Saturday, April 30, 2016

Novus: The Cresecren Chronicles Book 1 by Crystal Marcos is on SALE!

NOVUS (The Cresecren Chronicles, Book 1) has recently received two book awards and a revamped cover! To celebrate the eBook will be on SALE for $1.99 from 4/30/2016- 5/15/2016

~"Official Selection" Winner in the E-Book Young Adult category, 2015 New Apple Book Awards!~

~Winner Best Books in the Young Adult category, 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!~





Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite- 5 STARS

Novus by Crystal Marcos is one of those gems that make you care about the characters within the story, and while you definitely want to know what happens to them, you can't help but also not want to get to the end of the book. It's the kind of book whose characters you miss when you finish the book.


Description

Ideal for Hunger Games and Divergent fans, Crystal Marcos delivers Novus, a riveting novel set in a dystopian future of action-adventure, suspense, and romance. Intriguing characters and a gripping storyline keep the reader turning page after page.

Being a teenager is hard enough. And what if your life's path is predetermined? On top of that, you aren't even Human?

Cayden was given life as a Cresecren. He expected to live out his days with the dysfunctional Human family he was assigned to serve. One fateful night, however, landed him in Gavaron, the home of maimed, elderly, or defiant Cresecren.

Beyond its borders is the Den, an area much more dangerous than he ever imagined. Now seventeen, Cayden unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy and is one of a handful of survivors fleeing a deadly attack. They set off on a perilous journey in search of refuge and the truth. Along the way, Cayden begins to comprehend the difference between fully living and merely surviving, while trying to balance his emotions and a forbidden love.  

Purchase Links
Amazon

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Author Bio
Award-winning author Crystal Marcos has been a storyteller her entire life. As the oldest of five children, she had to do a lot of entertaining. She lives on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State with her husband, daughter Kaylee, and infant son Jaxon. Crystal is the author of BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale and HEADACHE: The Hair-Raising Sequel to BELLYACHE. Novus, her third book and first Young Adult novel, is Book One of The Cresecren Chronicles.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

S.P.M Barrett-The IAN Interview

Hello! So my name is Sam and I write under the pen name S.P.M Barrett. I am an Irish citizen and I have been soaked by more showers of rain then I have seen sunshine! Aside from the obvious fact that I am an author (I know, I am a little shocked too!) I have a few other passions, ranging from dodgeball, dancing and ketchup. I absolutely love to taste new types of ketchup and yes, it’s as delicate an art as tasting wine. I love animals and wanted to be a vet but had decided to become a comparative physiologist instead and now I write Sci-fi and fantasy. A bit of a jump I know but I think that you’ll enjoy the story I have to say.

So Underbelly was born almost completely of procrastination. I had my exams in third year of college and I really did not want to study. I felt this uncontrollable urge to create and craft and I tried to quell it by writing a bit of poetry but it wasn’t enough. Then I remembered that one time my English teacher had tried to get me to publish a short story that I had written for an exam and I had refused to, I decided to use the story as a skeleton. So Underbelly was born. It was so much more than the short story I had originally wrote; the Dynomamian Empire rose from my mind and conquered Islandari and it is into this unstable world that Merissa is born into and the warring factions savaging for control. Beautiful conflict, and I was somewhat inspired by a quote by one of my favourite authors “darkness does not always equate to evil, just as light does not always bring good.” P.Cast. Merissa soon finds out that not everyone in the Underbelly is not as straight forward as it seems.

At this moment in time, it is only available as an e-book on Amazon, however I am working on other media options. It will be in paperback form in July 2016 but until then it is only available as an e-book.

Link here: Amazon.co.uk

I’m very excited to be working on the next book Surface, the next in the Turf Wars series. It feels amazing to be looking at a blank screen and pages again and feeling like I could go anywhere with it (obviously I have a rough idea where I’m going but why not take the scenic route and meet and see interesting things and people?).

IAN: You’ve mentioned that you have a background in science and as a Sci-fi author, does this feed into how realistic your book is?

S.P.M Barrett: That’s actually a good point and it raises an idea that I’ve come away with from doing my course. As a fantasy author too, one might expect me to believe in magic however as I have a strong science background, I no longer believe in magic, just unexplained science. While for others this may be a buzzkill, for me it means that I have to think of logical reasons as to how something has happened. I think that it’s incredibly tempting for fantasy, and Sci-fi authors to an extent, to just wave a wand around and just fix the problem. But as I introduced new elements of the story to Underbelly, I had to really think each of them through and make them as watertight as possible. I wanted people to believe the story was possible. 

IAN: Interesting, since you’ve put this much thought into the mechanics of the book, would I be right in presuming that you have a specific message for readers?

S.P.M Barrett: Aside from, please enjoy the story! I am a big advocate for mental health awareness and in all of my works, I tend to tackle a particular facet of the stigmas that surround mental health. In Underbelly, it was all about forgiveness and learning to trust again. While I believe that there are some unforgivable acts and that distrust forms naturally, holding that kind of baggage is just so corrosive to our mental health and as a species we tend to generalise. So if we are hurt enough, we learn not to trust anyone and I decided to explore this as an undercurrent theme in Underbelly.

IAN: So do you see writing as a career?

S.P.M Barrett: Absolutely, I am actually working in Eason and sons and this is the main book shop in Ireland. So I can see the business side of it and there is certainly a career to be made out of it. It’s hard, it’s gruelling and it’s full of doubt. But that is what makes it rewarding! Even if in the end and no one likes my writing at least I can hang up my pen saying that at least I tried.

IAN: Since the road to becoming an author is so difficult, if you could have a writing mentor, who would you have?

S.P.M Barrett: J.K Rowling. Without a doubt. I don’t think I would even use her as a writing mentor, she seems to be such a genuinely lovely person that I would love to be on friendly terms with her. Sure it might even be nice to have deep meaningful conversations about life and beyond in the wee hours of the morning. And if some of her genius does rub off of me, I’ll not complain!

IAN: You’ve already touched on this, but what exactly inspired you to write Underbelly?

S.P.M Barrett: So as I’ve already said Underbelly was essentially a procrastination project. At the time I had just discovered Wattpad, a free publishing website where you could just post up a story and others could read it for free, vote and comment on it. So I did that. I threw up a chapter every day for 19 days, with no editing. It went all around of the world, it was read by nearly 900 people in 6 of the 7 continents and I got huge support for it and it convinced me that maybe this story was worth publishing. But the real push came when a mole on my left hand started changing colour and bleeding and for several days I thought that I had melanoma. I remember standing in the shower thinking that I had cancer and thinking that I was going to die, it was singularly the most terrifying thought I ever had. But I was thankfully given the all clear and I had the mole removed as a precaution but in those weeks I knew that I wanted to do and that was to tell people stories and to share my insights into this crazy thing we call life.

IAN: Oh wow, that must have been intense. Did you have much support outside of your family?

S.P.M Barrett: Oh yes, I have a wonderful partner John who was my rock. He’s not much of a reader though! But he soldiered through all of my drafts of Underbelly and I think that nearly says more, when someone does something that they don’t like when they know that it’s important to you, you know he’s a keeper! I had also a great support in the form of my friends and even at work, my colleagues were always supporting me with my ups and downs. I have also recently made contact with the only Sci-fi and fantasy magazine in Ireland, Albedo and I’m hoping that they become an even greater help than they have already. I also had a kickstarter project to raise funds for my book trailer for Underbelly and that has made a great community that is so supportive.

IAN: Ok I just a couple of more questions before we wrap up, as I am sure that you’re aware writing is hard, but what did you find particularly difficult about writing and what advice would you give to other novice writers?

S.P.M Barrett: I think for me, the actual difficult part of writing, are the nitty gritty details. I always excited to write the interesting parts but the dry parts that were necessary to advance plot can sometimes be a little boring and I struggled to capture the magic within myself to power through it. There was one part where I spent weeks going through it to get it right because it was so detailed and it was like chipping away at marble, a sliver of stone here, a chunk there. Eventually it was there but my mind was a little fatigued! I think this feeds into the advice that I would give to new writers, keep at it. Write what you want to write, free speech exists for a reason. Everyone has a story to tell and it’s up to you whether or not you get to tell it.    

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stacy Juba-The IAN Interview

Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Stacy is also the founder of the Glass Slipper Sisters, a group of authors with Cinderella-themed romance novels. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service.


IAN: Please tell us about your latest book.

S. Juba: My latest book is Fooling Around With Cinderella, the first in the Storybook Valley series. What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella’s toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom.

IAN: Is Fooling Around With Cinderella published in print, e-book or both?

S. Juba: It is published in both print and e-book formats.

IAN: Where can we go to buy your book?

Smashwords                           

IAN: What inspired you to write the book?

S. Juba: I was inspired to write Fooling Around With Cinderella when I was at a fairy tale theme park with my family. We had just gone to visit Cinderella and suddenly I stopped short. This whole plotline popped into my head, about a reluctant theme park Cinderella trying to find her Prince Charming.

IAN: Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

S. Juba: I always use an outline, written on index cards and hanging on a bulletin board in my office. Sometimes I change things, but I always have a road map and keep my outline updated with the latest additions.

IAN: How did you come up with the title?

S. Juba: The title has a double meaning – “fooling around” in the romance sense, as there is a romance between Jaine and her boss Dylan. But the real reason is that Dylan, the general manager of the theme park, is having a tough time finding a reliable Cinderella to finish out the season. He had one go Goth, another get pregnant, and another quit, so he is tired of fooling around with Cinderella. 

IAN: What do you hope your readers come away with after reading Fooling Around With Cinderella?

S. Juba: I hope they will have laughed and found the book a temporary vacation from their daily stresses, and want to return to Storybook Valley for future books.

IAN: How much of the book is realistic?

S. Juba: Actually, more of it is realistic than you would think. I did hours of research, researching theme park management, watching job recruitment videos for theme park chains, and watching videos of former theme park employees and behind the scenes videos of former “princesses” and characters. I researched everything, down to how to do a princess wave. As a former journalist, I really strive to find authentic details to incorporate into my fiction so that readers learn something without knowing they are learning something.

IAN: What books have most influenced your life most?

S. Juba: I have also published several mystery novels, so I would have to say I was influenced by the juvenile mystery series I read growing up – Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden in particular. I started writing mysteries in fifth grade as I was so hooked on those series, and my love of reading mysteries led me to writing my own mysteries.

IAN: Do you see writing as a career?

S. Juba: Yes, I definitely see writing as my career, but there are ups and downs with being an author so most authors need to have another job also. I am fortunate to be a freelance editor, so that I am always keeping my editing skills sharp, and I also find it very rewarding to help other writers make their books as strong as possible. In the case of beginner writers, I find it rewarding to mentor them and help them to make their publishing dream come true.  I’ve also done freelance magazine writing and marketing writing, and am a former newspaper reporter, so I have always made my career as a writer. 

IAN: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

S. Juba: Stop by my website for some free books – you can download them on this page. http://stacyjuba.com/blog/short-stories/  Feel free to sign up for my newsletter http://stacyjuba.com/blog/newsletter-subscription/ and join the Glass Slipper Sisters Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/482493158588214 I always love to connect with readers!

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

S. Juba: It is the next book in the Storybook Valley series, Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty.  All the books in the series can be read as standalones, but they feature familiar settings such as the Storybook Valley theme park and have recurring characters. Jaine and Dylan, the leads of Fooling Around With Cinderella, will play a supporting role in Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty. The protagonist is Dylan’s sister, Rory, a dance instructor whose real name is Aurora. (hence the Sleeping Beauty)  


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Lee Ann Mancini: The IAN Interview


Lee Ann is currently an adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. She is also an award-winning, Christian children's author. She is has taught Bible Study for over 10 years and has been an active community volunteer/ leader for over 20 years: Ann is involved in the Women’s Ministry at Spanish River Christian Church and is a board member of the Alexandrian Forum. In addition, Lee Ann speaks to women groups regarding the redemptive power of the gospel represented though the types of brides of the church.

Her series “Adventure of the Sea Kids” is a multiple, award-winning series. Promoting Christian values for children.

IAN: Please tell us about your books.

Lee Ann: Adventures of The Sea Kids is a multiple, award-winning Christian children series.

Fast Freddy – Fast Freddy overcoming the ridicule of being different. He joins the swim team and the kids learn he is a great kid. Freddy wins the championship for the first time overcoming Marcus a formidable threat. He says a prayer of thanks to Jesus for being different and for his new friends. Children learn about compassion, acceptance, and loving others in spite of their differences. Freddy says a prayer of thanks for being different and unique.

What A Bragger! – Melissa tries to win friends by bragging. She learns the sea kids lover her for who she is and not what she has. Tears of sadness turn into tears of joy at her surprise birthday party. Children learn to love others not for what they have but for who they are. Melissa says a prayer of thanks for what matters most.

I’m Not Afraid! – Susie and her friend go to the Undersea Amusement Park. Susie makes many excuses not to ride the Whale-Back Coaster. After speaking with her mommy, and saying a prayer, her fear turns into faith. She learns that praying to Jesus during difficult times, and having faith, is all she needs to over come her fears.
 
IAN: Is the Adventures of The Sea Kids published in print, e-book or both?

Lee Ann: My books are published in softcover and hardcover.

IAN: Where can we go to buy your books?



IAN: What inspired you to write your books?

Lee Ann: When my children were little, I could not find books that helped foster a relationship with Jesus. Most stories were Bible stories about Jesus.

IAN: How long did it take to write the books?

Lee Ann: It took many years. As I wrote them 20-year-ago and tried to let it go. I have revised them several times, and I have shelved them several times. But I always felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to get them out and get them into the children’s hands.

IAN: How are your books different from others in your genre?

Lee Ann: Most children Christian books teach Bible stories about the life of Jesus. We wanted the children to understand that He is a savior that they can go to in times of trouble. We also want to teach children to have love, compassion, and acceptance for all people. Seeing the good and the beauty in other children who may be different in various ways from them.

IAN: What books have most influenced your life most?

Lee Ann: I started reading Max Lucado and now I read all books that help me to understand my faith and how I can share it with others in a loving way.

IAN: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Lee Ann: Dr. Warren Gage from the Alexandrian Forum, an amazing man with an amazing message. http://alexandrianforum.org

IAN: What book are you reading now?

Lee Ann: Identifying the Hierarchy of Satan, by Joy Schneider

IAN: Are there any new books that have caught your interest?

Lee Ann: Yes. Forsaken God? by Janet Thompson

IAN: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Lee Ann: Criss Bertling, Women’s leader at Spanish River Christian Church

IAN: Do you see writing as a career?

Lee Ann: Yes, I hope to bring more products for the children.

IAN: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Lee Ann: When my children were 3 & 5 (now 23 & 25) I wanted them to understand that Jesus is there for them and will be there for them always. I wanted to instill in them a strong, foundational relationship with Christ.

IAN: Who designed the covers?

Lee Ann: Dan Sharp. He illustrated the cover and the book, and has illustrated for Disney, Warner Brothers, American Greeting and others.

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress.

Lee Ann: The next two books, A Servant Like Jesus and God’s Gift both continue to promote godly themes. In A Servant Like Jesus, shy Charlie learns it is better and more fun to be a helper than to be shy, as he helps his friend who gets hurt on the playground. God’s Gift is unique in that two sea kids argue over who gets the most presents at Christmas or Hanukkah. They understand it’s about the gift from God of the Messiah, and the gift of light. They learn about each other’s holiday and accept each other as they worship the same God. 


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Michael J Sanford-The IAN Interview

Michael J Sanford

I'm 28, married, father to two precocious felines, and live in New York. I am a newly self-published author. I have a degree in Child and Family Studies with a Minor in Criminal Justice, but all I want to do in life is to write! And I am totally OK with that. I work to pay the bills, but write to live.






IAN: Please tell us about your latest book.

MJS: My most recent release is titled "The Mighty" and is the first in a series of yet to be determined length. In it, the main character Wyatt is sent to a facility for troubled youth, but finds that his amulet can quite literally take him to a different world. There he vows to save the realm from the oppressive Regents and protect the Draygan warrior, Rozen. But he has no control over his magic and continually bounces between worlds at random. He also meets a fellow resident and vows to help her escape. It's a story of balancing two worlds all while trying to avoid painful memories that whisper from the shadows.

IAN: Is The Mighty published in print, e-book or both?

MJS: Both.

IAN: Where can we go to buy a copy of The Mighty?

MJS: The Mighty is available at Amazon at this link http://www.amazon.com/dp/1522939849

IAN: What inspired you to write The Mighty?

MJS: Right after college I worked for two years in a residential treatment center for "behaviorally disturbed" youth. All of the kids/teens had a different way of dealing with the inhuman trauma they had each suffered. One in particular impacted me as I saw a lot of myself in how he handled things. He retreated into his imagination and spent an inordinate amount of time role-playing as a wizard, warrior, and the like. I often wondered, "what's it like in his head?" "The Mighty" is the answer to that question.

IAN: Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

MJS: Before I sit down and actually write, I take a few weeks and just think the whole thing over. So while I don't outline in the traditional sense, nothing gets written down, I've done a large portion of the writing in my head. Then I open up a word processor and just write, stream of consciousness style.

IAN: How long did it take to write the book?

MJS: From conception to final project, about three or four months. I can typically get a full first draft done in about 6-8 weeks, then its all about polishing.

IAN: What do you hope your readers come away with after reading The Mighty?

MJS: Well, I hope they come away having gone on a fun and fantastical adventure. More than that, however, I hope they are able to catch a glimpse at what a kid like "Wyatt" or "Athena" have to live with on a daily basis. And I hope my readers get a sense of how adult problems and decisions can impact the children around them.

IAN: How much of the book is realistic?

MJS: Well, the fantasy portion, where the character is in Hagion, is complete fantasy. But the parts where he is in the youth facility is entirely accurate to the unit I worked on. The layout, rules, atmosphere. Everything. And the residents there truly have gone through some horrific things that they try awfully hard to forget.

IAN: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

MJS: Brian Jacques, no question. The man could tell a story and create characters like no one else. I was obsessed with the Redwall series all throughout middle and high school. I dream of being half the storyteller he was. Because it's not about writing, it's about telling a good story. And Brian Jacques is a master storyteller.

IAN: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

MJS: Podcasts. I have a job where I can listen to podcasts the whole shift. And while I have a wide ranging taste in audio, several writing focused podcasts gave me the kick in the pants I needed to put my work out there and become an "author."

IAN: Do you see writing as a career?

MJS: No. I see it as a passion, as a love, and as necessary as breathing. If I make money from my writing then all the better, but that's not why I do it. I do it because I have to.

IAN: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

MJS: I've always loved reading, and writing goes hand in hand with that. Even as a child I dreamed of being a writer. I wrote numerous short stories and fan fiction of whatever I was into. I began on my mother's typewriter, writing for hours. I can even remember beginning a Thriller novel before I was a teenager, on an outdated PC. But, it wasn't until recently that I made a pact with myself to get over my insecurities and anxiety, and take the plunge into publishing. Best decision I've ever made.

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

MJS: I have two different series on tap right now, and the next book I release will be the first of what I am calling "The Last War Saga." It's a character driven high fantasy series, and was inspired by a Dungeons and Dragons campaign I create(d) and run on Friday nights with a great group of friends. I am expecting to release the first in the series, "The Girl With Red Hair," in June 2016. Then I'll bounce back to publishing the sequel to "The Mighty," which is in first draft form now.

IAN: Do you have any advice for other writers?

MJS: Write. It's the only way to become a writer. If you write, you are. If you don't, you're not. It's truly that simple. All the rest is just dressing.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Phil Rowan – The IAN Interview


I started writing fiction as a student at Trinity College, Dublin, and continued as a journalist in Athens and then as a leader writer on the Daily Express in London. I had a brief period as a University Tutor, but then set up my own business as a Creativity Consultant with Accountants and Management Consultants - where one challenging contract involved my trying to show nuclear scientists where they might dispose of nuclear waste! I then moved to writing fiction full time, which I love and want to take further.







IAN: Please tell us about your latest book.

P. Rowan: Harps & Tears centres on Bronkovski, a Polish/US nuclear scientist whose wife left him for a Jewish environmentalist. He is furious, and intent on revenge against Israel. When we meet him he is making a nuclear bomb in Ireland's West Cork for ruthless Islamic activists. My main man, US journalist Rudi Flynn, is lured in and seduced by Irish charm and blarney, but he knows that Middle East money is funding the deviant nuclear scientist in Ireland. There are ruthless rogues everywhere, including Irish politicians, but Flynn's lesbian hotel receptionist agrees to seduce and probe the evil Bronkovski. Despite his battered self-esteem following his wife's affair with another woman, Flynn soon meets a  succession of enchanting women - in particular, ex-prostitute, Claire, with whom he embarks on a passionate love affair. As he blunders into the terrifying conspiracy between Bronkovski and his Middle East funders, Flynn gets warned off and is eventually assaulted, with a near death experience involving murderous assassins. Eventually, however, there is sufficient evidence to persuade Irish politicians, who have been backing Bronkovski, to disown him, which allows British aircraft to bomb the deserted Irish seminary for missionary priests, where he has been hiding.

IAN: Is Harps & Tears published in print, as an eBook or both? 


P. Rowan: It is an Amazon Kindle e-book.

IAN: Where can we purchase a copy of Harps & Tears?

P. Rowan: Kindle copies at http://amzn.to/XkUuHq  All my books available at http://viewAuthor.at/PhilRowan Visit my IAN page for more info about my 4 dark humor thrillers - http://bit.ly/1CapXQX

IAN: Do you use an outline or do you just wing a first draft?

P. Rowan: I used a story outline and then chapter outlines for my 4 dark humor thrillers. But I am doing just chapter outlines for my current book as I'm not quite sure yet where it's going.

IAN: Do you have a specific writing style?

P. Rowan: I used first person present tense (taking on the identity of my main man Flynn) for my dark humor thrillers. But for the story I'm presently writing, I have reverted to third person past tense, and I am enjoying the different writing experience.

IAN: How do you come up with your titles?

P. Rowan: Dark Clouds features a nuclear mushroom cloud cover as ISIS try to nuke London. Weimar Vibes has a movie picture of Marlene Dietrich on the cover as I was trying to present an image of those dark 1930s pre-war days in Germany. Under Cover has (I think) a rather attractive spy + flags for the main undercover secret service agencies. Harps & Tears is set mainly in Ireland, where I've got a nuclear symbol (for the nasty scientist) + a shamrock and a harp - with a scary jihadist waiting covertly for evil opportunities, which will bring tears to the eyes!

IAN: How much of Harps & Tears is realistic?

P. Rowan: Well - rural Ireland is maybe a good place for an embittered Polish American nuclear scientist to construct nuclear weapons, which can then be shipped secretly in fishing boats or covert (at the time maybe Libyan) submarines to the Middle East. It hasn't happened yet ... but who knows what might evolve!

IAN: What books have most influenced your life?  

P. Rowan: As a young Catholic growing up in Ireland, I was very much taken with those authors who were banned by the Church! My favourites were by James Joyce, J.P. Donleavy and Henry Miller. But I was later drawn to Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and - much later - Primo Levi, who shocked and moved me with tales of his survival from an Auschwitz nightmare.

IAN: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

P. Rowan: James Joyce or J.P. Donleavy - but maybe Scott Fitzgerald if I met him in Paris!

IAN: What book are you reading now?

P. Rowan: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. I was hooked by the movie, which was great, and I'm enjoying the adventures of young Eilis in New York, where - like a lot of my ancestors - she escaped to from the problems many faced in Ireland since the famine.

IAN: Do you see writing as a career?

P. Rowan: Oh yes - although one might need some other source of income, as it's a very competitive business - and one has to make a great effort - but it is very satisfying!

IAN: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

P. Rowan: I got the impetus one afternoon during my first year as a student at Trinity College in Dublin. I sat down and started to do a short story about an attractive woman. My pen just kept moving to the end, and I was fortunate, because it was taken up by a small College magazine, which encouraged me to continue - although I was diverted for some not very satisfying years as a UK tabloid journalist.

IAN: Did you have to travel much for your book research?

P. Rowan: My work as a journalist took me to quite a few places around the world, and when I then moved on to an academic post, I was fortunate in having long paid leave periods, so my wife and I were able to travel extensively ... at least until our kids arrived!

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

P. Rowan: My next story is a stand-alone. It is about a young Irish playwright, Jack, and his actress girlfriend, Maria, who - out of nowhere, but with a great play - catch the attention of a Hollywood agent and take a flight to LA. The agent wants Jack to write a screenplay, while Maria is offered a small movie part. It goes well for a while, but Jack gets distracted by another woman, so Maria takes off for India. We then follow their amorous and other adventures from two perspectives ... only I'm not quite sure how the story is going to progress, but I'm enjoying the writing!

IAN: Do you have any advice for other writers?

P. Rowan: If you get the urge, just sit down with a pen (preferably a biro) and scribble away for 40 or 50 minutes. If you cover a few sheets of paper without stopping, you're probably well under way and won't want to stop.

IAN: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

P. Rowan: Mainly I just want to write down what I feel impelled to say, although one must put it in such a way that it will/can draw in one's readers. If it works for you, the chances are that others will also be taken by what you've written ... and the watchwords for all aspiring writers have to be 'don't ever stop scribbling!'