most from that time are my first restraint when this 16 year old kid was trying to injure himself by lying down and repeatedly banging his head really hard on the gym floor. We restrained him with two holding him down and another bracing his head so he couldn’t bang it while we tried to talk him down. He got so mad that he couldn’t move his head that he bit through his tongue and started spitting blood at us. I can still picture him vividly, laying on the floor laughing with all that blood in his teeth.

The other incident that sticks with me was when I was getting something out of one of the residences for the younger kids. It was empty because they were having a Christmas party in another building with the staff and a few of the parents that showed up. The rooms had no doors and I saw this little kid’s basketball trophy on his bureau and I couldn’t help but think, who did he show that to when he got it? I just stared at it for a while in this cold institutional room trying to stop crying so I could go back to work.

Johnny– Wow, that is intense. Your heart is in the right place and I praise you for that. Who is the villain in this book? When I first got into this, I was thinking his mom was a bad seed, in the end you changed my mind. Then I was thinking the rich kid, then society for always favoring the upper class, who do you consider to be the anti-hero?

Ophelia– I think if you had to choose a character to be the villain it would be Paul Wheeler because he acts purely out of self interest. The rich kid is as much a product of his environment as Ed. I see the main conflict in our society being between individuals and their own identity. People seem to establish whatever identity will result in the greatest social benefit within their peer group. This is why I think adolescence is so difficult and adults are so rigid when presented with information that challenges the basis of their identity. Any change to how you see yourself may have social implications. That is the one thing I have found that people cannot tolerate and leads to the creation of justifications that can become problematic. This is most obvious to me on the macro scale of the socio/political but starts with the establishment of individual identity within a person’s peer group. Social media exposes people to a wider variety of perspectives which may challenge beliefs and therefore identity, so I think things will be rocky on the macro before it settles down. These little shells of identity are cracking and the reaction is quite polarizing and intense.

Johnny – I totally agree with your comment of Paul Wheeler acting purely out of self-interest. It seems we see this too often unfolding out each time we turn on the news. Was this social observation done on purpose or did it just work out that way in your story?

Ophelia– It wasn’t intentional. The twist wasn’t even in the original outline. It came as I wrote it. I look for themes and layers when editing. For example, once that twist became part of the story I was able to go back and add all of the broken home imagery every time Ed went on a date with Elise, like the condemned house in the woods, broken lighthouse at the airport bar, dilapidated house in Newport, and burning house in Providence.

Johnny– On the back of your book cover, it reads: “This edgy novella is a modern American love story that offers a glimpse into the psyche of a disturbed young man.” Is he disturbed or misunderstood?

Ophelia– He is disturbed in the sense that the identity he has worked to establish when he is finally free of his past, becomes challenged when he returns home. He is misunderstood in that I don’t think he is acting in an abnormal way given the circumstances of his situation.

Johnny– You portray an attempted date rape situation on the beach. How hard was it for you to write that scene? (Good job btw, I don’t know why, but that was uncomfortable).

Ophelia– Thanks. I wrote it from a distance because I wanted to focus on Ed’s reaction to it. That part was difficult. What would it feel like to value someone so much that is taken for granted by another? I wanted to capture the sense of worthlessness and powerlessness.

Johnny– What are you wanting your readers to take away from this book?

Ophelia– Question your identity. How do your beliefs benefit you within the context of your immediate peer group? Have you established these beliefs purely for personal social benefit or because they are true? Are you willing to be vulnerable enough to change and grow? Can you incorporate that willingness to change and grow into your identity rather than live a comfortably dogmatic existence? Can you understand how identity functions in others and have the patience to help them grow rather than dismiss them entirely? Can you recognize when someone is not willing to change and disengage rather than engaging in pointless conflict to reinforce your own identity?

Johnny– Was Elise an obsession or a crush?

Ophelia– She is an obsession because she checks all the boxes for him. She is his only connection to society. She is attractive. She validates his rejection of society by crossing the lake. She also fills the void his mother left. This is why no one else compares to her in his mind.

Johnny– What advise do you have for unpublished authors who are trying to get started?

Ophelia Write like no one will ever read it.

Johnny– Ophelia I feel as though I’ve learned a lot from and about you, professionally, throughout our conversation, what do you like to do to for fun or to unwind?

Ophelia– I unwind with exercise, music and watching Patriots games.

Johnny– Thank you Ophelia for taking the time to talk with me, I really enjoyed My Summer Friend, I’m recommending it to everyone I know. Do you have any other books in the works?

Ophelia– Thanks Johnny, these are great questions. I appreciate the opportunity. I wrote a book called Something in the Water. It’s a book of short stories about other misfits that live around the lake from My Summer Friend. The stories all intertwine in subtle ways and have twist endings. Right now, I’m working on a novella named Exuvia which is related to the Something in the Water stories. It is about a photojournalist who enters the world of a group of young rich people under the guise of doing a story on them, but he has a hidden motive. I also released book three of my sci-fi series in June. Its title is The Infinite Eye, which is a sequel to Eclipse and Typhon. It is a dark sci-fi adventure similar to the tone of the Expanse or Culture series. They are all available on Amazon in ebook and paperback. I also have some hidden prizes on my website opheliarue.com

REVIEW

Ophelia has penned a story that is as beautiful as it is tragic. Ed’s reality comes to him through the lens of a telescope, it’s not until he’s forced to come out of his make-believe world that he meets the object of his desires face-to-face.

As you can read from our conversation, Ophelia defiantly knows what she’s talking about, she’s lived it, and she’s not afraid to talk about it. Written with a cynical styled cleverness, Ophelia has created a character deserving of both our admiration and pity.

I love this book and highly recommend it. Coming in at 60 pages it is a fast afternoon read that will satisfy while indulging your reading desires.


I’m giving My Summer Friend five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on both Goodreads and Amazon. It’s gritty, raw, and it’s real. I LOVE IT!

Maybe there is a little of Ed in all of us, maybe that’s whats drawn me in, mental health is a real world issue, it’s not going away no matter how hard we try to ignore it. Thank you Ophelia, for allowing us to see the world through your MAGNIFICENT eyes.


If you haven’t read it you should. Ophelia is defiantly an author that I WANT read again.

FOLLOW OPHELIA ON TWITTER

https://twitter.com/opheliarue1?lang=en

Be sure to check these other books by Ophelia.

Amazon

✌❤

Posted in indie author, Rebecca Hefner, Uncategorized

THE END OF HATRED BY Rebecca Hefner

Upon entering into this book, I was magically swept away into a dimension created by the mind of Rebecca Hefner. It was a very beautiful place.

Johnny– Hello Rebecca! Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. The title of your book is: The End of Hatred: Etherya’s Earth, Book 1. How many books did you envision when you start writing this?

Rebecca– I wasn’t sure exactly how many books it would turn out to be.  All I knew was that the characters were so vivid in my mind.  Miranda and Sathan appeared first in my imagination, followed shortly by Lila and Latimus.  I knew immediately that the second book in the series would be about Lila and Latimus.  In my mind, the first four books of the series were really one long book in my head!

Johnny– What inspired you to write this book?

Rebecca– I’ve always been a voracious reader.  My two favorite genres are romance and sci-fi/fantasy.  I love steamy romance, because I think that seeing two characters get intimate is the deepest you can go into their soul.  However, I need a slow burn, where I really get to know the characters, and see their relationship develop, before I see them get to those intimate scenes.  I also really like a fantasy world, filled with creatures with magical powers and mysterious history.  I wanted to write a book that combined a sweeping fantasy with the intimate romance that I loved

Johnny– I’m glad you mentioned that you are a fan of steamy romance, because there are parts of this book that get SMOKING. Do you find yourself having to re-editing some of your “spicier” scenes, to keep them from getting to hot? I ask because your romance scenes get super vivid but never really get explicit.

Rebecca– Great question!  I have always loved a steamy love scene, and believe that this is a natural thing that everyone experiences, so I want the scenes to be vivid.  However, my mother reads these books, and that’s always in the back of my mind when I’m writing them.  I’ll usually go back over my love scenes as I remind myself, “Mom will be reading this…”, and edit from there.  I don’t want to sacrifice the steam and intimacy, but I also want to be tasteful.  It’s a fine line that I’m always working hard to balance!

Johnny– In the prologue you wrote that Etherya had created a flawless species, the Slayera, but since she was imperfect, the universe objected. How was the Goddess flawed? Or are you saving that for something later?

Rebecca– Oh, yes.  As the series progresses, we definitely begin to see Etherya’s flaws.  In Book 4, The Reluctant Savior, there’s a big revelation about Etherya’s past.  But I love a good twist and don’t want to give that away, so keep reading!

Johnny– What visual references did you use when you created the Vampyres and the Slayera?

Rebecca– I just knew that I wanted the Vampyres to be tall and hulking and I wanted the Slayera to appear more human-like.  That physical discrepancy would help cement the Slayera’s dependency upon the Vampyres for physical protection.

Johnny– Obviously from your description the Vampyres would be noticeable, Slayera, I’m guessing more human-ish, how do you picture them in your mind? 

Rebecca– In my mind, the Slayera were created as the best version of humans.  However, due to Valktor’s murderous actions, they lose their almost-perfect status and become fallible.  I equate it to death of Icarus in Greek mythology or the fall of Sampson in the Bible.  These age-old stories exist to remind us not get too complacent in our “perfection”.  The Slayera had become so and, once their kingdom fell, they were thrust into a thousand-year war.

Johnny– I really love that this book occurs inside the boundaries of a parallel universe. You’re obviously a well read and well thought out individual, what are your thoughts on interdimensional travel and parallel universe?

Rebecca– I love that you asked this question!  I’m a super-science dorkI went to Space Camp when I was a teenager and went to Governer’s School for physics when I was in high school.  To say that I love all things to do with relativity (time travel!) and parallel universes (string theory, anyone??) would be an understatement.  In fact, the current series I’m working on has a heroine who’s a theoretical physicist trying to figure out time travel.  I believe that we, on this pale blue dot (as Carl Sagan would say), represent such a dichotomy.  We are conscious beings, who feel so deeply and contemplate our existence but, in the vastness of the universe, I truly believe we are only a small, insignificant speck of dust amongst other universes and dimensions.  This isn’t to say that we’re not important.  Instead, it’s an opportunity for us to see everyone on the planet as one species:  human.  If we allow ourselves, our shared moment in time on this planet could be something so beautiful.  I think we’re at a precarious moment in our evolution right now where we have the opportunity to choose unity or division.  One will further our species and one could extinguish us.  I love to write about these themes in my books!

Johnny– Well said. Super-science dork authors are the best! Do you have a release date planned for your current series?

Rebecca– I don’t have firm dates yet.  I’d like to have my next two books out by Spring 2020.  That would be Book 5 in the Etherya’s Earth series and Book 1 in my new series.  But I also don’t want to rush the writing.  That leads so underdeveloped plots and characters, and it’s important to me that everything is well thought out.  Also, it takes my editor about a month to edit, then I have to revise, and then my proofreader takes about another month, so it’s a long process to get these books from my computer into reader’s hands.  But I’m furiously working on them and am really excited to get them out there!

Johnny– If you were casting this as a movie, and could choose anyone you want, who would your stars be?

Rebecca– Oh, I play this game on Instagram sometimes with my followers.  It’s so fun!  Okay, here we go:

Miranda:  Kate Beckinsale

Sathan:  Henry Cavill

Latimus:  Jason Momoa

Lila:  Nicole Kidman

Arderin:  Megan Fox

Darkrip:  Tyler Hoechlin

Evie:  Scarlett Johansson

Kenden:  Scott Eastwood

I mean, it’s not like I’ve thought about this or anything… 😊

Johnny– Ah, Evie, please tell us something about Evie. (Great cast btw, Nichole Kidman as Lila, be still my heart) ❤

Rebecca– Ha!  Yes, those are some great actresses.  Evie has been my absolute favorite character to write in the series (followed closely by Darkrip).  At first glance, she seems so evil and broken, but over the series the reader gets to know her.  By the time we reach Book 4 in the series, we really see inside her mind and understand how complex she really is and why she became that way.  Her journey is a really interesting one, and it was extremely fun to write.

Johnny– This book deals with a few topics that are (sadly) relevant in the world today, two of them being, racism and gender equality. I once read that Gene Roddenberry had used racism and culture intolerance when he was developing Star Trek. Was this an intentional goal of yours?

Rebecca– Absolutely.  It was really important to me that we see Miranda’s journey against sexism in this book.  One of the main themes is her gaining the courage to defy her father and claim her throne.  As someone who grew up in the South, there was constant “programming” of what roles a woman should play (wife, mother, college graduate, etc.).  Those are all fine if the person chooses them, but they shouldn’t be forced.  I wanted to show Miranda coming into her own and gaining the strength to claim the throne that was rightfully hers. And yes, I wanted to use the two different species as metaphors for the racism we see in our society.  In the beginning of the book, we learn that the species stay separate.  As Miranda and Sathan fall in love, they contemplate what that will mean for those age-old traditions.  They must have the strength to realize that they are one people—immortals—instead of two different races.  It goes back to what I was saying above about our planet’s place in the universe.  No one looking at the human race from outer space would identify us as black, white, Mexican, Indian or Asian; they would identify us as humans.  Eventually, Miranda and Sathan begin to understand that their people are much stronger as Immortals rather than separating themselves into Slayers and Vampyres.

Johnny– What was the first book you ever written? Did it get published?

Rebecca– This is the first book I’ve ever published!  I’m a self-published author and that was definitely the right path for me.  There are many advantages to being self-published and to being traditionally published.  I firmly believe that each author must research and determine what path is right for them.

Johnny– Do you use beta-readers?

Rebecca– I don’t use beta readers, just because I’m so ready to get the books out once they’re back from my editor and proofreader, that I usually get them up for sale when they’re ready.  However, I have a group of awesome readers and reviewers who will accept an ARC copy of my book and leave honest reviews.  They are the first people I reach out to when I publish a new book and I always welcome their feedback. 

Johnny– Are you a self-editor?

Rebecca– I definitely am, but I also like to let the story flow.  I’ll usually write a section or chapter, and let the words flow onto the page, and then go back and read and edit it.  I also have an amazing editor who I send my books to once they’re ready.  She always comes back to me with great edits that make the story even better!

Johnny– What advice do you have for unpublished authors looking to get started?

Rebecca– Wow.  Such a loaded question.  I might actually write a book like this one day and title it something like, “What I Wished I’d Known Before I Published My First Book.”  I made so many mistakes in the beginning but now, I’ve pretty much figured it out.  My advice would be a few things:

  • Go on YouTube and search “self-publishing”.  There are about a million videos on there by people who want to help fellow authors just starting out.
  • You can also search for “better writing” and learn how to write more efficiently.  The written word is more concise than conversation and learning how to compose your thoughts on paper effectively makes all the difference.
  • Join the #writingcommunity on Twitter and interact with everyone you can.  I’ve met so many other amazing authors there!

Johnny– Good tips, how do you plan your book once you’ve locked in on an idea and have decided to write it? What’s your process?

Rebecca– I do a rough outline, and reference that as I write, but I usually just let my fingers tap and let the characters lead me.  They always lead me to a place that is a thousand times better than what I originally plotted.  They’re like real, live people who live in my head!

Johnny– Tell me something about yourself that not everyone knows.

Rebecca– Hmmm.  I love solo travel and have visited many places in the world.  I spent the entire month of September 2018 in Japan and that’s where I wrote most of The Elusive Sun! I also saw the most amazing sunset of my life while I was there and used that exact backdrop for a scene in The Darkness Within.  There’s something about travel that just refills my soul.

Johnny– What an amazing story, now when I read those books, they will even be a little more special. Have you got any other wonderful journeys planned?

Rebecca– For now, I’m just excited to head to Colorado for Christmas with my family.  My brother, his wife and their daughter live there, and my mother and I will be flying in to spend the holiday with them.

Johnny– What is the everyday Rebecca like?

Rebecca– I’m a tireless perfectionist who’s decided to pursue a full-time writing career.  It’s so fun, but extremely challenging.  I write a lot, and also focus on marketing my books, but I also take time to ensure that I’m doing yoga or taking some time to be active.  This is the first thing I’ve ever done that isn’t an “active” job, so I have to remember to get up and get the blood moving.  But that’s pretty much it right now—writing and living each day to the fullest.  I really want to build this into a career and am trying my best to do that every day!

Pepper

BONUS QUESTION

Johnny– There is an internal battle that Miranda struggles with, does she follow tradition or follow her heart. We know which path she chose, now, are you a traditionalist or are you someone who follows her heart?

Rebecca– Someone who follows my heart, definitely.  It’s so important to remember that no one is going to live your dreams for you.  Although it’s tough and scary, it’s important to listen to your inner-voice and pursue your passions.  Although I believe in taking calculated risks, I believe that challenging yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone only makes you better!

Rebecca Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, you have been an absolute delightful!

Review

I don’t think it would take a rocket scientist to figure out that I love this book. To be perfectly honest it blew me away.

There is something about Rebecca’s writing that leaves me in awe. It’s both comfortable and yet somewhat familiar.🤷‍♀️ We spoke about it during our conversation, using fantasy, science, and adventure her manuscript speaks to us in metaphors, and if only we would listen, it would make us all better at being human.

I’m hooked. I’m more that hooked I’m enamored.

I can not believe that before I read this book I have never heard of Rebecca Hefner. After reading her book I feel like I’ve known her my whole life. Very few authors can make their readers that comfortable. Yet, Rebecca makes it look easy. That is a beautiful thing that has came from a beautiful mind that has only begun to blossom. I’ve already started book two, The Elusive Sun 🔥🔥🔥🔥 and love it just as much.

I’m giving The End of Hatred five stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on Goodreads and Amazon because it’s a smart Sexy fun book to read!

If you haven’t read this book you should, I highly recommend it. Follow the link below to enter the wonderful world of Rebecca Hefner. You won’t regret it. 😉

Be on the look out for the rest of this 🔥 series… ❤❤

Follow Rebecca Hefner   Facebook I Instagram I Twitter I Amazon I Goodreads I BookBub I Website

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Posted in Lois Snelling, Random stuff about my blog, Uncategorized

Lois Snelling

Mysterious Author

As a kid growing up in the 70’s I lived next door to a witch. Let me rephrase that, I believed my family and I lived next door to a witch.

Growing up in Rogers Arkansas during the 70’s probably wasn’t much different then growing up in another small town in America. Walmart was still in its development stage so downtown was full of mom and pop shops, there was four elementary schools, two junior highs, and one high school.

Wal-Mart Store 1 Rogers, Arkansas

Lake Atlanta housed the town swimming pool. It cost fifty cents to enter, it opened at eleven o’clock everyday and was “the place to be” during the summer. Across the lane from the pool sat Lake Atlanta Skating Rink. It to cost fifty cents to enter, if you needed to rent skates you could for an additional twenty-five cents.

Lake Atlanta Pool

During the summer months the skating rink was usually abandoned so the owner had installed a miniature golf course next door, he would also rent the skating rink out for dances, wedding receptions, etc. during this down time. During the school year the place was filled to capacity every Friday and Saturday night. It was another the place to be”.

Hopping with the latest 70’s fashion the patrons of this fine establishment wore the latest rock-band T’s or flashy disco shirts, along with Levi jeans, and feathered hair doo’s, Oh yeah, fashion was on parade at Lake Atlanta Skating Rink. Of course, the cooler you looked on skates determined your level of popularity, and if you skated or sat out during couples skate.

Lake Atlanta at time of construction , the skating rink is the building on the right.

The place was owned by a guy named Dennis. He was typical seventies. A skinny white guy, permed Afro, bell bottom slacks, satin shirt the was unbuttoned down almost to his mid stomach and shiny half boots that zipped on the side. He was cool! Dennis drove an awesome Stingray Corvette and was the envy of every adolescent male youth that hung around his establishment. I think he use to date my aunt Connie when they were in high school, he always asked about her.

We lived in a dry county so the only drinking night life for adults happened at a privately-owned spot in Rogers called The Anchor Club.

Rogers Arkansas was the typical bible belt town.

Everyone went to church on Sunday morning, if you didn’t you were a heathen. Our town had our share of heathen also, of course, I thought they were cool.

OH, THE HUMANITY

If you were male and between the ages of twelve and eighteen (or the youngest male that fell in between those ages, congratulations, you were that families designated lawn mower.

Lawns were to be mowed once a week, if you were creative enough there was always a couple of lawns on your block that was needing to be mowed, easy pickins for the up-and-coming entrepreneurs, they could rake in an extra three to five bucks per yard to fund his summer time goings-on. ✌

My families next-door neighbor had lived in an old rickety small white house that set on the corner of Nineteenth and Oak Street, her yard was thick with dense bushes, scraggly trees with very little little room left for a lawn, everything was overgrown and the place oozed with creepiness. This was where the neighborhood “witch” lived, her name was Lois Snelling.

She was a witch, we had evidence. She was old, had white wiry hair, she never looked or talked to any of the neighborhood kids, she didn’t have a car, she never went anywhere and no one ever came to see her. Need more proof, she didn’t go to church on Sunday, such Witchcraft.

Lois Snelling wasn’t a witch; she was however a bit of a recluse, or so she seemed, she lived next door to her sister and brother-in-law, (happens more than you think) they had lived on the corner of Oak Street and New Hope Road. This explains a few things, I later learned they would all go to town and do their shopping together and that Lois was active in the community and contributed to the local newspaper.

You see, Lois Snelling was a published author. She had written ten books mostly mystery, a few non-fictions, one of them was a biography of a colorful local founder by the name of William HopeCoin” Harvey. My school librarian had once told me that her books had been published in at least six different languages.

Lois Snelling

Oh, the lost opportunity to talk to such a person. The stories she could have told. In 1980 Lois Snelling had donated to the University of Arkansas thirty-six research items she used to write Harvey’s biography.

Not a lot is known about Lois nowadays, but I want to change that.

Newspaper clipping Rogers Daily News

I’m looking for her books, scouring the internet to learn more about this forgotten character, that has forever, been etched into my mind.

I owe that to her.

To be continued…..

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