Rachel Thompson

Thursday, August 21, 2014

@MargaretWestlie on Family, Motivation to Write & "Anne of Green Gables" #AmReading #HistFic

Tell us a bit about your family.

My family are direct descendents from a group of settlers brought over to Prince Edward Island, Canada, from the Isle of Skye in Scotland in 1803.  The earl was not like so many others who were given land grants here on the Island.  He had the foresight to settle the families within a mile or so of each other so that they would always have help in time of need.  The group was still mostly intact for almost two hundred years and the descendents now are numerous.  We are known as the Selkirk Settlers or the Belfast Settlers.  The origin of the word Belfast was from the French who lived in our area prior to our arrival.  It was formerly known as Belle Face.  We were mostly farmers who believed in education even for the women and some of the children of the first settlers became school teachers, preachers, and doctors.  My first novel in the Selkirk Stories series, Mattie's Story, talks about this first settlement as a story told to Mattie by her grandfather.  They were firmly rooted in Presbyterianism and their lives were lived in obedience to their faith.

My immediate family consists of my husband, me, a sister and a brother and a whole raft of cousins, first, second, and the once removed, and a few ageing aunts and uncles.  I have two cats, Molly and Lucy, named after the first novel I ever wrote, Shades of Molly.

What motivates you to write?

My characters talk to me and won't leave me alone until I tell their story.  It's really kind of fun and I'm never lonely.  Someone will tell me a story  about the ancestors or their neighbours, and my mind takes off. I think what if the person had done this instead of what they did, and away I go.  My characters come to me and tell me what they did and what they were thinking in their fictional world.  They talk to one another and to me.  Of course, the stories I write will only have one germ of truth in them, the rest is all imagination.

What writing are you most proud of?

I love all of my stories.  I don't know if I can choose one to be more proud of than another.  I think if I were forced to choose it would have to be the Selkirk Stories series, which includes Anna's Secret.  However, there is also the Haunted PEI series that are a lot of fun too.  In fact, Shades of Molly, the first novel in that series, came about right after the creative writing class I took as an undergrad.  If my husband's computer had not been switched on that first day I would not be a writer today.  I was computer illiterate and couldn't type very well.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?

I think I would have to say that I am most proud of my mind.  It is the basis of everything I think say and do.  It is very inquisitive and goes lickety-split.  I can't possibly talk as fast as my mind works and very few people can follow where I go.  When I was nursing I was doing in-service education, and another nurse and I were meeting on the choice of topics to present.  However we got onto it I don't remember exactly, but I got us from fire safety education and fire drills to outer space by free association.  Needless to say the other nurse could hardly believe that we'd taken that whirlwind tour of the cosmos all because of fire drills.

What books did you love growing up?

I loved the Anne of Green Gables stories and ultimately read every one several times.  I liked J. M. Barrie's Little Minister, and Maggie Muggins.  There were others of this nature.  I also liked the Cherry Ames series (nurse) and the Nancy Drew series.  My father encouraged reading and education and he always read to me when I was tiny and read poetry to me when I was older.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?

That I was joyful.  I don't know what else to say.  Of course, I am many other things like warm and kind but those traits are kind of cliche to say out loud.   I'm gentle and mostly non-judgemental although if you look at judgement as discernment that opens up a whole other discussion.  I am discerning.  I've thought off and on that I should write my obituary just for the exercise of it.  It seems a little extreme but it could be very revealing.  The other side is that what I would write now and what I would write in ten years time could very well be something entirely different.


Anna Gillis, the midwife and neighbour in Mattie's Story, has been found killed. The close-knit community is deeply shaken by this eruption of violence, and neighbours come together to help one another and to discover the perpetrator. But the answer lies Anna's secret, long guarded by Old Annie, the last of the original Selkirk Settlers, and the protagonist of An Irregular Marriage. Join the community! Read Anna's Secret and other novels by Margaret A. Westlie.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fiction, mystery, historical
Rating – G
More details about the author
 Connect with Margaret Westlie on Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Scott Moon on #Writing Longhand & Getting Support @ScottMoonWriter #SciFi #AmReading

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I enjoy writing longhand, and try as often as possible on the premise it produces a different thought process. I have plans to get a new computer and a new version of Dragon Naturally Speaking. The copy I experimented with a few years ago has gone missing and my battered laptop can’t handle the new versions. To answer the question, I write first drafts, scene by scene, on a computer or phone using Google Drive. Next I edit online using Pro Writing Aid–a new program I like so far. By the fourth or fifth draft, I compile the document into Word and used Serenity Software: Editor. At that point I’m almost ready to pay an editor to look at it, or submit it for traditional publishing, depending on the project.
What color represents your personality the most?
Blue has always been my favorite color. I’m not sure what that means.
Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?
No friends in the industry, except other writers. The best support is from independent authors that are going through the same “platform building” struggles. I’ve met a lot of great people on Twitter.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
Six to seven hours, though I rarely get more than four in a row. I’m a parent and on-call for work 24/7.
What books did you love growing up?
The Doomfarers of Caramonde by Brian Daley and the Elric series by Michael Moorcock were my favorites. I read them once a year all through high school, and a few times since. I also began a serious love of audio books with Stephen King and Dean Koontz. 
Who is your favorite author?
Currently, my favorite has to be George R. R. Martin. I listen to Song of Ice and Fire series over and over and read them on Kindle. Michael Connelly is a close second.
What genre of books do you adore?
Historical fiction. Someday I’ll be smart enough to write one.
What book should everybody read at least once?
The Pillars of Earth, by Ken Follett. If I tell you it is about the building of a Cathedral in 13th century England, you might feel the sudden urge to take a nap, but few books are more suspenseful. The characters are like real people and the plot is merciless.
What scares you the most?
I don’t have a lot of physical fears. I kind of like heights. The one time I was shot at wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. Deep sea scuba diving would scare me, specifically, getting the buoyancy ballast wrong and getting sucked deeper and deeper into darkness as the crushing pressure of water increases exponentially. Clowns are pretty scary. (Just kidding, clowns are merely creepy.)
What makes you the happiest?
Playing with my kids. Four hours of quality writing and a good workout. Star Wars for the first time (like that will ever happen again).

What’s your greatest character strength?

Lost Hero

Changed by captivity and torture, hunted by the Reapers of Hellsbreach and wanted by Earth Fleet, Kin Roland hides on a lost planet near an unstable wormhole.

When a distant space battle propels a ravaged Earth Fleet Armada through the same wormhole, a Reaper follows, hunting for the man who burned his home world. Kin fights to save a mysterious native of Crashdown from the Reaper and learns there are worse things in the galaxy than the nightmare hunting him. The end is coming and he is about to pay for a sin that will change the galaxy forever. 


Enemy of Man: Book One in the Chronicles of Kin Roland was written for fans of military science fiction and science fiction adventure. Readers who enjoyed Starship Troopers or Space Marines will appreciate this genre variation. Powered armor only gets a soldier so far. Battlefield experience, guts, and loyal friends make Armageddon fun. 


If you love movies like Aliens, Predator, The Chronicles of Riddick, or Serenity, then you might find the heroes and creatures in Enemy of Man dangerous, determined, and ready to risk it all. It’s all about action and suspense, with a dash of romance—or perhaps flash romance. 

From the Author

Thanks for your interest in my novel, Enemy of Man. I hope you chose to read the book and enjoy every page.  If you have already read Enemy of Man, how was it? Reviews are appreciated! 
Have a great day and be safe.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – R
More details about the author
 Connect with Scott Moon on Facebook & Twitter