Sarah Stuart – Author Interview

April 24, 2017 | Posted in Author Interviews | By

Sarah Stuart
~~Author Interview~~
Sarah Stuart, author

Today’s author interview is with the talented Sarah Stuart, author of The Royal Command series.

Please welcome Sarah Stuart to XterraWeb’s Author Interview Series. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did.

Before we get started, we would like to thank Sarah for taking the time to give us this interview.

Buy Dangerous Liaisons: A Showbiz Family Saga (Royal Command Book 1) on Amazon.

Amor Libris: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sarah Stuart: My day job is literacy tutoring. My passions are animals, theatre, history, and travel.

Dogs were my opening into show business. During a period when I lived in Wales, I supplied them to professional companies using Aberystwyth University’s Arts Centre Theatre during student vacations. Many musicals and plays performed there were on their pre-West End premiere run, which gave me an unrivalled opportunity to talk to directors, choreographers, and the many other vital members of the backstage staff, and the performers. These ranged from actors and actresses in their first, or early, roles to worldwide superstars of stage and screen. That experience, and my association with the Northern Ballet, underpins the vivid portrayals of show business triumphs and heartbreak in the Royal Command series.

I hope readers will enjoy my novels as an escape from reality but be left understanding that fame and fortune often come at a high personal cost. Also, I hope readers will gain an increased perception of the threat to animals: those shot in the name of sport for trophy heads, endangered species, many poached for their fur and ivory, and tragically discarded pets. I donate 100% of my royalties to animal charities worldwide, to help preserve endangered species and support the work of centres re-homing unwanted pets.

Amor Libris: What is your favorite motivational phrase, and why?

Sarah Stuart: Don’t put off until tomorrow something you can do today. Patience is not my middle name!

Amor Libris: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Sarah Stuart: Walk my dogs, listen to music, and avoid cooking if possible.

Amor Libris: What books and/or authors have influenced you the most?

Sarah Stuart: Mary Stewart and her book This Rough Magic and Dick Francis and his book Driving Force.

Both wrote character-driven novels with a love interest, suspense, and crime, in different proportions.

Amor Libris: Are there any new authors who have caught your attention?

Sarah Stuart: I’m a reviewer for Readers’ Favorite so I often have the chance to read authors’ first books, sometimes before they are published. It’s very satisfying to be able to offer advice knowing it won’t affect their Amazon rating. Red Tide (Aspen Falls Thrillers Book 1) is Peg Brantley’s debut novel, and I loved it: that was a 5 star.

Amor Libris: Can you share the title and blurb of your latest book?

Sarah Stuart: Dynasty of Deceit: A Showbiz Family Saga (Royal Command Book 3)

“Screams cut the clear air.” The Diamond Superstar, Michael Marsh, turns from signing autographs to see his beloved wife, Lizzie, lying dead on the snow: a skier in black is spotted speeding away towards the Matterhorn. Lisette leaves her husband, Brian, and rushes to her grieving father’s side, rekindling media suspicions of an incestuous relationship.

Jealous, and driven by guilty secrets of his own, Brian abandons Lisette, who is pregnant with his son. For the sake of Lizzie’s youngest daughter, Greta, he is determined to find the killer and mete out justice. The Swiss police ask the London force for help and the detective chief inspector assigned to the case is hostile, influenced by paparazzi stories that Lisette, Michael, or both, wanted Lizzie dead.

Who stabbed the woman everybody loved, and why? How can twins, secret lovers Harriet and Kit, help Greta, and will the way they choose bring the showbiz family empire crashing to the ground? Can rejected, deserted Lisette keep her solemn promise to Lizzie to pass on Margaret Tudor’s Book of Hours with its Royal Command “find love where ye may” to a daughter conceived in love?

Amor Libris: Who is your favorite character from your latest book, and why?

Sarah Stuart: Michael Marsh, the Diamond Superstar. He is the root, trunk, and branches of the whole series. It spans over forty years, which does mean a huge cast of characters. Dangerous Liaisons opens with Michael. Whether Sweet Temptation will end with him, I don’t know yet, but without him, none of the books would exist. Why do I like him, other than the books developed around him and he fascinates readers? For the same reason that he captivates so many fans: he’s handsome, sexy, and talented, and fun to write about.

Amor Libris: Are any of the characters and/or experiences in your books based upon yourself or someone you know?

Sarah Stuart: The characters, other than the villains, are people I would like to meet rather than based on people I have met. Some of the experiences are based on my own, and that will be especially true of Sweet Temptation. The settings are based more on experience of them than research. I have visited all the twelve European countries included in the concert tour in Illicit Passion, except Poland. Kraków has a sports stadium, also used for concerts, which seats eighteen thousand people: perfect for the drama of the final concert.

Amor Libris: Can you share with us about what you are working on now or your next project?

Sarah Stuart: I’m writing a fourth book in a series that began as one book, Dangerous Liaisons, and then developed into a trilogy with a very clear end to the historical thread that had run throughout. Some readers who took the time to review Dynasty of Deceit on Amazon said they were sorry it was the last book, and one said that he hoped it wasn’t! The same thing happened in discussions of Goodreads: nobody wanted the series to end. Given time, book four will be Sweet Temptation.

Amor Libris: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Sarah Stuart: Only write if you can’t bear not to: if you do, write what you enjoy writing. The latest trend, whatever it is, will be over before you hit publish.

Amor Libris: How can we contact you and find out more about you and your books?

Sarah Stuart: I login to Goodreads most days and I’m happy to answer questions, fans are welcome friends on Facebook, and I can be found on Twitter.

Val Tobin – Author Interview

April 2, 2017 | Posted in Author Interviews | By

Val Tobin
~~Author Interview~~
Val Tobin, author Today’s author interview is with the talented Val Tobin, author of The Experiencers, The Valiant Chronicles, and Gillian’s Island.

Please welcome Val Tobin to XterraWeb’s Author Interview Series. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did.

Before we get started, we would like to thank Val for taking the time to give us this interview.

Val’s books are available in ebook and paperback versions on Amazon and Smashwords.

Amor Libris: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Val Tobin: I have a diploma in computer information systems and ten years of industry experience doing software and web development. That satisfied the left brain part of me. However, I’ve always had a fascination for the paranormal, philosophical, theological, and spiritual.

In October of 2004, I became a certified Reiki Master/Teacher. I went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Parapsychic Science from The American Institute of Holistic Theology in 2007 and then a Master’s in Parapsychology in 2016. During that time, I also went to Kona, Hawaii to study under Doreen Virtue and completed both the Angel Therapy Practitioner ® training and Advanced ATP ® training.

I’ve participated in paranormal investigations in the US and Canada.

I draw on all of that in my writing.

Throughout my life, I wrote whenever I could, but I only published non-fiction articles. I wrote for Community MX and other online publications. I have a story published in Angel Words, a Hay House book by Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue.

My dream was always to write a novel, and in 2012, circumstances allowed me to write The Experiencers. Since then, I’ve been publishing one or two novels a year.

Amor Libris: What is your favorite motivational phrase, and why?

Val Tobin: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

That quote resonates with me because creative people live in their own worlds, as I always have. When I was a child, I was accused of daydreaming, being over-sensitive, and being odd. Pursuing education in a field that explores the metaphysical reinforces that reputation.

I once woke up in the early morning to find a man standing next to my bed. At first, I was terrified that someone had broken into the house. When I realized I could see through him, I relaxed. It was only a spirit. Many would believe I was dreaming or hallucinating, but that’s just another version of hearing what others might not—in this case, it was seeing what others might not.

Amor Libris: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Val Tobin: Read. I read like a fiend.

Amor Libris: What books and/or authors have influenced you the most?

Val Tobin: Authors: Margaret Atwood, Nora Roberts, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Marion Zimmer Bradley, George R. R. Martin, Ayn Rand, Stephen King. There are too many to list them all.

Books: The Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, Duncton Wood, The Chronicles of Narnia, Charlotte’s Web, Gone with the Wind, A Handmaid’s Tale, Rebecca, Atlas Shrugged, A Wrinkle in Time, Anne of Green Gables. Again, there are too many to list them all.

I’ve listed some children’s novels, because they influenced my evolution as a person and as a writer.

Amor Libris: Are there any new authors who have caught your attention?

Val Tobin: Some authors who recently caught my attention (so, new to me, not necessarily to the writing world) include Nora Roberts—yes, I only discovered Nora Roberts in the last couple of years—Michael Connelly, Lee Child (also discovered in the last year or two), Gillian Flynn, and Jodi Picoult.

As well, I’ve got some indie authors on my list of new author gems: Nico Laeser, Rebecca Bryn, Alan Annand, Jennifer Young, Janet Cameron, John Erwin, and too many more to name. Most of the indie authors I read can be found on the IASD website or on Your Next Favorite Author.

Rebecca Bryn I discovered when I beta read her current WIP (Work in Progress). She posted on Facebook that she required beta readers, and I volunteered because her story sounded interesting. It was based on a true story and is historical fiction. Her style is riveting.

I became interested in Nico Laeser’s work the same way.

Amor Libris: Can you share the title and blurb of your latest book?

Val Tobin: Earthbound is my current WIP (Work in Progress). It’s a prequel to The Experiencers and part of The Valiant Chronicles series.

Blurb:

Jayden McQueen is dead. However, that’s the least of her worries. Turns out, she’s a murder victim, and nobody knows it but her.
.
Who killed her? Why? How?

In her quest to find answers, Jayden sets in motion events that propel humanity toward a future already written. But just because events appear inevitable doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight them. Does it?

Amor Libris: Who is your favorite character from your latest book, and why?

Val Tobin: Jayden McQueen stole my heart. She’s scrappy and saucy and relatable. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to attend my own funeral. I explore that through Jayden.

Amor Libris: Are any of the characters and/or experiences in your books based upon yourself or someone you know?

Val Tobin: Arnie Griffen, from The Valiant Chronicles, is a composite of two guys I knew years ago. Gillian Foster from Gillian’s Island is an introvert, as am I, so in that way, you can say her character is based on me. However, my characters are a construct of the story world. They evolve based on their family history and environment, not on what I steal from reality.

The experiences in my novels do at times draw on real-life experiences, particularly The Experiencers.

Michael’s “dream” of Jessica reflects an experience someone I know had, as does Carolyn’s encounter with a UFO in the school yard. Carolyn’s visit from someone in the spirit world when she’s sitting on her back deck reflects the incident of the spirit that I mentioned above. Her method of picking up psychic messages reflects my own, though she’s much more psychic than I’ll ever be.

Amor Libris: Can you share with us about what you are working on now or your next project?

Val Tobin: My next project will be a contribution to the About Three Authors series of books available on Amazon. So far, there are two published works in the series, Whoever Said Love Was Easy? by Patti Roberts and Stolen Hearts & Muddy Pawprints by Georgina Ramsey.

My contribution, Out There, follows three wannabe authors suffering from various mental disorders who find love in unexpected places when they interfere in the investigation of a colleague’s murder.

Amor Libris: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Val Tobin: Hire an editor. Mine have saved me from making some embarrassing errors public.

Amor Libris: How can we contact you and find out more about you and your books?

Val Tobin:

Website: www.valtobin.com

FB author page: www.facebook.com/valtobinauthor/

Amazon profile page: www.amazon.com/Val-Tobin/e/B00KC5S69K/

Smashwords profile page: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/valtobin

Universal Links to Books:
The Experiencers: www.books2read.com/TheExperiencers

A Ring of Truth: www.books2read.com/ARingOfTruth

Injury: www.books2read.com/injury

Gillian’s Island: www.books2read.com/gilliansisland

Walk-In: www.books2read.com/walk-in

Storm Lake: www.books2read.com/stormlake

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