Category Archives: Allirea’s Realm

Allirea’s Realm, Coffee and Conversation with Jonathan Doyle

Jonathan Doyle is a screenwriter and novelist based in Los Angeles with his large collection of books and his trusty DVR. A native of Phoenix AZ, Jonathan grew up in Southern California and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Psychology, but still can’t overcome his fear of freeway overpasses. When he’s not busy working on a new novel/poem/song/screenplay, he enjoys reading Virginia Woolf, lamenting a Lakers loss, or watching Siberian tiger videos online.

When I heard that Wild Thorn Publishing signed a new author, Jonathan Doyle, I jumped at the chance to interview him.  Over a cup of coffee/tea, we discussed anything that popped into my head (that was G-rated).  A very dangerous thing, but he didn’t seem to mind my questions.  To be fair, he was pre-warned.

The most important question of the interview, are you a coffee drinker?

No, I don’t like the way it tastes. I do drink tea though.

What is your beverage of choice?

Wine. I love red wine. I like a deep red, nothing sweet.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have not read your book The Last Line of a Goat Song.  Give me a synopsis that will make me move your book to “next” on my Kindle.

It’s an interesting story about two people who should never have found each other, but they do by accident (I’ve met all of my best friends this way).  For their own reasons, they go on a journey from LA to Mexico, which takes them both out of their comfort zones, and forces them to face their demons.

Where did you come up with the Book Title?  I do have to say, it is a catchy title.

Goat Song is Greek for tragedy. And really, I just like the way it sounds. I read that term somewhere and just fell in love with it.

Is this your first book?

This is my ninth novel, but I’ve never released any of the other ones. Goat Song is the only one that I like.

Would you ever revisit any of your other novels?

No, when something sucks, it sucks.

When did you start writing?

When I was 8 years old. I was really concerned with Africa, and I wrote a story about this little girl and a tiger who sort of became friends. I know I got the tiger completely wrong, they don’t even live there.

Why did you decide to publish with an independent publisher rather than self-publish?

I believe that working with a team is better than going it alone. I love all of the Wild Thorn Publishing team to death.

What do you do for leisure or entertainment?

I love the Lakers. I watch every Lakers game. My favorite player of all time is Kobe Bryant. It’s been really hard since he’s been gone, but I’m a loyal guy.

Do you play?

Yeah, I’ve played my whole life, not lately because I’ve been writing books, but I played on all of my school teams.

How would your friends describe you, in one word?

Cold. I think people who write, we spend so much of our time in our heads, being distracted in our own inside worlds. I don’t have a mean bone in my body, but sometimes I’ll say things like “shut up”, which I know is wrong, but I’m so sorry, I’m actually just thinking of some new idea. So when my friends say I’m cold, I’m really not, I’m just working! It’s my job. One second later, I’m back.

Tell me the ONE character in your book that is the most like you.  You can only pick ONE, no cheating?

William, not only because I stutter, but since the minute I was born I’ve been called an old man. I was born old.

What were you like as a child?

When I was six or seven years old, I told my mom that I was going to be the President of the United States. So I’d say I was determined. And a dreamer.

What were your childhood dreams?

To make my dog live forever. I love dogs. My dog Sam was my everything. He was a black cocker spaniel. Sam saved me in so many ways.

Who is your real life hero?

Total cliché, but Jefferson.


He was flawed but he was a true genius. He wrote the best document of all time. He was so smart, and I think it’s really cool when somebody changes the world.

What would be your best achievement to date?

This book, The Last Line of a Goat Song.

Have you ever been banned from a public place?

Nope, never been banned.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Don’t ever touch the face! I don’t like anybody near my face.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for someone?

A trip to New Orleans for my dear friend Em. I don’t want to go into it, only she knows why.

Ohhhhh, I am intrigued, maybe we will need to do a whole new interview to pursue this subject.

Ha-ha, and a bottle of red!

Are you a good dresser?

No! I’m the worst dresser of all time. White tee shirts and cargo shorts. I only wear shorts, I hate wearing pants. And I always wear the same cargo shorts. One of my friends always tells me, “You can’t wear cargo shorts!” But it’s always warm here in LA… so why not?

Do you hold grudges?

No, never. I think forgiveness is the core of humanity. No grudges. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, and if people didn’t forgive me, where would I be? It’s just life, we all make mistakes.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

I stutter, so there are too many to count! I remember when I was in fourth grade I decided to run for VP, and I had to read a speech. I wrote something eloquent, but as usual I stuttered my way through it. It was embarrassing, but I did win.

When can we expect your next book?  What will it be about?

My next book is about my childhood dog Sam, and will probably be done in about a year. I’m working on writing the TV stuff too, so yeah, hopefully about a year.

How long did it take you to write The Last Line of a Goat Song?

Not long. A year, I think.

What genre is your book?

Literary Fiction / Action-Adventure

What is your favorite United States city?  Why?

Chicago. I love Chicago. I’ve been many times. They have the best food, and I’m a big sports guy, and one of my favorite times in my life was when I visited my friend, Em, and we watched a Chicago Cubs game together. They have a community there I just fell in love with.

Hmmmmmmm….Em again, I think I might need to get her number to see if she would like to do an interview.

Have you ever met Imogen Rose?

 Not in person, but I would love to one day!

Thank you so much, Jonathan.  I really enjoyed chatting with you and best of luck with your writing career.

Allirea’s Realm: coffee and conversation with Joe Vercillo


I was asked to beta Joe’s book without any idea what it was about.  I went into it blind and was quite surprised that it had a picture of a rat on the cover.  I began to read and immediately got sucked into a coming of age of a rat.  Talk about being shocked.  Great job, Joe, it was a fun read.

Joe Vercillo is a professional ice-hockey goalie, singer-songwriter, and actor from Toronto, Canada.  Stumbling upon the love of his life, he journeyed down to Princeton, New Jersey, and found a dead mouse in a garage.  The rest is history.

Out of this entire interview, this will be the most important question.  Are you a coffee drinker?

Not so much.

If yes, what is your favorite, if not, what is your beverage of choice?

I am more of chai latte, hot chocolate, green tea person, though I do enjoy the odd espresso when I’m hanging with Italian relatives and friends!

I have read your coming of age rat book (it was strangely fantastic), WHAT WERE YOU THINKING AND WHY A RAT????

Haha! Glad you enjoyed it. I came across a dead mouse in the garage last summer and made up a back story for why he was lying out in the open like that. My fiancé, who (as you know) is an indie author, encouraged me to turn the story into a book, so I did. I used to have a fear of rats, but I’ve always been strangely fascinated by them, especially seeing them in New York City.

Is this your first book?


What made you decide that you could write a book?

The encouragement of my indie author fiancé! I would never have done it without her help and support.

What do you do for leisure or entertainment?

Play lots of hockey, make music and perform once in a while, travel lots, and Netflix and HBO in my downtime.

How would your friends describe you, in one word?


Tell me the ONE character in your book that is the most like you.  You can only pick ONE, no cheating?  (This should be interesting since your book is about a rat)

Princeton is most like me. But maybe more so back in my late 20s. Rodents get a bad rep by the way! haha

What were you like as a child?

Pretty happy and adventurous, I loved playing outdoors with friends, biking around, building forts, the usual.

What were your childhood dreams?

To play in the NHL! Hockey is life 😀

Who is your real-life hero?

My parents


All of the sacrifices they’ve made to give my brother and I a good life growing up

What would be your best achievement to date?

Living my life the way I want to live it.

Have you ever been banned from a public place? 

No, but I’ve been ejected from places many times due to the antics of my best friend Joey. (Second City, concerts, sporting events, bars, weddings etc)

I need to get an interview with Joey.  Can you set it up?  😀

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Handle with care: FRAGILE

Whats the craziest thing you’ve ever done for someone?

Drove almost 40 straight hours in a Uhaul, from southern Ontario to northern Alberta, to help a friend move.

Are you a good dresser?

I like to think so, but who knows. To each their own.

Do you hold grudges?


What has been your most embarrassing moment?

I was on a first date at the beach and got crapped on by a seagull. Brutal.

When can we expect your next book?

Fall 2017

Get your copy of Joe’s book, Age Six Racer, from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Allirea’s Realm: coffee and conversation with Imogen Rose


I met Imogen Rose many years ago and have since questioned her several times, sometimes using techniques devised for Guantanamo Bay inmates. Faced with another round of water boarding, she’s agreed to answer a few more. Having read and loved everything this author has written, I was excited when she finally appeared from her boudoir to publish her latest novel, Domination. The title makes me wonder what the heck she has been up to.

We haven’t seen nor heard from you in over a year and your fans (well, me anyway) are not happy. Where the heck have you been?

Blame Yoko Ono. Well, my Yoko, anyway. His name is Joe. Isn’t it always about a boy?

Why have you NOT been writing?

Writing is all consuming for me. I practically live in the heads of my characters. I wanted to give myself the time to be just me while diving into the new relationship, so that Joe got to know me, and not Cordelia or Faustine.

Do you drink coffee?

Occasionally. I used to drink it all the time, but ever since I discovered chai and Matcha lattes, I’ve converted.

What is your favorite coffee drink?

Caramel Macchiatos

Please tell the story of how you started writing Portal.

It was eight years ago, in the spring of 2009. My younger daughter was around eight at the time, and, to keep her entertained, I’d make up stories. Portal started that way. The story is loosely based on my life, which is why it enthralled my daughter in the first place. And she kept asking me what happened next. So I kept going, and it eventually turned into a rather long tale that I decided to print out for her. I found a site that could print the story into book format, which I thought was very cool. So I went ahead and did that, sticking a picture of the moon, that I had snapped in my back yard, on the cover. When I noticed that publish button on the website, I thought, why not…

What is your favorite book that you have written?

My favorite is usually the book I am writing in the moment. So right now it’s my current WIP, Chasing Fireflies.


It’s giving me an opportunity to be someone else. I’ve been Arizona, Cordelia, and Faustine for so long that it’s fun to explore a different character. A boy, this time.

Name your most favorite character you have created.

Fergie. I do love that little troll. 😀

But Rea is your second choice, right?

For sure!


I love my troll characters, in general. They have absolutely no filter.

Name one character from your books that is most like you. You can only name ONE, so don’t even try to give me more.


Have you ever been banned from a public place?

No (although you almost got us thrown out of the Elvis museum!)

Waaaaiiitttt…….in my defense, I blame you and BigAl.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Walk away.

How would you describe yourself in one word?


Please ask your daughter how she would describe you in one word? (go ahead. we’ll wait):


What is the craziest thing you have ever done for somebody?

I do crazy stuff for my teen everyday, lol.

What has been your worst present?

A feather boa… I mean, seriously… a boa?

Are you willing to tell us who got you that present?

I better not, lol.

How many hours a day do you write?

Depends… when I am deep into it, it’s usually 5-6 hours.

Have you ever thought about jumping into another genre?

Yes, doing it right now.

What is it?

I am writing a coming-of-age story. No supernaturals.

What is the best way to your heart?

Being loyal, having my back.

If you were a super hero, what powers would you have?

Invisibility cloak!

Do you consider yourself a nosy person?

Compared to you? Nope.

*Snooty sniff* I am inquisitive!!!

Are you a good dresser?

*Glances at Allirea’s crocs* I guess so.

My crocs are quite comfortable, thankyouverymuch!

Do you hold grudges?

Oh yes!!!

When can we expect your next book?

Hopefully this summer.

Name all of your books and please list in the order they should be read.

Portal Chronicles: Portal, Equilibrium, Quantum, Momentum, Fusion

Bonfire Chronicles: Faustine, Initiation, Integration, Uprising, Retaliation, Domination

You can get Imogen’s latest book, Domination, from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Allirea’s Realm, coffee and conversation with Susanne O’Leary

Allirea's Realm



What a treat to do an interview with Susanne O’Leary and to give all of you a chance to get to know her.  It was great fun, and very informative.  I have known her for several years, and I learned things that I didn’t know.

SusanneSusanne O’Leary is the bestselling author of fifteen novels, mainly in the romantic fiction genre. She has also written three crime novels and two in the historical fiction genre. She has been the wife of a diplomat (still is), a fitness teacher and a translator. She now writes full-time from either of two locations, a ramshackle house in County Tipperary, Ireland or a little cottage overlooking the Atlantic in Dingle, County Kerry. When she is not scaling the mountains of said counties (including MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, featured in her recently published crime novel, Full Irish), or keeps fit in the local gym, she keeps writing, producing a book every six months.

What is your favorite morning beverage drink?

Tea in my big blue mug.

What is a typical morning for you?

I get up at around 7.30, turn on my computer and check my e-mails, Facebook messages and sales figures. Then I make tea and take my big, blue mug and a slice of toast and sit down at the computer again and write for a couple of hours. Sometimes I forget the time and don’t come back to reality until 12 or so. Then I get dressed. (I do my best writing in my pj’s.).

How did you become interested in being a writer?

Gosh, that’s a good question. I started my writing career after I had written two health and fitness books. Then a friend suggested I should write a comedy based on my life as a diplomat’s wife, so I had a go at that. It became Diplomatic Incidents (Duty Free as an e-book) and was, to my shock and astonishment, published. By then (that was 15 years ago) I was hooked on writing and couldn’t stop.

How many books have you written?

Seventeen; two non-fiction books, twelve in various genres, like contemporary romance, chick-lit and historical and three co-written detective stories, the latest being Full Irish with Pete Morin.

What is your favorite one?

I think it has to be my latest romantic fiction novel, Selling Dreams.


Many reasons. First, because I set it in an area of the south of France that I love and know so well, after many years of holidaying there. Also, because this time, I created two heroines that became like close friends to me. I decided to make the heroines work in real estate, which I’ve always thought would be fun. Houses and their history fascinate me.

Name a character in your book that is you? 

I was going to say they’re all me, which is true in a way. When you’re really in ‘the zone’, you become the main character. But if I have to pick one that is closest to who I am, I’d have to say Margo in Finding Margo.

Why Margo?

Many reasons. I think I identified with a woman who had married young and been there for her husband for over ten years. She had been brought up to be polite, nice and considerate always.  I think women who marry and have children young, like me, often dream of escaping and peeling off all those labels of being someone’s wife and mother and not having their own identity. Added to that, the role of diplomat’s wife also means you have to forget your own needs and wishes and never show your own persona or express an opinion. That was the theme in Finding Margo. I wanted to create a woman who ran away from all that and started afresh. She learns to stand up for herself and occasionally say ‘no’. In the process and through all her adventures, Margo finally finds herself. I think I finally found myself when I started writing and carved out a career for myself. That was my escape.

What were your childhood dreams?

I wanted to be either an air hostess or a circus artist. I saw myself as one of those girls in a ballerina skirt, standing on the back of a galloping horse. Later, I wanted to be a vet, so I could help sick animals.

So tell us, have you ever tried that “standing on the back of a galloping horse” thing?

Yes, metaphorically speaking. Not in a circus and not actually standing on a horse wearing a ballet skirt. But when I came to live in Ireland, I tried fox-hunting, which is pretty wild and dangerous, galloping across rough countryside and jumping huge fences and banks that can sometimes be over six feet. And I paid for that with a broken leg and a fractured pelvis. (But it was exciting)

What were you like as a child?

Stubborn. Rebellious, adventurous. A bit of a tomboy too.

How would your husband describe you, in one word?

Feminine (I asked him).

How would you describe yourself, in one word?


What would be your best achievement to date?

Writing seventeen books and my self-publishing venture.

Have you ever been banned from a public place?

Oh, eh… Is an Internet forum a public place?

Of course it counts, so spill! 

Eh, uh, okay… I wasn’t a troll or anything. But I was a member of this forum and expressed a few opinions and then one day, I found myself banned. The moderator of that forum was a control freak, though and it has since been closed down.

Have you ever danced in the rain?


Did anyone see you?

Yes. It was after a long dry spell in Sweden when I was about twelve. After six weeks of hot weather, there was a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. We all got out and danced in the rain in our pjs.

Are you a TV junkie? 


What is the best way to your heart?

To show true empathy- for me and other people. And tolerance and understanding of others (might be the same thing).

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for someone?

It must be that time when I offered to look after a friend’s farm and her horses and dogs for a week so she could get a break. I don’t know much about farming, so there a few things that went slightly wrong… (No animals were harmed).

This sounds interesting!  Please give us details.

Nothing dramatic happened. I just put a herd of cows in the wrong field, let out the bull to wander in the garden and forgot to lock the gate of the paddock so two horses were found running up the main road. Not on the same day, though. But I had to constantly ring neighboring farms for help to round up some animal or other.

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?

I’d be ten years younger and have a smaller nose. Character-wise I would say I’d like to be more patient.

Are you proud of yourself?


What’s the most unusual conversation you’ve ever had, besides this one?

Must be a weird radio interview when I was supposed to talk about the ‘empty nest’ feeling. I was actually quite relieved when my sons left home, so I cracked a few jokes, which didn’t go down too well, as it was supposed to be some kind of helpline for mothers who couldn’t cope with their empty house. There was a long silence on air after my little piece. I didn’t know I was supposed to cry rather than laugh. Oops.

What’s been your worst present?

An electric kettle on my 21st birthday (I cried).

Who gave you that, and did you ever forgive them?

It was my husband. We were married nearly a year by then. He thought it would be a brilliant thing to add to our kitchen, all shiny and whistling and everything. Yes, I forgave him after he rushed out to get me roses and champagne and organizing a surprise party a few days later.. We’re still married…

Do you have an accent?

Some say I speak like the Swedish chef. Others say that my accent is ‘Pure Irish’. It depends on how much I’ve had to drink.

What was your favorite birthday?

My eighth, when I got my very first bike. I never forgot going downstairs and the shiny new bike was there, in the living room, with a big red bow tied to the handlebars.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Handle with care. Short fuse!

Thanks so much, Susanne for a great interview.  It was a pleasure.  Best of luck with your books and the many sales that await you.

You can get Susanne’s books from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.

Allirea’s Realm, coffee and conversation with BigAl

Allirea's Realm

We setup camp in the back galley, passed around the jars of olives, mixed our own drinks, and generally made a party of it. People in coach avoided using the restrooms. But we had a heck of a party.

BigAl – 9 December 2014 Continue reading

Allirea’s Realm, Coffee and Conversation with R.G. Cordiner

Allirea's Realm


I am happy sticking within the middle grade / kids area – but within that I am trying to branch out and do a variety of genres

R. G. Cordiner – 30 October 2014 Continue reading

Allirea’s Realm, Coffee and Conversation with Elaine Raco Chase

Allirea's Realm


It was my only strike …ever…but the manager came, confiscated my bowling shoes, put my name on a banned list…and escorted me out the door…

Elaine Raco Chase – 31 August 2014 Continue reading

Allirea’s Realm, Coffee and Conversation with Naomi Kramer

Allirea's Realm


Hold on to your hat, next up for an interview is Naomi Kramer.  If you haven’t experienced any of her books, it is a must.  I have read everything she has written and haven’t been disappointed yet.  Naomi has two series that are my favorites, Maisy May and Dead(ish).  I had a great time interviewing Naomi, her sense of humor shines through. 

Hi Naomi, are you a coffee drinker?  

AHAHAHAHA… yes. Just a little. Like, two or three cups a day, on a good day. Don’t ask about the bad days. *twitch*

What is your favorite?

Caffeinated. I drink almost any coffee, instant or ‘real’, except the ultra-cheap stuff, which I only drink in emergencies (an emergency being, it’s morning and I have no other coffee). I do like my coffee very strong – I blame this on working with Italians for 2.5 years. They got me onto espresso, and I’ve never really recovered.

How many books have you written in your career?

I… umm… well, crap. I don’t know how to answer that. Somewhere between zero and thirty, depending on what you count as a ‘book’ and whether you can hunt down everything I’ve written and published. And let’s not even think about all the half-written and quarter-written books I have lying in my ‘Limbo’ folder on my computer. *shudder* I think I have twenty-odd ebooks up on Amazon at the moment.

What genre is your favorite?

To write? Humour, I guess. Alternative or noir. I’ve gotta admit, I’ve never quite figured out which genre most of my books (DEAD(ish) books, I’m glaring at you!) belong to. Mostly I just write, then worry about classification later. Maybe my favourite genre is really, “OMG, wut?”

I notice that you get a lot of “strange” reviews.  Why do you think that happens?

Well, look at the source. I write weird-arse books, so I don’t find it surprising that my books seem to attract weird readers. 😀 I suppose it’s possible that they cause brain injury, too.

A lot of kids seem to read your adult books, why do you think they pick them up to read?

Because they’re naughty, I guess, but sort of infantile at the same time. DEAD(ish) in particular – Linda’s not exactly sophisticated in her torment of Mike. She doesn’t construct complex traps in which the trappee feels himself slowly, increasingly wrapped around and restricted and unable to escape. But to be fair, she might just be allowing for Mike’s limitations. He’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. Getting back to the kids – there’s the simplistic humour, the rude words, and the occasional hint at naughty sex. If I remember my childhood correctly, that’s a trifecta. Not that I wrote them to appeal to kids – I wrote them to appeal to me. I guess that says a lot about me. 😛

Dead(ish) is such a…..different type of book, where in the world did you get the idea?

I was half-awake late one night, long ago, and I saw a scene in my head… a dead woman arguing with a living guy. She wanted something, and he was being a total arsehole to her – telling her to go away, she was dead and icky and he didn’t want her around any more. So I grabbed my laptop from next to the bed and typed up the scene. Months later, I opened the document, read it, and thought, ‘He killed her, and she needs to find her body!’ … and then I started to write DEAD(ish).

What do you do for leisure or entertainment?

I read, voraciously. Mostly fiction, but I branch out into science, biographies, and history every now and then. I love vampire fiction, fantasy, and science fiction. I will watch movies and TV shows, but I’m the same with movies as most people are with books – they’re nice and all, but I tend to lose interest and wander off.

What is your favo(u)rite hobby besides reading or writing?

I love the optional u! 😀  I guess I’d have to go for knitting (but I read a lot more than I knit). Or maybe painting and drawing. I’m a terrible painter, I’m a sub-standard drawer (no, that’s not fake humility, that’s simple fact… in contrast, I’m a pretty talented writer), but I still love to do both. But you’ll usually find me either writing, reading, or eating. Or drinking coffee. Is that a hobby?

Hmmmmmmm….I say yes!

What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

Sent a copy of DEAD(ish) to my mother. Nah, seriously, I tend to live a pretty boring life. I’ve never gone sky-diving or bungee-jumped. I’ve had open-heart surgery a couple of times – does that count? I didn’t exactly do it for fun, though. Hey, I did get a traditional Samoan tattoo from people I’d known less than a week, on the floor of a convention centre, without paying any attention to whether they were using sterilized equipment. How’s that?

That classifies as VERY dangerous!

How would your friends describe you, in one word?

Awesome. Insane. Funny. Who? Maybe all of those.

If you could visit any city in the United States, which city would you pick?

New York! I grew up in the country, in a teeny-tiny town of 600 people. That’s probably why New York calls to me. It’s so huge and diverse and full of life.

You change your hair color a lot, what color has been your favorite?

I love them all, they’re like children! But maybe yellow. It causes colleagues to call me ‘Sunshine’ and smile whenever I walk into the room. Unfortunately, yellow’s also a pain in the neck to do myself, because my natural hair colour – as far as I remember, anyway – is a mid-browny colour, so I have to bleach the crap out of it before I add the yellow dye.

Tell me the ONE character in your books that is the most like you.  You can only pick ONE, no cheating?

Oh, Linda, without a doubt. She’s like a bitchier, more impulsive version of me. She does and says all of the things that I would find tempting, but probably wouldn’t actually do or say (but maybe think).

I knew it would be Linda.  When I talk to you on line, I feel like I am talking to Linda. 

When you sit down to write, do you wear anything in particular to inspire you?

Geez, I’m a bit too much like Linda in that regard. You’re lucky to find me wearing clothes at all. Not because I have a wonderful perky body that I like to show off. Just because… meh, clothes.

You seem pretty thick skinned, so what, if anything is your weakness?

TRUTH. I hate reading reviews where someone’s pinpointed every single one of my weaknesses as a writer. Basically, I’m thick-skinned because I’m pretty realistic about my strengths and weaknesses. Probably more so about my strengths, because deep down I’m a fairly arrogant person. But a review that accurately nails every flaw in a book? GAH. Makes me want to curl up in a ball and never write again… for five minutes or so.

What were you like as a child?

A pain in the arse. From the moment I was born, I was causing trouble to appear all around me. For starters, I was born with a moderately-rare congenital heart condition. Off I went to a big-city hospital. Luckily for me, I was born at a time when they were just starting to figure out how to perform open heart surgery on toddlers. I was two when they operated. But even during the operation I managed to be a pain in the arse – the surgeon finished up having to cauterise one pulmonary artery to keep me alive. So now I have a mildly dodgy ticker and only one functional lung.

Anyway, it’s not just in health matters that I was a pain as a kid. My dad says that I survived all that only because I’m incredibly stubborn – something he knows from painful and repeated experience. *grin* He often tells a story about me in hospital when I was two – must’ve been pre-surgery, I reckon. Apparently one of the other patients, a four year old boy twice my size, wandered up and took my teddy bear. Me being me, I got up, went after him, thumped him one, took back the bear, and went back to whatever I was doing. The poor thumped kid ran off to his mum, bawling his eyes out. She came into the room, hackles up, looking for the horrible child who’d hit her precious baby. He pointed at me… and she smacked him upside the head and told him off for getting picked on by a tiny little girl.

My mother, on the other hand, tends to dwell on the tantrums that she claims I had primarily in public, and the tendency I had to climb before I could walk. She says I’d happily build myself a ladder to get somewhere like a kitchen bench, presumably just because I could, and only then think about how I might get down (“MUM!!!!”).

I deny everything, by the way. I have no recollection of any such events. 😛

What were your childhood dreams?

The first ever dream that I remember having is of riding a tiger. Looking back, I can see that it might have been a perfect symbol for my life. Get on the tiger, start riding, then ponder how the hell I’m going to get off.

When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself an author?

Umm… hmmm. I’m not sure I really do even now. I call myself a writer – because I write. 😛 I don’t know that it’s really because I don’t feel as though I’m worthy of such a dizzying moniker… I’m simply… a writer! I write stuff.

Thanks, Naomi, for a fabulous interview!  I can’t wait for the next Dead(ish) book, it sounds like it is going to be a doozy. 

Get Naomi’s books from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

And for the record, BigAl says he  Heart-beat                                                                                                          Maisy May. 

Allirea’s Realm, Coffee and Conversation with Edward Lorn

Allirea's Realm


What a wonderful surprise for me when Edward Lorn agreed to this interview.  If you are into horror, Edward should be at the top of your “want to read” list.  As we got to know each other, I also found that he could branch off into comedy!  It was a fun interview.

The most important question! Are you a coffee drinker?

I’m a little more than a coffee drinker. I’m a caffeine addict. Most kids can’t stand the taste of coffee, but I started drinking it around fifth grade, without my parents’ permission. I’d smuggle a mugful from the carafe to my room every morning. This backfired, though, as I was soon diagnosed with ADHD after my teacher requested I be tested due in part to how I bounced off the walls of his classroom then became borderline zombified toward the middle of the day.

What is your favorite coffee drink?

I like French roast, but my current favorite is Pike Place Roast, which is available in K-cups for the Keurig. It’s under the Starbucks brand, but I don’t care much for their coffee overall. Still, Pike’s a delicious medium roast that perks me up better than ice cubes on my nipples.

How many books have you written in your career?

This is an interesting question because I can answer one of two ways. If you mean novels I’ve published, the answer is four. If you’re talking about in my lifetime, I believe the total is close to thirty now. I only publish a tenth of what I write, and that percentage is based on short stories, novellas, and full-length outings combined. It’s all practice until you hit that publish/submit button.

What genre is your favorite?

It’s a tie between literary fiction and horror. When combined, I’m in readers’ heaven. Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Kealan Patrick Burke, Marisha Pessl, and Joe Hill will always be favorites of mine. Genre horror (horror novels without any literary flair) is fun, but it tends to lack the emotional depth I look for in fiction. Point in fact, Jack Ketchum writes terrifically gory, nausea-inducing books, but his word choice and sentence structure is stripped down to its simplest form. This doesn’t detract from my Ketchum fanboy status, though, as sometimes, I just want a little dumb fun. Action over depth, and all that. This is why Michael Bay movies are so successful.

I see you write horror.  What got you interested in writing in that genre?

My sisters (who’re twelve and fourteen years older than I am) were huge horror fans. They’d be allowed to stay up nights to watch the thrillers and chillers on cable, and I would watch with them, albeit from the crack of my bedroom door, where I could see the living room television down our short hall. When they moved out, I jumped into my mother’s rather extensive horror novel collection: King, Saul, Straub, Koontz, Laymon, and the list goes on. Reading horror fiction changed the way I saw horror overall. In the movies, the killer was always the focus (Freddie, Jason, Michael Myers, Pinhead, Leatherface), and rarely did I ever have an emotional connection with the victims. They were simply stalks in a corn field to be sliced through, whereas most literature values character development over story arc, at least the good stuff does, anyway. I soon found that I appreciated getting to know the cannon fodder, and my love for books was born. Overall, though, I believe I’m just a thrill seeker, and if I wasn’t throwing words together in an attempt to scare the masses, I believe I’d be a roller coaster engineer.

What is the most embarrassing thing you have done?

This one time, at band camp…

Hmmmmm..I really want to ask for you to continue, but I am just a little bit afraid to!

Describe your writing in one word?


What would be your dream vacation?

 I’m too out of shape for this, but I’ve always wanted to do the Horror Campout. You’re given a tent and supplies, and told to survive the night. Those that stay in their tent are certain not to survive, and there’s multiple “killers” roaming the woods as well. Either that, or Hawaii. Yeah, Honolulu sounds nice.

 I think I would pick Hawaii.

What is the most dangerous thing you have done?

I once called a woman The Pensioner. Long story…

We will leave that story alone, I have a feeling it could get you into MORE trouble!

Are you married?

Yup. I’ve been married to the same woman for thirteen years. She’s my best friend, and she loves video games. I really couldn’t have found a better match.

Do you have any children?

My daughter Autumn is eight, and my son Chris is two. Autumn is proving to have her father’s love of storytelling and reading. As far as Chris is concerned, he loves Netflix and Thomas the Train toys. I have high hopes that he’ll one day rule the world with those qualities.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I had all the normal career wishes: doctor, policeman, fire fighter, sailor wrench, and so on. But writing was always a part of those things. I wanted to be a doctor who wrote medical novels, a cop who wrote crime fiction, that kinda thing. My love for the written word started early. Shortly after I learned to read I became obsessed with being the one who wrote the stories. I started my illustrious career by lying, because it was much easier than grammar and spelling and junk, but no one appreciated my lies as much as I appreciated books. I suppose this was because people know going into a novel that the story didn’t happen, whereas I never prefaced my lies with, “This is a piece of fiction.”

Sailor Wrench, huh?  

Describe your outlook on life in one word.


Do you like reality TV programs?

I don’t watch much television these days, but when I do, I try to steer clear of those train wrecks. Still, I’ll stumble across one every now and again, and I find myself ogling, like any normal person passing a terrible car accident, to see if there’s blood, if there’s a Reebok sticking out from under the sheet that blankets the motionless lump on the gurney. But, like a ten car pile up on the interstate, I try my best to avoid them, and when I can’t, I think little of myself after having rubbernecked

I was going to ask which one is your favorite, but after THAT answer, we will just move on. 

What’s the most unusual conversation you’ve ever had? (besides this one)

I was sitting in a Coffee Kettle in Troy, Alabama (the knock-off Waffle House has since been torn down and a Popeye’s erected on the site), when an older man in a mechanic’s jumper sat down next to me at the bar, which overlooked the cooking area. He ordered breakfast and a coffee, nodded a hello to me, and began rolling a coin across the back of his knuckles with fluid ease. I told him what a nifty trick I thought that was, and he smiled. “I learned it in prison,” he said. Having never been in the joint, I didn’t know it was improper to ask a con (ex or otherwise) what they had done, so I inquired as to what landed him in the clink. He shrugged, told me I shouldn’t ever ask a question like that, then added that he was a “short eyes”, and that he hadn’t faired well inside, but he’d eventually made a friend, and this friend had taught him several coin tricks, one of which was the quarter-over-the-knuckles routine he was currently performing. I had no idea at the time what the hell a “short eyes” was, nor was I going to ask, seeing as he’d just told me how rude that was, so we continued talking. He knew card tricks as well, but didn’t have a deck on him, so he proceeded to instruct me without visual aids. I forgot everything he told me mere seconds after he stopped talking, but I assured him that I’d try when I got home. We spoke for another hour or so about how I was an aspiring author, and how he’d always wanted to write a book, but didn’t think anyone would like to hear his stories. I remember very clearly asking him if he thought prison had taken, if he felt he’d been rehabilitated. He offered me a broad smile and shook his head. “It wasn’t all for naught, though,” he said, still grinning. “I learned these new tricks, and the kiddos love tricks.” I figured he was talking about his own kids, and we lapsed into a silence until his food arrived, and I left. It would be four years before I found out that “short eyes” was prison slang for “child molester.”

As an Indie author, how do you promote your books?

I don’t do much in the way of marketing, other than a free promo or giveaway or a blog tour here and there, but I don’t purchase ads or spam potential readers. I figure I’ve made enough of a name for myself by now, and people are either going to read me or they’re not. I’ve always felt that the best tool for any author is word of mouth, and if my writing is good enough, my readers will talk about it.

Do you always wear identical socks?

Who wears socks anymore? They’re so last year. When I do use foot gloves, I make sure to wear open-toed sandals as well. It’s very chic.

To get the total look, make sure the foot gloves are black.  Just helping you out, I am sure your wife will appreciate it.

Tell me the one character in your books that is most like you.

Larry Laughlin, from my novel Hope for the Wicked and its upcoming sequel, Pennies for the Damned. He’s one of the easiest characters to get into because he’s me. Well, aside from all the murder and mayhem he gets into, anyway. I have the same sarcastic sense of humor, and we share thought processes, which makes him that much easier to write about. I simply ask myself, “Well, E., what would you do in this situation?” And BAM! we’re off.

When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself an author?

Probably after I finished Life After Dane, the novel Red Adept Publishing released in July of 2013. While writing that book, I felt the first stirrings of author status. I know that sounds weird, being that Dane was my fourth novel, but what I’m getting at is, I felt I’d finally found my own voice. Life After Dane is damn-near perfect in my eyes, and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I can’t say that about anything else I’ve ever written. My newest project—a serial novel entitled Cruelty—is coming close to being my new favorite, but it’s not entirely finished yet, and I believe a good ending makes or breaks a story. Episodes One through Four are currently available on for $0.99 each, and Episode Five should be released within a day or two of this post going live. Imagine a slasher film as a literary novel. If that intrigues you, give Cruelty a go.

Last question, Have you ever danced in the rain?

Done more than just dance. I love the rain. There’s something cleansing about it, and not just in the literal sense either. Stand outside in a downpour and take a deep breath. It’s invigorating, as if you’re being detoxed and intoxicated all at the same time.

Ed, this has been a blast.  Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview.  Best of luck to you and I think I will pick up Cruelty.  I will let you know how it goes.  If I am afraid to come out from under the covers, it was a success.

I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for having me!

Get Edward’s books from Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

Allirea’s Realm, Coffee and Conversation with Michael Crane

Allirea's Realm


I am so excited that Michael Crane agreed to this interview.  He is known around town as the “king” of horror and slice of life short stories, and after reading his books, I have to agree.  He has turned me into a fan.

Michael Crane is an indie author and scribbler of inane babble that can sometimes end up as stories. He went to Columbia College Chicago where he earned a BA in Fiction Writing and drank one too many Red Bulls. He’s the author of In Decline (stories), Giggles (a novella), and Lessons and Other Morbid Drabbles. Some of his favorite writers are Richard Yates, Raymond Carver, Ray Bradbury, David Sedaris, Kurt Vonnegut, Flannery O’Connor, and Alice Munro.

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