Q&A with Viv Drewa, one of the Midnight Oil Anthology Authors

Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

I love to write and have since I was 9 years old. Since I haven’t worked since 2013 and had two mini strokes my doctor told me to do something to keep my mind working. He said writing would be great.

I love owls and use them in my books, except for this one.

What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author?

I had an accident that put me on disability. Since I had the time I was able to pursue my love of writing

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else?

I’m a Planster I start out with a plot and outline then my writing just takes off on its own.

Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

I loved writing “The Owl of the Sipan Lord” I spent six weeks doing research for it.

Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology. 

It’s a story about a man who only cares for himself.

Teaser: A long-distance romance brings two people together, but after being ignored for a time Edana leaves. But does Charlie regret ignoring her?

Do you have works in progress?

I have three in the works. I will have one done by the end of August and the other two by the end of the year.

What are your plans for your next book?

I’m writing a series, Joe Leverette Mysteries, and I plan on plotting out the third book.

Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

Several really. For “The Owl of the Sipan Lord” I contacted a well-known archaeologist because I couldn’t find what I needed and he got back with me in one week. The other “Midnight Owl: Joe Leverette Mystery, Book 1” I contacted our local ME about the murder to see if it was feasible.

How to you stay in touch with your muse?

Sometimes I have to give her a good kick in the butt!

What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style?

I just do my thing.

How can readers follow you online? 

Facebook https://facebook.com/vivdrewa.author

Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/author/vivdrewa

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/106127816215108883653

HERE IT IS!

Need a new read?

Here’s a collection of short tales of deception, including tales by USA Today Bestselling Author, D.A. Roach, author, Joe King, Joe Pranaitis, Karen Vaughan, Taylor Floyd, Author Sarah Stein, Crystal L Gauthier, Freya LeCrow, Skyler Rankin, and Viv Drewa.
Midnight Oil Anthology, NOW AVAILABLE! $2.99
#NewRelease #Lies #MidnightOil, #Anthology, #Deception #Book, #Mustread

It’s MIDNIGHT OIL ANTHOLOGY’s Release Day!

Check out both my posts today with interviews from author Taylor Floyd AND Crystal Gauthier!

What makes Taylor Floyd tick?

In truth, my story is sad and cumbersome and not what people what to learn about. However, growing up, as I did, I had books as my comfort and curiosity and from that I had a wonderful exploration of imagination all to myself. I began writing my first book, novel length, when I was thirteen-ish. That book was not only a grand escape from reality, but also my first understanding of what it meant to find your purpose in life. I’ve always been an author. I had my first “story” published in the Young Authors Conference when I was eight. I was born a writer and always have been so. I feel very lucky with my writing process, I’ve always been able to create a story from beginning to end. Obviously, I’m not immune to writer’s block but I have an amazing group of writers that are close to me that stimulate me constantly. The dystopian fantasy series that I’m writing haunts me constantly. It’s the story my mind will never give up on until it’s finished.

My works in progress is a series (A Nightingale’s Tale), a stand-alone novel (The 23rd), and multiple scripts (The Missing), as of now. Any future projects are on hold until my current works are finished. Missing 411 is a huge part of my research for multiple stories. I read, and listen to podcasts or audiobooks constantly. Knowing other stories helps with my writing exponentially.

Midnight Oil Anthology’s Author Sarah Stein’s Interview!!

Author Interview – Sarah Stein

  1. Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

I’ve always been an avid reader, and that’s one of the main reasons why I started writing my own tales. I’m from southern Louisiana but reside in south Texas with my husband of many years, two children, a German Shepherd, and a Dachshund. When I’m not spending quality time with them, I’m singing, reading, writing, or researching for the upcoming releases.

 

  1. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author?

Before I became a writer, I worked in retail during the day, and focused on my husband and children when they’d get off of work and school. Now, I write while they’re away. I’m lucky to have such an amazing support system.

 

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a panster, a plotter, or something else?

I’m a plotter all the way. Most of my notes are jotted down on the many notebooks that I have stored in my desk. I recently started saving files to Dropbox, but it’s just the manuscripts. I actually have three separate hard drives for backups. Lol

 

  1. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

My favorite project was when I worked on The Dark Truth that was featured in the Tales After Midnight Anthology. I think every author featured had a blast working on that one. Unfortunately, it’ll be out of print really soon.

 

  1. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil anthology.

My story in the Midnight Oil Anthology is called ‘An Honest Lie.’ It focuses on keeping a secret that not even your best friend knows about. This secret actually affects her best friend, but the main character is torn between following her heart or squashing her dream, and keeping things the way they are at the moment.

 

  1. Do you have works in progress?

I have tons of work in progress. Lol This year, I plan on releasing the third book in my shifter series. I’m also releasing three other stories that will be featured in anthologies in Oct. Sept. and Dec. of 2018.

 

  1. What are your plans for your next book?

I’m plotting for the fourth and final story in the shifter series, and releasing that in 2019. I’m also working on an anthology piece that features a few erotica stories written by me.

 

  1. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

My only interesting research was when I had to look up flaying a human being. Lol It was for the Halloween anthology. To be honest, the research was very interesting.

 

  1. How do you stay in touch with your muse?

I read, and read and read some more until I’m reading to write the next story. I don’t push myself unless I’m writing during NanoWriMth.

My readers can find me online here:

Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/113903399454384/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsarahstein/ Website: https://sarahsteinauthor.wordpress.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorsarahstein/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Author_SarahS_
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/256144.Sarah_Stein
Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Stein/e/B01L0BZLCO

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/authorsarahstein

Joe King! Here’s the interview for today’s Midnight Oil Anthology Q&A

Q&A with Joe King, an author of the Midnight Oil Anthology

 

  1. Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

I am a former journalist turned high school English teacher. My published works include Raw Egg and Human Ants.  I recently had the pleasure of marrying the love of my life at the Hemingway Home in Key West.

  1. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author?

I was inspired to write after reading Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. I had read a fair amount of classic literature before, but that book really spoke to me. I though if I could write something that meant that much to somebody else as that book meant to me then I could feel like I positively contributed to humanity.

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else?

I’m not really into labels like this. I write as often as possible and aim for quality and passion.

  1. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

I have a grand idea for a mega novel that is a still a few projects away. I really can’t say much about it because all the other projects before it will be part of its development.

  1. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology.

My story in the collection is called a “A Common Place,” which is an ironic title since nothing that happens in the story is remotely common. The story involves a clash of wrongly interrupted perspectives that drive the action. I can’t give away too much without ruining all the surprises in it, but I will say it is a strange story.

  1. Do you have works in progress?

Yes, I am currently near the end of the first draft of my second novel. I went bold with this one. It’s a multi-genre blend that is pushing more that 100,000 words so far. I hope to release this work within a year. I am also about to re-release my poetry collection Human Ants with tons of new poems and art work. That should be out in a month or so.

  1. What are your plans for your next book?

This goes back to Human Ants. I’ve never self-published a work, but I am going to give it a try with this one. My main motivation in this is to cheap the price as low as possible. Poetry readers are so rare, I thought the low price could by my small way of celebrating them.

  1. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

I don’t really do too much research in the type of writing I do.

  1. How to you stay in touch with your muse?

Words, words, words.

  1. What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style?

Reading a variety of classic literature. I believe the quality and quantity of what  a writer reads has a profound effect on the writing they produce.

 

  1. How can readers follow you online?

https://booksbyjoeking.wixsite.com/joeking

https://www.facebook.com/WriterJoeKing/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15112518.Joe_King

https://twitter.com/joe_author

Today’s Midnight Oil Anthology Interview is with Freya LeCrow!

Q&A with Midnight Oil Anthology author, Freya LeCrow

  1. Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life. My life pretty much revolves around my family.  I am a mother of three kids and it gets crazy at times. Late at night is writing time for me.
  2. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author? I don’t think I had a life before I became a writer.  I started writing at a very young age and kept writing. It is part of who I am.

  3. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else? Pantser, I have never been great about plotting and brain storming.  

  4. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share? I can’t think of one.
  5. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology.  My story is about a young woman who walks into a gallery and find a painting of herself as a young girl, but the painting is 100 years old.  She later finds out from her father that the family is cursed.

  6. Do you have works in progress? I have a few, but not currently writing much.

  7. What are your plans for your next book? Shh it’s a secret, even to me.  LOL

  8. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share? I just kind of run around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Though I do use goggle earth for the locations I have never been to.

  9. How to you stay in touch with your muse? I think mine got lost someplace, if you see her send her back.

  10. What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style? Reading!!!  I love to read and that has helped me to find my style.
  11. How can readers follow you online?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLeCrow/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorLeCrow

Web: http://freyalecrow.wixsite.com/freyalecrow

Joe Pranaitis, an Interview with one of the Midnight Oil Anthology Authors

Q&A with Midnight Oil Anthology Author, Joe Pranaitis

1.Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

I am an author and producer. I grew up being exposed to Star Trek and the original BattleStar Galactica and later on Babylon 5, but the thing that has really influenced me was the book Star Trek: Final Frontier by Diane Carey.

  1. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author?

I started out as an artist just drawing starships and then my mom and my uncle introduced me to the word processing program and I wrote several short stories. But it wasn’t until high school that I was given the assignment to write and draw my own comic book and that is where my original series Infinite Stars was born.

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else?

How I start is by taking time to read then I watch an episode of a series before sitting down at the computer and let my mind take flight.

  1. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

All of my writing projects have been my favorite when I’ve worked on them.

  1. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology.

It takes place a few hours after the ECS Andrea (See Shattered Time Anthology) was launched and Admiral Lynch has to find out why they haven’t returned yet so she orders her crew aboard the Nimitz to locate the designer of the experimental temporal engines.

  1. Do you have works in progress?

Yes I am currently rewriting two of what was my Kindle Worlds stories into books of their own that will fit within the universe of my stories from both Shattered Time and Midnight Oil.

  1. What are your plans for your next book?

As above and the first book in the Temporal War trilogy of which it will be called should be out by next January or February.

  1. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

No unfortunately I don’t

  1. How to you stay in touch with your muse?

She and I have a great relationship and she always knows when I need her.

  1. What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style?

What has is that I read a lot and I let my impanation take flight,

 

  1. How can readers follow you online?

You can find me at my website http://trekprime.wixsite.com/joepranaitis, Goodreads,  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3143760.Joe_Pranaitis,Twitter https://twitter.com/JoePranaitis, and my facebook author’s page  https://www.facebook.com/JoePranaitisAuthor/?ref=bookmarks

 

 

Teaser for Counterpoint

An hour after Admiral Lynch sees the ECS Andrea vanish into time she sees that they haven’t returned but hunts down the temporal engines designer to find out from him what went wrong. When she tracks him down he confesses that he wasn’t telling her the truth when he designed the temporal engines or that he isn’t even from the twenty-fourth century but from a year far up the timeline.

Here’s MY Q&A Midnight Oil Anthology

Q&A with Midnight Oil Anthology author, D.A. Roach

  1. Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

I grew up in the Midwest, lived in Chicagoland area, Michigan, Texas, and settled in Indiana. I’ve tried several careers, thankfully my outgoing personality, creativity, adaptability, and smarts have helped me explore various fields. I enjoy reading, watching hockey and tennis, going to concerts, writing, and drawing. Life hasn’t always been easy, in fact, my road seems to have more bumps than most, but it makes for an interesting life!

  1. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author?

I have always been a story teller. Most of my tales were about real things that had happened in my life. I never considered writing the stories down, figuring they weren’t interesting enough for anyone to read about. But my dental hygienist asked why we were traveling to Tennessee for vacation and of course…there was a story behind it. When I finished telling the tale, she set down her instruments and said, “You have to write that down – write it in a book, it needs to be told!” So I gave it a try…never intended on writing more than that one story, but people started writing me via facebook messenger, asking me for more…and so I wrote again and here I am, 7 standalones and 8 anthologies later, I’m a USA Today Bestselling Author!

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else?

I write out a rough plot, like the story summed up in 10 handwritten pages (pen and paper only to allow me the speed needed to get the ideas out). Then I build my characters, finding an image online, naming them, giving them a history…I also need to decide how they will change throughout the story and what plot points need to happen to cause those changes to happen. Once all of that is done, I powerup the laptop and begin writing. The first draft is always a bit of a mess, but then I read it through and polish it…then off to the editor it goes.

  1. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

Honestly, one of my favorite writing projects was penning my first short horror story, Anesthesia in the 13, an Anthology of Horror and Dark Fiction collection. I am a huge horror fan but have never attempted to write it before and it was a challenge…a rewarding challenge. I learned a lot about varying your style and length of sentence to create tension.

  1. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology.

Joe King approached me and asked if I wanted to pen a tale of deception for the Anthology. I jumped at the chance to contribute to the project. Bent Bottom’s is about a relationship that has changed over time, with one partner wilting under the other’s dominance. When love has shifted into something else, it forces you to consider whether to stay in that kind of relationship or look for something different…perhaps something better.

  1. Do you have works in progress?

YES! I’m working on wrapping up my Demon Hunters series!

  1. What are your plans for your next book?

My next book is a reworking of Tethered and Inconsequential of the J+P series. It’s a YA drama and there will be at least 4 books.

  1. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

Just my exciting google searches, like “ways to kill someone with an elevator”.

  1. How to you stay in touch with your muse?

My muse is on my street team. She says the craziest things and challenges me to include them in my writing. We chat on fb messenger since she lives in Colorado. We have never met but I feel like she’s like my sister. I love her to death.

  1. What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style?

Probably my reading – I enjoy reading character rich books so I try to write books and stories that focus on the characters and how they change.

  1. How can readers follow you online?

WEBPAGE: https://daroachfiction.com/

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DARoachDA/

AMAZON AUTHOR PG: http://www.amazon.com/author/daroach

BOOK BUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/d-a-roach

 

Interview with Karen Vaughan of the Midnight Oil Anthology

Welcome to the 2nd interview for our Midnight Oil Anthology release countdown. Today our Q & A is with Karen Vaughan!

  1. Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

DAY TO DAY LIFE INVOLVES PROMOTING INDIE AUTHORS WITH MY PARTNERS VIV DREWA AND DELLANI OAKES FOR OWL & PUSSYCAT PROMOTIONS. I ALSO WRITE OR TRY TO WRITE EACH DAY,  AND HANG OUT WITH HUBBY SO HE DOESN’T FEEL NEGLECTED.

  1. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author? BEFORE I WAS A WRITER I WORKED FOR A LOCAL MENTAL HEALTH AGENCY AS A VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION COUNSELOR. I AM A MOM AND A WIFE WHO LOVES CARD AND BOARD GAMES. I ALSO LOVE TO SOCIALIZE WITH FRIENDS. I WAS HOME ON SICK LEAVE FROM WORK AND GOT BORED. I HAD AN IDEA KICKING AROUND IN MY BRAIN AND DECIDED THEN WAS A GOOD TIME TO WRITE IT AND I NEVER STOPPED WRITING

 

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else?

Dedicated plantser— I LINE UP MY CHARACTERS AND A BASIC PLOT. I WRITE LONGHAND FIRST AND THEN DICTATE THE NOVEL USING DRAGON SOFTWARE.

 

  1. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

THE STORY I AM WORKING ON FOR ANOTHER ANTHOLOGY UNDER THE SEA. MY STORY IS ABOUT A MERMAID SHIFTER WHO AFTER AN ACCIDENT LOSES HER MEMORY AND FORGETS WHAT AND WHO SHE IS. IT IS A FANTASY AND IT’S MY FIRST ONE EVER. I AM PRETTY STOKED ABOUT IT.

  1. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology.

MY STORY IS ABOUT ALICE WHO HAS ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO THE MOON. DISENCHANTED WITH HER MARRIAGE, SHE TAKES OFF ON WHAT SHE THINKS IS A CROSS COUNTRY TRIP BUT IS REALLY A TRIP TO OUTER SPACE WITH SOME VERY DECEPTIVE ALIENS.

  1. Do you have works in progress?

THE MERMAID WITH THE SEAHORSE TATTOO, DEAD AIR (LAURA & GERRY SERIES #8) A BOTTLE OF RED (ROMANCE)

 

  1. What are your plans for your next book?

I WANT TO TAKE MY LAURA AND GERRY SERIES INTERNATIONAL AFTER THEY WIN THE MEGALOTTO THEY WILL TRAVEL THE WORLD AND FIND MURDER AND MAYHEM EVERYWHERE THEY GO.

 

  1. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

I TRY NOT TO RESEARCH AS I AM BASICALLY LAZY BUT I HAVE RESEARCHED COMEDY CLUBS FOR ONE OF MY BOOKS AND WATCHED LOTS OF ROUTINES.

 

  1. How to you stay in touch with your muse?

BLOGGING AND WRITING ANYTHING I CAN

 

  1. What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style?

MY WARPED SENSE OF HUMOR.

 

  1. How can readers follow you online?

twitter https://twitter.com/karenvwrites

 

linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-vaughan-b1665b44/

 

facebook https://www.facebook.com/Karenvaughansbooks/

 

google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KarenVaughanwriteratlarge

Meet Skylar Rankin, One of the Midnight Oil Anthology Authors!

Author:  Skyler Rankin

Photo: 

Teaser for Baked:  

You can’t run from who you are.  After losing her prestigious New York Times job as an investigative reporter, Trina Sharp retreats to the small Lake Erie town of Mariner’s Bluff, taking a local reporting job covering stories like town meetings and the odd missing pet.  

Newcomer Jacki Vickers opens a bakery, and to the dismay of local officials, she plans to sell gourmet Mary Jane muffins for medicinal purposes, of course.  She’s skirting the law, and locals worry this will taint the community’s image as a family-friendly vacation spot.

A young man is found shot dead in the middle of town, just a short distance from the bakery, and evidence of Jacki’s wares is found on the body, along with something else that threatens to put her away for a long, long time.  Like a hound on a blood trail, Trina’s passion for the mystery takes over as she hits the investigative trail. Clearly, Jacki is more than a business woman who landed in Mariner’s Bluff to open a bakery, but what? What is her connection to this young man, and what might she have done that may lock her away for life?  Is it Trina’s attraction to Jacki driving her need to solve the crime, her need to redeem herself, or a little of both? What if Jacki isn’t the innocent person Trina thinks she is? Would it matter?

Questions and Answers:

  1. Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

    I have a day job working as an administrator with a university, and like most other independent writers, I spend my down time penning stories. There’s not a huge amount of down time, unfortunately. I’m also taking some online classes to finish a degree, so yes, I often bite off more than I can comfortably chew.  I’m an empty-nester, and I live with my husband and a small herd of domestic pets. We have two cats, a dog, and a plethora of woodland creatures who have declared themselves my wards by eating anything I attempt to grow. I’m a creative person who has a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, which means I have multiple projects going on at once.
  2. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author?

I began writing early in my pre-teen years, and I always knew I wanted to be an author. I had really practical parents though, who preached the importance of having a real job.  Even though it was a difficult reality to accept, writing is hard for multiple reasons. First, you craft your stories, which is far easier than it sounds, and then you work to publish. Back then, electronic publishing did not exist, and vanity publishing was frowned upon, not to mention expensive.  Getting published meant typing your work out on a manual type writer, sending it off and waiting, and waiting, and sometimes getting no response at all. For many years, I lived on my academic and non-fiction, and now that I’m nearing retirement, I hope to continue with my first love, fiction.

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else?

This is a tough one. I really appreciate the power of an outline for keeping my work on track.  However, there are times that spontaneous writing just feels better and more natural. I’ve carved out my own style which usually begins with a rough outline, following it through to get the story down, and then going back over it to add the flavor that pantsing can provide.

  1. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

I have so many projects haunting my dreams that it’s hard to pin down a favorite. Time would help. Between working my day job and taking care of my personal life, there’s little time for writing, especially when indies must also do most of their own promotion as well. And while it sounds like a complaint, the truth is, I’m happiest when writing, and nothing thrills me quite like knowing I’ve given someone a fantastic story.

  1. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology.

Baked is a novella, a mini-mystery centered on characters in the fictional town of Mariner’s Bluff on the banks of Lake Erie.  The main character, Trina Sharp, is a former investigative reporter disgraced by having lost her job with a major newspaper. Down on her luck, she retreated to Mariner’s Bluff and took a job at the local paper, a position well below the considerable talent she thinks she’s lost.  Newcomer Jacki Vickers opens a bakery. To the dismay of local officials, she plans to sell gourmet muffins with a special ingredient, marijuana, for medicinal purposes. She’s skirting the law, and locals are concerned the business could taint their image as a family-friendly vacation spot.  The timing is especially bad given the town’s first big fall festival featuring a huge bass fishing tournament that is garnering national attention. In spite of Jacki’s gutsy move, or perhaps because of it, Trina finds Jacki fascinating. Jacki rebuffs Trina’s interest, and keeps her at arm’s length.  

A young man is found shot dead in the middle of town, just a short distance from the bakery, and evidence of Jacki’s wares is found on the body, along with something else that threatens to put her away for a long, long time.  Like a hound on a blood trail, Trina’s passion for the mystery takes over as she hits the investigative trail. Jacki needs her help more than she wants to admit, but she still pushes Trina away. Clearly, Jacki is more than a business woman who landed in Mariner’s Bluff to open a bakery, but what?  What is her connection to this young man, and what might she have done that may lock her away for life? Is it Trina’s attraction to Jacki driving her need to solve the crime, her need to redeem herself, or a little of both?

  1. Do you have works in progress?

Yes, several.  I’m working on the sequel to Viral Dawn, which will be entitled Viral Storm.  The story picks up with heroine Casey Williams after she is infected by a zombie’s bite while trying to evade military detection in her effort to leave the country to expose the damning evidence she has against BioGenetics, the company that manufactured the deadly virus.  Kyle Carter, her new love interest and former soldier, refuses to leave her side even though she threatens to expose their location to the enemy if he doesn’t. Instead, he catches her off guard and gives her their first kiss, one that seals his fate to hers by infecting him as well.  The two are now off to procure a new vaccine in development that is rumored to stop the disease. Casey and Kyle, so smart and resourceful, are now racing against time where little is in their control. They’ve made a suicide pact should the virus affect them before they reach their only hope.  

Will they make it safely to the research facility before the military or BioGenetics’ contracted guerillas find them?  Will they succumb to the virus before they can get help? IF they make it, can they obtain the vaccine before the developers find out who they are?  What about the friends they left behind? Can they make it to Canada and expose BioGenetics in time to take the heat off Casey and Kyle?

  1. What are your plans for your next book?

After I finish Viral Storm, I may or may not do a sequel.  It depends on what Casey wants. Meanwhile, I have another suspense mystery mapped out that involves the whiskey industry in Kentucky. The tentative title is Barrel Proof.

  1. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

I take lots of really odd pictures.  Whenever we go on vacation or even when I’m out and about doing daily work, if I see something that looks like an interesting story or that might make an interesting cover image, I snap a photo and keep it…apparently forever. Sometimes other people look at me funny when they see me taking pictures of something really strange like a dilapidated building or a section of a wall. They probably think I’m crazy, which is just a synonym for writer.

  1. How to you stay in touch with your muse?

Okay I have to say that sometimes my muse is bossy.  She used to be really elusive. I could sit for hours or months and get no good ideas.  Now that she’s older, she just comes on out and beats me into submission. In Baked, for example, I had every intention of making Trina’s story all about the mystery.  Period. My muse informed me, and Trina was backing her up on this, that Trina was gay, and this story would have a romantic interest between her and Jacki. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t sure I could pull this off, but they wouldn’t back down.  In fact, when I tried to take the story in another direction, they just left and would not come back until I committed to the story. Eventually I gave up because I just work here. I have to admit. They were right. It’s a better story. As an FYI, they gave in to me when I reminded them this was a YA-to-adult book, so they cooperated in keeping the story tame in the romance department.

  1. What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style?

For so many years, I’ve focused on what other people tell me to write or what satisfied the need.  At times, I think I did this to the detriment of my own voice. At this point, I’m writing the way I think and feel is best.  I’m letting the words and phrases flow instead of analyzing everything in light of others’ advice. This isn’t to suggest that others can’t be helpful or that advice I’ve received in the past was necessarily bad, but in the end, it’s the writer’s story.  I’ve found I have to listen to that inner voice we call the muse. If I don’t, she and my characters will gang up on me.

  1. How can readers follow you online?

I’m on several websites, and I do occasionally do Twitter, but probably the best places to follow me are on my website at  www.skylerrankin.com  or my Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/Skyler.Rankin.Author/